Its time to stop comparing your pregnant body to Meghan Markle and Beyoncé

As a mum to be, there are two types of tired. There's the one that exists on a scale from falling asleep at the breakfast table, to just about making it past 9 pm. This tiredness is caused by sleepless nights due to baby bump, or a busy day of lugging around that big belly.

The second type of tired is far worse, ranging from mildly annoyed to full-blown tears. This is caused by society's fixation on women's bodies. It comes in the form of a headache with side effects such as low self-esteem, a lack of confidence and general poor mental health. 

Though the first type of tired might leave you feeling proud of yourself for making it through the day in one piece, the second deflates you and leaves you questioning your self-worth. 

It doesn't help that celebrities and social media influencers paint us a not-so-realistic portrait of the pregnant body. Every day, we are bombarded with images of humans that have managed to get through the strain of the first and second trimesters without a scratch. It seems they all got the good gene of 'carrying it well' as some call it, with bodies that show no evidence of baby, except the bump.

This is all we see, and the idea that there is a single way to look while in the family way can have a serious effect on our mum minds.

However, what those pictures don't show is the other pregnancy-related ailments that might be happening on the inside. The media gushed and awed at the Duchess of Cambridge during each of her pregnancies, because she looked so immaculate.

What people rarely discussed was how she suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a condition that is characterised by severe nausea and weight loss. Her 'perfect' pregnancy body was going through so much more than it appeared and all we saw was the fact that she was NOT gaining weight. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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So when we gaze at Megan Markle's 'flawless' pregnancy bod or Vogue's perfect postpartum figure, could we please keep in mind that image is not everything. There could be ANYTHING going on on the inside from mental health issues (which are even more severe during pregnancy) to something as ailing as Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

Every pregnant woman is going through something and having a big ass should be celebrated- not feared-when we bring a baby (or two) into the world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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My point is, with legitimate tiredness being an occupational hazard of all mums, do we really need to exhaust ourselves with a body image that should not exist? There is no 'normal' way to appear when you are pregnant. Like the pregnant mind, pregnant bodies are all so different, inside and out.

If your news feed is telling you otherwise, its time to detox- and by that I mean a cull of anything that makes you feel less than perfect.

Anyone who is selling post-pregnancy weight loss rituals or pregnancy diets. Anyone who dares to tell you that your bumps (yes all of them) are anything less than beautiful.

Our bodies create the future and it is up to us to decide not let them be reduced to sizes and scars. To love them unconditionally. 

Anna Murray is an Irish student mum to one little girl.

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