Oh, and don’t shame me.
Mummy shaming has taken its eye off breastfeeding in public (just for a second) and turned its ugly head to pregnant woman. Shaming them for their lazy, sit-on-their-bum-all-day, eat-for-two ways.
And I’ve reached my limit.
It seems like whenever I venture into the world of the internet, there is some pregnant woman telling the world how much they exercise, how healthy they eat, and how they weren’t showing until 38 weeks into their pregnancy. They flash their toned, balloon bellies on every social media site possible.
And that’s fine. Really, each to their own. But when they start shaming us and advocating for unhealthy and sometimes very unrealistic expectations for other pregnant women, that’s when my pregnancy hormones kick in.
Today, the lovely Yulia Tarbath is in my firing line.
She's originally from the UK, but moved to Bali with her husband and went all healthy. She was pregnant with her first baby and with much wisdom, just told me (not me personally, but you know what I mean), that if I'm not exercising twice a day and eating a diet of raw fruit (only raw fruit), then I am getting fat.
Thanks. It's not like I already feel extremely uncomfortable and completely out of control of my 14-week pregnant body.
Tarbath is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying, "There's no excuse to be fat in pregnancy. I exercised throughout my entire pregnancy and ate a healthy vegan diet. I didn't want to be eating for two - being pregnant is no excuse to pig out."
She goes on to talk about how she barely gained any weight during her pregnancy, less than 6 kgs, and it took her 2 weeks to get back to her 54 kgs pre-baby body.
"As the pregnancy developed I continued to work out twice a day and eat a vegan diet. Even five months into the pregnancy you couldn't tell. From behind I just looked normal."
Again, good for you Tarbath. If that floats your boat, then great. But I have two problems with what you're saying.
I am all supportive of maintaining your exercise routine during your pregnancy as recommended by your doctor. And I was firmly in the camp of "let me keep up my 3 times a week run". But a week after peeing on the stick, I got morning sickness. And I got it bad. My cardio became lifting myself off the bathroom floor to hover over the toilet and lowering myself back onto the cold tiles. My ab workout was sitting upright and breathing.
As for food, again, all about the healthy nutrition. But that was thrown out the window when all I could bare to eat was bread, chips, rice, plain pasta and watermelon for 6 weeks.
Yes, I felt guilty. I felt INCREDIBLY guilty that I wasn't working out. I felt INCREDIBLY guilty that I wasn't putting the best food in my body. And reading stories like yours, and many others, while in this stage made me feel worse. And even today, as I am (far too slowly) breaking free of all-day sickness, your words telling ALL pregnant women to work out and eat fruit pisses me off.
Not every pregnancy is the same.
The second thing I'm going to pick on you for is you are giving Vegans a bad name. I'm Vegan. Have been for 5 years. I battle the stereotype every day. And I am maintaining my Vegan diet throughout my pregnancy.
But the diet you are advocating as Vegan, isn't Vegan.
"Every morning, Yulia started the day with eight mangoes. For lunch, she ate her way through ten bananas and entire bunches of spinach. For dinner, she ate huge avocado salads - washed down with the juice of a dozen oranges," reports the Daily Mail.
I'm no doctor, but that seems really unhealthy. Sure, I love my fruit, but eight mangoes? Ten bananas? Where are the other food groups? Where are the grains? Where are the vegetables (besides spinach)?
Your meal plan is why I get hassled whenever I mention being Vegan. Because that is exactly what people think I eat. And I don't.
I eat a lot of other food - just not animal products. And I also get all my nutrition levels checked regularly to make sure I'm not lacking in anything (and take a multivitamin, or pregnancy vitamin, every day to make sure). I also listen to my obstetrician who supports my diet choice, but just keeps a close eye on everything (as he does with his meat-eating patients too).
So look, Tarbath. I'm happy you enjoyed your pregnancy. I'm happy you worked out twice a day, I'm happy you didn't get diarrhea from eating eight mangoes for breakfast (I would).
But don't take aim at the rest of us. Making a baby is hard enough without you telling us we are getting fat by not being just like you.
What do you think about pregnancy rise in weight shaming?
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