Two weeks (two weeks!) after she gave birth to her baby girl, Serena Williams was showing off her badass bod in short-shorts. Which is understandable—she;s a professional athlete who probably has zero percent body fat. She’s as solid as a brick house. In like, an awesoe way.
But, with a proud a mirror selfie she posted on Snapchat, she still managed to upset new moms who say that kind of bounce back body is simply unattainable. We all know Serena, 35, is superhuman, with one Twitter user saying, “Serena Williams was pregnant while she won the Australia Open in Jan. but I can't even get out of bed when I’m on my period. Sis is superwoman.”
But really one shouldn’t be too surprised. After all, we learned that Serena won the women’s title at the Australian Open while secretly eight weeks pregnant. And oh yeah, she never dropped a single set.
Carol, an accountant and New York mom of three, ages 12, 9 and 7, thinks that the pressure to lose baby weight on women is unrealistic and “you should still look pregnant for a short while after giving birth.”
“That said, the pressures on Serena and other people in the public eye are different from us,” she continued. “We are able to look out of shape for a while longer. Figures in the public eye face a quicker rebuke if they don’t get it together.”
And there is another celeb who seemingly snaps back into shape after pushing a kid out of her birthing canal - Princess Kate - who will no doubt go back to her sylph-like figure when she has her third baby next year.
Dr. Claudia Holland, a obstetrician-gynecologist in New York City recently saw a patient who was devastated to find out she her second due date was the same as the British royal.
“Many of my patients bemoan their fate at being pregnant during the era of Kate who is naturally tall, thin, doesn’t gain much weight during her pregnancy and manages to snap back to her old slender self rapidly,” she said.
“Postpartum most moms don’t have the time or energy to diet and exercise and often indulge in comfort foods,” Claudia continued. “There is huge press to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight quickly. It seems many people in media get back to their pre pregnancy weight more quickly and this creates enormous “peer" pressure but these are not peers.”
As Claudia notes, celebs have help that mere mortals don’t—like chefs, trainers and baby nurses who help them lose weight faster than the average person.
“Social media causes damage by sharing and encouraging these unrealistic goals,” warns Claudia. “Postpartum the mom’s job is to eat healthy, rest and bond with the baby. Stress (which elevates cortisol levels) can decrease both milk production and bonding.”
Across the pond Jenny Willott, the Liberal Democrat’s Minister for Women in the U.K, has said that women are pressurized to lose weight too quickly after pregnancy. This comes after a report found the same thing.
“Mothers who are preoccupied with eating and body image problems can inadvertently behave in ways that shape bonding and attachment patterns in damaging ways,” she says.
So in other words even though Serena, Kate, and other famous folk appear to lose those pregnancy pounds effortlessly, don’t beat yourself up if they stubbornly nestle on your stomach.
As Julie, a New York based teacher whose youngest is 16 said, “I’m still trying to lose the baby weight!”
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