Tag Archive | Body

Where’s the big belly? It’s disappeared

Free translation of a report published in Veja magazine (Brazil), under “Beauty”

"Where's the big belly? It's disappeared

Where’s the big belly? It’s disappeared

Getting slim quickly is a dream of pregnant women – but an exaggeration is not necessary

Is there a pregnant woman who doesn’t dream about the moment of going back to wearing the “before” clothes and getting her body back after giving birth? It’s a perfectly natural desire, as long as it doesn’t become a unique and a no-parameter concern.

“Ten years ago, a fat woman breastfeeding was seen as healthy. For six weeks after the birth, nothing was demanded from a woman, even beauty. She used to stay there, “hatching”, Wladimir Taborda, the Gynecology and Obstetrics coordinator of the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo (Brazil), says. “It’s different nowadays. Six hours after the birth, women are already walking. In the next day, the beautification process starts”, he complements. There’s no lack of examples – bad examples. […] Actresses, singers and models, that are already esthetically privileged, leave the maternity with their bodies virtually back to form.

For a new mother, it’s not easy (or recommended) to follow those examples, those exaggerations committed by the stars. “The celebrities reach the desired result with the help of a specialized team (that includes nannies, personal trainers and nutritionists). The majority of women don’t have the time or the professionals required for that effort”, the obstetrician Yehudi Gordon, who took care of the ex-models Jerry Hall (the mother of Mick Jagger’s 4 children), and Elle MacPherson (who has 2 boys), warns.

[…] “Sixty years ago, pregnant women had gained weight without any control, and it had been seen as cute. Nowadays, when we see a fat pregnant woman, the first thing that we think is: she isn’t taking care of herself”, the gynecologist Rubens Paulo Gonçalves, the author of “Pregnancy for pregnant women”, comments.


Subtitle of the photos of Kate Hudson:

Kate, still enormous 26 days after giving birth, and then three months later: goodbye to 30 kilos with a strict diet and a lot of gymnastics.


The report brings a big paradox: although it classifies as an exaggeration what celebrities do to get thin after giving birth and though it intends to emphasize health and not shape, it brings citations of gynecologists and a lot of expressions that strongly disqualify the bodies of pregnant women during the postpartum period. At the same time, it uses many eulogist words to those who auto impose the goal of returning to their good physical shapes:

Pregnant women, according to the report Goals, according to the report
Big Belly Beautification
Fat Excellent physical shape
“Hatching” Small body
Enormous Tall, thin and pretty
Immense Perfect shape
They had gained weight without any control Slimness and glamour
They didn’t take care of themselves Splendorous
Fat-belly woman Beautiful figure


You can also see:

Where’s the big belly? Marusia speaks

This post in Portuguese: Cadê o barrigão? Sumiu

Where’s the big belly? Marusia speaks

It’s curious: all the gynecologists mentioned in the report “Where’s the big belly?” are men. What caught my attention above all else was this statement:

“Ten years ago, a fat woman breastfeeding was seen as healthy. For six weeks after the birth, nothing was demanded from a woman, even beauty. She used to stay there, ‘hatching’ “, Wladimir Taborda, the Gynecology and Obstetrics coordinator of the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo (Brazil), says.

He talks as if taking care of a new-born is “nothing”. Well, what nature spent 9 months to do is not undone in the next day. And it’s impressive how returning to being in shape at any cost is becoming a real obsession for both the celebrities and mortal women.

Respect your body, your rhythm, your health and your welfare. And, to those who say the opposite, tell them to go “hatch” a coconut (by the way, coconut water is very good for women in the postpartum period).


You can also see:

Where’s the big belly? It’s disappeared

This post in Portuguese: Cadê o barrigão? Marusia fala

Only mothers are happy – Analysis

 Free translation of an article published in “Crescer” magazine, nº 138, on May 2005 (Brazil)

"Only mothers are happy"

 Ten reasons why we become much better after our kids are born (Malu Echeverria)

Forget sleepless nights, the guilt of leaving your kids at home to go work, the lack of time for taking care of yourself. Ignore the credit card account, the mess around the house, the being tired. At least for some moments, stop demanding too much from yourself for not being a perfect mother. On Mother’s Day, enjoy the happy moments brought by motherhood. […]

1. You get new friends

At the school entrance, in parental meetings and in children parties, you meet the parents of your kids’ friends. They become your friends, too, increasing and diversifying your network. After all, there’s no lack of things in common.

2. You become a healthy person

Even those who don’t like walking, after becoming mothers, find how much riding a bike or playing with a ball is cool. The concern is pertinent: you want to be well in order to see your kid growing up.

3. Your time becomes more productive

“The capacity that women have to think and do a lot of things at the same time is increased after motherhood, because the demands also increase”, the psychoanalyst Ana Paula Pires explains. Have you ever imagined that you would manage to dress, talk on the phone and carry a baby, everything at the same time? […]

4. You are powerful

You find that your body has a nobler mission than only enchanting men […]. The discovery that your body is able to create a human being really gives you a sensation of power.

5. You want a better world

As all of good mothers, you want the planet to be a better place for living.

6. You find you are a well of patience

You ignore child’s in-public-fits, the complaints at bath time, the crying in the early morning. “When we are in love, we bear almost everything […]”, the family therapist Marília de Freitas Pereira compares.

7. The choosiness is let go

[…] Nowadays, if a problem appears (yes, you don’t look for it anymore!), soon you find a solution and that’s it!

8. You feel the greatest love

The love that exists in the relationship with children compensates any difficulty […].

9. Other talents arise

Maybe you had some abilities before being a mother. But, certainly, you have never used them with so much pleasure as you do nowadays. […]

10. You go back to playing

The psychoanalyst Ana Paula sums up why being a mother is so good: “Motherhood brings a lighter way of living.” Enjoy!


At first sight, this report is an acknowledgement: see all the happiness that is a privilege only to mothers!

At second sight, this report is a eulogy: be proud for all the qualities that only motherhood gives.

At third sight, this article is an invitation: be conscious of all the wonders that are within mothers’ reach and enjoy them.

At fourth sight, it’s a consolation (or a reprehension): problems are irrelevant in face of so many gifts that mothers receive!

Although, there is a fifth truth: the acknowledgement, the eulogy, the invitation to pleasure and the consolation are presented under so many conditions, that in the end the homage becomes an obligation. And every imposition can become guilt.

Reasons to be happy, according to the report: Conditions presented on this report:
Only mothers are happy If you aren’t happy, you are not a good mother
At least for some moments, stop demanding from yourself for not being a perfect mother After these moments, you can go back to demanding from yourself. A list follows:
New friends If you don’t become a friend of the parents of your kids’ friends, you are not a good mother
A more productive time If you cannot dress, talk on the phone and carry the baby at the same time, you are not a good mother
Power Women’s bodies are only good for men [!!!] and, after them, for children. The report discards everything that a woman can access by her own body as an extension of her individual consciousness
A better world If you don’t get involved in ecology, Human Rights and World Peace, you are not a good mother
Well of patience If you don’t have more than enough patience with children’s fits, complaints and crying, you are not a good mother. If you don’t bear everything, you are not in love with your kids
No choosiness If you don’t find a solution for the problems soon, you are choosy and you don’t prioritize what really matters – the children
The greatest love If the unlimited love doesn’t show up at first sight, you are not a good mother
New talents If you aren’t creative, you are not a good mother
Playing If you didn’t go back to playing and if you don’t lead a lighter kind of life, you are not a good mother

 The whole text is written in the Present Tense: you do, you become, you define, you find, you want, take, feel, believe, you are. This affirmative approach, with the testimonies and photos of six mothers delighted with their children and the comments of four psychologists, contributes to reinforce that “being happy” is not a realization. It’s a duty for mothers.


You can also see:

Only mothers are happy – Marusia speaks

This post in Portuguese: Só as mães são felizes

The first baby adventure – analysis

The following texts are a free translation of parts of a report, originally published in Claudia Magazine, number 5, year 42, on May 2003, Abril Publishing Company, Brazil

 The apartment of the Brazilian producer Priscila Borgonovi (24 years old) and the actor Fabio Assunção, 31, reveals who is the king of this space. In the entrance hall, there is a poster with this message: “Welcome, João”, which was put up by the godparents of the baby, who was born on January 21st, in São Paulo [Brazil].

“On the day after the birth, I woke up calm. I was feeling everything was different and I was seeing things differently, as I was turning into a mother.”

The truth is: the newborn baby contributes, like no other baby does, for the family’s peace. He doesn’t have colics, he only cries when he is hungry, he has not choked or scared the proud mother yet, and sleeps tight straight through the night. “The last time I breastfeed him every day is at midnight, so he only wakes up at six in the morning. Even sleeping less that I would like to, I can rest just fine”, Priscila reveals. She is conscious she is privileged. “He’s calm, strong, gives us security. He’s never made us stay awake at night.”

When she was pregnant, she led a normal life: she did hydro gym up until the seventh month and worked until close to the delivery. “I felt great, beautiful, loved, with a great energy”. So, she managed to beat thefear of the natural birth. “It went fine, in spite of the five hours at labour, and the induction, due to the water breaking. At that moment, I did three pushes, and João was born, in four minutes.”

Fabio watched the birth and also was deeply moved. “I felt like in a trance, as if not knowing where I was. How can such a normal event be so extraordinary? You try to see yourself in the baby and you can’t… he is another new, unique person. It’s beautiful to see the mix of yourself with the woman you love.”

Slowly, Priscila had established a new routine. […] But slowly everything is returning to its axis. “We were once again in contact with the world, with the normal life […] and recovering our libido, too. It’s important and amazing to feel beautiful and like a woman again, to remember how it is to be with your husband.”

[…] When the baby completed one month, she had lost all the weight she had gained during her pregnancy, and soon was fitting into tight pants and jeans. At 1,75 metro high, she weighs now 53 kilos. “Less than before”, she affirms, proudly.

Fabio agrees that the couple’s life changed a lot, but not as people used to say. “Everybody used to say: ‘you know, man, when the baby is born, your life will end, etc, etc.’ João didn’t limit us in anyway, he opened a new way.” A great father, the actor changes diapers, gives the baby baths, helps in everything and loves being with his son.

The analysis

According to the text, we can elaborate a list of things that contribute to a happy motherhood start:

  1. A secure and calm mother;
  2. A baby that doesn’t cry, doesn’t have colics, nurses well and sleeps tight straight through the night;
  3. A calm pregnancy, with the mother working, going to hydro gym classes and feeling beautiful and loved;
  4. A natural and calm delivery;
  5. A father who’s always there;
  6. A life returning to its axis;
  7. The return of the libido;
  8. A quick return to being in shape.


You can also see:

The first baby adventure – Marusia speaks

This post in Portuguese: A aventura do primeiro bebê

The first baby adventure – Marusia speaks

My first son was born the same day João was: January 21st, 2003. But my “first baby adventure” was totally different. When I tried to mark the items on the “check-list” presented in the analysis of this report, four months later (the report was published in May 2003), I almost died:

  1. A little edgy and exhausted mother;
  2. A baby who cries, nurses every and each hour and doesn’t sleep all night long;
  3. An apprehensive pregnancy, morning (and afternoon, and evening, and night and early morning) sickness, but even then feeling beautiful and loved;
  4. A terrible C-section and even more terrible postpartum;
  5. A father who’s always there;
  6. A life very distant from its axis;
  7. Libido?
  8. Shape?

Although it could be worse, you know? Can you imagine “none of the above”…?

And this horoscope thing is also flexible: how can two babies with the very same birthday be so different from each other? Well, the report hadn’t mentioned the exact time of João’s birth; perhaps it is a matter of ascendant astral sign, with the Moon who knows where…

Jokes apart, fortunately, I slowly had realized that trying to compare or reproduce these examples was a crazy idea. Examples, by the way, that I had begun to recognize in other reports, in other magazines… Then, the will to research this subject arised, with a need to “unstress”: everybody, on to “the Unstressing Manifesto”!


You can also see:

The first baby adventure – analysis

This post in Portuguese: A aventura do primeiro bebê – Marusia fala