The BBG creator said a brand recently sent her high-waisted clothing to help "cover" her "mum tum."

By Faith Brar
May 22, 2020
Kayla Itsines
Credit: Kayla Itsines

When Kayla Itsines gave birth to her daughter Arna a little over a year ago, she made it clear that she didn't plan on becoming a mommy blogger. However, on occasion, the BBG creator uses her platform to start conversations about the challenges women face after giving birth. Not only has she been vulnerable about her postpartum recovery, but she's also been candid about how difficult it was to regain strength in her workouts. In fact, it was her own postpartum experience that inspired Itsines to create her BBG Post-Pregnancy Program to help other women in the same boat.

Now, the 29-year-old fitness phenomenon is opening up about another aspect of #momlife: the body-shaming that often comes with postpartum recovery.

In an Instagram post, Itsines recalled a recent experience wherein a fashion brand gifted her high-waisted swimwear and workout pants. "I was initially like, what a nice gift," she wrote in her post. "[Then], I read the note that came with the package: 'These are great for covering your mum tum'." (P.S. It's Normal to Still Look Pregnant After Giving Birth)

Itsines emphasized in her post that she has nothing against high-waisted clothing in general—again, she said she was initially excited to receive the gift. It was the note, and its suggestion that she should use the clothing to "cover" her postpartum body, that made her uncomfortable, shared Itsines. "Even if the person who sent me those clothes didn't realize it, telling women they should hide any part of their body is not an empowering message, and it's not something I agree with at all," she wrote. "It is running on the assumption we should be shying away from the way our body looks, especially after pregnancy. " (Related: This Mom of IVF Triplets Shares Why She Loves Her Postpartum Body)

Itsines continued by reminding new moms that no matter what their shape or size, their bodies deserve to be celebrated, not concealed. "There's no such thing as a 'mum tum'," she wrote. "It's just a stomach and it doesn't need to be covered and hidden away because you've LITERALLY CREATED AND GIVEN BIRTH TO A HUMAN."

Itsines didn't name the company that sent her the clothing, but she was firm in saying she will "not support anyone that spreads this kind of message." (Related: CrossFit Mom Revie Jane Schulz Wants You to Love Your Postpartum Body Just As It Is)

FWIW, there are brands that not only empower women's postpartum bodies but also show the messy parts that come with childbirth and being a new parent. Case in point: Frida Mom, a company that creates products to serve postpartum needs, has used its ad campaigns to show realistic portrayals of postpartum life and start honest conversations about post-childbirth experiences. ICYMI, a Frida Mom commercial was allegedly banned from airing during the 2020 Oscars because these portrayals were deemed "graphic." So clearly, as Itsines noted in her post, some people still aren't comfortable simply accepting postpartum bodies as they are. (Related: Why This Fitness Influencer Accepts That Her Body Hasn't Bounced Back Seven Months After Pregnancy)

Bottom line: The last piece of advice any new parent deserves to hear is how to "cover" the exact parts of their body that brought life into this world. As Itsines said: "We should never feel like we have to hide a part of our body (especially a stomach that has grown a baby inside it). I want my daughter to grow up in a world where she never feels pressure to look a certain way.⁣"


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