Moms and Post-Pregnancy Bodies

3 Dec

I’m sure you all heard the news story about the mom who posted a picture in a sports bra and shorts, with her kids, with the caption, “What’s Your Excuse?” If not, here is an article on it, and here’s the picture:

I honestly didn’t see anything wrong with this, but there was so much backlash on this picture. People thought she was body shaming moms who don’t look like her. Though she explained that she meant to say, many moms think they don’t have the time, but in fact you do. I believe she does work full-time as well.

There was also the backlash to this woman who was doing Crossfit while pregnant.

Anyway, now I just read a new article about a mom in a similar situation. She’s receiving backlash for posting this picture on her Instagram 4 days after giving birth:

Source: Instagram

Here are quotes from the Yahoo article:

“This is not a selfie. This is an act of war,” writes one Australian blogger in response to the image — just one of many blogs, news outlets, body image experts, and social-media commenters around the world to weigh in on the matter in the past few days, putting the photo at the center of a major online body image controversy.

“This whole situation has become ludicrous. The competition for women to give birth and then immediately remove any trace from their their bodies that they ever carried a child is OBSCENE. There is no other word for it.” Another blogger calls the photo of Eriksen, who is married to pro soccer player Lars-Kristian Eriksen, “wildly provocative.”

Twitter users called Eriksen and her washboard abs “intimidating,” “unhelpful,” “obviously a freak,” and “unfair to all women.”

I can see both sides here. Yes, there is pressure on women to get back their “pre-baby” shape after birth (from what I can tell, I obviously have not had a child yet). And I don’t agree with that. Your body has gone through some trauma, you’re adjusting to having a child, possibly breastfeeding-working out right after giving birth may not and probably should not be a priority.

But at the same time, if you have been working out consistently and eating a certain way for months, your body will bounce back quicker. No one freaked out when elite runner Lauren Fleshman gave birth, and then a month or so (maybe more) after, was modeling at NY Fashion Week and looked like this:

(Though she did write a blog post about her having a “real” body as well…very inspirational-check it out.)

I don’t think that this woman posting a picture of her post-baby body is body shaming or necessarily a bad thing. Sure, some may see it as a provocative picture, but if you scroll through fitness related hashtags on Instagram, a lot of pictures are like that, if not more provocative.

This quote from the article sums up how I feel:

“…slamming the super-fit and genetically freakish likes of Berg Eriksen is merely another form of judgment and mothers are forced to contend with far too much of that already.”

We shouldn’t shame people who are fit or bounce back quickly from pregnancy. Nor should we shame people who are overweight, or gained weight during pregnancy. Every one is different. Every body and how it reacts to pregnancy is different. I am so scared of what will happen to my body when I decide to have a child, but either way I’d like to not be judged!

The way I see it is, we post “selfies” all the time of accomplishments, whether it’s losing weight, achieving a PR, lifting a certain weight…why is it so wrong to post a picture of your body a few days or months after having a baby? A lot of hard work went into that body PRE-pregnancy which is why I think moms have been posting things like this.

The article talks about cultural expectations. But I don’t think these women are the ones who are setting these cultural expectations. I think it’s the media. What was the first thing that was talked about when Kate Middleton left the hospital after giving birth? How you could see her belly bump under her dress. Who cares?!

I feel like I’m just rambling now. Basically, I can see both sides, but I don’t think that hate comments are necessary to either of these ladies.

Like I said, every one is different.

Oh, and if you want great tips and motivation from someone who was healthy and active while pregnant, and after, check out Jess at Blonde Ponytail! She’s amazing!

What are your thoughts on all of the articles I mentioned?

Do you think moms posting pics like this pressure other moms to get fit fast?

I’d love to hear your commentary!

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7 Responses to “Moms and Post-Pregnancy Bodies”

  1. Angela December 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Great post, Patty! I hate that “fit-shaming” has become such an issue recently.

    • reach-yourpeak December 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

      Exactly! Same here! Why can’t we just let everyone be. I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to show off something you worked hard for

  2. fitnessmeetsfrosting December 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    I loved Lauren’s article! I think it’s silly when people get upset over mom’s posting photos like that. If they’re going to work hard, then why not celebrate? However, if the new mom is shaming other people and being rude, that’s a different story.

    • reach-yourpeak December 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

      I completely agree! If someone is saying, look at my body, you’re lazy for not working out, then any negative comments are warranted. But this mom simply posted a pic of herself. Also, I loved Lauren’s article too! I just love her in general, so down to earth

  3. Kim December 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    Great post. I don’t find these images offensive at all. Obviously, they worked extremely hard to maintain their bodies and have the right to flaunt them if they want. I work extremely hard to maintain my own body and I feel quite proud of it at 43 years old – thank you very much. I am not a freak of nature but someone who is committed to staying fit, like these women. Kudos to them. Some of this is jealous backlash in my opinion.

  4. Jess Allen (@blondeponytail) December 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    What a great post! I didn’t think MK’s picture was meant to be negative to others either–simply showing that staying fit during and after pregnancy CAN be done! But, like you mentioned, your body has undergone some major trauma and focusing on healing and nourishing your baby should be priority number one! 😉

  5. jessdpie December 30, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    Agree one hundred! Props to these women and staying in shape and awesome for them to bounce back so amazingly well!! Some women, like myself don’t and that happens so ya some people will be a little bitter but it’s no ones fault that these women are insaaaanely lucky and determined lol

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