09 Jun Why I’m NOT trying to have a “Belly Only Pregnancy”
The other day I stumbled across an article with the title “How to have a belly only pregnancy”. My immediate reaction was complete and utter irritation followed by a strong desire to say “Fuck you” to the author. Sorry for the vulgarity but I really don’t agree with this term. Let me explain…
For most of my life I have been relatively fit without trying all that hard. In my adult years, yoga has really helped me to be physically fit but has also helped me to feel mentally and emotionally strong and healthy as well. This isn’t to say that I’ve never fallen into the traps of wanting to fit into what society says is right or sexy or healthy. Completely the opposite actually. I’ve had to remind myself many many times to stop comparing and to appreciate the amazing gift that is MY body and luckily I have gained enough perspective over the years to know that society is sometimes full of shit.
Recently becoming pregnant for the first time has given me a completely new perspective on what health looks like. Before this pregnancy, I had never felt limited in my body. I was sure that I would breeze through pregnancy, barely affected. Because I was so “healthy” and all. Then my body took over. This work of creating a new life is harder than I could have EVER imagined. It is beautiful and I feel SO blessed that my body is capable of this miracle but I feel really naive now for thinking that I could have completely controlled this experience.
Here are my reasons for feeling the term “Belly only Pregnancy” should be retired.
1. It’s a form of body shaming.
How many different ways do we have to make women feel bad about the way they look before we banish the idea that being one way or another is “right” all the time for everyone? Seriously! I’m so over it! All bodies are different. As are all pregnancies. How does fitting into a warped social idea of what is “right” help you in any way? Your body is doing what it has to do to create a human being!! That extra fat on your ass is there for a reason. If society thinks that it’s ugly that’s their problem.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that you shouldn’t try to stay healthy while pregnant. You definitely should! I’m just saying that health doesn’t necessarily look like skinny everywhere except your belly. It CAN look like that but probably not for everyone.
2. It creates un-needed stress.
Being pregnant and preparing to become a parent can come with a huge amount of anxiety, stress and fear. Being stressed is NOT good for you or your baby. Being pregnant can be really hard. Your body needs rest. I can’t tell you how many times I felt guilty for taking a nap during my first trimester because I thought I should have been staying active. I also can’t tell you how silly I feel now for that unnecessary guilt. I was so sick for those first few months that I could barely muster up the energy to go do my job. So, I rested when I felt like I needed to (which was most of the time) and now in my third trimester my baby is growing and healthy and strong and so am I. Thank the universe.
3. It directs the focus to the wrong place.
You’re creating another life! It’s not completely about you anymore. Again, forget about your newly acquired cellulite and focus on creating a healthy and peaceful entrance into this world for your baby. Try your hardest to be as healthy as possible and whatever your body looks like as a result. Be ok with that. Do this work with love. Not with stress.
Health is NOT just a specific look. For me, being healthy means being balanced. Mind, Body and Spirit. This is a constant evolution that happens differently for everyone. It’s never perfect and THAT is beautiful.