"Women's concerns are anything but trivial. They are making women feel deeply uneasy in their bodies. They are disturbing women's eating patterns. They are impacting on how women relate to their physical needs in pregnancy and post-partum, interrupting the process of bonding with baby in the crucial early months when attachment behaviors are being established." –Orbach and Rubin
In the report Two for the Price of One: The impact of body image during pregnancy and after birth this important issue is brought to light. Pregnancy brings up so many complicated issues around body image and what it means for a women to nourish not only herself but also her baby. Sadly, these issues are rarely addressed with women who are left to suffer in silence.
Pregnancy is essentially the only time in a woman's life that it's socially acceptable to gain weight. And the expectation in our culture right now is that she'll immediately lose that weight after birth and "get her body back." It's so ridiculous however to think that weight that took over 9 months to gain will be lost in 9 days.
There's also intense pressure from the medical community to not let women gain "too much" weight during pregnancy, so women are being taught to eat more restrictively and to exercise more and to obsessively monitor their rate of weight gain. This is not a recipe for nourishment.
A woman's body is a truly amazing thing. We were all grown inside the womb of a woman, receiving everything we needed from her body. Let's stop criticizing that body.