Celebrities, fitness models and popular social media personalities are giving the word “perfection” a whole new meaning.
They share glamour shots, pictures of their clean houses and scenes from luxurious outings in desired locations we all plan on traveling to, when we win the lottery that is. Then they had the audacity to take things a step further with their contoured faces, waterfall curls, rock-hard abs and buns of steel just minutes, days, weeks after giving birth.
Is it really possible to bounce back to your old self just moments after giving birth? Over the past nine months, your body has gone through a plethora of change, inside and out. Your hormones are whack, your uterus is expanding inside while your belly is expanding on the surface, you are gaining weight and your face, hands and feet are swollen. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you don't magically snap back to your old self after birth.
Like pregnancy, your postpartum body will take you on a journey of gradual change. Learn to accept the love handles that hang over your jeans, your gut that appears every time you sit down and all that cellulite on your hips and thighs because they don't plan on going away anytime soon. That's right, it takes hard work and dedication to get back in shape postpartum, for most months, others years. Others claim their bodies were never really the same again.
So our favorite socialites, working hard or hardly working? Lucky or liars? While hats go off to popular fitstagram accounts like that belonging to Alex Jean Brown and other well-known names in the media like Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, who have been honest about what postpartum bodies look like, there are others who continue to try to convince the world they weren’t just superhuman in that movie they starred in, but are indeed rocking a steaming hot bod minutes postpartum. Keep reading to discover the biggest mom bounce back scandals of the 21st century.
15 Ruby Tuesday Matthews
People have fallen in love with model, blogger and social media superstar Ruby Tuesday Matthews for her laid back style, bikini body, lustworthy travel posts and most recently her mamagram posts. While she has been praised by fans for being someone, “whose life doesn’t change for Instagram” one only wonders if the pressures of perfection were getting to her after posting the above picture of her and new baby boy, Rocket, just ten minutes after birth.
What were most of us doing ten minutes after birth? Experiencing the afterbirth, which according to WebMD, "can take up to 30 minutes," and if you are one of the not so lucky ones out there who had to have an episiotomy or you tore tissue during delivery, your doctor was most likely stitching you up down there.
So when did Matthews have the time to contour her face, put those falsies on and snap a selfie?
14 Gisele Bündchen
If you’ve been able to breastfeed your baby, you already know about the many perks that come with it, including the visit from the boob fairy. If you were on the smaller side before pregnancy and postpartum, you probably felt like Cinderella during that scene where her fairy godmother comes to spruce her up and she just can’t believe how good she looks. It’s safe to say your significant other is feeling pretty good about this new change too. However, what the world neglects to tell us, is what our boobs will look like after breastfeeding. Your boobs eventually shrink not just back to the size they were, but smaller. One of my friends described boobs after breastfeeding as, "deflated balloons," and it’s actually pretty accurate.
When reports started to fly back in 2015 that supermodel Gisele Bündchen had visited a plastic surgeon’s office to have a breast lift, people were surprised. It seemed out of character for the yogi and natural birth-spokeswoman. Who could blame her though? Provided we all had the means to pay for it, the majority of us women would probably opt for a breast lift after pregnancy and breastfeeding. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “Breast lifts have grown 70% since 2000, outspacing breast implants 2-to-1."
13 Loni Jane Anthony
Loni Jane Anthony describes herself as, “a 28 year old Earthling, photographer and creative artist from Queensland, Australia," but I know her as another mamagramer who spams my Instagram feed with glamorous pregnancy and postpartum pictures. Like many others, I started following Anthony when she made the ridiculous claim she ate up to 20 bananas per day during her pregnancy, for breakfast and often lunch.
Just 12 days after giving birth to her son, Rowdy, back in 2014, Loni shared the above photo with her 359,000 followers at the time. She captioned the photo, “Back in active wear.”
It can take up to four weeks before your womb contracts back to its pre-pregnancy size, so how did Anthony pull this photo off just 12 days after the birth of Rowdy. Clearly, she knows what angles she looks best from and how to use her baby to cover up that post-pregnancy stomach.
12 Kim Kardashian
During her pregnancy with North West in 2013, it was reported that Kim Kardashian gained 50 pounds. Just months after the birth of North West, Keeping Up With the Kardashians star flaunted her slim, fit physique in a swimsuit selfie, but did she really look this good from, “eating well and focusing on her fitness?”
After Kim released her post-pregnancy bikini body pic, reports surfaced that she had undergone extensive work to get her body back in shape postpartum. New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Tabasum Mir believed Kim had multiple cosmetic procedures including a tummy tuck, liposuction and laser treatments totaling around $100,000.
While the reality star’s rep told the media this was false, and I’d like to take Kim’s word for it, my better sense tells me Dr. Tabasum Mir is right. After all, Kim Kardashian doesn’t have a great track record with being honest and really, did your boobs, stomach and butt look that good after giving birth just from ‘eating well and focusing on fitness?
11 Tammy Hembrow
Fitness guru, Tammy Hembrow, has a phenomenal social media presence with over six million followers on Instagram. According to Hembrow’s blog it is, “her honest and open approach to all her social channels, which has allowed her fan base to connect with her on such an intrinsic level.” Yet just two months after giving birth to her first son, Wolf, Hembrow was accused of posting Photoshopped pictures of her post-baby body on social media. People made comments like, “What happened to her leg though?” and “I just realized it is Photoshopped, but she is so beautiful.”
Queensland native claimed she had regained her flat stomach by starting a strict diet and exercise regime straight after giving birth. Her regime including lots of veggies and protein and plenty of water, which Hembrow says helped with the elasticity. Hembrow claimed rubbing rosehip oil on her belly twice a day during pregnancy prevented stretch marks and that exercising throughout her pregnancy helped too.
10 Jools Oliver
Jools Oliver, creator of the children’s clothing range, Little Bird, and wife to British celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, gave birth to her fifth child, River Rocket, in 2016. Bouncing back after baby #5 should be a breeze right? And if you are going to fake it til you make it, you should be an expert by this point.
However, when Jools posted what seemed like an innocent photograph four weeks after the birth of her son wearing a loose white t-shirt, drawstring pants and sandals, Instagram didn’t give her the praise she was looking for. People said things like, “I am currently pregnant with my 2nd baby. And every minute of every day I’m scrutinizing my weight etc…pictures like this by naturally slim women DO NOT help!” and “How is this supposed to help other women in the same situation who don’t snap back so quickly?”
With everyone in such an uproar, many missed an obvious point about the picture, but not everyone. One person questioned what Jools was hiding under those baggy clothes. Maybe beneath those clothes was a genuine postpartum body, stretch marks and all.
9 Kourtney Kardashian
Way back in 2010 Kourtney Kardashian, star of Keeping Up With the Kardashians on E!, appeared on the cover of OK! Magazine just one week postpartum with good news, her baby boy, Mason, was here. It didn't take long for fans to notice that the same picture of Kourtney had already been featured in rival magazine, Life & Style. It was clear OK! had Photoshopped the image to slim the E! star down. They also changed the color of the clothes Kourt and son were wearing in hopes no one would notice. They changed her shirt which was originally white to purple and Mason’s onesie to all white.
After the fact, Kourtney claimed the weekly magazine had gotten it all wrong, that she had not even spoken to OK!, “They doctored and Photoshopped my body to make it look like I have already lost all the weight, which I have not,” she said. For once in my life, I actually believe a Kardashian.
8 Nicole Trunfio
At the start of 2015 Nicole Trunfio, Australian supermodel, gave birth to her first child, a little boy called Zion, with fiancé Gary Clark Junior. It wasn’t long after Trunfio started to share a number of bikini and lingerie clad photos with her fans on Instagram.
I’m not sure about all of the other moms out there, but I definitely wasn’t styling a six-pack days after I gave birth, and science proves how unrealistic flat abs are one week, one month, even two months postpartum. The Baby Centre says, “It takes about four weeks for your womb (uterus) to contract to its pre-pregnancy size,” and that’s something you have no control over. Other hurdles that might stand in the way of the flat, flawless post-baby stomach are fat in your midsection you put on during pregnancy, the dark line some women get down their tummy from pregnancy called linea nigra and stretch marks.
So ask yourself, was Nicole Trunfio faking it or is she a freak of nature?
7 Scarlett Johansson
Just three months after giving birth to her baby girl, Rose, in 2014 Scarlett Johansson stepped out for the G’Day USA event in LA. It appeared she had trimmed back down to her normal physique. In an article with Shape Magazine 30-year old Johansson credited her bounce back to breastfeeding saying that, “Breastfeeding is the best way to get back in shape.”
While it’s true that breastfeeding is how Mother Nature intended it, that mother’s milk can help build the immune system and establish a special bond between you and your baby, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to help you lose all of the baby weight.
Whether breastfeeding can actually help you lose weight is still up in the air. Some studies find that breastfeeding exclusively can help you return to your pre-baby weight faster, while others find no difference in weight loss between women who breasfeed and those who bottle feed.
Is breastfeeding all Johansson is doing? I’d bet she hits the gym every now and again too.
6 Erin McNaught
I’ve already mentioned how flat abs are almost physically impossible after the first few weeks of birth, but did I mention how dangerous it could be for some moms to do intense ab workouts before they are cleared by their doctor? While most doctors would agree that walking, as soon as you are up for it, and light pelvic floor exercises are okay, it is better to wait to do intense ab workouts until you've seen your doctor for your postpartum checkup that happens four to six weeks after birth. According to Marianne Ryan, a physical therapist in New York City, “the hormone relaxin loosens the ligaments that hold together the pelvic bones and muscles, including the abdominal muscles, during pregnancy, doing too much too soon could lead to pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.”
As former Miss Universe of Australia, it’s safe to say Erin McNaught was faced with more pressure to bounce back in shape after giving birth to son, Evander, then the rest of us. When she showed off her abs just four weeks postpartum critics claimed it was an unrealistic ideal for new moms.
Was it unrealistic for Erin McNaught too? Or was she risking wetting herself during her next photo shoot?
5 Tori Spelling
We all want to be supermom after giving birth and a lot of us think that entails pretending like bouncing back is no big deal. We want to be praised for our effortlessly slim, toned post-pregnancy bodies that we achieved through healthy diet and minimal exercise. The reality is, it can be hard to shed the weight in a healthy way. Yes it can be done, but it takes time, so those of us who are desperate to get back to our normal selves take drastic measures.
I gained 30 pounds during my first pregnancy. The first 20 dropped off easily, from the baby, the placenta, the excess water weight and god knows what else came out of me during labor. Then my weight stood still. I didn’t want to be one of those moms who never loses the weight, so I worked hard. I ran practically every day, ten miles or more and eventually the weight came off. Instead of easing back into exercise, I went all in, I could have lost my milk supply, luckily I didn’t. Here is the thing, when people would comment on the progress I was making, I’d simply shrug my shoulders as if to say “It just sort of happened” while my inner monologue would scream, “You’ve worked your a** off to lose that 10 pounds.”
In Beverly Hills 90210 star’s case, the year was 2012. When Spelling stepped out for her big post-pregnancy reveal after the birth of her fourth child, Finn, you wouldn’t have known she’s given birth just several months earlier if you didn’t read US Weekly, People Magazine or Entertainment News. Spelling claimed she had lost 45 pounds through swimming, yet later in her memoir, Spelling It Like It Is, Spelling fessed up about lying about how she lost the baby weight. “I really don’t exercise much, period. So I took off my weight the old-fashioned way. I like to call it the Just Keep Your F*cking Mouth Shut and Eat Air diet.”
4 Miranda Kerr
Victoria Secret Angel, Miranda Kerr, is one of the most active models on Instagram, posting personal pics and behind-the-scene images at work for her 11 million followers on a daily basis.
We weren’t surprised when Kerr bounced back just two months after giving birth to her son, Flynn. Kerr’s nearly ten-pound son with Orlando Bloom was born in January of 2012, and in March, showed off her slender figure during Paris Fashion Week. Not long after that, she showed off her post-pregnancy body again during a bikini photo shoot for a Victoria Secret swim collection. Miranda credited her slim figure post-pregnancy to yoga, breastfeeding and healthy eating. There were obviously some good genes at play there too.
Almost a year later, Kerr was asked to participate in the Paris Fashion Week again, but due to commitments in Japan she couldn’t. She did, however, repost a picture taken by Vogue photographer, Kevin Tachamn, from the year prior when she had participated in the show captioned, “sending love and best wishes to the #vangels from Japan.” It didn’t take long for fans to notice her repost had been Photoshopped to give her more of an hourglass figure.
Why lie about your post-pregnancy body so long after the fact? And in a picture the world has already seen an original version of?
3 Sarah Stage
Many know Sarah Stage as a model and fitness lover, while others know her best from the controversial pictures of her toned body, with abs, that surfaced during her first pregnancy.
With such a great pregnancy, Stage must have been feeling the heat to look just as slim and toned after. Just two months after giving birth to son, James Hunter, Stage posted a photo of herself on Instagram in a bikini, reclined in a sun chair with her son across her chest. It wasn’t long before fans started to speculate Stage had edited the image to alter the appearance of her legs, believing the bulge seen on her thigh appeared to be a sign she had used Photoshop. Stage defended her post-baby bikini pic say, “He’s pushing on my thigh, not that serious.”
I think back to what my legs and butt looked like after the birth of my daughter and they definitely needed some work. Let’s just say I didn't do much squatting during pregnancy. The question is, did Stage?
2 Heidi Klum
Heidi Klum, model and reality show host made her big debut after the birth of her fourth baby, Lou Sulola, just six weeks after she was born. Wearing a purple corset covered with a half gown with puffs of tulle, Klum took the stage as the host of the 2009 Victoria Secret Fashion Show.
In an interview with People, Klum said she had put on about 45 pounds during her pregnancy with Lou and already lost 25 of it. How did she bounce back so fast? Klum attributed her slim figure to light cardio and swears she didn’t diet. We know better.
In later interviews about how she stays in shape, Klum talked about running and cutting carbs. Yes, it’s possible her interests changed, but if you are losing weight as quickly as Klum postpartum you are doing one of two things, killing it in the gym or lying about your bounce back from pregnancy.
Just nine months after the birth of Blue Ivy, Beyoncé, one of the best singer-songwriters of our time, performed on stage at the Revel Resort & Casino in Atlantic City revealing post-baby curves in a showgirl-style, fringed bralette and short shorts. In an interview with Hollywood Life about how she got her body back, Queen Bey confessed it was hard work getting in shape after the birth of Blue Ivy doing, “three 90 minute sessions per week” and “following a strict protein based diet in the kitchen,” so naturally when she released the photo back in July with new twins Sir Carter and Rumi just one month postpartum, we had to wonder, was the photo legit?
On the day the photo was released British daytime television presenter of This Morning, Holly Willoughby, had a bizarre theory about Beyoncé's baby announcement. Was the picture taken prior to the birth of her twins and were they later Photoshopped in.
Look closely at Bey’s pregnancy photos and her announcement about the arrival of Sir Carter and Rumi and the floral arch behind Bey is suspiciously similar. During This Morning Holly said, “It's really similar to the amazing pregnancy bump pictures and I wondered whether she shot both pictures at the same time and then placed the babies in after.” There is no denying Beyoncé is a powerhouse, but is it possible she had a helping hand with her bounce back this time around?