Belly only pregnancy – the trend that can lead to eating disorders

“Belly only pregnancy”.
It’s called the new pregnancy trend that aims to only gain weight around the belly.
– This can mean an increased risk of developing or relapsing into an eating disorder, says Mia Fernando, specialist physiotherapist.

The idea behind the increasingly viral trend is to not put on any unnecessary pounds during pregnancy, quite simply.

– “Belly only pregnancy” is a trend and a hashtag that contains videos and tips around an idealization of only gaining pregnancy weight on the belly, says Mia Fernando, specialist physiotherapist obstetrics and gynecology.

It can be about everything from diets to exercise. But Mia Fernando believes that it is not possible to choose where on the body a possible weight gain settles.

– The body will put on the kilos that you may need to put on during pregnancy where it is needed. And there is a lot of genetics at play.

Can lead to eating disorders

Trying to control your weight during pregnancy can instead develop into something much more serious.

– There are a number of risks with the trend. Everything from people becoming stressed and feeling mentally ill.

– But it can also mean an increased risk of developing or relapsing into an eating disorder, says Mia Fernando.

The trend is so new that any risks cannot be determined scientifically, but it has been known for a long time that it is risky for the child if it does not get the nutrition it needs.

– If you keep your diet or exercise within a far too strict range, then there can be risks for the child as well.

Caregivers may need to act

Mia Fernando describes the trend as “risky” and believes that healthcare providers may need to act.

– I think that those who meet pregnant women, i.e. midwives, doctors and people like me, we all need to both address what is on the table but also ask if they have thoughts about, for example, weight.