Mommyrexia: Moms-to-Be Striving to Stay Skinny


Obsessed, mom-to-be, with keeping pregnancy weight gain down and staying skinny? So many women are these days are that it’s been given a name: mommyrexia (aka pregorexia).

The Scoop

Perhaps inspired by Rachel Zoe, Victoria Beckham, and other celebrity moms who managed to keep their pregnancy weight gain to an absolute minimum—and then returned to stick-thin within weeks of giving birth—some moms-to-be may be taking their quest to stay slim to the extreme in a disturbing new trend dubbed “mommyrexia,” reports the New York Post.

Karen, a New York City mom interviewed for the piece, went from an extra-small to a medium during her pregnancy, gaining 43 pounds, an amount that left her feeling hefty instead of new-mom hot. “I was obsessed with the fact that I didn’t become super-skinny right away [after pregnancy],” Karen tells the Post. “Every day, I strolled with my son and saw skinny moms around me—women who looked perfect, and I put crazy expectations on myself.”

According to Isaac Herschkopf, a Manhattan psychiatrist who treats celebs with eating disorders and one of the experts interviewed by the newspaper, women likely to feel the pressure to stay super-skinny during pregnancy are those whose “beauty is part of their allure, women who are frightened about losing their [partner’s] attention. You do see women—and it’s a vicious cycle—who are worried about losing their husbands, and will ignore the baby and even come to resent the baby.”

Retailers have also noticed the trend towards more moms staying svelte during pregnancy. Maternity boutique owner and mommy-whisperer on Bravo’s reality series Pregnant in Heels, Rosie Pope, tells the Post that she’s had to add size “extra-small” to her inventory due to popular demand. “I’m worried about this trend, because even I couldn’t fit into it, and I’m small!” says Pope.

Your Health

What shocking lengths are these “mommyrexics” willing to go to for the sake of losing the baby weight—within just days or weeks of giving birth? According to Bryce Gruber, owner of a NYC-focused beauty and lifestyle website, “I’ve heard of women who have opted to skip breastfeeding altogether so they can keep their day schedules open immediately for spin class, hot yoga, and 5-mile jogs through the park.”

Are you obsessed over gaining too much weight during pregnancy? Or already making plans for an intense postpartum exercise and diet regimen? Having an eating disorder or body image issue is serious business, no matter how wrapped up it might be in the fun world of celebrity pregnancy and the lives of famous moms. If you think you are falling into the unhealthy trap of “mommyrexia,” then it’s time to have a talk with your doctor or midwife about the basics of healthy prenatal weight gain and safe postpartum weight loss. If needed, your doctor or midwife can put you in touch with support groups, nutritionists, and therapists—people and experts who can help see past your dress size to what it really takes to have healthy, happy life as a new mom.


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