Don’t Judge a Skinny Pregnancy by Its Bump
I recently watched a news report about the dangerous trend of women who try to maintain their slim physiques while pregnant. I expected the normal discussion of how thin celebrities who bounce back quickly give everyone else the unrealistic expectations that they’ll be back to their old selves in a week. And there was that.
But in watching the video along with the article, there were a few moments that kinda irked me. Okay, really irked me.
First of all, who are we to judge? I, too, have been guilty of thinking that certain celebs look too thin while pregnant. And maybe they are. But it is not my place, your place, nor the public’s place, to judge a woman for her pregnancy weight gain—or lack thereof. Just because a celebrity doesn’t look like she’s gaining a lot of weight doesn’t mean she’s starving herself—numerous other possible scenarios come to mind. It could mean she has a kick-ass stylist who knows what is flattering on a pregnant belly. It could mean she’s naturally thin, or that she carries small. It could mean the mom-to-be is suffering terrible morning sickness and is having a hard time gaining weight. And yes, it could mean that she’s trying to stay slim. But do any of those scenarios make it our business? No. It’s between her and her doctor.
Secondly…Why is it news that maternity clothes are offered in a size 0? Considering that you buy maternity clothing for the size you are before you’re pregnant, and yes, some women are a size 0 pre-pregnancy, it makes sense that all sizing options would be offered.
And finally…Prenatal fitness doesn’t mean you’re thin obsessed. Showing women running when they’re pregnant doesn’t mean these women are obsessed with being thin. Some women are runners and continue running, with doctor’s approval, during pregnancy. It doesn’t mean they are striving to be skinny. Maybe it was poor video editing that made it come across wrong, but thankfully the experts at the end of the segment acknowledge that exercise during pregnancy is beneficial to mom and baby, otherwise I would have been spitting fire.
Both too much weight gain and too little weight gain during pregnancy can be problematic. Most recommendations for pregnancy weight gain fall in a range between 25 to 35 pounds—but some women will gain more and some women will gain less. This, too, is perfectly normal; I would have been over 35 had I gone to term. So pregnant mamas, eat when you’re hungry. Drink when you’re thirsty. Let your doctor be the judge of your weight gain. And please, let’s stop judging other women’s pregnant bodies. —Erin