When Kate Middleton and Prince William presented their new son to the world, the Duchess rocked her baby bump for the third time, proving yet again that a "mummy tummy" doesn't disappear as soon as you've given birth.
PSA: Yes, You Still Have a Belly After You Give Birth, Even If You're Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton has done it again! Well, given birth, yes! But also, once more, the Duchess stepped out of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital in London just hours after labor and delivery, looking absolutely stunning with a perfect blowout, on-point makeup, and a sharp wardrobe choice—all while still rocking her baby bump.
We wouldn't expect anything less. The last two times she appeared on the steps of the Lindo wing, holding Princess Charlotte in 2015, and, before that, Prince George in 2013, the Duchess has seemingly made a conscious effort to not to hide her post-baby body. And for that, moms around the globe can't help but applaud.
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 Duchess' decision to put her post-baby body out there. Given the buzz around the way Kate 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:
Puffy face, droopy milk filled boobs, wider hips and belly full of stretch marks!! That's my post baby reality, no 'bouncing back' here! And you know what? I couldn't give a shit! Because I'm not the same person I was before I had babies, so why would would I want my body to reflect something and someone I no longer am? Those droopy boobs fed my babies and grew them up big and strong 💪🏻 Those hips and rippled belly was home to my little babes for 9 months 🙌🏻 It might not be the 'transformation' body so many ogle or aspire to! And sure, some days I wish it didn't jiggle so much and was a bit 'firmer' but then I just remember the awesome shit it's done and cut myself some slack and go eat a cheeseburger, because we earned it 👍🏻 📸: @sleepinggrace
Real life: I took this photo 8 days post birth. I left the hospital looking 5 months pregnant. Many people think a woman should shrink right back to her pre-birth weight immediately. That is just not the truth for most. The female body is incredible and resilient, but healing and strengthening take time. Now it's time for patience and hard work. Lots of love to all the new mamas out there on the journey. 💪🏼💪🏼 #yesihaveascrunchieinmyhair #shaiiswortheverypound
And if Kate's decision to use her public image to normalize the postpartum bump was even slightly to thank for this progressive reality check, it's certainly worthy of props.