Pregnancy is a state that may present weight, food, and emotional problems for any woman, so it is natural that women with addiction or eating disorders may have exaggerated stress because of it. Nutritional needs, which of course involve food, a changing body, and a Hood of unpredictable emotions are major factors for consideration.

It should be obvious that if you have a good recovery program, a healthy eating plan, self-esteem, and especially if you want a baby, the stress need not be debilitating.


In pregnancy, however, biochemical changes do occur that affect feelings, and you need supportive friends or family members with whom you feel free to share your feelings. You may wonder if you are unselfish enough to be a parent or fear you will do things to your child that were done to you. You may worry that your child will inherit strong addictive traits and feel pressure to break the chain of addictive patterns. Fatigue may affect your emotions.

Especially for bulimics and other eating addicts, obsession about body image can return during pregnancy, and weight may become an issue. You may worry that you will never get your figure back or be able to wear your clothes again. Pregnancy is an opportunity for your addiction to grab hold of you.

Eating Plan Modifications

If you are following a particular eating plan as part of your recovery (even if you are not an eating addict), you should share it with your doctor and nutritionist, and of course be willing to make appropriate modifications as needed for your health and the health of the baby. If you have been on a rigid eating plan, the need to make modifications can be a mixed blessing. You may find variations that work well. You also have to be willing to eat more food, especially protein.

Remember that alcohol, drugs, and tobacco all affect an unborn child. See the module Fetal alcohol syndrome for more information.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness may be a problem and require some changes in how you eat. Especially if you are a bulimic or have bulimic tendencies, stick as closely as you can to your eating plan and talk to others in the Program about deviations that may be necessary so you don’t feel alone or guilty.

Looking Ahead

Having kids will bring out the best and the worst in you. You may find yourself doing things you had vowed not to do, and things you weren’t sure you could do. You may find more understanding, love, gratitude, or forgiveness for your own parents as you learn the stress of parenthood. These experiences can be major milestones in your recovery.

Higher Power

Throughout the pregnancy and parenthood, don’t forget you have a Higher Power or the

. We have seen many addicts cope, and even grow in their spirituality and recovery, if they used this special time to gain closer contact with their God and the Program.

Pregnancy, see also: Aftercare, Assertiveness, Attitudes, Biochemistry, Body image, Chronic pain, Counseling, Craving, Crisis, Drugs, Eating addiction, Edema, Emotional aspects, Exercise & activity, Family, Feelings, Fetal alcohol syndrome, Gratitude, Intimacy, Love & caring, Moderation, Nicotine, Nutrition, Premenstrual syndrome, Priorities, Relapse & prevention, Relaxation, Sabotage of recovery, Sex, Stinking thinking.

Updated 12 Sep 2015

Creative Commons License
Addictionary 2 by Jan & Judy Wilson

is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.