When a Call The Midwife viewer branded Helen George “massive” and suggested she “be put on a diet”, the new mum called them out directly – and suggested a much better approach.
“She should be put on a diet”
Helen gave birth to her daughter – Wren Ivy – in September of last year, but the baby bubble did nothing to protect her from the neanderthals that sometimes lurk on Twitter.
“Helen George is massive. She should be put on a diet.
#callthemidwife”, one such man wrote, going on to further body shame the actor and new mum.
Helen was pregnant while shooting the scenes that were airing in the UK, and when fans alerted her to the mean tweet she responded directly to her critic.
“Sorry if my chins offended you,” Helen shot back at the man.
“I chose to feed my baby healthily and not starve myself in a selfish act to look good on tv. Would you say this to a pregnant lady’s face? You should look on pregnant ladies multiple chins with love, they are busy making the future x”
Feel. The. Burn. “Andre”.
Stop body-shaming mums
Some followers advised her not to feed the trolls, so to speak, but Helen says this is symptomatic of a bigger issue – and she’s not keen to let it go.
“So many comments like that come my way. So boring. It’s about a feeling toward pregnant women, that we should all stay skinny,” Helen wrote.
Helen’s spot on, with pressure to be thin and pregnant absolutely rife, and the quest to “bounce back” after birth often dominating media sites over actual joyful baby news.
“Glowing, healthy pregnant ladies” rule!
The man in question is indeed a troll, with few followers and a fake name. He continued to body shame Helen from his dank basement lair, as many more intelligent people constructively diverted the conversation – in the direction of body image and new mums.
“I don’t get why people shame others over their postpartum body. To me it shows how beautiful our bodies are to be able to hold a baby for 9 months,” one woman wrote.
“A beautiful, healthy looking expectant mum far outweighs the ‘desperate to stay skinny and not look pregnant’ ones. Ignore such inane, dangerous comments,” another said.
“How ridiculous to criticise a pregnant lady’s weight. Helen George is adorable as Trixie and mums carry baby weight in their faces. It’s a joyous part of carrying a child,” someone else pointed out.
“You look beautiful Helen, speaking as a midwife you can’t beat a glowing, healthy pregnant lady at all gestations,” one wise woman commented.
Sorry if my chins offended you, I chose to feed my baby healthily and not starve myself in a selfish act to look good on tv. Would you say this to a pregnant lady’s face? You should look on pregnant ladies multiple chins with love, they are busy making the future x https://t.co/pWe6T0i6mf
— Helen George (@helen_george) February 12, 2018
Hide the bump!
Helen’s Call The Midwife co-star Jack Ashton is her partner and baby’s dad, and the pregnancy was mostly concealed on the show as her character Trixie was not ready to be a mum.
“I was pregnant in the series, so you just kind of see me walk across the screen sometimes with odd fashions, or I’d sit down a lot, or I’m wearing lots of capes,” she said. “It wasn’t a correct storyline to choose for the character, as well. It wasn’t right for Trixie to be pregnant. So we just did our best to cover it up.”
“My beautiful daughter”
Helen’s daughter was born three weeks early because of a pregnancy complication, and the actor we know and love as Trixie said it was real life midwives that saved the day.
“Ten weeks ago I gave birth to my beautiful daughter,” Helen posted on her Instagram account. “Wren was born 3 weeks early because I was suffering from a condition called ICP, but I wasn’t in the least bit worried. I was surrounded by the most wonderful midwives.”
This condition interferes with the body’s natural flow of bile and exposes the unborn baby to high levels of bile. The risk of premature birth, foetal distress, passing meconium in utero, respiratory distress syndrome, breathing failure and stillbirth are very high with ICP.
“The bile acids can actually pass into the baby through the placenta and have devastating effects. There’s a higher risk of stillbirth and it can lead to a very dangerous childbirth for the mother.”
Her own scary experience has prompted Helen to raise awareness about ICP, becoming a Patron for ICP Support. She’s also involved in programs that promote the valuable work midwives do in the community.