PSA: Yes, You Still Have a Belly After You Give Birth, Even If You're Meghan Markle
On May 8, 2019, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry presented their royal son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, at St. George’s Hall in Windsor Castle. The photo opportunity happened two days after Meghan gave birth to her first child.
The Duchess of Sussex looked glowing with a relaxed hairstyle, on-point makeup, and a sharp wardrobe choice—all while still rocking her baby bump.
Perhaps Meghan followed in the footsteps of Kate Middleton, who proudly displayed her new-mom pooch hours after giving birth to her three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Moms around the world applauded Kate for her conscious effort to not hide her post-baby body, and they’ll likely do the same for Meghan.
Here's the thing: The average number of pounds a woman loses after giving birth is 12, which includes the baby, blood, fluids, amniotic fluid. So, within 24 hours of giving birth, your bump may go down a little. But not entirely, of course. Experts say it's normal for moms to return to their pre-pregnancy weight by 6 to 12 months after delivery, and most women lose half of their baby weight by 6 weeks after childbirth (postpartum). The rest most often comes off over the next several months.
And yet, we've all been sold a fable through tabloids and other celebrity news outlets that "bouncing back" after having a baby happens instantly. At the very least, so many stars used to feel even more pressure to stay in hiding until they could hit the pages of a celeb weekly in a bikini.
But it's possible that 2013 was a turning point, thanks to the Kate Middleton’s decision to put her post-baby body out there. Given the buzz around the way the Duchess of Cambridge flaunted her bump during Prince George's debut, it's not crazy to think that it was truly a watershed moment. Maybe it helped opened people's eyes to the fact that the female body is miraculous enough to grow a human, but it also requires time to get back to its pre-pregnancy shape. And in turn, women—famous and not so—felt less pressure to conceal their postpartum bodies and more empowered to take to social media or to be blunt in magazine interviews, showing off their post-baby bumps, stretch marks, C-section scars, etc.
Just a few stunning examples that have gone viral in recent years:
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This article originally appeared on Parents.com