One Irish mum's plea: 'We need to stop referring to pre-pregnancy bodies'
The dreaded 'bounce-back'.
Before and afters are all over Instagram these days you can't avoid them. A new trend that we're seeing more of lately is the before and after of pregnant women, detailing their 'bounce-back bodies'. This is particularly prevalent amongst fitness bloggers.
It's hard to imagine what these women are doing to achieve these bodies in such a short space of time but the images are quite startling:
Cliona Walsh a mother, personal trainer and blogger got in touch with us here at Her Family to share her thoughts on why these women have a responsibility to new mothers, and why empowering them to reflect rehab and recovery should be the full goal. Check out the full blog post below:
" Okay, so before we go any further, let’s define a ‘pre-pregnancy body’, just so we are all clear that a pre-pregnancy body refers to:
‘A body a woman has before she gives birth.’
From looking at this definition take a moment to reflect why this phrase ‘pre-baby body’ and phrases alike are inappropriate terms to be used towards women post baby. The fitness world, in particular, is loaded with advertisements to the new Mother. As a personal trainer, a Mother to a 4-year-old and 4-month-old and someone who is passionate about changing attitudes towards the postpartum body I need to highlight this.
How many marketing strategies do we see on social media by fitness professionals advertising a program for Moms to ‘Get your pre-baby body back’ or to‘lose the baby weight'? In my opinion, too many!
Why should a woman who gave birth be targeted in a way that implies some sort of negativity towards having a baby i.e. referring to ‘baby weight’ or the ‘pre-baby body’?What about a desire to simply lose weight completely separate from thoughts or feelings about baby? Or a goal to rehab and recover as well as strengthen our bodies after giving birth? That is my main priority when I train Mommies.
For those coaches that advertise this way, – you are telling me that I can get the body back that I had before I carried and gave birth to two babies? Do you ever think that women don’t want to go back there? I certainly don’t. I don’t want to reverse back to a body that didn’t give me my children. I am learning to embrace and love the body that did this for me in a world where we are now bombarded with images of the ‘perfect pregnancy body’ and the quick ‘bounce back’ post baby.
Place the fitness industry aside for a second and look into everyday life; How many times have we all said to a pregnant woman;’Oh you will be back to yourself in no time’ or ‘You will just bounce back it will be fine‘. It is said with positive intentions but when a woman is coming to grasps with her new body whilst pregnant and the thoughts of what it will be like after it can put unintentional pressure on this new Mommy.
Society and in particular the fitness industry need to put more focus on the overall well-being of the Mother to encourage her to love her new body. We can encourage women to have health and fitness goals but as a coach it's your responsibility to reflect rehab and recovery as part of the main goals.
Weight loss is always going to be the top priority of a new Mom but don’t target their weakness when advertising, try empowering them and creating confidence about their new body.
To accept and love the bodies we have postpartum we need attitudes to encourage moving forward, not backwards.
Once a postpartum body, always a postpartum body. "
Well said Cliona!