Thanks to ChannelMum for bringing this debate to light…
- 94% of mums-to-be verbally abused over their pregnant body shape
- Average mum ‘bump shamed’ ten times during pregnancy – but one in 20 report over 50 attacks
- 45% of women think bump shaming should be made illegal, rising to 53% of young mums under 30
- Strangers are the biggest source of negative comments, followed by friends and work colleagues
- But one in 10 criticised by her own mother and five per cent by mother-in-law
- 17% of mums considered dieting while pregnant to battle their body shape, and 7% went ahead against medical advice
Mums-to-be are facing a barrage of abuse with 94 per cent verbally attacked for their body shape while pregnant, a worrying new report reveals.
The study from video parenting site ChannelMum.com found the average mum suffers ten verbal slurs while pregnant – known as ‘bump shaming’. But a quarter report a far higher number of negative comments, with one in 20 shamed for her shape more than 50 times.
While the majority of mums (62%) were attacked as ‘too fat’, a third (32%) were told their bump was ‘too small’, leading to fears for their baby’s health.
Shockingly, strangers are the biggest source of the verbal smears with 53 per cent of mums suffering cruel criticism from people they don’t know.
A further 43 per cent are bump shamed by friends, 40 per cent by work colleagues and 30 per cent by family members.
One in 10 was even criticised by her own mother and five per cent by her mother-in-law – along with one in 20 put down by her own partner.
The problem has become so bad that 17 per cent of mums considered dieting while pregnant to control their burgeoning body, while seven per cent went ahead and started slimming against medical advice.
The study of 1,321 mums found just a third (36%) were comfortable with their pregnant bodies,while 64 per cent described themselves as ‘embarrassed or ashamed or uncomfortable’
More than three quarters of mums-to-be (77%) admitted constantly comparing their bodies to other mothers – including friends, family and mums on social media – while pregnant. And two thirds (65%) carry on the body comparisons for up to five years after giving birth.
One in nine even revealed they compared their bumps to slim pregnant celebs to see if they could stay thinner, along with one in 11 (9%) who tried to lose weight faster than star mothers after giving birth.
The pressure is so bad that 45 per cent of women now think bump shaming should be made illegal, rising to 53 per cent of young mums under 30.
And the shaming isn’t restricted to pregnant women, as the study showed 60% of mums get negative comments on their post baby body too.
Once again, the biggest source of nasty slurs were from strangers, with 40 per cent of mums attacked. A further third (34%) were abused by their family, 30 per cent by friends and 14 per cent by work colleagues. One in nine suffered cruel comments from her partner, 13 per cent from her mother in law and seven per cent from her mother.
On average, new mums get four nasty comments on their post baby body, with five per cent criticised ten times or more.
The body perfection pressure means 20 per cent of mums never feel comfortable with their post baby body, even five years after giving birth. And for mums who do accept their post baby body, it takes an average of 18 months to get their shape back or accept the changes motherhood makes.
The study also showed the celebrities which make mums feel best about their bump and post baby body are Giovanna Fletcher, voted for by 37 per cent of mums, followed by Holly Willoughby (25%) and Adele (11%). But the star mums which make normal mothers feel most inadequate is the Duchess of Cambridge (21%) followed by Victoria Beckham (18%) and Kim Kardashian (16%).
Siobhan Freegard, founder of ChannelMum.com said: “Pregnant women’s bodies are not public property. Most of us would never dream of commenting on a stranger’s body – so why do it when a woman is pregnant and at her most vulnerable?
For more information visit: http://www.channelmum.com/bodypositivity