This week, with no intentional searching, I stumbled upon countless stories and images of the ‘post baby body’ (PBB). Chrissy Teigen, Sam Faiers, Anne Hathaway and even Rebecca Adlington have all been in the papers for that very topic. Some were ‘showing off’ their ‘toned’ ‘slender’, ‘sexy’ PBBs, whilst Rebecca was talking about how she’s embraced her ‘kangaroo’ body.
Great. Good for all of them. But I have one favour to ask my journalist friends. STOP! Please stop the continual obsession with mothers’ bodies. Yes, some women snap back straight away. Some take a few months or years. Some never regain the body they once had. Why make it news?
Yes, I know some of these celebs make money from their bodies (in a respectful way), so have to make sure they are slim again. Plus it gives them a reason to talk to magazines and get paid whilst they wait for their next ‘job’.
But there’s just no need to make it headline, or in some cases, front page news. As women we spend so much of our lives being bombarded with images, stories and ‘advice’ on achieving the perfect body, can’t we just get a break during this special and oh so precious time?! We have so many other things to worry about, this body pressure isn’t necessary.
Don’t get me wrong, I am conscious of my body more so than I was pre-children. I try to squeeze in some excercise every now and then and do keep a watchful eye on the latest health tips in the hope that I’ll one day squeeze back into my favourite dress. But it’s my choice to. Now that I’ve made it through the confusing, foggy state of caring for a newborn, I can think about who I was and who I want to be – and that includes my appearance. But when you’ve forgotten what a good night’s sleep feels like, smell of puke and feel like you need cake/chocolate/biscuits just to get through the day, the last thing you need is to be reminded of how you compare to other women’s squishiness or wasboard stomachness (I’ve created a new word).
Whether a new mum is back in her size 8s or ballooned to an 18, just leave them be. Her health and happiness and that of her newborn are far more important. It’s not fair to talk about it at a time when many of us are probably quite emotionally fragile anyway.
Yes, we could ‘praise’ Ms Adlington for ’embracing’ her new tummy, but by making a story of it, we are making more people conscious of it. Not just mothers, but everyone who comes into contact with a new mother. Just think how often you hear people mentioning how good someone looks ‘considering she just gave birth’. Its another way of pitting mothers against each other.
If you want to stuff you face with cake whilst baby naps, do it. If you want to work out, do it. Just do it for you and your happiness. Not to keep up with someone else. I’m sure you have enough on your plate.
Why don’t we focus on the beautiful wonder that is the newborn baby and the journey ahead of raising that child.
Post baby bodies don’t need to be part of the conversation.
So please, just stop.