Those precious few months when a woman does not frown or spot worry lines as she proudly walks around in her bulging belly. Don’t we all love this bit of our pregnancy? Imagine eating to your heart’s content and not worrying about a bloating belly. A woman can seldom take this liberty in any other situation.
As much we say that this is a special phase to be enjoyed, how often do we notice pregnant women (and I am talking of women in the 2nd and 3rd trimester) walk around carefree , their bellies un hidden by a stole or ill fitted dress.
I remember when I discovered I was pregnant, I was all excited to shop for maternity wear. A shopaholic that I am, this just gave me another reason to refresh my wardrobe. So all the one piece dresses which slowly stopped fitting me around the belly and the high heels went into the attic, neatly packed to be used after a year or so and I started hunting for some good maternity wear and fashionable flat shoes. To my dismay I found very little variety in maternity wear clothes, especially the western ones. There were a couple online but not much to chose from.
At one of the popular maternity wear store- the sales assistant told me that in India there isn’t a big market for maternity wear yet as customers consider the investment made in clothes a sheer waste of money for these cannot be used post delivery. Hence the practice is usually to spend less on these clothes or borrow them from near ones and pass those on to other women in the family who get pregnant.
I wasn’t too happy with this – as I believe this is a special phase which needs to be celebrated. It is a matter of personal choice but for me – I would want to pamper myself and make myself feel special. I love dressing up and just because I am pregnant I wouldn’t want to give that up. I would dress per the situation of course but that doesn’t imply I start dressing in some absurd loose gowns or ill fitted clothes.
Pepped up with enthusiasm I bought a couple of lovely one piece dresses online from one of my favorite brand.
Some of them made the tummy a bit conspicuous , which is obvious given it is maternity wear. My mum who is usually very liberal and easy going was alarmed and asked me to refrain from wearing those.
Everyone’s eyes would be on your stomach she said.
Well its ok I don’t care I retorted.
Its not good for the baby she said. Someone may cast evil eyes.
Needless to say, however broad minded and forward looking I am- this got me worried. As an expectant Mum, one is always worried if the baby is doing fine, no harm is caused to him/ her. Though I did not believe that someone could just cast evil eyes and endanger my baby, I was reluctant to take a chance. And hence I discarded one or two maternity dresses. They still lie in my wardrobe unused.
I was also asked to cover my belly with a stole- but this I flatly refused. I would find it very uncomfortable walking around with a stole- yes I am pregnant and my belly would be huge given there is a little one there. What’s the need to hide it?
Pregnancy is something that is celebrated in most places of the world and I have seen women walking around confidently with their huge bellies. People do not stare at their bellies and when they do notice, they smile and hug the Mom to be. But the situation here is starkly contrasting. First of all we try our best to hide the news of our pregnancy for quite sometime. I do understand that we would not want to disclose it right away to everyone till the first scan and confirmation from the gynec that everything is OK. Also working women are a bit reluctant to let everyone at work know due to varied reasons.
But once the customary wait period is over, this news is still kept hush hush. Just a few close relatives and friends and the manager in office are told. Rest of the people discover by themselves, once it becomes obvious. It seems like some kind of a secret which we are desperate to keep rather than celebrate this moment.
Again most of us are reluctant to share any maternity pics online for fear of “buri nazar”. I did the same.
To freeze this lovely phase, I got a maternity shoot done with one of the leading photo studios. Hubby and I had a great time shooting for this and the pics always remind us of this wonderful phase in our life. My daughter Angel who is 2 now also looks at the collage on the wall and points at Mamma’s belly exclaiming” Angel in Mumma’s stomach, God put baby in stomach”.
Women who cannot conceive or do not want to have babies and are branded by society as barren and labelled as the ones casting evil eyes on Moms to be- and the latter are cautioned against them. Yet another example of how unfair and biased society it against women and how motherhood is held as the yardstick for measuring the success of women.
Pregnancy is a beautiful and special phase which should be celebrated and not be treated as something to be hidden. Mommies to be should have the liberty to confidently walk around without the need to hide their bellies with a dupatta or stole. People need to stop staring at a pregnant women;s belly like the way they do- when you do notice it- smile at her, will you?
We need to get rid of the superstitious beliefs associated with evil eye and stop ostracizing women who do not have kids, by choice or otherwise.
There is no need to hide that baby bump. Rather I would say – Honey flaunt that baby bump will ya? For this is the only time you can happily flaunt your belly, isnt it? 🙂
Sharing some of my maternity shoot pics which always bring a smile to my face and swell my heart with love.
Do share your views on this subject and how was your experience- did you hide/flaunt your precious bump? Were you secretive or did you disclose the news about your pregnancy in a innovative way? Did you post your pics on social media? Look forward to hearing from you