Flickr: Photo by Rachel
These days it takes a special kind of mama to ignore all the hype and maintain a healthy body image during pregnancy.
There are horror stories of women crash dieting before pregnancy so they start pregnancy at a lower weight. Yikes! And those celebrities! Hollywood would have you believe that you should be back to your pre-pregnancy weight before you are discharged from the hospital.
Don't believe the hype.
My motto is simple: It took you nine months to gain the weight, you should allow yourself that long to lose the weight. The truth is, moms are under a lot of unnecessary pressure to lose baby weight and sometimes they sacrifice nutrition and healthy eating habits along the way. Not good.
As far as I'm concerned, all of this pressure just shows how the pregnancy experience is so undervalued in our country. Our wider hips and fuller waistlines aren't appreciated as a small byproduct of the amazing experience of bringing life into the world. Instead, they are viewed as unwelcome reminders of birthing that must be sweated and crunched away immediately.
The messaging is that pregnancy should not be anything more than a 40 week deviation from your normal self, if that. Push out your baby and get back to you! But every mom knows that you will never be the same after pregnancy, inside and out. And there's nothing wrong with that.
I can't completely blame Hollywood. We often have our own control issues to deal with. As women we try to control every aspect of the pregnancy process, instead of surrendering to enjoying the experience. Get out your white flag and let it wave. As I often said during my pregnancies, "I'm just a passenger on this train."
Now that doesn't mean that I sat up at night eating Haagen Dazs ice cream by the tubful for the sake of surrendering to the experience. No, a healthy diet is very important. So are a few less healthy indulgences every now and then. Let's just remember that moderation is always a good thing.
And let's take back healthy and reasonable expectations as far as losing baby weight is concerned and leave Hollywood to make their movies. They do call it La-La land for a reason.