“Wow you sure there aren’t twins in there”
“You’re getting huge”
“What you still have months to go? Jesus looks like your gonna pop any minute”
“Your belly isn’t the only thing that’s filled out”
“You’re looking a little small is the baby ok”
These are all comments pregnant women of the world are very familiar with. If you’re a mother I’m sure you remember having these body-picking remarks thrown at you during some stage of your pregnancy.
Have you ever wondered why it’s socially acceptable to make comments on a pregnant woman’s body but not a non-pregnant woman? We live in a society that is very much superficial. However, we have seen a rise in body acceptance and trying to put a stop to body shaming. But what about pregnancy body shaming?
Pregnant ladies don’t have a sign stuck to their heads saying “Opinions Welcome”.
Why is it ok to go up to a pregnant lady and tell her she’s big and solid but it isn’t ok to walk up to another lady and comment on her size and appearance? Once you conceive a child everyone around you now assumes they have permission to point out parts of your hormonal-ever-changing body to you? It’s an unwritten rule in society not to “body shame” women yet pregnant women everyday are being told “they are too big” or “too small”.
I had a chat to a handful of women to see what remarks they received during their pregnancies and even I was truly gobsmacked;
Cue the face palm
It seems all manners, common sense and decency goes out the window when people see a pregnant woman.
Pregnancy is a beautiful process most women are lucky enough to go through. Not only is it life-changing but it also comes with the biggest physical changes most will ever experience. Some women’s bodies change forever after pregnancy and with that most women can struggle to accept their post-baby bodies.
I found myself battling with this during my first pregnancy. I wasn’t accustomed to being subject to so many comments picking apart my appearance. There were many times I would find myself in tears because not only was I personally struggling to accept all these changes I was also being constantly reminded of them from strangers. Now here I am writing this piece being pregnant with my second child and still baffled as to why this is an accepted norm that even pregnant women are just accepting this decree. Motherhood comes along with enough judgment let’s not start it soon as the eggs is fertilized!
Now I’m sure a few of you are thinking “Just don’t let the comments get to you” and many people make these comments as lighthearted chatter without bad intentions. However, put yourself in their shoes; they may have already had 5 other strangers make remarks on their size and that morning went to put on their comfiest tights and they no longer fit. It’s not ok to comment on anyone’s body and especially a hormonal, flustered pregnant woman.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and this pregnancy the comments I’ve received are very few (maybe because this isn’t my first-time) and I now take them with a grain of salt. But what about all the other first-time mums out there copping these remarks at your local grocery store and then going back to their car and crying. We don’t know how they are finding their experience- body image is one of the touchiest subjects and it surely doesn’t change when you get knocked up. You can’t blame us heck we are hormonal too! These reactions doesn’t make women ungrateful it makes them human.
So next time you’re talking to a woman that is expecting why not talk about how exciting it is that she is expecting a child? Not talk about how she has her own gravitational pull.