More and more I’m seeing fit mothers-to-be on Instagram and am left wondering how they manage to look so damn good. Women like Sarah Stage and Tammy Hembrow have brought attention to something we don’t often see: women in tip-top shape throughout pregnancy. While some people praise these women, others verbally assault them, leaving nasty comments about how they should be overweight.
It’s unfortunate to see women tear each other down, especially when we should be celebrating a woman who is about to go through a painful but rewarding experience. Though I am not a mother, I have heard that giving birth can be a magical experience and during pregnancy, many women are more insecure than normal. Kim Kardashian made her uncomfortableness public when she said she posted on her website that it is the “worst experience” of her life.
When it comes down to it, women should be celebrating each other. Just because someone is able to maintain a high level of fitness throughout their pregnancy does not mean they are causing harm to their child or not eating enough. There are a few things behind why some women are able to look and stay more physically fit than others during pregnancy.
- Fitness prior to pregnancy. I hate to break it to all of you, but if you aren’t in good physical shape prior to getting pregnant then chances are you won’t have a six-pack during pregnancy. The women who tout their toned bodies and barely-noticeable baby bumps have worked hard to maintain their figures and didn’t just jump in the gym after a positive pregnancy test. They continuously workout, consult their doctor after finding out they are pregnant and then continue their fitness routine well into pregnancy if their doctor approves it. Working out during pregnancy can be healthy for both you and the baby but working out at an intense level like some women are able to, isn’t for everyone. It can put your baby at risk if all of a sudden you start doing hard workouts. You should consult your doctor before starting any new workout routines during pregnancy.
- Genetics. Your body type is partly determined by genetics and how you carry during pregnancy can be genetic as well. My cousin recently gave birth and she carried so well, only gaining weight in her stomach. If she turned around you couldn’t even tell she was pregnant. Other times, women gain weight and it’s distributed throughout their body, to their hips, legs and even arms. This factor you have no control over, so if you gain weight where you weren’t expecting to, don’t get upset. Celebrate what your body is doing and get excited for your little baby to make its’ debut.
- Eating habits. Eating for two doesn’t mean binging on junk food 24/7. While you will surely be eating more and craving foods during your pregnancy, try to stick to some healthy food that are safe for you and the baby. You will definitely gain some weight during pregnancy, but just how much weight can depend on your eating habits. According to What to Expect, the average weight gain during pregnancy depends on your BMI. If you gain more than your recommended weight it could put you at risk for complications like gestational diabetes. Too little weight can cause your baby to come early. Consult your doctor to make sure you’re at a healthy weight for both you and the baby and try to enjoy your pregnancy.
- Veteran mom. If this is your second, third or even eighth child, your body can change from pregnancy to pregnancy. Fit-mom Tammy Hembrow noted on her Instagram that when carrying her first child (a boy), her belly didn’t pop until well into the pregnancy. She’s currently pregnant with her second child (a girl) and her belly popped way sooner than she expected (she still looks amazing regardless).
Whether you are a mother-to-be or just someone scrolling through Instagram seeing pictures of insanely fit pregnant women, keep in mind: we’re all human. These women may look amazing but they’re most likely feeling some insecurity. I would sure as hell feel insecure if I had a baby inside of me and my body was continuously changing for nine months. Posting negative comments on someone’s picture will only ignite a situation that shouldn’t even exist. So anytime you go to comment on someone’s page, keep this saying in mind: “Don’t post anything unless you have something nice to say.”
Have you ever tried to stay in shape during pregnancy? What kind of workouts would you recommend?
*Feature photo originally posted on Instagram by @sarahstage