Pound for pound, pregnancy bullying hurting moms - KMSP-TV

Pound for pound, pregnancy bullying hurting moms

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They claim she's "fat." They say she's gained at least 65 pounds. The national celebrity magazines are talking about reality TV star Kim Kardashian – who is due to deliver her and Kanye West's baby girl.

But, those same magazines are chiding other celebrities, like Britain's Princess Kate, for not gaining enough weight during their pregnancy.

Is this kind of scrutiny really healthy? The FOX Medical Team's Beth Galvin took a closer look and here's what she learned. Here in Atlanta, a counselor who specializes in eating disorders says there's worry that pregnant women are getting the message that they can't afford to gain a lot of weight during the pregnancy.

Pregnant with baby number three, Whitney Hudson says, "There are times when you step on the scale and you have to just try not to pay too much attention to it. You have to try not to pay attention to the fact that even your maternity shirts aren't fitting."

Hudson says she 's seen the magazines tracking Kardashian's pregnancy weight and following it up with asking if she's getting a little too big.

"I don't know how much weight she's gained," Hudson said. "She was not a skinny girl to start with, and it could be perfectly normal for her, but it's not our business.  It's the business between her and her doctor."

Jennifer Harcourt, a license professional counselor and site director, said, "I think everybody has an idea of what a pregnant woman should look like. How much weight they should gain, how much they shouldn't gain.  And, unfortunately that's not always realistic or attainable."

Harcourt works at the Renfrew Center in Atlanta and said pregnancy weight gain can be tricky for women struggling with an eating disorder or a distorted body image.

"And, I think with pregnancy we have to help people understand that your body is going to naturally change.  And weight is a natural consequence of being pregnant," Harcourt said.

Hudson says she made peace with a few extra pounds.  

She said,  "You have to keep your eyes on the prize.  And you have to remember that it can come off, you will lose the weight, you will be healthy. And all of this is with the goal of creating another person, who will be healthy."

Harcourt added that the frenzy of news coverage surrounding Kardashian's weight could be seen as a form of bullying or fat-shaming. But, she says it does get people talking about what's healthy weight gain during a pregnancy and what is not.

It can also help re-focus or diffuse the unfair and unrealistic expectations that we might be placing on pregnant women.

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