Duchess Kate Middleton, now about six months pregnant, has been criticized for being "too thin" during pregnancy- but what is the real reason why she is barely showing? At the same time reality star Kim Kardashian has been criticized for gaining too much weight. The question- why are Americans so critical of pregnant women?
"During my first pregnancy, I was a magnet for unsolicited advice," one young mother wrote in Parenting Magazine while she was expecting her first child.
Kate Middleton and Kim Kardashian, despite leading very different lives, can likely sympathize. Both first time mothers are expecting their babies sometime in July. Both have also been at the center of criticism in the media when it comes to their weight.
"Whenever pregnancy becomes difficult for me, I try to remember it could be worse. By worse, I mean I could be pregnant and in the limelight," Jenni Buckley wrote in a BabyCenter blog.
New moms have a lot to look forward to: shopping for baby clothes, first time showers, the miracle of birth, and the onslaught of unwanted advice and criticism. It also seems that they can't do anything right.
Kate Middleton has been criticized for being "too thin" for a woman who is six months pregnant. Some have even suggested that the Duchess is a "mommyrexic." But Middleton's barely noticeable weight gain could be perfectly normal and have more to do with her mother Carole than a poor diet.
"Carole didn't show for a long time," a source told Us Magazine. "She wore nonmaternity clothes right up until the final weeks. So it was no surprise to the family when Kate stayed little."
Kim Kardashian appears to have the opposite problem. Tabloids have frequently criticized the star for "gaining too much weight" during her pregnancy. One tabloid even accuses the reality star of "purposely gaining as much weight as possible to try and secure a lucrative weight-loss deal."
But weight gain during pregnancy is a completely individual experience, according to BabyCenter.com. The amount of weight a woman gains is based on the BMI index, which accounts for a woman's height and body type.
"I think that women should support each other, especially through pregnancy," Gwyneth, 40, told ET Online in April. "It's a difficult time, and I think Kim Kardashian looks absolutely beautiful. And we're supposed to gain weight when pregnant, that's how God intended it."
Sometimes, people don't mean to criticize at all. Instead, they offer some "advice." It isn't well always well-received, however.
"I hate when people tell me to be careful how much weight I gain because 'it will be that much more to lose after the baby,'" one women noted on the What to Expect When Expecting blog. "I am not stupid people, I am well aware."
And experts agree, that gaining weight is not necessarily something that pregnant women should have to be worrying about as long as they are eating healthy.
"This is one of the few times in life when gaining weight is a good thing," What to Expect noted.
For one woman, enough is enough.
"I walk into stores and people constantly say, 'Wow, you look like you're about to deliver any moment,'" Kristin Hammack, who is now 8 months pregnant, told The Christian Post.
"One day, I might just grab my stomach and scream in pain, and say 'Oh my gosh, I think he's coming now!' and when they start panicking, smile and say 'false alarm,'" she said. "There would be a shrug of shoulders too."