It would appear weight is an issue that becomes public fodder right from the start of anyone’s pregnancy.
Be it the sonographers and midwives guesstimating your baby’s weight in utero giving you cause to dread your impending birth and crossing your legs. Then it turning out to be so far off the mark it’s a joke.
Colleagues, family, friends or just random passers bys remark on your bump size and again remarking on how massive you are at 38 weeks pregnant which, quite frankly, got my back up. One; I wasn’t MASSIVE, yes at the end I looked full term and there’s no denying it but massive is just an offensive remark to make to a woman who’s hormones are already making her an emotional wreck.
Then there’s the people who remind you of the pressures you’ll be under to ‘lose the baby weight’ before you’ve even met your child. You start researching the best way to do this and, let’s face it the only examples you have access to are celebrity examples which are simply unachievable especially whilst breast feeding given that you don’t have an entourage to help look after the baby and personal trainers to drive you back into shape in an unrealistic time frame.
Now I was lucky enough to actually lose weight whilst pregnant… Weight I have subsequently put on due to an over zealous appetite and penchant for chocolate (those who know me know I HATE chocolate, go figure, the only cravings I receive are after birth). One simply can’t diet when breast feeding, it is impossible, you’d pass out if you did and vigorous exercise is just a no go for reasons of breast control and time. The most I can manage is a vigorous walk when taking N for a stroll (and let’s face it the weather has been far from ideal for many of these lately) and a tiny bit of muscle fixing. A supposed ‘friend’ said to me 4 weeks after birth (her child being slightly older) “I could tell it was you by your fat arse” WTF? A hurtful thing to say to someone at the best of times, but to a sleep deprived new mum who feels like a total failure anyway it’s down right cruel and from a new mum themselves. What gives people the right to make such remarks? And by other women who’ve been through the same process. I’ve never once heard a man refer to mine or N’s weight when meeting our little man cub.
I’m desperate to exercise properly but am realistic that this may take until he sleeps through better for me to do as I simply don’t have the time nor the energy and although I fret that I’m a bit ‘baggier’ around the middle i know that this won’t be forever and I have more important things to worry about like raising and loving my child yet still it’s one of the first things anyone enquiries about. Yes I’m back in my pre maternity clothes but I can tell you now they don’t fit the same and I’d rather brag about the fact that my beautiful son is smiling, cooing and thriving than I’ve squeezed myself back into my jeans.
Just when you think you’ve covered all weight related issues people start attacking the last, and worst thing they can… your baby! Now I have a very sicky baby so have been obsessing over whether he is getting enough sustainence so have been reassuring myself by getting him weighed quite often and am proud to say that he is indeed gaining weight. However when remarking on his weight it is questioned by complete strangers with remarks such as: oh isn’t he small; are you sure he’s getting enough milk?; Only the 9th centile? Mine’s on the 90th. Holy cow… When does it stop? What is it with people’s fascination with weight. Look at him, he’s bright eyed, happy and thriving. If he was on the 98th people would people brag there child was on the 2nd and probably refer to him as chunky? It’s never ending.
It’s no wonder we grow up with weight issues when criticisms start when one is 5 weeks old, or even at birth. I’ve found myself asking other mothers about their child’s weight because people keep saying N is so small just so I can compare. When did we become so obsessed with growth charts and centiles and become so bloody competitive?
Weeks ago a midwife on Twitter said to me “watch the child, not the scales” and I didn’t understand what she meant, now I do and she’s absolutely right and I thoroughly intend to and when I tweet about his weight it will be with pride that it’s proof my baby boy is healthy and thriving.