Bulimic and Breastfeeding (Linda)

First off I want to say that I am overjoyed that I found this website, it has already helped me to start the healing process.

Secondly, please forgive me as I have a lot to say and this post may be all over the place, hopefully at the end I can tie it all together.

My Story

I have had issues with body image since I was an adolescent. I was the chunky one for some time, but things came to a head in my late teens early twenties. I have been an over-exerciser (worked out for four hours straight once and passed out from dehydration and exhaustion) serial dieter and pill popper and at the age of 21 I FINALLY got to under 130 lbs and was a size two, WOOHOOO!!! That did not last very long because what I had to do to get there was everything but natural and healthy, and eventually the pounds came back on. I am 5 feet two-three inches (depending on the day) and I currently weigh 172 lbs. I began purging in my late teens, I can no longer remember how I got started but I have been battling it ever since. Through much introspection I have labeled the ED my crutch. Sometimes I can go months without it, but I always know that it is in the closet ready for me to pull out whenever I feel I need it and lately I have needed it every day. I have three beautiful girls, a three year old and twin 3 month olds. With my first I went through post partum which I battled on my own and eventually came out of. I don’t think I am dealing with post partum this time around but I am battling that old demon of mine, horrible body image.

I know all the reasons why this disease is not healthy and why I should stop. I know it doesn’t actually help me lose weight but on the contrary can add weight but that hasn’t stopped me. The reason is I don’t think I am ready to give up my crutch. I am EBFing my twins and plan to do so for a while, however I know I am damaging myself with my purging and possibly affecting my milk. I don’t want my girls to ever deal with what I am going through and I want to be healthy for them if not myself. Im not sure if it is the stress that triggered my ED but it has come back with a vengeance. Since I am nursing I am not able to get away much so I eat as my version of downtime, I eat to distract myself, I eat because I am bored, I just eat. And what’s funny (or not) is that I often don’t even enjoy it. I don’t know what to do. But I have been working out and TRYING to eat right and the scale mocks me, I see this stomach with this butt looking pooch in front and it pisses me off and makes me sad. I have no waist to speak off (always had this problem now its ten times worse) and I can’t fit any of my clothes and I…..

I’m sorry, I know I am rambling. I will stop here and hope that what I wrote made some type of since. I have so much more to share but maybe this is not the outlet for it. I just want to love myself as much as I love my children!!!
~Your Age: 31
~Number of pregnancies and births: 2 pregnancies, 3 children
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 3 months pp

Pic in red dress is me about 11 months pp with my first. Pic of my 3 month old twins. Pic of my three girls.

22 thoughts on “Bulimic and Breastfeeding (Linda)

  • Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Hi, I had bulimia too, in my twenties. For me the key was to join gruoptherapy for eating disorder. Just to be able to tell to others what I did, had a healing effect on me. After 1,5 year, I quitted purging and that is now 15 years since. Is joining a therapeutic group something that could help you?


  • Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story! You’re a beautiful woman and you have such gorgeous children! :)

  • Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I was struck by your story, no doubt because of the connection we share. I have a toddler daughter and a seven-month-old, and I am also “bulimic and breastfeeding.” Both pregnancies were ED-free for me (I’ve been bulimic for a long time now, about 11 years), pretty much, but in the first year after both I have had serious relapses. I just binge and purge while they take their afternoon naps, and sometimes after dinner as well, if I get the chance. I don’t know…sometimes I just feel like I’m the only person in this weird cycle, and so I was shocked to see your post. I wanted to tell you, in case you feel alone too, that you aren’t. Other moms have this kind of problem too, and I wish you my sincere best in finding some help.

  • Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I keep trying to write something inspirational, to convey to you just how lovely I think you are, just the way you are right at this very moment. What makes me angry is this disease. You can’t see yourself, not clearly. I see a bright smile, beautiful skin with hills and valleys and texture, living, breathing, and real. I see a quiet strength.The courage it takes to expose yourself to people who don’t know you, that doesn’t speak of someone who can’t find a cure for her own disease. You’re perfect. You are a miracle. It is my sincerest wish that you believe it, too, someday.

  • Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 9:01 am

    While I haven’t personally dealt with bulimia, I do have a compulsive overeating ED, which I have arrested, one day at a time, through Overeaters Anonymous. OA is also open to anorexics and bulimics. You might consider seeking out this organization. You can find a list of meetings in your area on http://www.oa.org. Good luck with everything.

  • Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Hi. I’m a 21 year old male. I experienced bulimia/ purging for about 2 years when I was 17-19. I stopped the addiction to the behavior by not judging what I ate or what my body looked like.

    Lady, you need to stop these behaviors.

  • Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Linda, You are radiatingly beautiful! I want to reach out to you and let you know you are not alone. I’m 30 years old and have battled bulimia for 17 years. With each of my 3 pregnancies I never binged/purged, but postpartum it always came back with a vengeance. Even though I too extended breastfed each of my children I couldn’t control my bulimia. It takes the greatest amount of courage and strength to not only say to yourself, but to someone else, that you are bulimic – you are doing the right thing by exposing the bulimia, don’t keep it a secret. Even though we KNOW it won’t make us skinny and perfect, we do it anyway! It’s the addiction. It is my wish that you overcome this disease and that you see yourself for the beautiful, amazing woman and mother that you are!

  • Friday, March 23, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Not even a year ago, in June 20th 2011… I had my first child. I gained 70 pounds during my pregnancy! About a month after giving birth, even though I was breastfeeding the weight stopped falling off and I was stuck at 230lbs. Out of nowhere I started purging (I’d never purged before in my life!)… I threw up every meal I ate for months trying to get my body back. It wasn’t long before my milk was affected… I am a blessed full-time stay at home mom and couldn’t even breastfeed for 5 months! I have all this time and no where to be, and yet I couldn’t even breastfeed. My milk dried up, and I felt regret. Regret for putting myself and my vanity and selfishness over feeding and nurturing my baby. I know how you feel!

  • Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm


    I am dealing with the same issues. I have not been able to eat like a normal person since I hit puberty. My 3 closest friends were size 0’s, and although I was only a size 4, they were a negative group of girls to be around, and they made comments about my weight and the way clothing looked on me. I started trying to go as long as possible without eating… I think my longest was 5 days. I consumed nothing but water, and by the end of it my body wanted to eat so urgently that I had a major binge. I kept doing that for most of my teens- not eating some days, but having huge binges that made up for it on other days. It did not help my weight at all. My size 4 turned into a size 10, then 12, and finally 14.

    When I was 20, I finally started a responsible diet and exercise plan, and I got down to a size 7. Shortly after that, I got pregnant with my first child, whom I gave birth to at age 21. I was only 5 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight a week post-partum, but with the stresses of parenthood, I started binge eating again and went back up to size 14. When my daughter was 2 I started purging, and I got down to size 10, but I abandoned the practice once my husband found out and started pressuring me to stop. Afterwards, I gained all the weight back.

    We moved to a new town a few months later so that I could continue working on my bachelors degree at a different university. Being on campus around so many “skinny” girls made me feel awful about myself, and I began to go as long as I could without eating again. I had learned a new trick though, the purging, and when I would break down to eat after days of obstaining, I would purge whatever I ate. I lost a ton of weight, and for the first time in my adult life I liked the way I looked and felt good about myself. In 4 months I went from a size 14 to a size 2.

    Eventually, it all took too much of a toll on my physical and mental well-being, and I made an attempt to regulate my eating habits. I went up 4 sizes, but I was a size 6, and I felt like I was pretty stable. That’s when I got pregnant with my second child, another daughter. During that pregnancy, I gained 80 pounds. It was the heaviest I’d ever been in my life.

    After I gave birth, I had to start a new fall semester at school within 2 weeks, and the pressure to fit in with the other students made me start purging again. I was exclusively breast-feeding, and I told myself that if my supply started to drop, that I would eat more. It never dropped, but my weight did, and I got down to a size 7, where I am currently at and have been for the last 4 months. I try to eat a small breakfast everyday, which I keep down, but I purge almost everything else that I eat.

    I know I can’t go on like this. I hate it. It makes me miserable. I know that it’s not worth all the pain and misery, but I can’t stop. I am too afraid of being “fat” again. I worry that it will affect my two daughters; I don’t want them to have the eating problems that I do. I worry that one day I’ll go to the bathroom to purge and my stomach or esophagus will burst, that I’ll die, and my husband or daughters will find me slumped over the toilet.

    I wish that I could offer you words of advise or wisdom, but I have none. I am right there with you.

  • Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Hey there,
    I have struggled with bulimia for 18 years (since I was 13). I have gone several months at a time without any symptoms, but like someone else said, it is always my crutch. I have actually even had a scope down to find out what kind of damage has already been done to my esophagous, and there has been some. Even that won’t stop me. I remember purging twice throughout my pregnancy with my twins – yes WHILE I was pregnant. I have no words of advice. If I knew the answer to this awful and life threatening disease, I would have beat it by now myself. Just know that I apprecaited hearing your story. I think you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are, and I will pray for you and all other women who deal with this shit tonight as I go to sleep. I will pray that one day you will see what the rest of us see and go easy on yourself for once. But again, I understand…

  • Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I just want to say, you are delicious:) I can’t speak to the ed, as I have no personal experience there. But you are just one beautiful mama. Great boobs, a tummy that does not look like it held 2 babies only *weeks* ago and beautiful skin.

  • Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    You are so beautiful!

  • Monday, August 13, 2012 at 7:28 am

    3 daughters and 2 mth old son. Going through the same thing. I desperately want to breastfeed but fighting this is almost way to hard. I want to breastfeed for a year (my goal) but my ED is getting harder to control… Happens after all my pregnancies. I also fought through my pregnancy. About two times I couldn’t hold it but I’m proud to say for the remainder I did…. I just can’t fight it as of now. :'( wish I could but I feel so nasty and gross and weird after I eat!! Then I (fix) my problem and ok fine, good and happy!!! I just don’t want to die from this!! My kids deserve a mother. Sigh. I want help but…I don’t!! I want to tell someone but I don’t want my secret out!! I want to say something but I’m also to afraid to stop…. (Army wife of 4 kids) 26 yrs old.

  • Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 12:34 am

    I love your first pic in the red dress! you are beautiful! you look like an African Princess! and your daughters are very beautiful too! You do not have many stretch marks either it seems ? I am a recovering drug addict who is pregnant… I also used to be bulimic/anorexic. I am so tempted some days to purge after a binge, but since I am pregnant I force myself not too… it always made me feel so guilty anyways. I am not judging you since I am also bulimic well a recovering bulimic, but I always felt it was such a disgusting waste of food I mean there are so many starving people out there and here we are wasting the food we eat! Now that I am pregnant and have given up on drugs, I am focusing on health I used to be a health freak and I am once again. I guess I have an addictive personality because food and fitness and healthy foods are always on my mind. I suggest you do the same focus on all the healthy food you can eat and try to eat that, I am not sure what your economic situation is… as I know health food can be exspensive. I say to myself every day I am so lucky and grateful to have this food and it helps me with not making bad food choices. Like the other morning I had a bowl of oatmeal with no milk or sugar trying to be as healthy as possible… anyways I was like k this is gross…. but then this voice in my head was like “all food does not have to taste good! you are lucky to fill your belly with something that is going to give you energy for the rest of the morning!” and I was like ya not all food has to taste good, we are so accustomed to eating whatever is good tasting. In earlier times we did not have all these luxurious food choices and ate what we could get! So I think sometimes we forget that food serves more than just the purpose of tasting good, the more important reasons for eating are to sustain and nourish our bodies, and in our Country we are very lucky to be able to eat 3 meals a day, some ppl in North America I guess don’t even get 3 meals a day, anyways I am grateful to have food and therefore I cherish it, and try not to waste it or think badly about it if it does not taste great! and don’t even get me started of animal rights! or I just might be writing all night! anyways good luck to you pretty mama!

  • Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Hi I am breastfeeding also and not happy to say that I binge and purge everything I eat and starve myself for days at a time. I can’t help it. I’ve tried to stop but can’t. My teeth are worn and sensitive and I’ve lost more than 6 stone in 6 months. 2 stone lighter than before I got pregnant. I look in the mirror and hate my body as my skin is lose on my bum and my bum bones stick out and hurt to lay on as I have no padding yet have this compulsion to keep doin it as I’m scared to put weight back on and even if I eat something healthy I feel sick so be sick. I’m 29 and been doin this since I was 18. Even when pregnant. My partner knows and he just dont help he belittles me for it and makes me feel embarrassed n then I do it more. God knows how I can stop it. I want to more than anything :(

  • Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I’m in tears just knowing I’m not alone with this. The worst thing is that when I googled breastfeeding and bulimia, it was in the hope I’d read somewhere that the vomiting wouldn’t affect my ability to breastfeed and then I’d feel ok to carry on purging. I wasn’t reaching out for help. It makes me sad that I’m back here. I was already in ED therapy when I fell pregnant with my son 13 years ago, so I didn’t have to face this hell alone. I’m 5 months pp with my second now and never been more alone in my life. Until today, when reading your stories helped just a tiny bit. So thank you.

  • Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Does being bulimic actually mess with your breastmilk

  • Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    I just googled breastfeeding and bulimia too…. Not knowing what I’d find but in hopes it would tell me breastmilk supply wouldn’t be affected. I’m not alone… That makes me feel relieved and sad.
    I’ve battled with anorexia and bulimia since I was 13. My lowest weight didn’t come until I was in my mid 20’s at 79 pounds…. So you can imagine how terrified I am… After two babies later, to be at 180. I’ve messed up my body so bad…. My metabolism is shot…. I hate what I see in the mirror. My baby is almost 3 months old. I feel .ike I have been to both extremes at 5’3″. I’ve lived half my life in and out of hospitals, remuda ranch… And I have an amazing husband and 2 beautiful babes….. But the Ed is ssooooooo loud. I can’t restrict because that decreases milk supply… So this is how I came to google this… And this is what I found.
    I’m not alone in these thoughts or battle.

  • Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    So relieving to read this post. I’m a first time mom of a 4-week old baby (who is perfection as far as I am concerned). I’ve battled ED’s of many forms since the age of 8, and was actively bulimic for 7 years. I haven’t purged in over 10 years but find myself having urges once a week for the last few weeks. It’s a shameful secret I hold and am finding I need support but am unsure where to turn. I figure this comment is a start. Thank you.

  • Friday, March 30, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    I had bulimia for 15 years and don’t know why I didn’t die, except for there grace of God. Am in remission now and its painful to think back on all that I did to myself. It was the epitome of self hatred which I could not see at the time – quite the contrary. I thought I was helping myself to not be fat. Support and honesty and loving yourself as much as your kids love you is a good start to recovery.

  • Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 5:44 am

    I don’t know if anyone will read this as this post is from a long time ago, but I feel like it will help me and maybe others to share. I was bulimic for more than 10 years. It was manageable but I was never able to fully break the habit until I got pregnant. If I ever had the urge to binge and purge, I just thought about the baby. Now I am 5 weeks postpartum and have had a few episodes. Like others have said its my crutch and as much as I am loving motherhood and my baby, its overwhelming. I’m tired and sometimes don’t exactly know what to do with myself. Plus I am the heaviest I have ever been. So I turn to old habits. But I don’t want that life anymore. I was so much happier (and healthier) when I wasn’t obsessing about food and throwing up my food. My strategy is going to be to think about breastfeeding like I did about the baby. Use that as the reason not to do it. Who knows whether binging will affect my milk supply or ability to breastfeed, but I am going to tell myself that it will. All the other strategies, like getting out of the house, meditating, writing in a journal, accepting my body, blah blah blah won’t really help because I have tried them before. But thinking about the baby worked when I was pregnat, so I will use it again.

    I also want to say to everyone else who is struggling with this, be kind to yourself. The transition to motherhood and the changes to your body are hard. Know that you are not alone. Reach out for help. Tell your family or friends and doctors. Or even just write a post on a random blog. It’s better than suffering alone.

  • Monday, December 5, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    You look so beautiful, and your babies :)
    People tell me how beautiful I am but I don’t believe them. Im a mother of 3
    Children – 7, 2 and 5 months.. I have never admitted until now but I am bulimic and breastfeeding. I purge about once a day. The weight is dropping off and my partner tells me how amazing I look so I’m afraid to get bigger. He says he loves me whatever weight but finds me particularly attractive now so yeah, I don’t feel I am ‘allowed’ to put on weight as I have very low self esteem anyway :(
    It feels good to admit this secret and maybe it’ll mean I can tell someone else so I can get some help with it as it’s not sustainable without doing damage.
    While I am here I will admit to purging during pregnancy .. I just have no control sometimes and it feel at least I can control what I eat but the ironic thing is, I’m not controlling what I eat, as I binge!
    Ugh. What a mess.
    Sending love to everyone who needs it right now.

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