09/18/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Pregorexia: Does This Bump Look Big On Me?

Professor John Morgan, head of the Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders and Senior Lecturer at St George's University, London, estimates that 1 in 20 pregnant women may have an eating disorder (ED), sometimes referred to as "pregorexia", and the figures may be higher still: "Women with eating disorders do not readily disclose their disorder to their obstetrician, and have been reported to ascribe their behaviours to symptoms of pregnancy, such as hyperemesis gravidarum [excessive morning sickness]."

According to some experts, images of svelte celebrity mums-to-be such as Nicoles Kidman and Richie with their "barely-there" bumps are inspiring expectant mothers to diet and exercise to excess to stay slim during pregnancy and speed the departure of those post-baby pounds. Some experts also believe that changes in shape and weight during pregnancy may exacerbate or rekindle latent anxieties and lead to a relapse of the disorder. One study even reported a worsening of symptoms in pregnancy in women with either anorexia nervosa or bulimia who were symptomatic at conception.

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Watch this video on the warning signs of pregorexia: