September 1, 2008

Stop Being Narrow-Minded About Pregnancy

Big, Beautiful, & Pregnant: Expert Advice and Comforting Wisdom for the Expecting Plus-Size Woman by Cornelia van der Ziel, MD, and Jacqueline Tourville (Malone & Company, 2006, ISBN: 1-56924-319-0)

This book was written by: Cornelia van der Ziel, an obstetrician specializing in plus-sized and high-risk pregnancy, and Jacqueline Tourvile, who "became pregnant just as her weight reached an all-time high"(p.3).

What is in this book: Solidarity, helping plus-size women to stand together and confront the tyranny of the massless. The authors "interviewed numerous plus-sized women"(p.4) and "throughout this book, you will hear from members of this big, beautiful, and pregnant sisterhood"(p.5) "The sisters are here to share a few stories and tips of their own"(p.8). For example, REBECCA, Age 29, shares the pain she felt "ordering what I always did after a bad day at work—two cheeseburgers, two large French fries, and—ironically—two small diet sodas. I ordered two of everything so it looked like I was just picking up dinner to eat at home with my husband. [....] I was not eating out of extreme hunger. I ate this way to feel numb"(p.118). This book is designed to help women "call on the sisterhood,," the "plus-sized women who blazed the pregnancy trail before you”(p.181).

What is not in this book: Denial. It’s a fact that plus-size women encounter societal and physical difficulties during their pregnancy. "It may seem a trivial issue, but small things like being given a hospital gown that obviously doesn’t fit and then feeling obligated to wear it really does matter to your overall birthing experience(p.196). This book encourages you to be honest with yourself and "Congratulate yourself on doing a great job being pregnant"(p.19). One sister celebrated her pregnant body by making a plaster belly cast and writes that "two years later, my belly cast still hangs prominently on our living room wall"(p.183). The book also notes that while plus-size women may spend more time in labor, "when looked at individually, of course, plus-size experiences vary widely"(p.197). Hee hee. Widely.

Would you recommend this book to Arnold Schwarzenegger? You realize that Junior was only a movie, right? He wasn’t actually pregnant.

Would you recommend this book to Kate Moss? Not unless she has some exceptionally fat ovaries that we don’t know about.

What was interesting about this book: "Belly painting is another fun, creative way to celebrate your pregnant body. With your belly as the canvas, let your partner, friends, or your other children transform your belly into anything from a smiling jack-o’-lantern to a multicolored Easter egg, fish tank, or snow globe"(p.185). Alternatively, one could paint a giant eyeball, the death star, or a tribute to the chestburster from Ridley Scott’s life-affirming story of transition and birth, Alien.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"the tyranny of the massless"
hee hee.

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