Ashley Tisdale on being pregnant: ‘I felt ashamed that I was uncomfortable at first’

During the pandemic my perception of other people’s timelines is completely off kilter. Mandy Moore’s pregnancy went by in a blink and yet I feel like Ashley Tisdale has been pregnant for three years. She’s probably due very soon. This is Ashley’s first baby, and she hasn’t spoken much about it, which is why it’s weird that it feels like it’s been so long. But I appreciate that she’s bringing up pregnancy subjects many others don’t. She discussed plantar fasciitis that she developed while pregnant. I didn’t get it while pregnant but immediately after giving birth and thank gawd I was still wearing heels every day because I could not put a flat foot on the ground for months. Ashley recently penned an essay for frenshe in which she discussed being ashamed of her pregnant body at the start of her pregnancy, even though she loved her body for growing a baby.

I haven’t gotten the whole warm and fuzzy feeling about my pregnant body being beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I am so proud of my body and I’m so grateful to be able to create a home and grow my little one.

However, seeing my body look so different is still a little startling to me. It’s like I don’t fully recognize myself and almost like an out-of-body experience. Thoughts like, “Is that really me?” come to mind. I think it comes down to body acceptance vs body love. I think that you can love your body, no matter what shape or form, but it’s the acceptance part that trips me up a little.

I don’t know what my body will be like after the baby comes, but I do know I’m going to give it time, let it heal, and take really good care of it. I wanted to share this because I’m sure that like a lot of other people, I felt ashamed that I was uncomfortable at first. Yet, it’s important to honor how you feel and understand that everyone has a different experience with pregnancy.

[From frenshe]

I understand what Ashley is saying. I don’t think I ever felt it as acutely as she is because I was never hired for or paid to maintain my appearance. Ashley mentioned that people have commented on her size, asking if she’s sure she’s not having twins and maybe she’s farther along than she thinks. I got that too. I was huge, but my weight was healthy so my size didn’t bug me. I don’t know why because I’m usually so sensitive to weight comments. But I definitely stopped feeling sexy. I remember trying to dress as such one night, close to my due date. It was sort of our last night as a couple before we became parents. One look in the mirror and I barked out in laughter. But I’ve known women, especially living in LA, who’ve really struggled with their changing appearance during pregnancy. I think Ashley makes an excellent point about body acceptance vs body love.

I think it’s important Ashley and others discuss things like this. We’re still peddling the Mother supreme complex to women and gawd forbid some poor woman feel pregnancy or childbirth is less than the most perfect experience. I don’t have much advice on to give here but I leaned into my maternity style. I never felt sexy, but I was still stylish. There are so many maternity looks for women today, including really chic and comfortable maternity jeans. And I couldn’t afford the fancy stores either. Although there are plenty of well-priced maternity stores and lines, consignment and second-hand are wonderful options for maternity clothing because the clothes are barely worn. Ashley is focusing on the fact she’s creating life to overcome how she feels about her new body shape. I dressed my bump to feel better about it. Maybe some of our other moms have some suggestions as well. But if you’ve been struggling with this new version of you, like Ashley said, not everyone has to have the same experience, so give yourself a break.

Photos via Instagram

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17 Responses to “Ashley Tisdale on being pregnant: ‘I felt ashamed that I was uncomfortable at first’”

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  1. Astrid says:

    I don’t have any advice. I was huge too and loads of people asked about twins and the due date. That really hurt! And lets not forget the idiots that seem to think it’s OK to touch a pregnant woman’s belly.

  2. FeedMeChips says:

    I’m 8 weeks pregnant today, and have felt like garbage all day every day for weeks now. I wear nothing but leggings and sweatpants and have zero shame about it.

  3. Jennifer Kelly says:

    I was huge with my daughter, she was almost 10lb at birth. People would make the worst comments about it. I don’t understand why people love to point out the flaws in an already vulnerable person.

    • fifee says:

      I too was huge with my daughter, 9lb 12oz, and at the time (winter) I had a red coat the only coat that would fit me and someone casually remarked to me that I was so big that I looked like the back end of London bus, a big red double decker bus. I laughed about it in that moment but I was hurt, there was nothing I could do about how big I was.

  4. Tootsie McJingle says:

    I’m expecting twins and I’m 18 weeks along. It’s my third pregnancy, but naturally I’m bigger at this stage than with my singleton pregnancies. I’ve gotten so many comments at work about how I’m so big already. It is true, but I just get the comment so often. It’s like “I’m aware, thank you! And I’m only halfway through!”

  5. Faithmobile says:

    I gained weight during lockdown and then got pregnant at 42, needless to say I can’t relate even a little to her. But I found comfortable long stretchy modern dresses that allow me the freedom give less f*cks about my appearance.

  6. Susan says:

    I really appreciate Ashley coming out with this. I don’t know who she is (High School Musical? Is that it?) but she’s brave and impressive. I was very happy to have my children but HATED the way I looked pregnant. I was so horrified and insecure. Does it reflect underlying issues? I’m sure. But like you said, this whole motherhood superiority complex doesn’t leave room for…weakness. Feelings of failure. I remember when I was pregnant, a lot of famous people talked about feeling “so sexy,” and honestly I was 100 percent the OPPOSITE. I have guilt now that I didn’t enjoy my pregnancies as much as I should have. But truth be told, if I did it again I’d probably feel the same way.

  7. Gigi says:

    Women never win. They will get comments on everything. It never stops.

    • LaUnicaAngelina says:

      This!

      Also, motherhood superiority complex is so freakin real. I hated delivery and I had an epidural so it wasn’t the worst, but I pushed for over 2 hours. Finally, they had to do an episiotomy. I struggled adjusting to motherhood too. Just too much sometimes.

  8. Bobbie says:

    She doesn’t recognize herself? Ha. Wait until she hits middle age. Then both your body and your face become foreign entities.

  9. Missy says:

    When I was pregnant I kept waiting for my “goddess moment”, like when was I going to feel like an Earth mother goddess or whatever Lol! Never happened. I’m short and carried like Kim Kardashian or Jessica Simpson and Ashley hit it on the head, I remember feeling like my body changed so rapidly that I never got the chance to get used to it and accept it.

  10. Case says:

    “Mandy Moore’s pregnancy went by in a blink and yet I feel like Ashley Tisdale has been pregnant for three years.”

    THIS. I was just thinking “wow how long has Ashley Tisdale been pregnant???” I don’t think she announced it super early or anything either. I think maybe she just posts about it more frequently than Mandy did? IDK. It’s so strange.

  11. FHMom says:

    I loved my pregnant body. I can honestly say that pregnancy was the only time in my life I was happy with my body. My huge stomach overshadowed my thick thighs. I wasn’t constantly counting calories. I was thrilled to be pregnant. People were super nice and friendly and polite to me. I may not have felt great, but I always looked great.

  12. Nicole says:

    I fully embraced my pregnant body. Now the act of being pregnant was a different story. It was not all roses and sweet memories. It was two of the worst times of my life. Pregnancy was so hard on my body. I always wanted 3, but even my husband put his foot down. He couldn’t see me put through all of that for one more kid. It was worth it for the 2 I have and I am incredibly grateful, but any future kids will be via adoption.

  13. Ann says:

    Maternity clothes were not so great when I was pregnant. I mean, we had Pea In The Pod and maternity leggings etc., but it was nothing like it is now. I was lucky that I stayed pretty small during my first pregnancy and for the first half of my second, so I could continue to wear a lot of non-maternity things that were loose-fitting or adjustable. I was also lucky that I was pregnant in Winter (both kids born in March) so I didn’t have to worry about finding a third-trimester bathing suit. But these days things are so much cuter! Not just the clothes, all the baby gear too. The crib bedding was so tacky in the 90s, lol.

    • Margot says:

      This is so true. The early 2000s had ugly stuff as well. I was looking at old photos of my brothers’ kids and all the baby and maternity stuff was fugly!

  14. Lou says:

    I get it. I’m short and felt huge during pregnancy, but I also felt pretty! It’s postpartum whee I don’t love how I look. I’m five months postpartum and my squishy pouch is not budging. It’s hard not to feel the weight loss pressure.