Sadly, this is how India looks at a pregnant woman!

Body shaming happens even otherwise. You don’t have to be pregnant to be at the receiving end of such things. In fact, in India body shaming is many people’s favourite pastime. They behave as if they possess every right to body shame a mother as she is visibly putting on weight to grow her baby within. Some fail to understand that weight gain during pregnancy is a right thing, probably the only phase in a woman’s life when it looks legitimate to pile the pounds. However, they aren’t spared the insensitive comments and taunts. Here are few ways in which women in India are body shamed.

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 You are putting on too much weight too soon 

This is the mild version of saying you have become fat like a balloon. When I was pregnant for the second time a senior staff at the office told me, ‘I showed that kind of belly when I was six months pregnant, you are showing too much at three months.’ All I could do was just raise an eyebrow and stare back. I really didn’t need her pregnancy information. But this happens with mothers too often.

I wonder how you will get rid of that weight post pregnancy 

No, people with genuine concern won’t say that and make you feel bad about your pregnant body. Genuine friends and well-wishers might want you to be on the path of healthy weight gain and help you in dealing with your diet and work on your cravings. Yes, you do have same angels around, still. But some will make your mind go into overdrive thinking about post-pregnancy weight loss while all you should do is focus on nourishing and nurturing your child. This kind of comment usually makes the mother anxious and stressed making her uncomfortable about her own body. 

Don’t take the dictum eat for two seriously

This is the harshest among all. Well, people, I am telling you this on behalf of all mothers that we already know that eating for two is a myth and even if we want to shove all that food down our throat it is practically impossible to eat for two. In fact, eating during pregnancy is a task in itself. So, if you are telling a mother not to eat because she looks overweight for her gestation period to you, just stop. This might have a negative impact on the mother and she might just starve herself and the baby.

Do you exercise enough

Okay, for this comment I would like to give you a benefit of doubt. You probably want to genuinely motivate her to exercise and keep fit. But if you are giving a look that says you are concerned about the aesthetics more than her health, believe me; it conveys the message very well.

You should consider eating foods low in fat content 

Most people who give this advice don’t know how to choose a food that is high or low in fat content, but they have this urge to talk diet-sense to you because it is the right of many to become your diet consultant at this time. Of course, such lame sentences make one worry about the fat in the food and many mothers give up even the nuts and seeds that are rich in soluble fats and good for the baby. Sure, a woman who is pregnant is eating a balanced diet for the benefit of her baby.

You should dress up in loose-fitting clothes  

If one doesn’t body shame directly they might do it while commenting on the mother’s dressing sense. And one way is to ask her to dress up in loose fitting clothes. Nobody realises that for an expectant mum it takes time to adjust to the new body and such comments just make it difficult for her.

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