I was a teen in 1950’s.  Were You Around In the 1940s 50s and 60s? If So, Did you see many pregnant tummies being shown off on the street or in a restaurant or at an event, etc?

When I was carrying my wonderful son, David, in 1968, which isn’t really that long ago, I remember spending a lot of my dressing time making sure you couldn’t tell I was pregnant. I wasn’t doing this because I’m interested in dressing well, which I am. I wasn’t doing this because I craved looking thin, which I did. It was because it would have been considered a horrendous breach of social and moral etiquette to, in any way, allow a viewer to catch a glimpse of my protruding, pregnant tummy! It would have been as though I was announcing to the world that I’d had sex with a man – even if the man in question was my lawful husband!  I was thrilled to be pregnant. I’d been dreaming about it and waiting, not so patiently, through four years of marriage. Yet, I felt I would be acting in a highly immoral way if my clothing revealed the lightest bit of protrusion. I wasn’t allowed to SAY YES to my pregnant body!

These days, right in the heart of New York City’s most fashionable sections, you can see lovely young (and not so young) pregnant females happily displaying their huge rounded tummies for the world to enjoy.  They might be wearing light jersey stretch pants that are so thin that their enlarged belly buttons protrude from their pants as they happily jaunt down the avenue.  Some may be wheeling an older child in a stroller.

These ladies warm my heart. I see them as “ladies” today.  I think I always saw being pregnant as wonderful and I didn’t have a problem seeing my stomach expand. I didn’t see anything evil or disgusting about a pregnant stomach. I feel blessed that my mother would let me touch her belly when she was pregnant with my baby sister. I will say that out in the street my mother would wear a wide skirt to hide the pregnancy.

I felt lucky  the “Tent Dress” was in fashion when I was pregnant.  I didn’t have to wear what they sold in the “Maternity Shop”. In the first five or six years after I graduated from college, pregnant friends had to by their clothes in the Maternity Shop. Even though Woodstock changed many American minds, these attitudes prevail. While there are still Maternity Shops I don’t think they exist so much to “hide” the pregnancy as to find clothes that fit comfortably and healthfully.  A woman can now say YES to her body when she’s pregnant.

I recently realized that many of the changes in our society have been positive changes. I hear so many people complaining about how awful the world is becoming. I’m learning that “change” most often arouses fear in people. In fact, many changes are for the better  – it just seems difficult when we’re going through the process. Technology, for example, is daunting to many. However, think of living with an icebox and not a refrigerator!  At the beginning the refrigerator frightened my grandmother.  I think we’ll find computer technology a great help once we get used to each change.  I’m thrilled about the change in our county’s attitude about a woman saying YES to her pregnant body!