By looking to past conception of pregnancy and transformation in the meaning of the pregnant body, however, we can begin to understand recent images in film, images that define our era in terms of the history of hopes and fears that surround pregnancy.
In the mid-twentieth century, pregnancy was a private, even shameful, affair hidden from public view. At that time, although pregnant women could still smoke and drink (drinking wine was considered especially relaxing for pregnant women), they were advised to discontinue exercise and physical activities in favor of bed rest.
Even though pregnancy has “come out of the closet”, so to speak, today doctors and myriads books prescribe various regimen for prenatal care, including moderate to vigorous exercise and abstinence from smoking, alcohol and caffeine. It is curious that during the era when women were defined primary in terms of their capacity to give birth, public image of pregnant women were taboo, while now that women continue to break
barriers in business and politics, image of pregnant women are regular staples of television ,
movies, and magazine covers at supermarket check out stands, as it to remind us that women, no matter what else they do , can and should be mothers.