14 August 2009

Bumpaholics Anonymous

Hello, My name is the The Baby Bump Project and I'm a Bumpaholic.

It wasn't long before a new annoying term about pregnancy would enter the cultural zeitgeist.
'Bumpaholic' is the concoction of Women's Health magazine (US) in which they discuss women who love being pregnant. Apparently, some women love being pregnant so much that they are having babies strictly for their own narcissistic pleasure: they crave the adoration from other people and feel more 'liberated' (don't even get me started on how much I hate the way that this term is misused) by their pregnancy curves.

Aside from the fact that 'bumpaholic' is a nauseating term, I would have to say that I wholeheartedly dispute the perception that the reason for a rising birth rate is because women love being pregnant so much. First of all, I think most women would agree that if you work full-time as a stay-at-home-mum or in paid employment, having lots of children is not easy unless you have money to burn on hired help. Secondly, I get super annoyed by 'I love being pregnant because I can eat anything I want' myth that is continuously perpetuated when it is so ridiculously clear that today, eating 'anything you want' in pregnancy is a cultural/medical no-no. In light of moral panics about obesity, I think you can ask any woman and she will tell you that the days of 'eating for two' are well and truly over. As I found in my own research, the majority of women I interviewed felt 'fat' at every stage of pregnancy and post-birth and while these women by no means 'hated' being pregnant, they certainly were not eating whatever they could get their hands on. Pregnancy was far from 'liberating' when it came to body image.

I think it's kind of odd to say that women are having more babies because they are obsessed with being pregnant rather than making the quite reasonable assumption that a woman is having more than one child because...she likes children? or loves being a mum? Feel free to correct me, but pregnancy isn't a walk in the park. I think that while many women do enjoy pregnancy, many other women merely look at pregnancy as just a hurdle to overcome for the sake of the really precious outcome. I mean seriously, why would women give birth at all considering the pain that often accompanies it? Clearly, the end utterly and completely justifies the means!

Does this mean we need a new 12 step program? I can see it now: Bumpaholics Anonymous.

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The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.