I’ve had two babies; gained 30 pounds with the first and was back to my pre-pregnancy weight within 8 weeks. My second pregnancy, I gained 40 pounds and lost all but ten. I remember wondering, as I started seriously putting on the pounds in the third trimester of both pregnancies, if I would lose the weight. After years of seeing the front covers of tabloids with headlines touting how this celeb ‘got her body back’ within days, weeks, months, whatever, I was beginning to think that the baby weight would be like Atlas, carrying around a burden I could never lose.
But it was never like that. Even the second one where I didn’t lose all the weight, I still fit into my clothes. The average woman, with a healthy BMI, should gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. With the breakdown of the added pounds looking something like this:
Baby: 7-8 pounds
Placenta: 1-2 pounds
Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds
Uterus: 2 pounds
Increased blood supply: 3-5 pounds
Fluid, fat, breast tissue: 10 pounds
So after delivery, in terms of losing the weight, you’re already about half way there, and, if you choose to, the benefits of breastfeeding make the rest of the way less of a drag. So why all the fuss when someone famous does this relatively easy thing that women have been doing for eons? Why do we make it seem like baby weight is one of the easiest things to put on and the hardest to get rid of?
Bristol Palin just announced that she is pregnant (out of wedlock) for the second time…and it was the saddest announcement of an impending birth that you will ever hear:
‘I wanted you guys to be the first to know that I am pregnant. Honestly, I’ve been trying my hardest to keep my chin up on this one…I know this has been, and will be, a huge disappointment to my family, to my close friends, and to many of you.’
I wonder what this child will think if (when) he/she has the opportunity to read this post. Will they feel loved or wanted? Will they feel like a cause of embarrassment to their family? I’m sure that was not what was intended and I understand that Palin is making this announcement after being an abstinence spokesperson, so there is tremendous embarrassment in coming across as a hypocrite, BUT children are an awesome blessing and it is a shame when someone’s politics, family and religious beliefs shackle them into thinking otherwise. Abstinence is a personal decision, so if she was unable to remain celibate until marriage, that’s on her and her alone, so why would her family, friends and readers take her to task for something that has no effect on them?
What kind of baby-shaming is this that an expectant mother has to offer a contrite blog post so that people know that she knows what she did and that she doesn’t feel good about it. I wish she could have said: hey everybody, I’m expecting! It’s not what I planned, but that’s okay. Keep me and my family in your prayers. Realistic? Probably not, but honest without being depressing.