Sunday, January 24, 2021

“It’s Funny Because It’s True!” A Pregnancy WTF on “The Office”

October 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Pregnancy

On last night’s episode of “The Office,” Pam faces the ultimate lady conundrum. She wants to look slim and trim in her wedding dress, but she’s also pregnant. And hungry. As she reaches for a doughnut, obnoxious co-worker Ryan chimes in on cue: “You know, it’s a myth that women need to gain more than nine pounds during pregnancy.”

Versions of this scene take place in offices all across America, and anywhere else pregnant women happen to be. There is something about being in the presence of an expectant mom that causes otherwise rational people to say and do inexplicably inane things. And for those who are already lacking in the tact department? Well, their blunders can be downright epic. My co-author Magali Amadei and I heard so many doozies from the women we interviewed, we wrote a whole chapter in Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? on how to deal with them: “The WTF Files: How to Deal With Dumb Comments and Stupid Moves.”

Women face such intense pressure to have the “perfect” pregnancy (including the perfect-sized bump, which of course transforms into the perfectly flat, toned stomach right after childbirth). It certainly doesn’t help that there is an endless parade of colorful characters–The Know-It-Alls, The Judges, The Space Invaders, The Horror Show Oversharers–lining up to question everything from the weight you’ve gained to the food choices you’re making, and to tell you that you’re doing it wrong.

How about you? Were you on the receiving end of any WTF comments or stupid moves during your pregnancy? Have you witnessed any?

Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? is available now in bookstores and online. You can also follow the authors on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.



6 Responses to ““It’s Funny Because It’s True!” A Pregnancy WTF on “The Office””
  1. greenbunny78 says:

    My first pregnancy one of the midwives in the practice said something about not eating ice cream every day (it was summer, and very hot)- which I wasn’t doing, but was her way of commenting on the weight I had gained. I was upset, and my husband was livid- because during our intake I TOLD them I was recovering from anorexia and bulimia.

    It is so weird that everyone seems to think they have license to judge pregnant women on their bodies.

    • clairemysko says:

      Wow, that is a major FAIL. And it especially sucks because you were forthcoming about your eating disorder history–so few women are. A lot of midwives and OBs could use some training on these issues because the fact is that MOST women deal with poor body image, 2/3 have some form disordered eating, and then of course there are patients like yourself who are recovering from diagnosed eating disorders. Cynthia Builk at UNC is doing some interesting work in this area–trying to educate prenatal healthcare providers. We interviewed her for the book.

    • Rebekah says:

      Perhaps I could take the other side for a moment and defend midwives and natural childbirth . . .If you mentioned anything to her at all about your weight being a concern then perhaps her comment wasn’t meant to be personal, it was probably just a general way to say “stay away from sugar.” I have worked with several midwifes, read many books on natural child birth (which midwives are usually advocates of) and talked with many mothers regarding health and nutrition during pregnancy. Gaining weight may not have been her concern at all. She may have a bigger concern about the sugar which is a terrible problem and causes gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Pregnant women have a much higher need for protein. When you aren’t eating enough protein, your body manifests that craving through your “sweet tooth”. This is why it is so hard to eat well, b/c we are always feeling like eating something sweet. Refined sugar is one of the worse things ever for someone to ingest especially pregnant women who are trying to gain healthy weight to support the formation of a new human being! Eat what you want, but be healthy and smart about it. I gained 50 lbs. while pregnant with my first and never felt healthier b/c I was eating all the right things. When my sweet tooth reared its ugly head, I’d eat a couple of hard boiled eggs or some cottage cheese and it went away. Weight gain can be a very good thing for pregnant mammas and their little babies if done right! More people should encourage healthy weight gain in mammas. It also is a lot easier to shed if you don’t gain it the wrong way. Breastfeeding (which is the best option for your child too) also helps your body to naturally get back to the weight you were pre baby.

  2. Katy says:

    What I also find very sad is the pregnant women constantly judging themselves on bodies. In my office is a pregnant woman who has always been quite an exercise freak and obviously is finding it difficult to deal with having a growing stomach. She is constantly bewailing how huge she is, an this started when she didn’t even look pregnant! Is the fat shame in society so great that some women can’t even enjoy a healthy pregnancy without feeling traumatised by growing beyond the coveted size zero? Where are our priorities in life?!

  3. lissa10279 says:

    I’ve never been pregnant but I admit to having fears about “how I’ll be” pregnant (if I’ll look “cute” or “fat”) — those feel like legitimate fears that the media plays into and capitalizes on. In the past, were women concerned with their “cute bumps”? Doubtful. Nor did they rush to lose baby weight … now, it’s like a compeititon. So so sad. And scary. I was away this weekend and didn’t get to check here but Claire, best wishes for your book! So excited and again, can’t wait to read it–hoping to get it this week.

  4. Cait says:

    The other day I saw a t-shirt that said “I’m not fat, I’m pregnant”.


    that was what she wanted the casual observer on the street to know about her? Not that she was so happy to be having this wonderful blessing of a child, but that “omg, I hope no one thinks I’m a fattie!”

    My friend thought it was funny.

    Sometimes I think we’re all doomed.

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