Opinion: Britney was scrutinised during her first pregnancies, we can't let that happen again
This is the time to really give Britney the respect she deserves.
In case you missed the happy news, Britney Spears is pregnant with her third child and honestly, nobody deserves it more.
Announcing the great news on Instagram last night, Britney said that while it is such a happy time for herself and Sam Asghari, she will be keeping a lot of the details under wraps.
Considering how Britney was treated during her last two pregnancies by the media, paparazzi and the public, it's no real surprise Britney is planning to be a little more private this time around.
Britney is already mum to Sean and Jayden, who she shares with ex husband Kevin Federline, and it is believed that they spend most of their time with him.
The Oops I Did It Again singer rarely mentions her sons on social media, saying this is because they are at the age where they want to find their own identities. And considering how much media attention their births received back in the day, we'd keep our posts at a minimum too.
When it comes to her third pregnancy, Britney said she is determined to protect herself, Sam and their baby from the paparazzi, ensuring what happened last time cannot be repeated. She said: "I obviously won’t be going out as much due to the paps getting their money shot of me like they unfortunately already have."
Britney was pregnant with her last two children in 2005 and 2006, right at the height of the tabloid frenzy surrounding her and her every move. It had a massive impact on not only how she brought her children into the world, but on her mental health too.
Britney was followed, harassed and tormented by paparazzi during the nearly two years she was pregnant, as well as when she eventually welcomed her babies.
As one of the most famous singers in the world, everyone wanted a glimpse of her - and paparazzi in particular were being paid huge sums of money for photographs, particularly those which would allow the media to criticise her, and for the public to follow suit.
With the photos, came high public scrutiny. Many deemed her an unfit mother, claiming that she would not be in any shape to really look after her kids. For some, when she eventually lost custody of her two children, it was cause for a celebration. People were happy that she was no longer their primary caregiver, as if proven right about their earlier claims.
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Britney's privacy was completely disregarded, and as we all know, her mental health deteriorated during this time, leaving her in the conservatorship that only worsened her life.
On top of having to deal with constantly being bombarded by strangers with cameras, she also suffered from perinatal depression, which the singer opened up about in her pregnancy announcement.
She said: "It’s hard because when I was pregnant I had perinatal depression… I have to say it is absolutely horrible… women didn’t talk about it back then… some people considered it dangerous if a woman complained like that with a baby inside her … but now women talk about it everyday… thank Jesus we don’t have to keep that pain a reserved proper secret."
Perinatal depression can occur during or after pregnancy, and suffering in secret due to the stigma that existed at the time, it's likely that both Britney's pregnancies and mental health were affected in the mid-2000s, especially considering how invasive paparazzi were at the time.
We need to look out for Britney this time around. She needs to be protected. No woman carrying a baby should ever have been treated the way she was in 2005, and now as she welcomes her newest addition, she should be given the privacy she deserves, the privacy that she was deprived of all those years ago.
At the end of the day, it's her baby, and she deserves our respect.