Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Looking like a mother

I am no sheep but I can be a sucker for the odd trend! Yet there are some that positively turn my stomach. The current push for mothers, from the day they conceive to some undefined future date they are under pressure to look like they have never been pregnant! The world seems to have forgotten that pregnant women are meant to put on weight, we are not meant to look exactly the same as our pre-pregnant selves but with a ball shoved up our shirt!

Our boobs will bet big, our thighs will store fat; our butts have to help balance our belly by getting bigger too!

Our skin might break out, our ankles might swell and we may unexpectedly vomit or faint on public transport! Being pregnant is not glamorise but it is beautiful. Your body is doing something really amazing- it’s growing a whole other person- it’s swelling to accommodate and it’s storing for the future to allow you to feed and nourish your little one. After the baby is born your body will probably be different to how it used to be. Even if you regain your pre pregnancy weight you may be a different shape, your tummy may sag and you may have some stretch marks and your breasts may be very different (remember it is pregnancy that changes your breast tissue not breast feeding)

It is high time that women and men embraced these changes (yes, easier said than done I know) The constant magazine stories of celebrity mums doesn’t help much, but remember it is their job to look amazing and they are paid handsomely for it. They also go in to their pregnancy in perfect shape, continue to see their trainers for the whole nine months and probably have super balanced meals prepared for them. Not to mention the army of people involved after the birth! Celebrity mums also have access to air brushing and print approval on their photos! And they have motivation; half the world is watching to see how they pull up after bub! It really must be an insane amount of pressure, perhaps us average mums should be feeling sorry for the celebrity mums…

For us average mums we mostly have to either like it or lump it! But there is something to be said for liking the body you live in. Liking your body and being a healthy weight before pregnancy is your best bet, continue to exercise (at a reduced rate) and eat well while pregnant and you should pull up ok after pregnancy. After the birth, take it easy, now is not the time to strictly diet or exercise to extremes you really could hurt yourself. If you are already pregnant and not in tiptop shape it is the perfect time to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It is NOT the time to lose weight, take up marathon running or go on a crazy diet. You want to eat really healthy- lots of fruit and veg and small serves of meat and dairy (a great book to read on pregnancy nutrition is Feeding the Bump) If you were not exercising before pregnancy it is really important that you check with your doctor or midwife before embarking on an exercise program. You may wish to take a few walks per week or go for a swim (great with a big belly) or try pregnancy yoga.

The really important thing is to focus on being healthy and not on looking like a Victorias Secret model (unless you are one, and I do love our very own Miranda Kerr, and in case you have been living under a rock in a far distant galaxy and missed the news, she is expected her first baby!) As a mother your health is you greatest asset, look after it and invest in it. Your children will thank you for it and so will you! Your body has grown and birthed a baby and there is no shame in looking the part!


I am not some super human mum, I long to embrace my after baby body but I find it hard. I catch sight of myself naked and wonder what the hell happened! I know that stretch marks should be a badge of honour but I still wish someone would hurry the hell up and work out how to get rid of them! And I have/am considering a tummy tuck after baby three. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t HAVE to feel pressured to look a certain way. It is up to the individual to embrace what they can though.


Rhianna said...

Oh so very true.
Have you got a link for Feeding the Bump ?

Nicole Harry said...

Thanks Rhianna, I have added in the link to the book.

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

Hear, hear. Great post.

Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.

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