Women in the spotlight are under an immense amount of pressure to keep themselves in shape. So when you add pregnancy into the mix, how does this make them feel about the way their changing bodies look? Here are 15 celebrities who have spoken candidly about it:
1. Ashley Graham
Model Ashley Graham is a powerhouse for body positivity. All throughout her pregnancy, she shared intimate snaps and videos documenting how her body was changing, and how in awe of it she was. And nothing has changed since she gave birth to baby boy Isaac at the start of the year.
In a nude picture of herself posted to Instagram, in which she showed off the stretch marks left on her stomach, Ashley wrote: "Same me. Few new stories." Couldn't have said it better ourselves; stretch marks aren't "imperfections" to feel insecure about, they're just a part of who you are.
2. Gemma Atkinson
Actress and former Strictly star Gemma Atkinson is known for her fitness content on Instagram, and she's using her platform wisely after having had baby Mia last year. In a post showing photographs of herself six-and-a-half weeks after giving birth via C-section, Gemma said she was "loudly and proudly" rocking her post-baby curves.
In the honest post, Gemma discussed how exercise is an important and regular part of her life, but how she's adapted to taking it slow for the sake of her body. "Part of training well is training smart and recovering long term. Not just a quick fix to 'snap back,'" wrote the actress and radio presenter.
Reminding other moms to ignore any external pressure to revert to their pre-baby selves, Gemma added: "I hope new moms realize they don't have to be back to their post-baby body so quickly. Growing a human for nine months is a big deal and it'll take longer than a few weeks to get your body back to how you want it." Hear, hear.
3. Chrissy Teigen
The pressure to "bounce back" to your pre-baby weight is very real, but Chrissy Teigen isn't succumbing to it. Because after two children, she weighs more than she did previously, and she likes it that way.
Posting on Twitter, Chrissy shared a common question she's asked: "How do you eat like this??". Her response? "Basically I am 20 pounds heavier than I was before Miles. He's 10 months old, I never lost the last bit because I just love food too much. Just coming to terms with my new normal, when I had this certain number for so long!"
Comparing the way she feels after having Miles to how she felt after having Luna, Chrissy made it clear she would pick happiness over a smaller number on the scale any day.
"The thinnest I've ever been was right after Luna. Postpartum depression. I'LL TAKE THESE POUNDS AND THIS FEELING!" wrote Chrissy. Yes, yes, and more yes.
4. Serena Williams
In a recent cover interview with Allure magazine, tennis champion Serena Williams addressed the changes she's noticed in her body since having daughter Alexis Olympia in September 2017. "After I came out [of the hospital], I had a stomach but I thought, this is kind of cool. I have a stomach because the baby was there," she said.
And you know what, Serena is right. It is kind of cool to have a physical change as a result of something so special.
5. Kate Hudson
Two months after her baby daughter Rani Rose was born, actress Kate Hudson shared a photo of her post-baby body, explaining she felt it was time to focus on her health. "I am on a mission right now to get back to my fighting weight," Kate wrote, adding she was also determined to regain her "strong body/mind back." Explaining the reason behind being so eager to get back in the gym, the How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days actress revealed she's shooting a new film in the spring, so "I'm looking to shed 25lbs." But she wants to do it sensibly, maintaining her milk production while she exercises, as well as also devoting all the time she needs to her family.
6. Kim Kardashian
It might look like it happens magically, but Kim Kardashian revealed on her app following the birth of her second child, Saint, that even for celebrities who have PTs, healthy food, and help coming out of their ears, "it isn't easy to just bounce back" after having a baby. Being completely honest, Kim said: "I was so jealous of women who had these cute little baby bellies and would gain 25 pounds—and then, a few weeks after giving birth, somehow look exactly like they did before they were pregnant, lol. That's not me …
"We all have our hang-ups and things we might want to change," she continued, "but my curves make me who I am. So I embrace my body and the changes I've gone through. If anything, those changes remind me of what I'm able to create with my body: two little angels that I love beyond words."
7. Holly Willoughby
Each to their own, but Holly Willoughby has some strong opinions on women discussing their post-baby body fitness regimens. "A lot of women, and particularly celebrities, talk about this, and I think it is very unhelpful," she told the Daily Mail. "Everyone's journey is individual. I don't want to go on the record saying I did this or that, and then have other women read it and think they have to go and do the same," she explained.
"I'm sorry, I just don't want to be a part of this conspiracy to make women feel pressured about their bodies. Every woman needs to look in the mirror and instinctively decide what will make her feel happy and good about herself and her body; that's all I did." You do you, Holly.
8. Mila Kunis
The biggest change Mila Kunis noticed after having her daughter Wyatt in October 2014 was the size of her boobs. "Boy did these things grow!" she told host Conan O'Brien when she appeared on his show the following year. "I don't know how to deal with them because I've never had them, and so I always dress for a flat-chested girl and now all of a sudden I'm busty, and I'm like, 'Wow, check it out!' This is amazing to me. It's a whole new world!" she said.
9. Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway famously posted a picture of a pair of jeans she'd cut into shorts on Instagram a few months after giving birth to son Jonathan in 2016. "There is no shame in gaining weight during pregnancy (or ever)," she wrote.
"There is no shame if it takes longer than you think it will to lose the weight (if you want to lose it at all). There is no shame in finally breaking down and making your own jean shorts because last summer's are just too dang short for this summer's thighs. Bodies change. Bodies grow. Bodies shrink. It's all love (don't let anyone tell you otherwise.)" YES.
10. Rochelle Humes
TV presenter and singer Rochelle Humes appears to have returned to her pre-pregnancy figure quite quickly after having her second daughter, Valentina, just six months ago. But speaking to magazine Fit & Well, she explained she'd done it the proper way, by working hard to exercise and eat well, as opposed to trying any quick-fix solutions. "There is no secret to it, you just have to stick to it," she said. "It's a lifestyle. I think if you're fit and looking after yourself then you're doing it right. No crash diets, no crushing the training.
"I'm not doing this to be a shape that isn't what I am. I still want to be curvy and still be me," she said.
11. Olivia Wilde
Where Olivia Wilde's concerned, she was never going to be one of those women who bounced right back to her pre-baby figure, and she's totally okay with that. "I am not in perfect shape. In fact, I'm softer than I've ever been, including that unfortunate semester in high school when I simultaneously discovered Krispy Kreme and pot," she wrote in Shape.
"The photos of me in this magazine have been generously constructed to show my best angles, and I assure you, good lighting has been warmly embraced. The truth is, I'm a mother, and I look like one."
12. Kate Winslet
If the Titanic actress is one thing, she's honest. Which is exactly what we want her to be. "I have a crumble baby belly, [and my] boobs are worse for wear after two kids," she told the Daily Mail back in 2008. But she's still happy with the way she looks. "I'm doing all right...I don't look in the mirror and go, 'Oh, I look fantastic!' Of course, I don't. Nobody is perfect. I just don't believe in perfection. But I do believe in saying, 'This is who I am and look at me not being perfect!' I'm proud of that."
Following the birth of her second child earlier this year, Pink posted a gym selfie on Instagram with an important message for women with insecurities about their post-baby bodies. "Would you believe I'm 160 pounds and 5'3"? By 'regular standards' that makes me obese," the singer wrote. "I know I'm not at my goal or anywhere near it after Baby 2 but dammit I don't feel obese. The only thing I'm feeling is myself."
And reminding women that their measurements are no more than a number, she added: "Stay off that scale ladies!"
14. Hilary Duff
When Hilary Duff gave birth to her son Luca back in 2012, she told Us Weekly about how she staved off any negative thoughts she had about her body following pregnancy. "I think if you ask any pregnant mom, they're like 'I want my body back,' but it takes time," she said. "It takes nine months for your body to get that way and it's putting on that weight on purpose. The second I start to get down, like 'what happened to my body,' I look at my beautiful baby and I've never been more appreciative for this body that I have."
And while Hilary admitted that at that stage she wasn't quite "where I want to be eventually" body-wise, she was being sensible about what she could manage. "I'm breastfeeding, so you have to be careful and not do anything too drastic," she said.
15. Blake Lively
Eight months after having her first daughter James, actress Blake Lively had to don a bikini on the daily while she filmed movie In The Shallows. And to look at her, you wouldn't have guessed she'd had a baby that year. But Blake made no bones about the fact her post-baby body transformation wasn't something that happened naturally.
"I focused on training and eating well. It took two different trainers and a nutritionist to help me get into that sort of shape because it's not normal to look like that eight months after having a kid," she told The Sun, adding: "Women put pressure on themselves to look like a Victoria's Secret model after having a baby. It's absolutely absurd. It was my job to look that way."
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.