Olivia Bowen: ‘Everything A Pregnant Woman Does Is Up For Scrutiny’

The former Love Island star is expecting her first child with husband Alex this summer

Olivia Bowen

by Grazia |

'Since announcing our little Baby Bowen to over 4 million people, I have received countless messages of support from friends, mums, and expectant mums. I’ve also experienced the ‘Mum Police’, which I’m going to touch on later. However, the positives have far outweighed the negatives and the love we have experienced has been heart-warming. My online community feels like one big family and I have never felt so supported in my life and for that, Alex and I are truly grateful.

'As many of you reading this will know, this new stage in your life with something so precious growing inside you can feel quite scary. It feels like going unprepared into a job, where you just about made it through the interview stage and somehow ended up with a brand-new career on your hands, which you haven’t had any training for. The thoughts spinning around my head have included, ‘Why can’t babies have water?’ and ‘Why are my nipples suddenly twice the size?’. So, for those mums who kindly give advice on questions like these - thank you for untwisting my knickers.

'Before I delve further into the world of trolling, I have to say that the majority of mums genuinely want to help you and give you the advice they wish they had been given pre-baby.

'However, there has also been a lot of overwhelming pressure from the Mum Police, and it’s not just influencers or celebs that get this unsolicited advice, judgement and terrifying accounts of what motherhood looks like. Everything mothers do (and mums-to-be) seems to be up for discussion and scrutiny. I try to tell myself that this is our journey, and there are no two experiences alike when it comes to pregnancy and babies.

'This brings me onto trolling, because sadly there are sometimes people who want to wind you up or bring you down. Within the thousands of kind words, I have also received nasty messages, scaremongering, and lots of ‘your life will never be the same’. It does hurt, it is hard to hear, and it doesn’t help an anxious person who’s worried about doing the wrong thing.

'So, if you are wondering how I deal with it, the answer is simple. Delete and block, it’s the only way. Your social space is YOUR space. Think of it as your home – would you let a rude person into your house? No. Then don’t let them into your online social space. There are plenty of helpful, nice people online, and if you surround yourself with them, social media is a great place to be.

'I always remind myself to never take what other people say as bible and to not interact with trolls. I will listen to the professionals, not an unfamiliar Instagram profile. I tell myself that I will do the best I can, and I will be supported by my friends and family when the baby comes. What works for some, may not work for others, and that’s what we expecting mamas need to remember.

'I’m only just feeling confident enough to say I’m going to be a mum and that soon there will be a little version of Alex and I running around causing havoc and asking mummy and daddy how we got ‘famous’ (I can’t wait to explain that…)

'So, as I sail past the halfway mark in our pregnancy, and reflect on the journey so far, the most important thing is that our baby is on his or her way, (that’s another topic I’ll come onto soon…to know or not to know?). I refuse to let trolls or scaremongering dampen what is going to be the most exciting rollercoaster ride of our life. We all start somewhere, and for a first-time mum that is right at the beginning. I want to finish by saying this: be kind and positive to everyone – and that includes to expectant, new, and seasoned mums alike.'

Olivia and Alex have joined the C&G baby club #LoveDontJudge campaign to end parental judgement before it starts. For more information and to join the club for free, visit CGbabyclub

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