Is this really what pregnancy looks like?

"Breastfeeding never looked so good!" ... from Mother and Child website
"Breastfeeding never looked so good!" ... from Mother and Child website 

There are some major flaws in the pregnancy process. That whole miracle-of-life thing may kick in after the adrenaline rush and exhaustion of expelling the bub in the maternity ward. But in the meantime, many women want to run as far away from every mirror possible.

Because, in these mirrors, a lot of women will see this: a woman they've never met before, who appears overweight, double-chinned, puffy-faced, top heavy and really, really cranky.

And so, after weeks of avoiding the bleeding obvious and finally admitting they can no longer fit into their jeans, they will type - with great reluctance - the words "maternity clothing" into an online search engine.

Bonds maternity trackpants at One On The Way
Bonds maternity trackpants at One On The Way 

Which is just about when they graduate from cranky to uncontrollable weeping.

Because when a wrinkle-free girl with skinny arms, legs and waist - who looks about 16 years old - is modelling a breastfeeding dress, that image in your mirror goes from depressing to horrific.

Oh, and look. This is one of my personal favourites: maternity briefs for women, modelled by women with stomachs so flat you could use them as a spirit level. Let's not even stick a cushion in there to pretend there might be a baby present.

In the same vein, thank you Bonds and One on the Way online for this little morale-lifting image of a maternity trackpant for the mythical flat-tummied pregnant woman. And again here - and I particularly like how these undies that sit flush against the model's taut tummy are singled out for their "unique v-shaped waist that sits perfectly under your bump".

Of course, not all maternity wear websites are cruel enough to advertise their wares with size-6 teens without a pregnancy hormone within cooee of their uterus.

Some appear to hire genuinely pregnant models looking healthy and carrying enough flesh on their bones to be safely diverting some to the growing life form inside. These women - shock, horror! - have the added bonus of demonstrating how the advertised clothes might actually look on a pregnant lady.


Because it is no longer 1930 and, these days, women are more likely to have their first child in their early 30s than their early 20s or teens. In that context, serial offenders Mamaway seem somewhat out of touch.

They advertise Disney Princess maternity T-shirts using a model who could, at a stretch, pass as my teenage daughter. Thanks for that.

But perhaps even worse than that is the Mother and Child site. One dominating homepage image features a stick-thin young'un poised uncomfortably in high heels on concrete steps, under the tag "Breastfeeding Never Looked So Good!".

Disney Princess "Maternity & Breastfeeding T shirt" from Mamaway
Disney Princess "Maternity & Breastfeeding T shirt" from Mamaway 

A little further into the website, another patently not pregnant model reminds you just how revolting you truly are for eating a healthy dinner.

The experts tell us it's normal to gain between 10 and 13kg during pregnancy, and that I should be eating some kind of feast 10 times a day to feed the hungry foetus. It seems Mother and Child really has some reading to do.

I get the sad and unfortunate truth of the fashion industry; it will mostly peddle a world devoid of cellulite and varicose veins. But do you reckon they could cut us ladies some slack just for those months we spend bent over the toilet bowl while simultaneously craving every carbohydrate under the sun?

This article first appeared on Daily Life.