"I do not want to feed the illusion that you're meant to feel and look 'great' immediately postpartum."
Motherhood comes with a vast amount of new responsibilities and challenges — as well as a whole lot of beautiful moments. But the postpartum period can be a struggle for some moms as they deal with the transformation of both their lifestyle and their bodies. Giving birth can particularly cause a lot of physical changes for new moms and for those who live their life in the spotlight, those changes are magnified.
That’s why many celebs have decided to open up about their post-baby body and how that has affected their body image and self-esteem. By sharing their truths, they are contributing to a conversation that a lot of moms need to hear and are letting them know they are not alone in how they feel about their bodies.
Here’s what these stars had to say about their post-baby bodies…
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1. Cardi B
After welcoming baby number two, Cardi B shared that she wasn’t feeling the best about her body. The rapper, who has been candid about her plastic surgery history, expressed her desire to get a tummy tuck after giving birth to her son, Wave. On her Instagram Story, Cardi pointed out her area of insecurity, explaining that she felt “a little heavier than usual.”
“Like, it’s not bad but I just don’t like this extra little skin…don’t like it. I want to get rid of it…I think Wavey did me wrong, so I cannot wait to put out this song and do more things so I can get the f— out and do my f—ing surgery. I’m over it. Me and surgery goes together bad,” Cardi said.
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Halsey gave birth to their son Ender in late 2021 and several months later, they got back to work, including a performance on “Saturday Night Live.” After fans began commenting about how they bounced back after welcoming their child, Halsey took to Instagram to show them what their body really looked like behind the scenes. Sharing several photos in which they bared their stomach, Halsey let fans know that their body was still not the same as it used to be.
“A lot of people don’t know that you still look pregnant for a while after. It is still changing and I am letting it. I have no interest in working out right now. I’m too tired and too busy playing with my darling son…I do not want to feed the Illusion that you’re meant to feel and look ‘great’ immediately postpartum. That is not my narrative currently…I will never have my ‘pre baby body back’ no matter how it changes physically because I have now had a baby! And that has altered me forever; emotionally, spiritually, and physically. That change is permanent. And I don’t want to go back!” Halsey wrote.
3. Kim Kardashian
After giving birth to her children North and Saint, Kim Kardashian admitted she struggled with her body image. She says she felt jealousy towards women who bounced back right away while she was still dealing with the 50 pounds she gained. Looking back, Kim says she eventually learned to embrace her body and the changes it went through in order to welcome her children.
“I was so jealous of women who had these cute little baby bellies and would gain 25 pounds — and then, a few weeks after giving birth, somehow look exactly like they did before they were pregnant, lol. That’s not me…We all have our hang-ups and things we might want to change but my curves make me who I am. So I embrace my body and the changes I’ve gone through. If anything, those changes remind me of what I’m able to create with my body: two little angels that I love beyond words,” Kim wrote.
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4. Sharna Burgess
“Dancing With The Stars” pro Sharna Burgess opened up about her post-baby body less than a week after giving birth. After joking that she was glad she could finally see her kneecaps again, Sharna got real about her experience, calling her body “utterly unrecognizable.”
“My body has been utterly unrecognizable after giving birth. Every ounce of water in my body has gone to my vagina and down lol. Postpartum is serious business guys. The body just has to work its way through it slowly. Ladies, our bodies are incredible. I’m in awe and wonder of what’s happening, all while practicing a new level of patience with myself. And it’s worth every single bit,” Sharna wrote on her Instagram story.
5. Katy Perry
Just days after giving birth, Katy Perry took to Instagram to share a photo of the reality of her post-baby body. In the snap, Katy could be seen wearing high-waisted underwear and a breast pump bra, with her baby bump still showing. Despite being exhausted, Katy seemed to be in good spirits and joked she was ready for the MTV Video Music Awards.
“Hair n makeup by @exhaustion,” Katy captioned the photo, also giving a shoutout to breast pump brand Medela and Frida Mom.
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6. Anne Hathaway
After Anne Hathaway welcomed her son Jonathan in 2016, she opened up about her new body. She took to Instagram to post a photo of a pair of jeans she had cut into shorts because all of her other pairs were now too short — and shared an important message about accepting your body as it is.
“There is no shame in gaining weight during pregnancy (or ever). There is no shame if it takes longer than you think it will to lose the weight (if you want to lose it at all). There is no shame in finally breaking down and making your own jean shorts because last summer’s are just too dang short for this summer’s thighs. Bodies change. Bodies grow. Bodies shrink. It’s all love (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise),” Anne wrote.
7. Hilary Duff
Back when Hilary Duff welcomed her first child Luca in 2012, she got candid about her desire to get her pre-baby body back after giving birth. While she worked hard to “lose the weight the right way,” she said she was also trying to give herself grace.
“I think if you ask any pregnant mom, they’re like ‘I want my body back,’ but it takes time. It takes nine months for your body to get that way and it’s putting on that weight on purpose. The second I start to get down like ‘what happened to my body,’ I look at my beautiful baby and I’ve never been more appreciative for this body that I have,” Hilary told Us Weekly.
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8. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde welcomed her son Otis in 2014 but she says dealing with body insecurity issues after giving birth was difficult. She admits she spent a lot of time feeling “wounded” before she committed herself to getting back into shape.
“First of all, you haven’t seen your vagina in months, even though it’s all her fault you’re in this situation. Now that you can finally confirm that she is, in fact, still there, she isn’t the gal you remember. I [also] joined the ranks of millions of new mothers when I moaned, ‘Why do I still look pregnant? Is there another one stuck in there?'” Olivia shared with Shape magazine.
9. Serena Williams
While many people struggle with their post-baby bodies, Serena Williams found a positive way to look at her new body. When she realized she still had a tummy after giving birth, she says she thought of it as a nice reminder that she used to carry her daughter on the inside.
“After I came out [of the hospital], I had a stomach but I thought, this is kind of cool. I have a stomach because the baby was there,” Serena told Allure.
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10. Ashley Graham
Model Ashley Graham is now a mom to three but after welcoming her first child, she got candid about the expectation for new mothers to snap back after giving birth. She explained that becoming a mom made her realize the “amazing” capabilities of women’s bodies and that it helped her become an even greater body positivity advocate.
“I think the postpartum snapback is really BS. I think it’s an unattainable reality for most women and it’s been an unattainable reality for myself,” she told E!
11. Brie Bella
“Total Bellas” star Brie Bella opened up about her post-baby body shortly after welcoming her second baby. As an athlete, Brie put in the work in the gym after giving birth but admits she still struggled with her “saggy stomach” as she worked on her ab strength.
“Sometimes, it’s hard for me to look in the mirror and see my body. I always tell myself to be kind and grateful, but I’m human so picking myself a part happens. You might see me at the pool in my one piece, but I’m showing all of you that my treasure marks are something special. They remind me of a special connection I got to share with my sweet babies for nine months,” Brie wrote on Instagram.
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