'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'."
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.