19 Photos Of Pregnant Women That Should Be Banned From The Internet

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Stock footage rarely represents reality. I mean, who smiles while eating a salad with no dressing or croutons? Nobody. Also, why is everyone wearing white? Seriously, I can’t wear white for more than five minutes without spilling something on me. Pregnancy stock images are the worst offenders. In fact, in my opinion, some stock photos of pregnant women should be banned from the internet immediately.

The other day I realized that I only had one picture of me pregnant with my second child. Then I remembered why. My pregnancy was terrible. I had hyperemesis gravidarum, which meant I was vomiting for months. When it seemed to calm down I started to bloat until I was induced for preeclampsia at 37 weeks. I didn’t want to remember my pregnancy, and the last thing I wanted was a picture of me miserable and unhappy. However, I sincerely regret it.

This time around, I made a point of taking and posing for a ton of photos. I wanted to document every minute, from the bad days when I couldn’t keep food down, to the last moments of calm before the storm. My husband captured footage of my first moments with our son who I will treasure forever. I wanted to document what the pregnancy really looked like, not the way it’s portrayed in the media or in ridiculous stock photos.

Most pregnant women don’t have a perfectly smooth, round, airbrushed belly without stretch marks, veins, rashes or dry skin. These images of perfection leave most expectant mothers thinking they’re wrong. Another note to make? Pregnant women have faces. We are not just pregnant torsos, or vessels to objectify. When stock footage includes faces, they typically express one of three emotions: happy, sad, or angry. Which pisses me off, because most pregnant women go through a ton of emotions, and we absolutely don’t need more images of irrational, angry women on the internet. Some seem to fetishize pregnant women in weird ways, portraying a pregnant woman as the innocent angel or the devil in the bedroom, literally.

Honestly, most stock images leave me wondering if they’ve ever seen someone pregnant in real life. They should seriously be banned. For real.

The one with the smooth belly

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I think I had about five minutes of a smooth, flawless belly when I was pregnant with my first baby. Pregnant women’s bodies are amazing, but they don’t always look perfect, and the last thing pregnant women need are body image issues.

The pregnant woman doing yoga

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If you search the internet, you will find millions of pictures of pregnant women doing yoga. Inspirational, right? Not really. They always have perfect bodies and sometimes even do poses that are contraindicated for pregnancy. Do not mistake yourself. I love yoga. I taught yoga until my eighth month of pregnancy, I’m so sick of images of the “right way” to be pregnant.

The odd one with lots of tulle

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I think pregnancy can be a sensual and sexual experience. I loved Beyoncé’s maternity photoshoot. It was amazing because it was her perfectly. Why do so many stock photos seek to create a generic image of pregnant sex that involves massive amounts of tulle?

That of a pregnant woman’s body without a head

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Why do so few photos of pregnant women have heads? I know people are worried about losing part of their identity when they have kids, but do they really have to make pregnant women look literally all belly, with no identity other than being a pregnant person?

That of the pregnant woman sitting on the ground

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Why is she sitting on the cold floor in lingerie (which is, of course, white)? Someone get this woman a chair and a blanket.

The one that vaguely shames those of us who ate shit during our pregnancies

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When I was pregnant, there were days when I couldn’t remember anything but Sour Patch Kids and pickle chips. Yet everywhere I turned there were images of healthy pregnant women, smiling while wearing white and eating a plain salad. Where are the stains on his shirt? I always had food stains on my breasts or bump. How is her kitchen so clean? Pregnancy is exhausting. She must have a housekeeper. (Or, you know, not exist in the real world.)

The one with the pregnant body in a field of flowers

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It’s like they know me. To joke. I never, not once, lay in a field of flowers (and insects) during my pregnancy. Also, where the hell is she head?

The one where the doctor examines the pregnant person fully clothed and standing

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That’s not how it works. Stock images from medical providers often include things that no OB-GYN or midwife has ever done in one of my prenatal appointments.

The one with a guy doing something weirdly sexual

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I fully support the expression of sexuality during pregnancy, and I think sex during pregnancy is truly amazing. However, it just looks scary. As if he owned her or her baby or wanted to kiss himself with her pregnant belly. Why?

The one where she looks like a contortionist

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Umm, my body doesn’t work that way, pregnant or not. Also, this massage does not look relaxing at all.

The one they use to shame pregnant women for drinking a glass of wine

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If your doctor tells you, drinking a glass of wine while pregnant is perfectly fine. There is no evidence that a glass of wine will harm your baby. Don’t let random photos on the internet put you to shame.

The one with a pregnant person who suffers at her desk

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What’s going on here? Is she in labour, sad or just passing gas? Did she mistakenly google pregnancy symptoms? Either way, it’s so overwhelming that she forgot to turn on her computer. Or maybe she has a pregnancy brain?

The one with the baby

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I’m so confused. What is happening here? Is she pregnant? Did she just have this baby? That would make sense, because you still look pregnant after giving birth.

The one with the pregnant person stuffing their face

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She grows a human, so she can have cake without mocking (or using her bare hands).

The one where the pregnant person works while their partner is seated

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This one is driving me crazy. Why is he sitting there, when she does all the work?

The one where she’s emotional

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The last thing we need is another image to reinforce the stereotypes that pregnant women are hormonal and emotional. It’s so condescending.

The one with the bow

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Maybe it’s because you can’t see her belly button (or maybe she doesn’t have a belly button, because she’s an alien), but this one freaks me out.

That of the serene woman in labor

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Having been in labor three times, there’s no way this actually represents a mom-to-be in labor. Where are the fluids? She smiles. Why is she smiling? Where’s his epidural? Seriously.

If she’s just in the hospital for a check-up, she’s likely to be worried, not calm.

The one where a pregnant woman rides a broom

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I have no explanation for that. Are they trying to be funny or sexual? I don’t understand. Why is she riding a broomstick? Why does she wear lingerie? The strangest thing is that it is one of many stock photos of a pregnant woman on a broom. What do you need a stock image like this for? If you understand it, let me know.

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