When the balmy summer weather sets in, seeing baby bumps do too! It’s almost impossible to walk down the street now without seeing beautiful and glowing mamas-to-be in flowy hippie dresses! When a woman is pregnant, it gives them an excuse to wear whatever clothes they want, because they get to show off their beautiful growing bellies! Unfortunately, not all women agree with me… and some of these women are pregnant, too. Today, I want to talk about something that’s sadly becoming more and more common: Pregorexia.
It’s very natural and healthy for women to gain weight during pregnancy. Pregnant women normally gain on average 15 to 45 pounds depending on their body type, how many children they’re expecting and of course, their eating and exercise habits throughout their pregnancy. There’s another life growing inside of you (or more in the case of multiple babies), and that baby needs nutrition. The weight you gain is distributed to the growing baby, the placenta, breast tissue, blood supply, amniotic fluid, the uterus and stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding.
Pregorexia, an eating disorder similar to anorexia, refers to women who are pregnant or have just given birth, and have a disproportionate self-image. Women with pregorexia, like women with other eating disorders, may restrict their diets, overexercise, binge or purge. Some women with pregorexia have gone so far as to starve themselves during pregnancy, which can cause serious damage not just to themselves but of course, to their unborn children. And while it’s beneficial to exercise during pregnancy to maintain physical and mental health, women with pregorexia try to gain as little weight as possible during their pregnancy and try to lose it and fast as possible afterwards, with rigorous workout routines and unhealthy eating habits.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where people like to judge others based solely on their appearance. Some women are publicly scrutinized for their pregnancy weight gain even though it’s natural. I’ll never forget the episode of ‘Sex & The City’ when Miranda and the girls take a trip to Atlantic City, and in the casino, a random man directs a fat comment toward her. In a fit of rage, Miranda replies, “My ass is fat because I just had a baby, you a**hole!” While Samantha pipes in and says to the man, “What’s your excuse?” No one has the right to judge your body, ever. Especially not when you’re giving life to another living being and that little being can’t be healthy unless you’re giving it the nutrients and cushioning it needs.
When it comes to body woes and media attention, no one is targeted more than celebrities, whether pregnant or not, because they are always in the public eye. But celebrities are not immune to the effects of bullying, which is always unacceptable. And somehow, magazines and media don’t seem to care whether a celebrity is pregnant or not when they decide to lash out and insult others about their appearance. A recent example is Kim Kardashian: you may not agree with her lifestyle and values, but I think we can all agree that no one should be the victim of incessant bullying the way that she has for her pregnancy! Leave the woman alone! Regardless of how much weight she gains, it’s none of our business: it’s her body, and she can eat whatever she wants and do whatever she likes with it. This same media craze was experienced a couple of years ago when Jessica Simpson had her first child and reportedly gained 70 lbs. Every woman is different when it comes to their pregnancies.
Celebrity moms undergo lots of stress to get back to their “before baby” bodies. This becomes so extreme that society has become obsessed with how quickly a celebrity can lose their baby weight. It takes about a year for the average woman to lose the extra weight she has put on after giving birth. However, these celebrities are on the cover of fitness magazines three months after giving birth in a tiny little string bikini! It sets unrealistic goals for pregnant women and new mothers (celebrities or not) and can cause major self-image and self-esteem problems for ALL women.
Unlike most of the rest of us, celebrities have personal trainers and personal chefs around the clock helping them get back to their previous size 2, which is unfair to the average woman who expects the same results without all this excessive pressure and support from others! Adriana Lima, a Victoria Secret model hit the runway only eight weeks after giving birth to her second child in a series of tiny little outfits. I understand that your job is to be a supermodel but that’s just ridiculous to me! Working out six hours a day seven days a week and barely eating anything does not sound healthy, especially for a mother who just brought another life into this world. I would expect that she needs extra nutrients, especially if she’s also breastfeeding.
More than ever, celebrities like Jessica Alba are going to extremes to regain their pre-pregnancy bodies. Regarding how she lost weight after her pregnancy, Alba said: “I wore a double corset day and night for three months. It was sweaty, but worth it […] It was brutal; it’s not for everyone.” I mean seriously, who does this? I’m all down for wearing a corset or shapewear under a little black dress to smooth out my torso, but even those get uncomfortable after being worn for a few hours. I guess she took the ‘breath-taking’ look a little bit too literally. Someone, if you see Jessica Alba, please get her a sandwich!
After having a child, your body and lifestyle are completely different. Women should be taking the time to enjoy their newborn babies and not spending four hours daily on a treadmill! One of the few celebrities like Hilary Duff admits to the Hollywood pressures but chooses not to follow them saying, “I’d rather be happy than bitter because I can’t eat anything good! It takes most women a year to get back into shape, but not celebrities. I guess I’m just normal! My focus was on my son. I didn’t want to spend two hours in the gym every day.” I wish we had more celebrities who were realistic and have normal expectations for their bodies like Hilary!
All of this negative attention given towards pregnant women’s weight gain is unwelcome and unwarranted. We as a society should be embracing mothers-to-be and making them feel comfortable in their own skin! There is a miracle growing inside their bellies. Why not enjoy eating ice cream and pickles? Ladies, we need to nourish our bodies with healthy food, love, confidence and respect. Who cares what other people may say or how fast those celebs lose their baby weight! You do not need to defend your weight gain or how quickly you can lose it. It’s not a race, the only ones that matter are your loved ones and I’m sure they’re just happy to see your smiling face every day! Wouldn’t it be better to stay in and cuddle with your amazing newborn baby, which YOU and your partner created? Look at those little hands, toes and toothless grin! That’s how Moms should enjoy spending their time, staring at their gorgeous babies, instead of comparing their tummies to other Moms!
If you or someone you know may be suffering from Pregorexia or any other eating disorder, you should contact your health care practitioner for immediate help and support.
Healthy weight gain: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/healthy-weight-gain
Adriana Lima Post Pregnancy Picture: http://www.realstylenetwork.com/blogs/beauty/2012/12/celebrity-moms-who-dropped-baby-weight-fast/
Pregnant Women In Maxi Dresses: http://lovely-moms-cafe.com/category/fashion/
Miranda With Baby: http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20593459_20417896_20836646,00.html
Kim Kardashian Pregnant: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emma-gray/kim-kardashian-pregnancy-weight-fat-shaming_b_2951324.html
Smiling Baby With Mom: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/816274/15-ways-to-find-a-cool-baby-name-1