Photo Credit: Amazon
FROM iVILLAGE HEALTH
These days, a female celebrity can’t eat more than a few berries and sip some coconut water without landing splat! in a magazine with a giant arrow pointing to her torso and the word, “Pregnant?!” screaming at her belly.
Eva Longoria, Nicole Kidman, Jessica Simpson and Mariah Carey have all been called out for their so-called "baby bumps" which were more likely "spicy tuna" bumps or "Pellegrino bumps;" Khloe Kardashian was the most recent victim. What cows, huh? I mean, how dare they walk around in public with abs that aren’t perfectly flat or even concave? Pregnancy with twins would be the only acceptable excuse.
Now, though, they may not need an excuse: I just received a press release from KYMARO Body Shapers promising me that "The trick to disguise that gut, whether baby bump or bloat, is our new Body Shaper, designed with a special technology to provide comfort, while smoothing lumps and disguising bumps." Basically, they’re like belly Spanx and for $39.99, they can make the first trimester woman in your life look seven pounds slimmer.
My first thought when I read this: Can this be healthy for the unborn child? I know from personal experience that squeezing yourself in an out of a flesh-colored Spandex sausage casing isn’t exactly easy or comfortable, but at least we can make adjustments for things like, say, breathing or bladder voiding. All the fetus can do is float there and get squished, no? The notion of Spanx-ing your belly bump reminds me of the ancient Chinese tradition of foot binging: Painful, pointless and all about vanity.
I asked two doctors for their opinion. Jennifer Milosavljevic, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist with Women's Health Services at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, told me that "Wearing a constrictive garment, especially in the first trimester when the uterus is typically still below the pubic bone, will not harm the baby.” As a matter of fact, she typically recommends abdominal binders in the second and third trimesters, to help with the worsening back and pelvic pain that can come with a growing, baby-filled belly.
Pamela Berens, MD, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, agreed that tight shapewear would likely not be dangerous to the pregnancy or cause a miscarriage. However, she says, "I do think that it might make the pregnant woman who is already having difficulty with reflux (bad heartburn) have more symptoms. It might also be uncomfortable if she lives in a hot humid place (like those of us in Houston)!" She also said pregnant women will often opt to wear supportive garments later in pregnancy, but these typically go underneath the pregnant belly as opposed to wrapping around the bump itself in an effort to flatten it.
Okay, so technically, I’m wrong. It turns out pregnant women are free and clear to strap down their pregnant bellies like Hilary Swank did with her boobs in Boys Don’t Cry. And then after the baby comes, you can return to your Previously Bundled Program with the Taut Belly Wrap by Brooke Burke, designed to reduce the size of the swollen uterus, eliminate water retention and help you "lose inches fast, all while supporting that unwanted baggy baby skin!" Whatever you do, you are not to ever show evidence of having a child in your womb. In fact, hide the child shortly after delivery, only letting her or him out for home schooling and daily Vitamin D doses to prevent rickets. Then, once you’ve gotten your pre-baby bod back, host a coming out party for yourself and invite your now-teenaged child to serve wine (champagne is so bloating) and valet guests’ cars. Bask in the glory of your perfect, sagless-, stretchmark-free stomach and ignore the fact that your body created an actual living, breathing human being. There, now doesn’t that sound like a nice celebration of motherhood?
Do you think it's okay for pregnant women to wear body shapers? Chime in below!