Posted by: MummyTravels | May 6, 2012

Why should pregnant equal public property

Bump size, food, even exercise – it seems anything is fair game to be commented on when you’re pregnant. It’s not rocket science to understand that staying as fit and healthy as you can during your pregnancy is a good thing. Living on cream cakes and not moving off the sofa is definitely tempting at times, but if you’re exercising sensibly, surely that’s to be applauded.

Not according to a story in today’s Mail on Sunday, where one mum-to-be was lambasted for being selfish – for going for a jog. But what really got me thinking was a comment on Twitter from Helen Lewis, assistant editor of the New Statesman, who said, ‘Isn’t it odd how when women get pregnant, their bodies become almost public property?’

Because I’ve definitely found this to be true. Not while sweating it out in the gym, sadly, as my inner sloth has seized on the excuse and opportunity to laze (Note to self: must do more yoga) but on all kinds of subjects.

Should I be travelling while pregnant? Why not, I’m not ill.

Should I be eating/drinking that? Actually, yes. Because I’ve checked all the recommendations and latest advice, which I strongly suspect you haven’t… Being able to quote the precise caffeine limits and quantity in an espresso doesn’t hurt, I’ve found.

Am I sure xxx is safe? Well, knock me down with a feather – I never considered checking if it might harm my unborn child… Grrrr.

Yet pre-pregnancy, people would never have considered querying my actions (quite apart from realising that it’s usually none of their business anyway). I’m a fairly sane and sensible adult, I can be trusted to make decisions about all kinds of things. So why, when I’m extra-cautious about what I can and can’t do, would I suddenly lose the ability to think for myself – just because I’m having a baby?


Image: Mykl Roventine/Flickr


  1. Yes, women I know say one thing that really gets them is the way people often feel it’s fine to pat the bump without permission. Maybe quite minor but it’s personal space, isn’t it? Tantamount to groping.

    • Absolutely – who’d go up to a non-pregnant woman and start patting various bits of her? (or think it was acceptable anyway). Having said that, no-one’s yet tried it with me so maybe that’s starting to change?

  2. I found people asked before patting – but, get ready for a whole load of “social interaction” when baby arrives. Just yesterday about 12 people talked to me in the street and in shops to comment on my baby – mostly good – which is nice – a lot was said about his size – large – and plenty of cooing but also random strangers asking how much he weighed at birth etc which I found a bit odd. Or perhaps it’s just because I’m in the US and these Californians are very chatty?

    • Social interaction is good (although useful to be forewarned!) – random intrusive questions that assume I have a pea for a brain, less so…

Leave a Reply to Nigel Thompson Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: