Recent research found more than 50 per cent of pregnant women compare themselves unfavourable to others on social media. Picture: Claudia BaxterSource:News Limited
Recent research found more than 50 per cent of pregnant women compare themselves unfavourable to others on social media. Picture: Claudia BaxterSource:News Limited

'Pregorexia' is putting mums and bubs at risk, say experts

THE rise in the craze of fit expectant mums posting "unrealistic" photos of sixpacks on top of their baby bumps has given birth to an emerging body image disorder which is now on The Butterfly Foundation's radar.

And experts are warning that "pregorexia" is fuelling body dissatisfaction among some pregnant women - and even leading some in extreme cases to put themselves and their bub at risk through calorie restriction and overexercising.

"Body dissatisfaction is one of the leading causes of disordered eating and harmful behaviours - so this is definitely problematic," The Butterfly Foundation chief executive Christine Morgan said.

Recent research from Swansea University found that more than 50 per cent of pregnant women compared themselves unfavourably to others on Facebook, and that women who had no social media accounts were happier with their growing bodies.

"Engaging in behaviours to achieve a certain weight or appearance while pregnant can be detrimental to an unborn child," Ms Morgan said.

"Social media photos are edited or filtered so we cannot perceive these as reality or a 'benchmark'."

Chontel Duncan with her one-year-old son Jeremiah in Capalaba. The personal trainer mother received backlash after posting a photo of her toned pregnant belly. Picture: Claudia BaxterSource:News Limited
Chontel Duncan with her one-year-old son Jeremiah in Capalaba. The personal trainer mother received backlash after posting a photo of her toned pregnant belly. Picture: Claudia BaxterSource:News Limited

Now 23 weeks pregnant with her second child, she makes no apology for being in great shape.

"I am simply an advocate of fitness at any time of life," she said.

News Corp Australia

When home comes to Canberra

When home comes to Canberra

Wyralla Road asks all the right questions in Parliament

Keeping bike in good order is good for the marriage

Keeping bike in good order is good for the marriage

If you are going to ride a bike make sure you can fix it too

Colour Fun Run is a rainbow carnival

Colour Fun Run is a rainbow carnival

The inaugural Lismore Colour Explosion Fun Run makes its mark

Local Partners