Contented Cow? Or Psycho-Bitch-from-Hell?

Today’s guest blog is from Kate Evans, author of a new book ‘Bump: How to make, grow and birth a baby’ in which she writes about the changes women go through in pregnancy. We’re delighted to have 5 copies of ‘Bump’ to giveaway. Scroll down to find out how to enter.

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Contented Cow? Or Psycho-Bitch-from-Hell?

I had no idea, when I got pregnant, how different I would feel. I spent my time cocooned
in a Zen-like fug of warm fuzzy feelings, which would be punctured at random intervals by
spikes of rage or outbursts of weeping. Why did nobody warn me? More to the point, why
did no-one warn my partner? I’m sure there must have been times when he was seriously
alarmed that the woman he was starting a family with now bore very little resemblance to the one that he’d originally fallen in love with.

So, when I came to write a book for pregnant women, should I take the opportunity to
explain that pregnancy can make women feel slightly bonkers? I had a dilemma here. We
live in a sexist world. Women have traditionally been typecast as ‘over emotional’. Did I really want to write about something that justified that stereotype?

Then I thought about it some more. It’s worth pointing out that whatever hormones have
prompted women to do, we haven’t been the ones who have gone around starting wars and
building concentration camps. On the evidence, testosterone is far more toxic to humankind than oestrogen. And when I analysed the personality changes that some (not all!) pregnant women are prey to, I realised that there are are rational evolutionary reasons for each one.

image from Bump: how to make, grow and birth a baby

image from Bump: how to make, grow and birth a baby

1. Feeling incredibly chilled-out and mildly stoned. Pregnant women enjoy a lovely mix of prolactin and oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. These hormones are also released after orgasm – that’s how good they feel. It’s a cunning stunt on the part of evolution to drug pregnant women up with feel-good hormones. And, given that birthing and raising a child involves a lot of effort, we deserve this. It’s our bonus!

2. Getting violently angry or upset when hungry. This makes sense. It is extremely
important for the unborn baby to be adequately nourished. Rage is a valuable resource to
make darn sure that the pregnant person, and consequently her baby, gets some dinner.

3. Getting incredibly upset or angry when tired. Since a woman’s energy is being diverted to the creation of another human being, she does tend to get more tired, more quickly than ever before. Becoming tearful at the point of exhaustion is a good warning strategy for mum here, and for the people around her. Ideally, rather than being embarrassed or discomfited by this, they would do something useful for her, to make her life easier. That would be in the best interests of the survival of the species.

4. A newfound interest in babies, or a willingness to tend plants or animals. So, pregnancy hormones might make a woman more nurturing. That’s a good design feature. Well done, God (or whatever deity you prefer).

5. An inability to watch horror films. Sensitivity to the stress hormone cortisol is very different in pregnancy, because it has a direct effect on the developing foetus. Switch over to a gardening programme, girl.

6. A heightened interest in hygiene. Presumably, there has been evolutionary selection in favour of the offspring of pregnant women who washed their hands properly.

7. A nesting instinct. (This tends to kick in in the later months of pregnancy.) Like every mammal, we are biologically driven to prepare a safe place to give birth. Because we are humans, this gets subsumed into deliberations over wallpaper samples.

We are gradually emerging from several hundred years of oppression when women were
only allowed to be mothers, nurses, nannies, cleaners and homemakers. We were regarded
as crazy, oversensitive delicate creatures, unsuited for battle. That’s sexist rubbish. Women are capable of everything men are, plus some, namely, the ability to bear children.

However, we have a way to go with sexual equality. Only women get pregnant. And all
pregnant people are deserving of extra physical and emotional support. They are having
babies for all of us. Think about it. If none of them does, we all die out.

My conclusion is: it’s OK to have mood swings when you’re pregnant. It’s society that’s
crazy, not you.

Bump

We have 5 copies of ‘Bump’ to giveaway. To enter simply leave a comment below and from all comments received by midnight on 30th April we will pick out 5 lucky winners.

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Kate Evans is the author of Bump: How to make, grow and birth a baby, published by Myriad Editions on 17th April and available now on AmazonHer website is cartoonkate.co.uk and she tweets @cartoonkate.

Kate Evans’ unique blend of illustrations and tell-it-like-it-is text guides the reader through the intricacies and complexities of pregnancy and birth. Topics covered include: conception; practical help for those trying to conceive; early pregnancy advice; miscarriage support; anti-natal care; how to prepare for different types of births – home births, hospital births, Caesarian sections; waiting past your due date. 

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33 Responses to Contented Cow? Or Psycho-Bitch-from-Hell?

  1. Vicky says:

    I like the rational approach to this 🙂 my husband should be taking notes. I’m currently pregnant with child number 2 so he should remember what I was like but he seems to have forgotten lol

  2. I am a mum of three boys and at one point they were all under five years old. I can identify with Kate’s conclusion.
    Although I am definitely stopping at three, I love reading books on the subjects of children and parenting.
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and hope I am one of the lucky winners so I can read more of Kate’s work. Thank you.

  3. Liza says:

    Nicely said. Would love to read the book too! 🙂

  4. Heather says:

    I’m currently pregnant and reading the article above makes soooo much sense. I’d love to win a copy to continue reading. I’ve got another 5 months to go so this would help me keep my sanity!

  5. Laila says:

    I would love this book to be part of my local mums group library. Mums from all walks of life attend and this book is perfect for every type of mum

  6. I would love to have a copy of this book specially now when I need it most.

  7. Pip says:

    I’m relating already! 🙂
    I’m living the sequel “feeding, screaming & weaning!” 🙂

  8. Shabana kiani says:

    Love reading about it! Havey first baby hes quite a handful so always gathering knowledge

  9. kirsty says:

    Amazing i was hooked from the start i would love to read the book and with baby number one on the way would help me and my husband loads.

  10. Kirsty Robinson says:

    🙂 would love to win this and would be really helpful for my partner first time dad :D. Defo described me there lol. Would love to read this if 😀 xxx

  11. Colette says:

    Love Kate Evans and her words make so much sense! ‘The food of love’ is my favourite parenting book and looking forward to reading ‘bump!’ Thank you Kate for your fab cartoons and accurate info 🙂 x

  12. nancyboo123 says:

    Perfectly put, as always.

  13. Lisa says:

    I can so identify with this! love Kate’s books, serious subjects tackled with humour.

  14. nicola robinson says:

    Interesting read, love the illustrations too. Pretty much sums up my first pregnancy!

  15. Nia Roberts says:

    Third baby and more mood swings that I ever had the first two times. Thought I was loosing my my mind. Thank you!

  16. Kristal says:

    I am I love with Kate’s other book so cant wait to read this one!

  17. selkiewife says:

    Women need to hear these things…..it’s not excuses for behaviour…..We are not super beings able to carry on normal existence when doing this amazing work of growing another human ……feminist equality for me is about having the space to be who we need to be….and sometimes that’s ‘just a mum’….
    I was proud to be thus…

  18. Gill Marchant says:

    Very helpful explanation about pregnancy hormones. Xx

  19. ” It’s a cunning stunt on the part of evolution to drug pregnant women up with feel-good hormones. And, given that birthing and raising a child involves a lot of effort, we deserve this. It’s our bonus!”
    Love this line!! YES WE DO! xxxx

  20. Hollie Walcott-Smith says:

    I’ve been pregnant 5 times,I have 4 children & I’d love to read this book! Xx

  21. Penny Browne says:

    Have always said that your body knows what it’s doing! Pregnancy mood swings and baby brain will never be looked at the same.. Women rock!

  22. tiniesthobo says:

    I love this post! Gently tongue-in-cheek, yet speaks the truth from the heart. Absolutely love the preview chapter of Bump as well, I found it primal and empowering.

  23. kearastewart says:

    Looks like another fab book drom Myriad! I love comics, especially those that are part autobio in content. As a want-to-be-mama, I’d love a copy of Kate’s book!

  24. kearastewart says:

    Looks like another fab book from Myriad! I love comics, especially those which are part autobio in content. As a want-to-be-mama I’d live to win a copy of Kate’s book!

  25. I love Kate Evens and cannot wait to read this…….if i win please! 🙂

  26. This looks great – the cartoons are fantastic.

  27. Jo carline says:

    Kate you are brilliant! I’ve lent my two copies of the food of love to all my pregnant friends. I’ll have to get a copy of bump to add to my loan library!

  28. Lisa says:

    We’d love a copy of this fascinating & eye-opening book for our local Parenting Library! We already have many copies of Food of Love, they’re never on the shelf for long!

  29. Sophie messager says:

    Love it!

  30. Angie says:

    Love love love Food of Love, so can’t wait to read Kate’s next book!

  31. angelinabeeb says:

    Love love love Food of Love so can’t wait to read Kate’s next book… Hopefully for free!

  32. This reads so funny but very true, this will make an excellent read.

  33. Sally says:

    LOVED the food of love, was so important in the early days with a newborn baby. Now as antenatal teacher I recommend to all expectant friends and parents on my course. Can’t wait to read this next book!

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