Let’s Stop Judging Moms Based on How Fast They Lose the Baby Weight

Is it just me or is there too much praise for moms whose bodies are back to normal, like, immediately after they give birth? Call me jealous (I am) and b*tchy (I am that too) and say it is just because I can’t lose my own baby weight (also true), but I’m just so over the pressure that I’m feeling to look stick thin even though I just had a baby.

The postpartum period has been so hard for me. My hormones are all over the place, nothing fits, and showers are still a luxury. Then there’s that pesky baby weight. On days I feel especially gross I’ll tell my husband and he will say things like, “You just had a baby!” Sometimes that makes me feel better, but more and more it doesn’t feel like a valid excuse because so many other women are bouncing back so much faster than I am.

I have a friend who had a baby around the same time as me, and her experience has been totally different than mine. She is always posting on Facebook about how much of her baby weight she has lost or how she is back in her pre-baby jeans. She texts me with updates about her weight loss, too. Meanwhile I’ve lost like five pounds (with about 30 to go). And as much as I want to be happy for her, I find myself more and more annoyed by the competitive undercurrent in her weight loss communications. I know I should probably say “good for you” and not let it bug me. But it does. It bugs.

Those celebs who look perfect five seconds after leaving the hospital don’t help either. In fact, it seems like everytime I’m watching an awards show there’s a celeb on the red capret who just gave birth but looks like she was never even pregnant. Claire Danes at the Golden Globes less than a month after having her son is a great example; she insisted she hadn’t lost all the baby weight yet but she looked pin-thin to me! Scarlett Johansson, Olivia Wilde, and Mila Kunis all magically bounced back too. I have to say, they make me love Kate Middleton even more for leaving the hospital with a little tummy after giving birth to Prince George.

I know that every woman is different and some women just look better post-baby than others. I am not one of those women. Some women really do lose their baby weight by breastfeeding. I am not one of those women. Many aren’t. I’d even go so far as to say most aren’t so lucky. If we’re going to talk about our bodies, I feel like we should have to be honest. I want just one celeb to say “Well, I was underweight before I got pregnant so it was pretty easy to lose the 20 pounds I gained.” Or “I have a personal trainer, night nurse, two nannies, and a personal chef.” Or “I’m being paid a lot of money to look like this. And I’m actually not breastfeeding. And I may have had a tummy tuck with my C-Section (wink).”

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling bad about myself because I constantly see and hear how quickly many other women have lost their baby weight. Am I? So until we can be open and honest about all of this post-baby body business can I just ask one favor? If you are one of those women who lost her baby weight five minutes after she gave birth, please just don’t tell me about it.