independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

There's more to concern expectant mums than getting their figure back

26/02/2012 PA File Photo of Kim Kardashian. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider. Picture credit should read: Tony Di Maio/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature  SHOWBIZ Insider.
26/02/2012 PA File Photo of Kim Kardashian. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider. Picture credit should read: Tony Di Maio/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider.

Oh great! More advice for expectant mothers on what to do/not do during pregnancy, because really, there's just never enough of it.

I always crave more (often conflicting) information on all the terrible things I may have unwittingly inflicted on my little girl when I was pregnant, whether it was with the glass or two of wine I enjoyed occasionally or whatever else I did/didn't do that may have stunted her development and screwed her up irreparably in every way imaginable.

Now a team of Canadian scientists has found that 20 minutes of moderate exercise three times a week during pregnancy can boost a baby's brain power.

Thankfully, this one doesn't worry me because, unless you're in the unfortunate position of not being able to move around or exercise during pregnancy for some medical/physical reason, you'd want to be a complete vegetable not to clock up that much movement in a week.

An actual head of cabbage could hit that target. So my daughter's brain power should be just fine in that regard at least. Phew!

Still, this research got me thinking about the whole exercise-in-pregnancy thing. While some women use the nine months as an excuse to lounge around like elephant seals, eating for two (eating for 200, more like), there is another extreme of pregnant women -- those who count calories and practically give birth on a cross-trainer.

This latter bunch is infinitely more offensive.

Why on earth would you be worried about your waistline when there is so much else to obsess over and be excited about -- you know, like the fact that you're having a baby? A tiny new person with a mind and personality all of its own.

Will it have a little willy or a little fan-fan (my parents' polite slang word for lady bits that we all have since applied to our own little girls)? Who will it look like? Will it be dark like me or fair like him (pray to God we don't each carry the recessive ginger gene -- the horror!).

Will it be perfect in every way like its mother (I refer specifically to myself here), or an awful eejit like its father? What will we call it? What sort of travel system will we get? What in Christ's name is a travel system anyway? Does it have wings?

And they are the nice things you get excited about and obsess over. There's lots of not-so-nice stuff that preys on your mind too. Primarily, you pray your baby will be born fit and healthy and worry about what will happen and how you'll cope if it isn't.

There's also the question of how is something that big going to come out of something this small? It's a question that's permanently at the back of your mind, and the worry of all that associated trauma.

Then there's the matter of when you'll go into labour. What if it's in your local branch of Spar? What if it's one of those freakishly quick labours and I end up giving birth on the path outside the shop? And so on.

So really, with all that knocking about your brain during pregnancy, I can't comprehend how any woman could be even remotely concerned with calorie-counting and exercising so she can get back in her skinny jeans six weeks postpartum or whatever other silly, vanity-driven deadline she sets herself.

Face it, ladies -- when you're up the pole, no matter what you do, your waistline is only going one way, so my advice is to relax, ignore insufferably smug celebrity mothers such as Miranda Kerr and Gwyneth Paltrow and just get some basic cop-on.

Besides, once baby arrives, I can assure you that you'll be far more concerned with the all-encompassing, every-minute-of-the-day role of being a mum than you will be with your waistline.

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