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Sep 2 2011

You Need Help, Not New Panties

By at 10:18 am

I’m absolutely stunned. Again!

Yet another example of the commercialization and commodification of the pregnant or nursing mom. Doulas, lactation experts, birthing balls, more milk pumps than on a cattle farm, sleep experts, devices, apparatuses and accessories that you can’t possibly do without (we did without) or the kid will be disadvantaged. Experts and equipment for the consumer society ad nauseum (as if you weren’t nauseous enough.)

And now–yet another idea to make money exploiting the already fragile and vulnerable new mother.

TA DUM! You have to look and feel sexy, too! Right NOW!

Thursday’s New York Times reported on sexy lingerie for nursing mothers. It’s all about “celebrating the sexy woman inside the loving mother… I love being a mother but lingerie is not for a mother. It’s for a woman” (!!!!!), says the marketing director of a company selling “unapologetically provocative maternity bras.”

A founder of a competing company says, “As soon as you have the baby, nobody looks at you anymore. This is to treat yourself.” How many appalling things can you find in these remarks?

I get that women like nice underwear but, let’s face it, if your sense of femininity depends on your bra, you’re in big trouble. If your sense of self depends on a thong, as revealed in the quote, “I had reached a point that I’d almost forgotten who I was as a woman” you need help, not new panties.

The reporter worked hard to frame the issue of matronly bras vs. glamorous lingerie in terms of giving the new mom a lift (my pun intended.) But I don’t buy it (and wouldn’t). I think these products are marketed to imply that a new mom, a very tired, stressed new mom, should also feel sexy and be sexy.

That is just too much to ask.

Please, unless you really love nice underwear, resist the expensive, designer nursing  bra which will be stretched out and stained exactly the way the more demure styles are. Boycott people and products making money manipulating the confidence of a group of young women who already expect so much of themselves, trying to juggle their many obligations. Any good bra will support those lactating breasts. The rest of us need to support you emotionally, not undermine (underwire?) you with unrealistic expectations.

When my daughters were pregnant, I warned them that for a while they will think that they would never want to have sex again. That they will feel guilty about “not being in the mood” or falling asleep before they “accommodated” their husbands. Most new moms have at least the passing question of how they will have another baby without sex. It just seems like another thing you have to do, another leaking fluid and another person making demands on your body.

Someone told me that when she got pregnant, she told her husband that until she weaned the baby, he was on his own. I think she was only half kidding.

Ladies, if you haven’t already discovered by now, I assure you that feeling does eventually pass.

And if you buy the underwear, I hope you have more fun taking it off than putting it on.


Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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