Posted by Rachel Leigh - email
(WFLX) - Ten million women suffer from an eating disorder. By age 20, 86-percent of women who are anorexic will have other health issues.
But it's not just a disease that strikes young women. Even moms-to-be risk it all to be thin.
By looking at photos of Maggie Baumann, you would never know she was seven months pregnant. "I wasn't able to eat with my family. When we'd go to church, I'd have them drive in the car, and I would run to church. I was running everywhere."
She hid her problem from everyone including her husband. "I kept everything to myself."
Maggie was suffering from 'Pregorexia' forcing herself to not eat while carrying her second child. Doctors recommend pregnant woman should gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. During her first pregnancy, Maggie gained 33 pounds. But, during her second, the 5-foot-8-inch woman weighed 135 -- gaining just 18 pounds. "I didn't realize how sick I was until I ended up in the ER, and the doctor was saying I was having heart problems."
Her daughter, Whitney, was born 5 pounds, 11 ounces, but problems developed. "When she was about 4 months old, she started having seizures."
Research shows not getting enough food during pregnancy could cause neurological problems in the baby, lower IQ, ADHD, respiratory distress, birth defects and impaired functioning later in life.
Maggie now knows the danger she put herself and her baby in. It took 10 years for her to get help. Although, she still exercises, Maggie says, she's chosen a healthier route, and now helps other pregnant women make healthy choices for both themselves and their baby.
In addition to the dangers their babies face, expectant moms with eating disorders also face an increased risk of miscarriage, dehydration, cardiac irregularities, difficulty nursing and post partum depression.