Would these new rules at the hospital have made you feel better about your body after having your baby?
Do you remember thinking about your body immediately after having your baby? You try not to, you’ve heard a million times that it takes nine months to put it on so it’s going to take nine months to take it off but it just feels so uncomfortable. And we all know someone who lost it quickly, or saw a celebrity who had.
Well it turns out that pressure to lose our baby weight too quickly is unhealthy for both mum and baby. And the anxiety surrounding it is leading to eating disorders and anxious mothers. This affects our beautiful little babies who, in those first few weeks and months, really should be getting our undivided attention.
Now a new campaign has enlisted midwives to help encourage new mums to lose baby weight more slowly, following the release of a report showing that fast weight loss post-birth can be harmful to both mother and baby. Celebrity mums are once again copping most of the blame, so the report, commissioned by the UK Government, recommends midwives following three steps during post-birth checkups:
1. Never refer to foods such as biscuits as being ‘bad’;
2. Hang up pictures of mums with a range of body shapes and types in meeting areas for mums;
3. Use popular TV shows featuring pregnant women and new mums to start conversations about body image.
I’m not sure how effective these measures will be. We all know biscuits are okay in small doses but the stress of being a new mum coupled with sleeplessness can sometimes only be relieved by that sixth biscuit. We all know that new mums come in all shapes and sizes but we secretly want to be one of the thinner ones. And since when are fake characters on TV shows a good way to talk about body image pressures?
Women and Equalities minister in the UK, Jenny Willott, said the report highlights the message that women should focus more on the joys of being a mother and not on losing weight quickly like their favourite celebrities seem to do.
She said, "There is a relentless pressure on all women, celebrities or not, to be thin all the time and research shows mothers who are preoccupied with body image problems are not only damaging their bodies but these negative attitudes can be passed onto their children. It’s sad that women feel pressured to lose weight so quickly after pregnancy, and it isn’t healthy."