Showing off their baby bumps

Showing off their baby bumps
Motherhood brings along its own share of varied experiences. From bouts of anxiety, cramps and morning sickness to excitement and sweet moments of togetherness with your partner, a lot of memories are made along the way during the most cherished period of your life.

Gone are those days when only the women of the house, the gynaecologist or the midwife knew about the details of a pregnant woman’s physical and psychological transition. The whole affair was kept hidden and women were especially shy and tight-lipped about it all.

Now, look at today’s moms-to-be! They throw caution to the wind and unabashedly flaunt their baby bumps on the beach, on the ramp, in selfies, on the red carpet, on social media and even attract the chasing paparazzis’ flashes. Remember how actress Kareena Kapoor Khan walked the ramp towards the end of her pregnancy?

Celeb moms lead the way

Right from Hollywood hotties to the desi divas, many have dared to show off their swelling bellies with élan. Old world superstitions like fear of the ‘evil eye’ stalking the mom-to-be are now obsolete. The woman of today believes in sharing her journey with the public.

Mommies like Kim Kardashian, Mila Kunis, Drew Barrymore, Natalie Portman, Amanda Seyfried have confidently put their pregnant tummies on display. Back home, glamorous would-be mothers joining the gang, besides Kareena, are Carol Gracias, Shweta Salve, Genelia D’Souza, Shweta Tiwari, Teejay Sidhu and others.

No reason to hide

Life coach Vasudha Jha observes, “In a patriarchal society, it was never easy for a woman to come out of her shell and celebrate her pregnancy. However, the present-day trend of clicking photos of baby bumps and baby-mooning at beautiful locations proves that women have come a long way in shedding those stereotypical garbs of keeping pregnancy under the wraps.”

Trend-watchers explain that modern women consider pregnancy an experience to celebrate and revel in. So why hide it from the rest of the world? Moreover, the fit and confident women of the 21st century are visibly proud of their bodies. Tradition cannot persuade them against showing off.

“Body-shaming is something women have taken in the stride for centuries. Everyone feels entitled to pass comments on the female form and scars left behind from this embarrassment could have taken a huge toll on their self-esteem. So the fact that women are gaining confidence to embrace the bodily changes that pregnancy brings along is worth appreciating,” she stresses.

Taking control

Motherhood, in the past, was not an individual choice for women. Often they had to submit to familial and societal pressures. But today, women appear to be more vocal about their personal preferences. They follow traditions when they want to and not whenever they are asked to. Motherhood no longer ‘just happens’ to them, it is something they actively choose. This makes them all the more prepared for the journey.

But what to wear?

Elucidating on wardrobe diktats for expecting mothers, designer Amy Billimoria says, “Wearing high-waisted, empire dresses with bias cuts is comfortable and looks good on both tall and short frames. Add to this, asymmetric drape hems and oversized shirt dresses in ferns, peaches and yellows. Also big floral prints look nice if one has the height to pull it off.”

Cotton lycra capri-length jumpsuits flaunting the bump in early pregnancy weeks are worth trying for both body types, she recommends. Just as trends are followed to decide on the wedding trousseau for the D-day, mothers-to-be fuss over the latest fashion must-haves. “There is greater awareness and acceptance now to try out novel looks and funky silhouettes,” she notes.

Doc talk

Talking of striking a fine balance between career and pregnancy, Pooja Sharma Dimri, consultant obstetrician, gynaecologist and surgeon, admits that today’s working women confront a lot of stress in life. “As a result, many moms-to-be in IT or other sectors prefer to work from home before going on a maternity leave. Besides this, I feel they should also go for ante-natal coaching and meditation classes.”

Excessive use of gadgets like mobile phones and laptops is another cause for concern during those months. “The habit can be harmful as it causes physical and mental distress. Sitting in front of the laptop the whole day may lead to backache, neck pain and strain in the eyes,” cautions Pooja.

Nevertheless in this age, a complete switch-off of batteries may not always be possible. However, their use should be minimised while on maternity break. “This in fact would not only offset the physical and mental side-effects of a rampant gadget usage, but also help reestablish one’s interpersonal relationships,” she says.

Echoing her observation, Shefali Batra of Mindframes, counselling psychiatrist, cognitive therapist and wellness consultant, remarks, “Switching off the batteries and going absolutely minus gadgets is never going to be easy.

However, following a wholesome regime is compulsory to benefit the baby and the mother’s heath”. As a matter of fact, scientific studies evince that gadgets may affect the fetus as they emit damaging radiation. Therefore, distancing oneself from mobile phones, microwaves, I-Pads and Wi-Fi routers are highly advised, whenever possible.

Although the risk according to research is minimal, it’s still better to maintain a safe distance from equipment.

Enjoying the process

Pregnancy-suitable exercises, meditation, yoga and a protocol of rest in the daily routine are recommended by doctors and care-givers. Time-management matters and prioritising tasks becomes very important. “Pregnancy should not be a tumultuous struggle but a natural process to soak in and live with. From a mother’s perspective, a healthy mind in a healthy body is paramount,” Shefali elaborates.

Thankfully, these hitches can be easily redressed through prenatal counselling. “That way, mothers become more aware of the changes they are going through and be ready for any kind of sentimental upheavals and hormonal swings which may ensue. Also, they could build upon their spousal relationship as well as favourably deal with the new arrival in their lives,” assures Shefali.
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