19 April 2007

reader feedback

Considering the absolutely staggeringly positive response to the blog I have had in the last few days, I thought I would share some of the interesting emails/comments I have received from women from all across Australia who watched the Today show segment. I am completely overwhelmed and honoured that so many of you have taken the time to share your story with me. I have never felt like this is only my research'; this is well and truly our research and it is a privilege to know that so many of you feel like this project is interesting and will be of great benefit to pregnant women around the world. Thanks! Here is a sample of some of your thoughts:

This email entitled 'Body function v. Body image' is from Nicola:

Look: I am confused. There is this dichotomy currently that leaves me feeling dizzy. It seems that having a family is GOOD. Having the body and face that are a result of having said family is BAD. Having babies is GOOD. Having a body that looks like it has had babies is BAD. Being mature enough to have a career and a family is GOOD. Being mature enough to look like you are living a career and a family is BAD. Being mistaken for your daughters' older sister is GOOD. Being mistaken for your daughters' nanna is BAD.Having the body of an infertile pre-pubescent girl is GOOD. Having the body of a fertile, mature woman is BAD. Is it just me, or are we placing unreal expectations upon ourselves. How much are we supposed to expect from ourselves; shouldn't we be assessing the damage of putting the standard TOO high for real people to live up to? Personally, I don't feel compelled to single-handedly support the cosmetics, fashion, and exercise industries. I feel that glamour belongs with the entertainment industry; in fact I believe that glamour is fantasy.

Interesting points, indeed. As I have been talking to women throughout pregnancy and post-birth one of the most poignant aspects of the transition from pregnancy to post-birth is invariably the changed relationship women have with their bodies. Whereas your body was once 'your own' pre-pregnancy, at the moment of conception you are sharing your body with something/someone else (depending on when you believe 'life' begins). Many women have expressed to me that they feel like their body becomes functional particularly post-birth when breasts become tools for feeding a child and not necessarily the sexualised objects of culture that they were before.

How do/did you feel about your body during pregnancy/post-birth? How does your relationship with your body change when have a baby?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely abhor my post-pregnancy body. I wasn't even that big and early in my pregnancy (that I didn't want) when I just exploded in stretchmarks. And they kept growing, even though I stayed fairly small. Almost my entire stomach is covered. It's above the belly button.

It was not worth it. There was no rush of love for the kid, just obligation. I got stuck with it while hubby (who wanted to keep it) was overseas.

I resent him, I resent the parasite that destroyed me. I have no desire to keep on living because the last fucking little bits of joy in life got sucked away. My freedom is gone, my body is gone, my dreams are gone and I'm at the point where I just want to stop breathing.

Why me!?

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