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5 Reasons Why Your Pregnancy Doesn't Need To Be Instaworthy

There’s nothing like indulging in gorgeous Instagram shots and click-bait articles of celebrity lives and their perfect pregnancies. But when it presents endless images of how easy, effortless, and beautiful pregnancy can look; it’s hard not to feel confused, or downright heartbroken if your reality is different. 

Pregnancy really is a magical time: Your body is making a tiny human from scratch,  so let’s not forget how impressive that is! But the truth is that your pregnancy may not resemble what you see online, however much you might wish it to.
 

"I try not to compare myself … but just once I would like to see one of them throwing up into their handbag on a bus."

It's really important not to let this distract you from the bigger (and more realistic) picture: A recent study from the University of Wellington has suggested that not only can obsessing over celebrity baby bumps negatively affect self-esteem and body image; it can even lower levels of prenatal attachment (the love a mother feels for her developing baby during a pregnancy) by overwhelming moms-to-be with concerns about appearance and weight gain, rather than allowing them to recognise body changes as a natural part of pregnancy.

Here are 5 ways in which your pregnancy might not fit in with those glorious insta-worthy images ... and why that's ok:

1. Conceiving is effortless.

When trying for a baby, it may sometimes seem that a flirtatious glance is all it takes for other people to get pregnant; and the growing number of incredible Hollywood moms in their 40s make it look easy. But the harsh reality is that fertility declines dramatically in your thirties, and by your fourties there is, on average, less than 5% chance of getting pregnant each cycle. Remember that those beautiful shots of older moms don’t take into account all the time they might have been trying for a baby, and the thousands of euro they may have spent on fertility treatments.

Read Next: Your Relationship When Trying To Get Pregnant

2. They all feel fantastic. All the time.

Although luckily there are some celebrity moms now coming out about fertility issues, post-natal depression, and the harsh realities of pregnancy (Anyone else want to be friends with Chrissy Teigen?) It’s still tough to read interviews with women who ‘feel amazing’ throughout, if you're lying in a ball dealing with nausea, heartburn, and piles. As one mom said online: "I try not to compare myself … but just once I would like to see one of them throwing up into their handbag on a bus."

Read Next: 10 Tips For Managing Morning Sickness

3. They look effortlessly great.

Despite the seemingly endless amount of gorgeously tanned women with neat baby bumps on the beach; you may not feel like a glowing earth mother throughout your pregnancy. It’s completely normal to experience skin issues, extra body hair, and swelling; and to not bounce straight back afterwards.

"...We have people who make it possible for us to get back into shape. But nobody should feel like that's normal or like that's realistic."

So when you see those photos, just remember that these women have stylists, photographers, personal trainers, nutritionists, assistants, photoshop and really good lighting assisting them in getting the perfect ‘effortless’ selfie. As Chrissy Teigen has said on celebrities’ ability to lose baby weight immediately: "People get this jaded sensation that everybody’s losing it so quickly. We have nutritionists, we have dietitians, we have trainers, we have nannies. We have people who make it possible for us to get back into shape. But nobody should feel like that's normal or like that's realistic."

4. Workouts are wonderful.

There is a weird conflict when it comes to the online vision of pregnancy and post-pregnancy fitness. Some corners of the internet are all about eating for two and putting your feet up, while the other shows people running marathons, lifting weights, and winning tennis championships. But when it comes to exercise, remember everyone is different. The most important thing is to look after yourself, both in terms of keeping yourself healthy, and practising self-care. Social media may have helped to break the taboo of exercising during pregnancy, but it can be confusing in terms of what is and isn’t safe. For example, Sophie Guidolin, whose picture of pregnant weightlifting when viral, was keen to point out that she was lifting less than half what she would regularly lift outside pregnancy, and was doing so only after seeking advice from medical professionals. So this isn’t the time to start an extreme new regime: Your body has enough going on!

Read Next: Is All Exercise Safe During Pregnancy? 

5. Labour is a doddle.

As Ivanka Trump said in reference to the birth of her first child: “I thought I had heartburn … I had Arabella two hours later! [She] was born while my wedding song, 'This Year's Love' by David Gray, was playing. It was a coincidence, but it was cool!” This is of course everyone’s dream birth (except perhaps for the music choice) but while some people are incredibly lucky; others go through marathon labours of endless contractions, false starts, bodily fluids, and people poking very private areas of your anatomy.

Read Next: 10 Things You Really Need To Know About Labour

However far the reality of labour deviates from your birth plan and the perfect vision in your head; just remember 2 things:
A) They’ve seen it all before. 
B) This too shall pass, and you will finally meet your baby.

So how do you balance the insta-worthy celebrity images of pregnancy against realistic expectations? And who are your favourite celebrity moms who keep it real? We're here to support you every step of the way, so whether you want advice on conceiving, pregnancy, birth, or motherhood, there's plenty on the website. And if you want to hear more about something we haven't covered yet, let us know below, or through our social media channels.


About the Author

Emily is a writer, editor, blogger, and our Digital Content Assistant. She has three awesome nieces, and has accidentally worn the same outfit as them on at least one occasion. Emily likes making things, including hand-drawn cards, and a darn good chocolate cake. She still sounds very English, despite living in Dublin for the last nine years. More insight into the workings of her brain can be found on dancingcakesandsilence.blogspot.com.

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