Experts are warning that celebrities who stay ‘thin’ during pregnancy are putting pressure on the ordinary woman to go to extreme ends to do the same.
They pose for magazine photo shoots, take to the catwalk and teeter around in high heels, looking as slim and glamorous as ever, with not hint that they’re about to give birth in a matter of months.
Meet the ‘no bump’ celebrities: a growing breed of star who somehow manages to maintain a svelte figure through those crucial nine months with just a hint of an ultra-neat baby bump.
Now experts have warned that ordinary women – who already feel they have to snap back into shape after birth – may feel pressure to maintain a slim figure during pregnancy, putting their babies at risk of complications such as premature birth.
Harley Street GP Dr Tatiana Lapa agrees that it’s extremely hard to spot that they’re even carrying a baby.
‘If you didn’t know they were pregnant, you probably would not guess it. You can just about make out a slight curve to the bump underneath the loose clothes,’ she said.
And she believes the pressure of maintaining their career fuels the desire for a barely there bump.
‘There are lots of benefits to keeping the baby bump from view,’ she said. ‘It enables these celebs to continue work such as filming and photoshoots.
‘A seemingly unchanging physique can also help minimise the scrutiny of the media.
‘Also, avoiding excess weight gain during pregnancy means they have less to lose after the baby is born.’
Dr Lapa is concerned about the influence on ordinary expectant mums who might be feeling the pressure to maintain a certain shape despite the body’s natural changes.
‘I try to ensure women focus on health and fitness rather than absolute measures of weight,’ she said.
‘The fact is, you’re likely to be eating more, exercising less and retaining more water.
‘The scales are probably going to be showing an increase and that is totally normal and healthy.
Behavioural Psychologist Jo Hemmings who works with Bio-Oil agrees that it’s dangerous for women to try to exert too much control over their shape during pregnancy.
‘Most of us are used to seeing celebrities seemingly ping back into shape post-birth and it is concerning that ‘no bump’ pregnancy is the next trend to emerge,’ she said.
‘Women’s bodies will change shapes in different ways during and post-pregnancy; going to excessive lengths trying to maintain and/or change your shape during pregnancy comes with risks.
‘Some celebrities may choose to hide their growing baby bumps with clothing or accessories, while there will be others maintaining a strict diet and exercise regime while pregnant.
‘It is however vital that we remember to eat healthily during this delicate time. I believe we should be encouraging women to embrace and be proud of their baby bumps; it’s a sign that your body is doing an amazing thing.
‘Any added pressure to return to “normal” can have a negative effect on expectant and new mums and how they feel about their bodies.’