Losing excess baby weight after pregnancy is a challenge that all mums face and it’s most certainly not an easy task. Yet society appears to expect new mums to shed the pounds just weeks after giving birth.
Posting a black-and-white snapshot of her post-baby body Giovanna recalled the unpleasant encounter with an unnamed women.
“A few days ago I had a near stranger point at my stomach, laugh and say ‘Oh look, Mummy’s still got her tummy’. This was eleven days after giving birth,” she captioned the post. “I was so shocked I laughed. But the words have stuck with me. Obviously. It wasn’t left there either as there was another comment about my face ‘slimming down’.”
She continued, “More than anything, I was baffled over the stranger’s need to share her thoughts… Yes, I still have a bump. But that bump kept my little baby boy safe for a whole nine months. That bump has filled my world with even more love and light than I knew possible. That bump is a miracle worker… My bump will slowly go over time, but I’ll never stop being thankful to it and my body for everything it’s given me. #spreadlove xx.”
It’s a horrible story, made worse by the fact that it was another woman who was doing the shaming. Women struggle enough with their body image and stereotyping without facing criticism and pressure from other females.
The fact that this woman thought to shame Giovanna, rather than encourage and uplift her, is disappointing. It’s a reminder of the harsh words and unprovoked behaviour that so many new mums have to deal with and holds a mirror up to the society we live in — where women must look a certain way, and maintain a certain size at all times, or else they’re deemed to have something wrong with them.
Unsurprisingly women across the country have reacted in utter disbelief to the story but many have also found it inspiring.
“What a beautiful post to remind us to be thankful for everything! Hope everything is going fine and dandy with the new addition to the fletcher household,” qabasso wrote.
lillith_luna praised Fletcher for her comments writing, “Very well put. You and your body worked so hard to bring Buddy into this world, you deserve all the time you need to let your body recover and shift back to it’s norm after such a dramatic feat as a pregnancy.”
“What an earth is wrong with some people? Who were they to judge?” houghtone commented. “I don’t get the whole ‘lose the baby weight’ quickly. Surely as long as you have a happy, healthy baby nothing else should matter? @mrsgifletcher bravo on the inspirational attitude you have taken to the ‘mummy tummy’ debate; You’re an amazing mummy. Don’t ever let people try to shame you…. Shame on them. Xxx”
The positive side to this experience is that Giovanna opted to react in the most powerful way, by inspiring women to spread love instead of hate and reminding them that there is nothing to feel ashamed about. Society needs to accept a baby bump (be it during pregnancy or after) as a badge of honour.
We applaud Giovanna for her strength and hope that her honest account can serve as inspiration for other new mums who might need to be reminded that they are beautiful, just the way they are.