It’s a well-known fact that being pregnant has its ups and downs. Yes, every mom is carrying something amazing inside of them, and it’s difficult to see how any part of that can have a downside.
Still, when it comes to the reality of the changes pregnant women’s bodies experience, it’s safe to say that it comes with many unexpected things. This seems to be multiplied by ten when it’s a woman who is showcasing her pregnancy in front of the world thanks to her celebrity status. We can only imagine how much more difficult it can be for a woman who has no choice but to present her ever-changing body in front of the world, subjecting herself to body shaming and judgement from people she’ll never even meet.
That’s why we can certainly appreciate those celebrity moms who show us the real sides of pregnancy, not just the smiles and high-definition Instagram photos. From unexpected physical changes to conditions that moms and future mothers alike didn’t even know existed, we can only clap it up for those women who are brave enough to show us what pregnancy really looks like, and that it doesn’t care about any celebrity status or fame when it makes its impact on a woman’s body.
20 Serena Williams Showed Us What Health Issues Can Come With Labor
We learned so much about Serena Williams during her pregnancy, and even more after she and her husband Alexis Ohanian welcomed their adorable princess. She revealed that she experienced a tough labor, and even almost didn’t make it. She had complications and had to under two additional surgeries after delivering the child through a C-section.
She then found out she had a pulmonary embolism, and the complications only continued, she explained on her HBO special Being Serena. “Every day I was in the operating room for something different,” she said. We can only be happy she survived and was brave enough to share her story with fans.
19 Kim Kardashian Had A Difficult Pregnancy and Childbirth Experience
Kim Kardashian is another celebrity that while she is pretty much the definition of glitz and glamour, has had terrible pregnancies. She even went the surrogacy route for her third child because her doctor made it clear to her she was in no condition to go through another pregnancy, she explained multiple times on her and her family’s hit series Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
One of her most specific issues was placenta accrete, a condition when a placenta grows too deeply in the uterine wall, she explained via her website. She said giving birth to North West “was the most painful experience of my life.”
18 Tia Mowry-Hardrict Shared How Hard It Was For Her To Get Pregnant
Tia Mowry not only bravely shows us what pregnancy is really like, but she has also been a woman to dish on how difficult it was for her to get pregnant. While she and her husband, Cory Hardrict, are parents to two perfect and adorable children, Cree and Cairo, she has never held back from her struggle with endometriosis, which made it difficult for her to get pregnant in the past.
“I think what really helped was embracing the challenge and not letting it define me. I decided to figure out some solutions,” she said. One of those solutions was embracing a healthy diet, which Mowry has credited as helping her treat her endometriosis and even get pregnant and carry out a healthy pregnancy.
17 Jessica Simpson's Pregnancy Figure Was Scrutinized
Jessica Simpson is one of the first celebrities we remember showing us what pregnancy really looks like. She made headlines when she gained roughly 50 pounds when she was pregnant with her daughter Maxwell, according to Mom.me.
While social media wasn’t nearly as prevalent back then as it is now, that didn’t prevent Simpson from undergoing and experiencing some serious body shaming. Still, that didn’t stop her from having more children as she’s gone on to wear her pregnancy just as beautifully as she did her first. Just like regular woman, Simpson had to figure out what worked best for her and what didn’t.
16 Tess Holliday Overcame The Trolls
Plus-size model Tess Holliday received so much backlash after she announced her pregnancy. Trolls assumed because of her size that she would have an unhealthy baby. This is just one of the things that the everyday woman faces while carrying a child.
She opened up about the hate on social media and said, “I’m part of a small minority that’s telling you it’s okay to not have a perfect baby bump, or not show at all, to be plus size & have a healthy child.” We’re definitely here for any woman shutting down her haters, especially one who’s pregnant and has enough to think about. Since then, she has delivered a perfectly healthy and gorgeous baby.
15 Chrissy Teigen Was Open About PPD And The Different Treatments She Tried
Similar to Tia Mowry, Chrissy Teigen had trouble getting pregnant. Before, and even after, delivering her and her husband John Legend’s beautiful babies, Miles and Luna, Teigen opened up about several procedures she underwent that failed before Miles made his big arrival.
She even dished about dealing with postpartum depression after they welcomed Luna in 2016, according to The Cut. “I knew we’d be fine,” she said. “The depression thing came out of nowhere! And I will say, I’m not even worried about it for this time—because I knew what to expect at least,” she said referencing her second child.
14 Mariah Carey Had An Early C-Section
Mariah Carey seemed to have double the trouble as she and her then husband Nick Cannon had twins. During her pregnancy, she developed gestational diabetes and even preeclampsia. “It was a huge strain,” she said during an interview with Barbara Walters on 20/20. “I would sit and then someone would have to help me up. I couldn’t even go to the [bathroom] by mself,” she revealed.
Because of her high blood pressure from preeclampsia, Carey had to have a C-section when she was only 35 weeks along. Still, she and Cannon welcomed beautiful babies!
13 Kenya Moore Tried Hard To Get Pregnant
The Real Housewives of Atlanta co-star recently opened up about her struggle with preeclampsia as well. She shared a photo of her feet on Instagram that were extremely swollen. She even revealed she gained 17 pounds in a week because of high blood pressure and extra protein in her urine.
She said because of the preeclampsia, she would also have to deliver her and her husband, Marc Daly’s child early. As of now, she doesn’t know what the gender is as she and Daly wanted it to be a surprise to them and their close ones. This is the first child for Moore, who has also experienced a struggle to get pregnant.
12 Drew Barrymore Dealt With Her New Post-Baby Figure
While there’s a stigma that celebrity women should always look glamorous and red-carpet ready during their pregnancy, iconic actress Drew Barrymore said she has no problem proving that’s not true. She dished about gaining lbs when pregnant, and even her struggle to lose it during her post-baby phase.
“It took nine months to build,” she pointed out to PEOPLE. “It should take nine months to get off.” While the logic seems pretty cut and dry, she confessed it’s not that simple. “I wanted fettuccini alfredo. I didn’t want a barbell,” she confessed. We totally get it Drew. We totally get it.
11 Kelly Clarkson Shared Her Challenging Mommy Journey
Kelly Clarkson revealed her morning sickness went to a new level during her pregnancy. “I’m familiar with all-day sickness, she confessed to Gayle King during an appearance on CBS This Morning one day. “I have to get IVs and fluids because I get so dehydrated. It’s really bad.”
Still, just like many other celebrity and everyday moms alike, the singing sensation and reality star made it clear that anything her body experiences is worth the struggle thanks to the arrivals that come at the end of the process. She’s another mom who we appreciate sharing her true journey during pregnancy.
10 Salma Hayek Thought She Wouldn't Ever Be Able To Get Pregnant
Similar to Kenya Moore and other moms on this list, Salma Hayek was simply ecstatic to be able to get pregnant after turning 40. While she revealed she gained a ton and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, Hayek said it was all worth it.
“I thought I wasn’t going to be able to [get pregnant] and it was such an important thing to me,” she said during an interview with PEOPLE. Her pregnancy got to the point she and her husband Francois-Henri Pinault were told their daughter Valentina would have Down Syndrome, but when she was born, she was perfectly healthy.
9 Jessica Alba Got Real About The Spiritual experience of pregnancy
Jessica Alba might be known as a teeny bopper actress in some forms, but she certainly got real about her pregnancy. “I don’t associate being pregnant with being [attractive],” she told PEOPLE magazine a few years ago. “I think being pregnant is grounding and you feel like part of the earth and connected with women [...] It’s a grounding, maternal thing.”
Alba is certainly the family woman as she and her husband, Cash Warren, are now parents to three children – Honor, Haven, and Hayes. The two actually welcomed their third child late last year.
8 Hayden Panettiere Bravely Shared Her PPD Experiences
While the childhood actress seemed to have a smooth pregnancy, she once confessed it was the postpartum phase that she struggled with. “It’s something I can very much relate to, and it’s something that I know a lot of women experience,” she said while on Live With Kelly and Michael back in 2015.
While her level of postpartum doesn’t seem as serious as it could’ve been, we certainly appreciate her bravery for sharing her experience.
7 Jennifer Lopez Embraced Being Selfish For Once
She’s the definition of class and everything that a sex symbol is, but Jennifer Lopez’s sexiest moments were during her pregnancy, even if she didn’t feel that way. She and her then husband, Marc Anthony, also welcomed twins in February 2008. And while they are on their way to being teenagers, the state of Lopez’s pregnancy back then is still a topic of conversation.
In fact, she revealed that she unapologetically gave in to thinking about herself. She explained being pregnant was “the first time in my life where I’m going to be a little bit selfish.” There’s certainly nothing wrong with that.
6 Blake Lively Showed The World How Tough It Sometimes Is Being Pregnant
The Gossip Girl star is a fashionista in her own right (and we still love that she and her longtime husband Ryan Reynolds named their daughter James), but even she experienced pregnancy like the everyday woman. While on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, she dished that pregnant woman are held to this standard that they’re not allowed to say how they’re actually feeling when asked.
“Everybody says, ‘how are you feeling?’ but they don’t really want to hear how you’re feeling,” she explained. “They don’t want you to complain.” As ironic as it is, it’s certainly true as it explains just one of the realities of carrying a child.
5 Eva Longoria
The Desperate Housewives star got real about her pregnancy during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! While she and her husband José “Pepe” Antonio Bastón have welcomed their child since this interview, it’s nice to look back at it and see how Longoria was really feeling when she was touting her growing baby bump.
"Everything’s uncomfortable,” she said. “It’s not just your belly, everything gets bigger.” Still, she also joked that pregnancy rumors swirled for her long before she was actually pregnant. She said when she finally became pregnant, the tabloids just criticized her weight. Even Eva Longoria is subject to it all.
4 Gwyneth Paltrow Had PPD
Gwyneth Paltrow confessed her issues with postpartum depression came around after delivering her second child, Moses, after she didn’t experience it all with her first child, Apple.
“I felt like a zombie,” she confessed according to E!. “I couldn’t access my heart. I couldn’t access my emotions. I couldn’t connect. It was terrible. It was the exact opposite of what had happened when Apple was born. With her, I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t the same. I just thought it meant I was a terrible mother and a terrible person.”
She said it was her husband at the time, Chris Martin, who helped point out what was happening, which lead to her recovery.
3 Beyonce Had A hard time delivering her twins
While Beyonce is typically private, she really opened up about her pregnancy with twins recently. “I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth to Rumi and Sir,” she said during an interview with Vogue. “I was swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month.” She said her own health as well as the health of her then unborn twins was at risk so she had a C-section and spent several of the following weeks in the NICU.
She said while she was trying to survive, her husband Jay-Z put on his cape and became everything their family needed. While she started training for Coachella roughly six months later, she said she “enjoyed my fuller curves,” and so do her husband and kids. “I have a little mommy pouch and I’m in no rush to get rid of it. I think it’s real,” she said as she added that she still embraces her body. “We are meant to be.”
2 Adriana Lima Shared Her Experience Of Delivering A Preemie
Victoria’s Secret super model Adriana Lima is mom to two girls. But it didn’t come without a very real and complicated pregnancy. For her oldest daughter, she said she was diagnosed with preeclampsia and was on bed rest for two weeks before delivering the child at 34 weeks. The baby was only 4.4 lbs., which Lima said was the smallest baby in the hospital at the tie.
“I wish I had her home but it wasn’t possible in my case,” she said to PEOPLE. “As a parent you really want to give your best and you don’t want anything to happen with the baby.” She added the doctors and her husband, Marko Jaric, were really supportive during her tough pregnancy.
1 Mila Kunis Had An Uneasy pregnancy
Mila Kunis has also opened about her difficult morning sickness and extreme fatigue while she was carrying her daughter, Wyatt, according to All 4 Women. While she and her husband, Ashton Kutcher, now have two children, Kunis has always referenced carrying Wyatt as an uneasy pregnancy.
Thankfully, Kutcher was reportedly a rock for her and gave her massages and cooked her meals to get through her tough pregnancy.
In fact, it’s said to have brought the two closer together and helped them fall even more in love. We absolutely love how she’s shown us what pregnancy truly looks like, even when it’s not what she expected it to be. We think it’s safe to say she wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Resources: Parents, Romper, E!, Vogue, PEOPLE, All 4 Women