Princess Victoria of Sweden is Having a Baby!

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden can soon add a new title to her name…mom! According to a statement issued by the Swedish palace, the 34-year-old, born Victoria Ingrid Alice Désirée, expects to give birth sometime in March. She and former personal trainer Daniel Westling, 37, were married last June in a large ceremony with over 1200 guests. The Royal Court announced that her pregnancy will not interfere with any upcoming public engagements in the fall.

Princess Victoria’s pregnancy must be especially welcome given the fact that many women with eating disorders have difficulty conceiving. In 1996, the media reported that she suffered from anorexia. Her family confirmed the press’s suspicions the following year in November.

Eating disorders affect fertility and pregnancy a number of ways, namely due to hormonal imbalances. The physical and mental stress on the body and low body fat cause amenorrhea (stopping of menstrual cycles). Lack of regular periods make getting pregnant very challenging.
If a woman with an eating disorder is able to conceive, or develops one during pregnancy, she may experience serious complications. These include:

Eating disorders, as outlined in the article about actress Portia DeRossi, are one of the deadliest mental illnesses, and are even more devastating when a baby’s health is involved. Fortunately for Princess Victoria, she had the help of a supportive network of friends, family, and medical experts who were able to successfully treat her anorexia. The mental disorder, however, lives with the individual and can often be triggered by stressful events (such as a pregnancy).

Do you think Princess Victoria’s diagnosis and recovery were made easier or harder by being famous? Would non-celebrities receive the same care?

More information about Eating Disorders? Click here to go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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