All Articles Tagged "pregnancy shaming"
If health and fitness were important to you way before you found out you were bringing life into the world, it only makes sense that you would try to find ways to continue working out even as you get further and further along in your pregnancy. And while Charlotte from Sex and the City had to get over her fears that enjoying her daily jogs would harm her unborn baby, some women have no problem going straight from the doctor’s office to the gym. They are not afraid to go all out on the track, in the gym and for whatever form of exercise they enjoy, in general.
But when is your commitment to your health going too far as a pregnant woman? When are you potentially doing too much? And when is it clear that you’re more concerned with keeping your figure together than the well-being of your baby?
Those are the questions people are asking after watching this video:
As you can see, it’s a heavily pregnant woman doing pull-ups at the gym. No biggie, right?
Well, further along in the video she can be seen weightlifting, doing deadlifts, weighted squats, and swinging a heavy kettlebell. It’s clear that this woman was a gym rat way before baby, but her decision to stay that way during her pregnancy has brought out quite a few critics on social media, especially since the caption for the video, posted by a page called “Ratchet Videos,” is “No Excuses!!!”:
“im sorry im about working out and living a healthy lifestyle but this is excessive. get that bullsh-t #noexcuse sh-t out of here. caring for an unborn innocent child is way more important than how you look. what the hell is wrong with this world we live in.”
“I don’t think it should say no excuses. Sorry but some women can’t even walk let alone get out of bed some days. Big ups to you if keep healthy and exercise and keep fit while pregnant but sorry some of us can make excuses. I definitely would not have been able to do this while spewing half the day away. Gaining weight is perfectly fine and all apart of the journey”
“To everyone saying that its okay as long as she did it before pregnancy I’m sorry but you’re wrong.
Both my doctor and fitness trainer told me not to be lifting any weights at all and that my workout should consist of walking, swimming, and yoga specified for pregnancy.
Lots of women hate to admit it but you do have to slow down when you’re pregnant, the baby is depending on you.”
“I think we live in a generation where people love to show off and do everything for the Internet.. Fitness can wait while she’s pregnant.. Smh.”
“You should be ashamed for shaming pregnant women. Light exercise like yoga is fine but stuff like this is dangerous to the mother and child. So get that no excuses bullsh-t outta here.”
The majority of people who saw the video didn’t approve of it, mainly because they felt what she is doing appears dangerous. But also, because, as they pointed out, every woman’s pregnancy is different, and the assumption that each and every woman with child should be able to go hard (or go home) in the gym like the woman above is unfair. And according to those on social media, promoting videos like this is a form of shaming pregnant women.
But you should know that medical professionals do say that exercising during pregnancy is a very good idea though the level of exercise you do depends on your level of activity before pregnancy. If you were working out at a strong rate, the Mayo Clinic says you should be able to continue at the same level as long as you have approval from your doctor and feel okay. But if you weren’t really active beforehand, moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes is a good option. Exercise during pregnancy, in general, can help with back pain, improve your energy levels, increase your stamina, and, of course, quell weight gain. And more importantly, according to the Mayo Clinic, it could reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, having pregnancy-related high blood pressure, and lessen postpartum depression symptoms.
Walking, light, low-impact aerobics, swimming, yoga and strength training is good. However, you’re recommended not to lift very heavy weight. Professionals say that you should stay hydrated and not overexert yourself.
Whatever you do, do you. Don’t feel the pressure be Jillian Michaels while carrying your child or to lift the weights the woman above seems to be capable of hoisting and heaving if that’s not your thing. Go at a pace that works for you and your doctor. Be safe and listen to your body for the sake of yourself and your little one.
But what say you when it comes to this video? Is she doing too much? Is this pregnancy shaming orr are people overreacting?
It’s become abundantly clear that legislators spanning the school system to the federal government will stop at nothing to curb teen pregnancy. Unfortunately in that quest, the same way that women bear the brunt of the burden of childbirth, they are also disproportionately made to suffer the consequences of pre-marital sex, particularly at Delhi Charter School in Delhi, Louisiana. There, the administration has implemented a highly controversial policy that can best be summarized as “have sex, just don’t get pregnant.” Outlined in the school handbook, the policy reads:
If an administrator or teacher suspects a student is pregnant, a parent conference will be held. The school reserves the right to require any female student to take a pregnancy test to confirm whether or not the suspected student is in fact pregnant. The school further reserves the right to refer the suspected student to a physician of its choice. If the test indicates that the student is pregnant, the student will not be permitted to attend classes on the campus of Delhi Charter School.
If a student is determined to be pregnant and wishes to continue to attend Delhi Charter School, the student will be required to pursue a course of home study that will be provided by the school…Any student who is suspected of being pregnant and who refuses to submit to a pregnancy test shall be treated as a pregnant student and will be offered home study opportunities. If home study opportunities are not acceptable, the student will be counseled to seek other educational opportunities.
The purpose of the policy, aimed at the school’s 600 students in grades K-12, is to maintain its high standard for student character. Don’t bother re-reading the policy to figure out how the character of the male student’s at Delhi is judged. You won’t find anything. The American Civil Liberties Union has already jumped on the charter school for the illegality of their discriminatory policy. I’m more concerned with the faulty thought pattern that led them to create it in the first place.
Teen pregnancy is no doubt an issue that needs to be tackled head-on, but this effort goes about it through the backdoor. I have a hard time understanding the logic in essentially aiding someone to become a dependent single mother. From my view, becoming a teen mother is self-punishment enough, in the sense that it’s hardly an ideal situation and one that is wrought with challenges. What is gained by also limiting a woman’s education to further prevent her from becoming self-sufficient and an adequate parent? It may not be the best use of resources to pour even more effort into making sure these girl’s graduate, but if anything that would be the route to go. Besides, I’m not convinced that the state of being pregnant requires any more effort on the mother or the school’s part to ensure a pregnant student earns a diploma. With the exception of sick days and perhaps having trouble fitting into a desk, the “distraction” argument used to justify the teen mom-shaming that goes on at many schools around this country is weak at best. ThinkProgress.org points out that “thirty percent of all teen girls who drop out of high school cite pregnancy as the main reason, and a full 70 percent of teenage girls who give birth end up leaving school.” That’s the real distraction to society, the work force, child-rearing, and the social security crisis, not a 16-year-old waddling down the hall with a round belly.
Analyzing this policy, it’s no longer surprising to me that many men don’t instantly feel compelled to be present in the lives of children they father with women with whom they don’t have binding relationships. No one forces them to. This policy implements crippling consequences for teen mothers while not even bothering to require that men own up to fathering any children, be shamed for their “character faults,” or have any aspect of their lives interrupted by their choice to have unprotected sex that leads to conception. The double standard is as apparent as the lights flashing in Times Square and justifies an entire attitude of irresponsibility that comes to characterize a large proportion of the male sex. So often we think men just don’t care, but the thing is no one makes them, or even demonstrates any reasons that they should.
Across the genders, policies like this also seek to instill negative connotations around sex as though it is a morally deplorable act of bad character when that’s not the message teens need. Sex is fine, good, great, beautiful, normal, exciting, acceptable, and all of those things when done within the proper parameters and an adequate understanding of the positive and negative emotional, physical, and fiscal consequences. It baffles me that in a day and age where we can talk to a fictitious robot in our phone named Siri to handle our daily needs, we still haven’t figured out how to properly educate teenagers about sex—or leave the job up to the best people for the job most times, their parents.
I’ve yet to hear of a high school girl becoming pregnant via artificial insemination—or Immaculate Conception since Jesus’ mother Mary—so if you’re going to condemn one, you need to condemn all involved in the act of teen pregnancy. Better yet, why condemn them educationally at all?
What do you think about Delhi’s pregnancy policy?
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