Kate vanquishes 'baby bump' police - Macleans.ca

Kate vanquishes ‘baby bump’ police

Attention Twitterverse: This is what a healthy post-partum body looks like


For those who missed it, the duchess of Cambridge delivered an 8 lb., 6 oz. baby boy on Monday following a 10-hour labour. The next day, she was thrust before a public throng hungry for a glimpse of the newborn prince. During the brief appearance, the new mother appeared healthy, radiant and preternaturally relaxed—glowing and seemingly well-rested. Yet one detail of her appearance seemed to confound the public, particularly young women and men. As Kate cupped her hand over her billowy dress, it was evident that her belly—one that only hours earlier had produced another human being—was still convex. Social media went ballistic—”Sky News asking why Kate still has a bump,” one tweet read;  “Kate still got her baby bump #fatbitch” read one from a man. Another woman attempted to be  slightly more humane: “We all love kate. I’m just saying she looks better without the bump #fact.”

Such ignorance about what a healthy post-partum body looks like (see here for a primer on “mommy tummy”) offers a sad commentary on the glamorized, sanitized, utterly unrealistic imagery surrounding pregnancy in our culture, particularly in gestation-obsessed celebrity tabloids. Within that oppressive genre, snark is ladled out equally for women seen to gain too much weight while pregnant — or too little, a charge levied at Kate by the British press. Women themselves routinely report disgust with feeling “fat” while pregnant: “How the f#@k did I get like this,” a somewhat pregnant Kim Kardashian whined on her reality show;  recently, the actress Selma Hayek, who gained 50 pounds while pregnant with her daughter, said carrying a child made her feel  “completely disfigured.”  The picture is further distorted by celebrities who return to their pre-baby body in record time—either by having a stealth tummy tuck after an elective Caesarian or by following regimens that would have exhausted the Spartans: the actress Kate Hudson, for one, admitted she worked out six hours a day to get back into shape.

Already Kate’s post-partum silhouette has heightened awareness of the reality gap. A theory has been floated that the fleeting sight of her belly “busts the last taboo of pregnancy”  — that it was a historical event, a political statement in solidarity with new moms everywhere. Other outlets have suggested the empire-waisted Jenny Packham dress she wore was strategically chosen to do just that. And we’ve seen fury expressed over the coverline on OK magazine’s “Royal Baby Special,” which offered the inside scoop on “Kate’s post-baby weight-loss regime.” Outraged readers  called for a boycott of the magazine, which in turn was compelled to issue an apology.  It’s a start. Whether the royal sea change will trickle down to celebrity-obsessed commoners remains to be seen.


Kate vanquishes ‘baby bump’ police

  1. I can’t believe articles like this are necessary. She’s not going to go from fully pregnant to stick-thin in 24 hours. It’s absurd that anyone would expect that.

    • Lots of stars do it. Scads of photos of young women in the tabs only days [and weeks, the laggards!} after having babies…..in bikinis. Smooth, flat….you’d never know they had babies.

      Anything less and you are apparently a failure.

      Immediate tummy tucks, and/or work-outs that would kill a horse as this article mentions….and I suspect surrogates or adoption for quite a few as well

      • This comment was deleted.

        • ??? I believe I just said that.

      • Days or weeks, sure. But none within 24 hours, I’d reckon.

        • LOL I dunno…. seems to be getting faster all the time

          ‘Yet we are taunted by images of celebrity mothers who seem to give birth on Tuesday and are back on the red carpet looking whip thin by the weekend.

          Actress Kate Hudson says she spent six hours a day working out to get her pre-baby body back. Victoria Beckham exercised six days a week with celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson after the birth of daughter Harper. ‘


    • Well apparently some very misinformed people do expect that she will go from pregnant to stick thin right after giving birth. They don’t seem to realize that it takes a while for the uterus to return to its normal size. Kate is by no means overweight. Her “bump” is her uterus which will continue to shrink. She is also experiencing postpartum uterine bleeding and cramping as the uterine shrinks. You would be amazed what people don’t know.

  2. A caesarian will do this. After 2 9-lb boys, my wife had no swollen belly. Sorry, folks. guess it varies and there is no ‘one rule’

    • Yeah, everybody’s different.

      • Deleted.

        • Yes, they are. And that’s a problem with modern medicine in that they think they’re running an assembly line instead of dealing with people

          • Gee, Emily one of us spent over 500 hours doing Maternal Child health and spent the time examining new mothers plus completed the course to become a lactation consultant. Then there is you who spouts off her opinion based on no knowledge and zero research….
            Palpating the uterus is one of the most basic assessments performed by healthcare providers to assess the wellness of a new postpartum mom. It isn’t rocket science…it is like listening to a heartbeat or the lungs….there are certain universal truths in how things progress after birth. It is not “assembly-line care”. It is how one knows if something is not normal and might require intervention.

          • Gee….Emily had kids….came from a whole family who had kids, knows tons of people who had kids………..

            Everybody is different.

          • Deleted.

          • Okay, I didn’t actually weigh them, it’s just a saying….thousands of people though. And what I said was that everyone is different.

            Hissy fit much? LOL

          • Deleted.

          • LIsten up….and try to focus for a change.

            Women often discuss childbirth with other people, so do men actually…..and all their other medical situations. Compare notes so to speak. I don’t participate, but I do listen….which is more than most doctors and nurses do.

            Everyone is different. And if you don’t know that you shouldn’t be in nursing.

            However, since your nursing specialty seems to change from day to day on here….maybe you aren’t.

            Personally I have a hard time imagining anyone at a party saying out loud that they are a ‘Lactation consultant’. That is funny in itself.

            But most women refer to them as ‘Nursing Nazis’ and ignore them.

          • Deleted.

          • And you’re at least 21 years away from it.

            Oh I’m sure some ‘lactation consultants’ even brag about it….it’s just funny to other people

            Hey, some women breastfeed till the kid is off to school too….that is not the majority.

          • Ruh-oh 11PM in Calgary, and her pumpkin arrived

            Ciao HI

          • Wow. That was entertaining.

          • LOL I’m glad YOU think so….I find it boring

    • It isn’t a “swollen belly”. It is the uterus that is still enlarged and hard. At the time of birth, the uterus is 15 times heavier than normal and many many times larger than it’s normal size. After the baby and placenta are expelled, the uterus is a the site of the belly button, it then has to shrink so it cannot be felt at all. Are you telling me your wife had no bloody discharge either? With a c-section, your wife was probably in the hospital for a few days and didn’t come home within 24 hours of giving birth like Kate did. The uterus comes down every day. Of course there is a difference how noticeable it is because it isn’t as noticeable in a taller woman but it is there if you palpate it.

      • Further, didn’t your wife have an incision over her lower abdomen? It would have been tender to touch and swollen itself?

        • Um, she didn’t have a Caesarian. I think you just assumed this. I said that “a caesarian will do this” – that’s all.

          • You meant that she had a natural birth, right.

    • no, “a” caesarian won’t do it – *your wife’s* caesarian did, mostly bec of her pelvic structure. i know someone else who had an emergency caesarian for a premature 5lb baby and her stomach was *way* more swollen than mine after i had an 8lb 14oz baby measuring 23-3/4″ long at 45wks pregnancy. that’s because a) i have bucket hips and she doesn’t; b) the process of labour triggers the uterus to begin shrinking – a process that doesn’t work as efficiently when it’s a c-section.

      • Um, again another assumption. My wife didn’t have a Caesarian, either time. Again, everyone is different.

        • So if you weren’t saying that your wife had a cesarian and had no swollen belly, then who do you know that had a cesarian and no swollen belly? On what are you basing your claim that “a cesarian would do it?

      • How did you get to 45 weeks pregnant? In Canada they won’t let women go over 42 weeks.

        • not so. 45wks is when emergency measures must be taken. if you manage your pregnancy responsibly, the health of the baby takes priority over the convenience of delivery – if the baby is doing fine, the mother can opt out of induction. at 45wks was when my daughter’s biophysical profile began to drop after a month of incompetent labour (aka “false” labour) and that was when the rubber hit the road.

  3. I agree wit Ishmaeldaro! Why in the world would you guys right about such a thing in the first place! Every women is different and it really depends on how much weight you again during that time. I only gained 15lbs when I was pregnant with my first child. 25lbs with the second child. Kate carried a very very big baby. Not small by a long shot! She is going to make a great mum and Wills is going to be a great dad. Diana would be thrilled!

  4. She’s so lovely, and looks healthy and radiant!

  5. SHE JUST HAD A BABY! Every woman, upon delivery, either natural or C-section, still looks like they are about 7 months pregnant after birth of their child. Some of it is water, some of it is the expanded uterus and some of it is fat if the mother has over-indulged a bit during pregnancy (like Jessica Simpson for example). Breast feeding releases a hormone that signals the uterus to contract (which feels a bit like light labour again). Sure, everyone is different but these are the biological facts. She, like every other woman after delivering a child, will get back to her normal size in about 5-10 days and yes, there will be a lot of peeing involved. I think seeing Kate will allow for many women to realize what actually happens to your body when baby is on “board”. It’s a good and natural thing.

  6. This comment was deleted.

    • Deleted.

      • She was on topic, as usual, you weren’t.

  7. The lady next door to me had a baby, anyone interested?

    • A swarm of photographers is descending on her house as we speak. #NeighbourBaby now trending.

  8. Sea change…. Really?!? Thats embarrassing….to all Canadians

    • Thats should be that’s and sea change is an idiomatic expression taken from

      Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST and it refers to a transformation…..in case you

      ever have the need or desire to use such a referance.

      And i am Canadian and i am embarrassed but, trust me, the embarrassment

      has a much wider scope and framework than for a falsely perceived spelling error!

      • This magazine is written for the average Canadian looking for a little information on current politics, business and pop culture. The fact that the underlining meaning of that expression is rooted in a Shakespearean text shows how ignorant others can be, in terms of what the “average Canadian” is. This was not a formal English essay written for a professor, it was an article written for the average Canadian. Trying to give a “bullshit” topic the illusion that the subject matter was extravagant by surrounding it with elongated and decorative language only proves that one is trying to compensate; then again that couldn’t be true as one wouldn’t quote, both, Kim K (a pornographic made millionaire) and Shakespeare (a literary legend) and expect to be taken seriously… Not having read The Tempest does not make you stupid, nor should it reduce ones appreciation for an article.

        Maybe I should be embarrassed, as a Canadian for not having read The Tempest…then again, if I do, and I quote it, who would understand me?

  9. As a midwife and a happy monarchist, I am so pleased that Kate allowed her ‘mummy tummy’ profile to be seen. It was honest, real and completely normal. Despite my preference for honesty, I’d like to also say something about spurious nosiness, and a very rude and intrusive US journalist, who wondered aloud, on TV, after Kate’s admission, if she’d had a ‘show’, and how dilated she might be. Such questions may indicate that the asker may have some elementary knowledge of the process, but they are also, in this situation extremely intrusive and very rude! Save such questions for your own wives or sisters please.
    Well done to Kate and William, and many blessings to all three as they can now have some completely private time together in Berkshire.

    • I agree with your views. All through her pregnancy I found Kate looking so dignified, calm and very healty with her normal weight gain.
      The next day what a wonderfull sight when she appeared energetic, happy, competent with a tender complicity with William.
      She is ” THE ” role model young women should follow together with actresses and singers

  10. British tabloids won’t be happy until Princess Kate is bulemic, or anorexic just like Princess Diana. They will houmd this poor yourng mother until she goes completely mental. I hope William protects her from the media better than Charles did for Diana. Good luck to you Kate. Enjoy little Prince George!

  11. Why are people so eager to judge? I think, more often than not, the world was a better place without the Twitterverse. The name says it all – “twit” terverse

  12. People are stupid and tend to have limited real life experience. Sadly this does not discourage them from ‘tweeting’ about anything and everything.

  13. People can be so ignorant. My own mom said my belly was too big one day after I gave birth and I should wrap it up with something. Anyway it went back to normal on its own within a month, breastfeeding also helps to improve the muscle tone.

  14. I don’t believe anyone, except an Olympic athlete, could workout for 6 hours a day without dropping dead.

  15. Years of “sex ed” without the reproductive aspect have led to tremendous ignorance about how the natural, normal, and healthy cycle of fertility works.

  16. Media, get over it leave the beautiful lady alone!!!!!

  17. What we have here is a failure to communicate between reality and ‘Hollywood’ fantasy. After reading some of the negative comments on this topic I got the impression some people actually believe the condition of post-partum will last for the same period as did the actual pregnancy.! The time for criticism is over, now it’s time for ENLIGHTENMENT.

  18. To all childbearing women— Concentrate on feeding and carry for your new born and not when your body returns to pre-pregnancy. Enjoy your body at what ever stage it is and enjoy life as it presents itself.