I always ponder this question in relation to pregnancy, weight loss, maternity leave and a return to work.

Some men are very understanding and are quite lovely about all subjects relating to pregnancy and this usually stems from having gone through how tough it can all be with their partner or someone they know. But on the whole there is a huge deal of non understanding that comes from men and especially when you get to the work place discrimination in Australia is still very high.

Women on the other hand would surely be more understanding and compassionate? Hmmm – I am not sure about this either. I think women can fall into a few categories – here are a few (but by no means an exhaustive list!);

• Women who have not had any children and thus have no understanding or care factor about what pressure pregna

ncy, weight loss, maternity leave and a return to work can put a mum under. I think these women kind of morf into a semi male personality and are so focused on their own weight, life and work that they just don’t care about the issues mum’s go through – with these women it would appear the sisterhood is dead! Until of course they become pregnant themselves

• Women who have had babies and had the easiest pregnancy known to man plus with only a 6 kilos weight gain and really don’t understand “all these women who make a fuss – they just need to get on with it – pregnancy isn’t an illness”. God bless them.

• Women who battled through pregnancy with their primary aim of returning to a high powered job and insisting and broadcasting that they would be back in work in under 6 weeks of the birth as they can’t let a man beat them or take their job.

• Women who are well balanced, empathetic and have perspective in their life and either return to the work place or work part time/set up their own business so they can spend time with their family. Hopefully this is you!

In my experience the pressure other women put us under is enormous. They can be very critical and life with them comes across as a big competition and rat race that you are collateral in. Women occupy more high powered roles in business today then ever before and maybe it is the amount of time they are spending with men that fuels this critical nature towards pregnancy, weight loss and maternity leave. I have friends who work in companys’ where other women continually “bitch’ about them behind their backs for choosing to work part time or will talk behind their backs about them “still carrying their baby weight” whilst sniggering away. Not nice.

So the moral of this blog – make sure you are one of the well balanced women and hope that in your life and job you are lucky enough to be surrounded by women who are not women in men’s critical clothing – and if not – change your friends and change your job as life is too short!

Have you felt the pressure from other women?