Flip open the pages of your favorite celebrity magazine and chances are you'll find an article about how the newest celebrity mom lost her baby weight—very soon after giving birth, no less. Frustrating? Yes. Discouraging? Maybe. A recent BabyCenter.com poll asked moms what kind of impact “these tiny and toned celebrity moms” had on them. Thirty-one percent of moms felt angry about the “extra pressure on regular moms to look that way” and 24 percent simply felt depressed.
These aren’t just pictures of moms at the grocery store in jeans and sweatshirts either.
Denise Richards posed for Playboy, 5 months after the birth of her first daughter. Heidi Klum strutted down the catwalk in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, just 8 weeks after having her son.
It’s hard to look at those pictures and not compare yourself to them or wonder why you’re still struggling to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes 6 months after your little one arrived.
While part of me congratulates these women for getting back into shape quickly (which is hard work no matter who you are) and showing that a new mom can still be sexy, a bigger part of me wonders what kind of message this is really sending, and what kind of standard we’re expecting moms to live up to.
Consider that many of these women have nannies, personal trainers, personal chefs, and more. Again, I understand that it takes discipline to eat healthy and exercise regularly. But when you’re a new mom who’s sleep deprived and struggling to develop a new routine (trust me, I’ve been there!), the last thing you should be worrying about is how quickly you can get back into your string bikini. Here’s an interesting fact: Researchers at Harvard looked at 940 women and found that moms who slept five hours or less per day when their babies were 6 months old were three times as likely to carry extra weight six months later than moms who slept seven hours a day.
Rapid weight loss and/or extreme exercise are discouraged right after birth, especially if you’re breastfeeding. The healthy way to lose the weight is through a balanced diet and regular exercise, and to do it slowly. This increases the chances that you’ll keep the weight off and you’re less likely to have to deal with problems like sagging skin or a decreased milk supply (if you’re breastfeeding).
What do you think? Do these stories and images inspire you to work harder, or do they discourage you from feeling like you’ll ever live up to such a high standard?
Photo: Us Weekly
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