Saturday, October 8, 2011

Access to Information about Childbearing

What messages do women get about the positives and negatives of childbearing? How do these differ from reality? How do these differ from the messages people get about other activities?

From ChildfreeFeminist:

...women need to be aware of why the media is pressuring women so strongly to give birth. They want your money, and you will gladly spend it because they make you feel your progeny is worth an $800 stroller and all the other items that come with it. And maybe he is, but motherhood will never be like the happy family in the Pampers commercials or like Katie Holmes and Suri.

There is the nasty green ca-ca , the snot, the no sleepign–and that’s just Day One. . Pregnancy is not all “amazing and life changing and awesome” like they all confess from Jessica Alba to Gisele Bundchen. Have you seen a pregnant woman’s feet? They look like air balloons shaped like…feet. And the GAS! And-and…oh, all the horror. I mean maybe if you can afford a personal masseuse and organic wildberry smoothies. Then possibly this baby stuff is for you. The rest of us have to go back to reality.

For a regular dose of pregnancy reality, I am very grateful to Shape of a Mother, a blog that posts real pictures of postpartum women's bodies, together with (often poignant) stories about their lives. While the tone of that website is breeding-positive and the audience is the Oprah crowd, information is information and this is information that women considering getting pregnant need to be aware of. The physical toll of pregnancy is often much worse than that of methamphetamine abuse, but we never see billboard-sized images of postpartum bellies on the freeway!

In the name of awareness, I must suppress my aesthetic reaction and agree with the advice of Shape of a Mother readers who encourage postpartum women to wear bikinis.


  1. Not only post-partum bellies, but the sagging-to-the-knees breasts as well! We only need to invoke images of our own mothers (insert *shudder* here) to know only too well that you just don't bounce back, unless you're a 90210 yummy mummy!

  2. People always say there should be a licensing process for parenthood... I've always thought a photo of a snipped perineum would make a great graphic element for the application form, but those painful-looking stretch mark photos should also get a spot. OUCH! Maybe finish up with a shot of a poopy diaper and some child-abduction statistics...

  3. I got pregnant right out of highschool by my husband who is 12 years my senior, he pressured the sh*t out of me until and I did. I never knew men wanted kids as bad as women,but they are out there, my husband is one. While I do love my children (hard not too) it was the biggest and I mean BIGGEST mistake I ever made in my entire life. I told my husband throughout my entire pregnancy and after how I wish I could do it all over. I never understood my hesitation to not want to have kids, but when I look in the mirror everyday and boo hoo about how disgusting I look I know why. I knew from deep down it wasn't all pink teddy bears and roses. I am going to make a site proposing to all women to not do this to themselves. Your life will suck for freaking ever. I'm 24 and I live the life of a 50 year old


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