Humor writer Bunmi Laditan: Expectations of new moms to bounce back are farcical
Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian have displayed svelte physiques soon after pregnancy
Laditan: In a 'Hunger Games'-style competition, new moms would need to get fit quickly
Editor’s Note: Bunmi Laditan is a parenting humorist and the keeper of the Honest Toddler twitter feed and blog. Her book, “The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting,” is available now.
Move over, baseball, we have a new American pastime: analyzing the pregnant and postpartum bodies of women. To entertain the “post-baby body” headline hungry masses, we’ve standardized the sport of maternal shape evaluation into a fun competition called The Pregnancy Hunger Games!
This ongoing pageant will encourage expecting and new mothers to not compromise when it comes to their sexiness. Good news, baby carriers: The biological process of making people does not have to lower your general hotness.
The rules for Pregnancy Hunger Games are simple:
1. You do not have permission to show for the first three months. Let’s throw out the phrase “Eating for two” and replace it with the more accurate, “Benefiting from lean proteins, for two.”
2. Do not gain weight in your face.
3. Do not gain weight in your arms.
4. After the first three months, you are permitted to rock a small honeydew melon-sized bump. How cute are you? This is not a rhetorical question or compliment. How cute you are is something you need to think about before leaving the house. Fitted empire dresses will help people realize that you’re pregnant, not spiraling.
5. After the first six months you may upgrade to a medium sized, conservative, aesthetically respectful, perfectly round watermelon tummy. Wow, you’re getting big….
6. At seven months, please go into hiding, as you are making everyone uncomfortable.
7. After baby is born you must post an Instagram selfie featuring a makeup-free (ie. foundation, matte powder, earth-toned eyeliner and tinted lip gloss with a touch of blush) you and your new baby. A little cleavage never hurt anyone. Those newly banzoongaed mammaries aren’t just for the baby – they can easily take you from an 8.5 to a 9.25.
8. Emerge five weeks later with no signs of having given birth in single-digit-sized skinny jeans.
9. Burn your maternity clothes in the kitchen sink with an accelerant like nail polish remover to remove the temptation to backslide.
The leader of the Pregnancy Hunger Games pack is currently Kate Middleton. The photos of her “oopsie my shirt” moment while playing volleyball shot her up to first place. We like Duchess Kate for being stylish, friendly, and down-to-earth but we love her for looking fabulous despite being a mother. In second place we have Maria Kang, the 32-year-old mom and fitness personality whose Facebook post recently sent the Internet into a frenzy.
“What’s your excuse?” she bravely asks mothers to consider. She’s right. Think about it: Beyonce was back onstage wearing a sequined onesie just a few months after birthing Blue Ivy. Nobody was ready for that jelly, but we sure gobbled it up! More advice: stop eating jelly. Sugar.
Model, mom, and reality show participant Kim Kardashian is raring for third place with her recent Instagram booty pictorial, but you regular moms have a chance at unseating her with your own smoldering bods if you’re willing to put in the effort.
Contestants: Once your baby has arrived, please take the necessary steps to preserve your sexiness to be considered for a trophy.
Was your labor complicated? The good news is that C-sections heal! Ask your doctor whether or not the blade cut through your abdominal muscles. Relay this information to your trainer so that they can put together an accurate, gentle but also aggressive exercise plan.
If you had a vaginal delivery, we expect more from you. Even if you experienced tearing, those down-there tissues should have healed within a few weeks. If they’re taking longer, focus on your arms! Lift 5-pound weights to get ready for the evening-wear portion of the pageant.
Being a good mother and loving partner is interesting, but we’ll be evaluating how your shirt falls across your midsection, so avoid carbohydrates during your “babymoon.” Hungry? Whether you’re standing in front of the fridge or about to order in a restaurant ask yourself: WWGD (What Would Gwyneth Do?). Make the right choice. The right choice is lettuce and vinegar in case you’re still confused.
Breastfeeding is a fantastic way to nourish your young and passively burn calories. If you’re having trouble, hire a lactation consultant. She can help you find the ideal latch to optimize the rate at which your baby sucks the fat out.
Late-night feedings are also a wonderful time to bond with your baby and do some squats in the moonlight. Each time you get out of bed, engage your core.
Now, juggling your little blessing along with a new diet and workout routine will be hard. It’s OK if you feel like you’re failing as long as those feelings don’t affect your 24-karat smile, oh yeah CREST WHITESTRIPS, EVERYONE.
Contestants, please report to your local weigh-in and submit your most recent notarized FULL-BODY* Facebook profile photo. During the elimination round we’ll take your Body Mass Index to keep the judging scientific. Childcare will be provided.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bunmi Laditan.