Ahh, new parenthood. Full of excitement, late nights, priceless memories, and small joys. But for some women, motherhood comes with a hefty price — MOMMYREXIA. An article in today’s New York Post explores the, ahem, important issue of moms — specifically on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, so specifically white and upper middle class/wealthy — who are obsessed with pregnancy weight gain. This fear of being a, well, fat mom (fat by completely bizarro standards, BTW) is so overwhelming, that the mommyrexics struggle to stay thin while knocked up and don’t waste any time before hitting the gym once their little one is no longer in their taut bellies. Speaking of, if you weren’t gagging already over how ludicrous this all sounds, check out this anecdote from Karen, a mom interviewed for the piece. She told the Post that her abs were so strong from working out while pregnant that her gynecologist actually had a hard time cutting through her core muscles during her C-section. Sadly, though she’s back to her pre-pregnancy weight, “I’ve accepted that my stomach will never look the same again.”
Of course, this mommyrexic “trend” — and I hesitate to call anything that originates in a neighborhood in Manhattan a “trend” — is not coming out of nowhere. Celebrity magazines are full of “Body After Baby!” interviews and bikini photoshoots highlighting the rapid weight loss of new moms like Bethenny Frankel and Gisele Bundchen. The latter said she only gained 30 pounds (on her already long and lean frame) when pregnant with son Benjamin because, unlike “a lot of people,” she didn’t decide to turn into a “garbage disposal.” No one would disagree hat good nutrition during pregnancy is important for both mom and baby, but talk about smug. On one hand, I’m sure Gisele and Bethenny were able to keep their pregnancy weight gain to a minimum via the luxuries afforded their fancy lifestyles. Physical trainers! Daily yoga! A private chef! But on the other hand, does it matter how these women gained the bare minimum or got their “pre-baby body” back? Doesn’t celebrating the speed with which Bethenny dropped weight after she’s birthed an entire human being only reinforce the unhealthy attitudes kept by people for whom physical appearance is the most important thing?