You can't even tell you are pregnant! 

 

Thanks, I say - delighted, until I realise what I am actually saying. I am, in fact, denying the existence of the little baby I am currently housing and being delighted about it. Why am I so happy that people can't tell I'm expecting? Why am I proud to tell people that I am still in my normal jeans at five months pregnant? 

 

Are we so conditioned to the 'big is bad' mantra that we see pregnancy as an extension of this? How messed up is that! 

 

Let's be honest, none of us wants to gain a whole load of weight while expecting, but growing a human means gaining a bump - it comes with the territory.

 

Today, Khloe Kardashian announced she didn't want to wear maternity clothes for as 'long as possible'.  The pregnant reality star - who is expecting her first child with her NBA boyfriend, Tristan Thompson - was speaking on the Ellen DeGeneres' show. But why are we so quick to push away any (and every) sign that we are growing bigger? 

 

Recently, this 17-year-old hit the headlines when she described herself as being 'bump-shamed' for having such a small bump. Reanna Stephens from South Carolina is seven months pregnant in this picture and hasn't the hint of a bump.

 

She says it is because of her healthy diet and yoga. Reanna says she is 'proud of her tiny bump' and while no one says there is anything wrong with being smaller, it is the immense pride she feels in not looking pregnant that is slightly worrying. It is not something to be ashamed of, it is not something we have to work on. It is worrying that when it comes to growing a baby, smaller seems to be the goal.

 

 

When I was pregnant with my first child I was shocked to discover that pregnant ladies only need an extra 300 or so calories a day. There is, of course, no reason to pile on the weight which can be unhealthy for both mum and child. It is fair enough at the start when you are concealing your pregnancy until you are ready to tell, or you are hiding it from your employer - but growing a healthy baby means having a bump so why are we so keen to deny and disguise that? 

 

That's why it is refreshing to hear Indian actress, Kareena Kapoor speaking out about her growing bump:

 

"Whichever role I do, I am not going to camouflage it on screen. I am proud of this phase (being pregnant) that I am in and there is nothing to hide about it. Whichever film I choose to do you will see me the way I am."

 

And that is the crux of it - it is the way that we are. It is nature at its finest and a life-changing journey we will look back on with pride and fondness. So next time someone tells you that you 'don't even look pregnant', feel free to be insulted and call them on it. It shouldn't be viewed as a compliment. We need to change our perception of reproduction and stop viewing it as an exercise in judging appearance. 

 

Is our celebrity magazine culture to blame for the rush towards being 'smaller' in everything we do in life, including pregnancy? We'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

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