Thin & pregnant: The reality of "Mommyrexia" - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Thin & pregnant: The reality of "Mommyrexia"

Posted: Updated:
Consult a doctor about what's right for you. Consult a doctor about what's right for you.
Consult a doctor about what's right for you. Consult a doctor about what's right for you.
(Toledo News Now) -

A new term describes a new kind of mom. Mommyrexic.

We're talking about moms who try to stay rail thin during or after pregnancy, and who go to all extremes avoid the weight gain.

But, it's so much more than a buzz word. It's gaining popularity and putting babies at risk.

Magazines splash pictures of celebrities like Bethenny Frankel, Rachel Zoe and Victoria Beckham all over their covers comparing the bodies of pregnant celebrities in the "baby weight battles."


At the same time, they refer to celebs like Kim Kardashian as a "whale."

The pressure to stay thin and beautiful may have never been higher for moms, who also happen to be producing a human life at the same time they're getting criticized for their weight.

But, far from the camera flashes of Hollywood, Julia Vilela, a Perrysburg mom of two, says the media adds the pressure and moms buy into it.

"It's also about comparing ourselves to other people," she says. "To shoot up to 45 pounds was huge. And I thought it would come off a lot easier than it did and that was just really frustrating that it didn't."

Julia's friend, Erin Greiger, is four months pregnant with her third child and remembers hearing nasty comments behind her back during her first pregnancy.

"One of the people I worked with would call me fatty," she says. "The doctor said I gained the appropriate amount of weight, but I was surprised the comments I would still get, like, 'Aren't you due yet?' or 'Haven't you had that baby?' or 'Are you past your due date?' or 'Are you sure there's not two in there?' and it just blew my mind."


Doctor Karen Trappe, MD., is a Toledo OBGYN. She says having a body issue in pregnancy is very common and as many as 25 percent of pregnant women experience body issues.

Smiley face

In fact, she says, "Mommyrexia" is a dangerous trend and is just another word for a real eating disorder. 

"It's trying to take a serious medical condition, such as Anorexia and making it a little lighter and making it a little bit cute, which it's not. Serious lifelong medical complications can occur from Anorexia." 

Doctor Trappe says a healthy weight gain for a pregnancy is 15 to 35 pounds, depending on the mother's pre-pregnancy weight.

Anything less could cause major complications for the baby. 

"This could affect brain development and increased morbidity and mortality of the infant. So long term medical problems as well as even fetal death could occur. It also increases the risk of preterm delivery, and we do know babies born early do have a lot of additional medical complications."

"Unfortunately the media has portrayed it as 'get rid of it as fast as you can'," said Greiger. "Just the fact that it has to be gone so soon. Or the magazines that you see, I'm sure a lot of them are air brushed, and so what they're portraying is not real life."

So what do you think about Mommyrexia and the pressure on pregnant women to stay thin? Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #Mommyrexia11! You can also share your stories and pics of your beautiful baby bellies with us on Facebook and we'll put them in our "Celebrate the Belly" slideshow.

Read:

Mobile users, click on the "Video" button in the app to watch this story. Download our app here. 

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:00:30 GMT
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die.More >>
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die. Monday night, investigators tracked down Jalen Shaquille Williams, 19, and arrested him at his home. Rashad Rejohn Johnson, 17, was arrested Monday at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Facility, where he was being held on an unrelated charge.More >>
  • Two more Singing River Health System clinics set to close

    Two more Singing River Health System clinics set to close

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:10 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:10:42 GMT
    Singing River Health System has announced the closure of two more primary care clinics as part of a realignment program. The Gautier and D'Iberville facilities will close August 29.
    More >>
    We will rebound. That's Singing River Health System CEO Kevin Holland's response to the announcement that two clinics are closing in South Mississippi. Those facilities are in Gautier and D'Iberville. Holland said it's also unfortunate that several people will lose their jobs because of the closings.More >>
  • Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:54:09 GMT
    According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later Tuesday night.More >>
    An area of Gulfport still reeling from the brutal murder of a child last week was hit with another violent death Tuesday night. According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.