There's a sad trend going on in the baby-bearing world. For years now, celebrity moms like Victoria Beckham and Bethenny Frankel did their utmost to limit weight gain during pregnancy, and have taken even more extreme measures to leave the hospital looking like they were never pregnant in the first place.
Frankel reportedly lost 30 lbs within a month of delivering her baby girl, while Beckham, who is due to give birth on July 4, is "sporting a belly less pronounced than your average beer gut".
According to Lisa Cohn, a registered dietician in New York City, where "mommyrexia" is all the rage, Beckham et al are sending a dangerous message to women out there. Not only is it unsafe to stave off calories while pregnant, it borders on obsessive and vain. And did we mention, sad? A pregnant or breastfeeding mom needs all the nutrients she can get in order to nurture her growing baby.
Rather than lavish that time and energy pounding the treadmill, a new mom would be better served getting to know her baby. And trust that her body will bounce back as nature intended -- slowly. With healthy eating habits and regular exercise, especially if the mom is breastfeeding, mummies will get yummy again, but not overnight.
“Women are spending thousands to restore to their pre-pregnancy sizes in record time," said Meredith Carroll of Being Pregnant.
Of course, maternity stores and gyms have been quick to cash in on the trend. One Manhattan gym offers "MILF and Stroller Bootcamp" classes. That a new mom's top priority after giving birth should be to attain MILF status is truly pathetic, not to mention demeaning.
"I’ve seen a massive uptick in my clients feeling stress if they’re not down to their pre-baby weight," said Pregnant in Heels star Rosie Pope. Many maternity labels are starting to shrink their sizes, a trend that worries Pope "because even I couldn’t fit into it, and I’m small!"
It would seem that the radical transformation of the female form in pregnancy is something to be ashamed of, rather than something to marvel at. As with most trends, celebrities set the benchmark and the "average" woman jumps on the wagon, trying to follow their impossible lead. After all, not everyone has personal trainers and nutritionists and can (or should) spend several hours a day desperately trying to squeeze back into their size zero's.
What is worrying is that there are moms out there who forgo breastfeeding altogether so their fitness regime isn't hampered by a nursing schedule. Others skip meals after the birth of their baby, and drink diet sodas for quick energy without the calories.
“Hell hath no fury like a post-partum woman trying to get back into the groove,” says Joshua Margolis, a personal trainer at Mind Over Matter Health & Fitness in NYC.
Do you feel pressured to shed post-baby weight fast, or to gain as little as possible during your pregnancy?