Celebrities makes bouncing back after baby look so easy. Few weeks after birth, they appear looking all glamorous with a flat tummy. Is this unrealistic? We explore this phenomenon
Harriet James @PeopleDailyKe
Two weeks post-partum, TV anchor Lillian Muli seemed to have lost baby weight incredibly quickly. In a photo she posted on her Instagram page, Lilian seemed to have bounced back effortlessly as she had a flat tummy. While some praised the fact that she has managed to get in shape so fast, others were sceptical about the whole issue, with claims that it was photoshop. However, she attributed exclusive breastfeeding for the magic.
And she is not the only celebrity who has snapped back from pregnancy with a perfect model shape. Internationally, celebrities such as Kate Middleton, Angelina Jolie, former spice girl; Victoria Beckham’s record-time baby-fat weight loss have set the bar high for new mothers everywhere.
As some marvel at this speedy recovery, others not only criticise, but question this “bounce back” and “lose the baby weight” phenomena that have resulted in an unrealistic and distorted view on the reality for many women.
Josephine Njeri, a 28-year-old first-time mother received the news of her pregnancy with a lot of excitement. However, she had to learn to accept the body that the much anticipated gift came with.
“My post-baby body is curvier, which I find nice, but my stomach is far from the flat pre-baby belly I once had, which is depressing. I’ve got a stripe on my stomach, and a little more skin to go around. But I’m learning to accept it because they tell a story of great sacrifice,” she narrates.
As much as some, like Josephine, have learnt to accept their bodies, others have been pressurised by the society to lose the baby fat. For instance, renowned DJ Pierre Makena, who welcomed her baby two years ago, was shamed on social media for acquiring “new curves’. Although she at first revealed how happy she was with her new figure, she later began a mission to shed off excess weight as advised by her doctor.
According to psychologist Ruth Mwaura, women face adjustment issues after childbirth particularly, first-time mothers. In addition, they face immense pressure when they see a celebrity who has gotten back to shape a few days after birth, forgetting that they too have struggles.
“Pregnancy and giving birth entail a lot of things. Women have different bodies, which go through different processes during this period, hence they should take their time and not be pressured by society to get back to shape,” she quips.
Entertainment TV host, Aisha Wanjiku feels social media has a lot of influence on many things, not just post-pregnancy bodies. As a first-time mother, she describes her experience as emotional, physically and mentally draining. “Whether one is a celebrity, we are influenced by social media.
Aren’t we all pressured into “updating” the fine things in life? Whatever you feel you want to put out for the world to see is your personal decision. Do whatever pleases you and brings you joy,” she advises.
In a series of personal essays in September’s US Vogue magazine, Rnb queen Beyoncé admitted to having fuller arms, thighs, breasts and shoulders, after giving birth to her twins; Rumi and Sir. In addition, she has a little mummy pouch, which she says, she is in no rush to get rid of as she opened up about the pregnancy struggles she had to deal with.
“I was 218 pounds (99 kilogrammes) the day I gave birth. I was swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month,” she confesses. Toxaemia or preeclamsia is a common condition in which a woman in late pregnancy develops high blood pressure, high levels of protein in her urine and swelling in the feet, legs, and hands. She applauds her husband, Jay Z, for being with her during the entire process.
“If you get married to a person, it means that you love her unconditionally no matter what may happen now or much later. Pressurising women to lose baby fat is not in order, though women should try as much as possible to ensure that they are in shape,” says Ruth.
Though there is no specified time for healing, Ruth argues that a woman should work out when she is mentally prepared to do so and not when pressurised. She feels that mental health is the most vital thing that women should watch out for after pregnancy.