By Korin Miller, StyleCaster
Caroline Berg Eriksen's infamous Instagram picYou might have heard the news about fitness blogger Caroline Berg Eriksen, who bounced back to her pre-baby body-or close to it-right after giving birth.
Baby weight-and how to lose it-has been a growing topic on conversation lately. We've obsessed over Kim Kardashian's baby weight and pregnant weight-lifter Lea-Ann Ellison doing Crossfit just a few weeks before giving birth. On the flip side, we analyze how quickly Jessica Simpson can lose her baby weight, and Kate Middleton's teeny-tiny post-baby body. There's a bizarre fascination with how much weight women put on during pregnancy, and how quickly they can shed it when their baby has vacated the premises.
I'm not the selfie type, but as it happens, my weight was almost back to normal shortly after I gave birth to my son. Don't get me wrong-this was a huge surprise. Like most women, I fully expected to be heavier than usual for the foreseeable future. I was shocked when, a day after having a baby, my stomach looked pretty close to normal. A few weeks later, I had my own run-in with an Internet backlash when I took a trip to the beach and hung out in a bikini with my new little plus one.
I posted the photo in a series of shots from my maternity vacation and EVERYONE commented on it.
I heard everything ranging from, "I hate you" to "You're too thin," and, my personal favorite, which was to my face, "Well, clearly, you just stopped eating" (interestingly enough, this was said while I was eating a bacon cheeseburger, so…clearly). A family member who took a while to lose weight after she had a baby said, "Okay, well, you know, it's harder to lose the weight after the second kid, so get ready for next time." Good to know!
We've all been taught that it's not okay to comment on a woman's weight, but during pregnancy and after giving birth, it seems like all bets are off-especially if you don't gain much, or lose weight quickly. Baby weight is-or should be-a personal thing and every woman is different. I repeat-every woman is different! I have a friend who didn't lose the weight until her daughter was two years old. Like a lot of women, it was hard for her and she was thrilled when she was finally back to her fighting weight. (She also embraced her curves while she had them and, it's worth noting, looked gorgeous.) I also have several friends who left the hospital in their pre-pregnancy clothes, and they got a lot of the same reactions as I did.
To be clear, I know that I'm lucky-but I'm also naturally thin and I didn't go crazy while I was pregnant. It's not like I ate ice cream and fries every night-I ate (mostly) healthy and exercised. But I also know that I had a much easier time with losing the weight than many of my friends. I know that a lot of women struggle to lose weight after having a baby and I'm fortunate that I didn't have to go through that while juggling a serious lack of sleep and trying to figure out how to keep an infant alive. I know that some celebrities bounce back immediately and it sets unrealistic expectations for women as a whole. But, on the other side, there's a solid part of the population that simply loses baby weight quickly and naturally. Is it really fair to hate on them for it?
Sure, we're all going to notice what a woman looks like pre-and post-baby, and we're probably going to judge-it's just human nature. Just keep in mind that it's easy to be harsh online, and you're directing that toward a woman who's ridiculously hormonal. Maybe we should all pay attention to the slew of anti-bullying campaigns that urge us to be more supportive of each other. And by "each other," I mean curvy and skinny girls alike.
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