Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's a water birth at home for Gisele Bundchen

My google reader alerts are going haywire with the news of Gisele Bundchen's home water birth last December. She had a water birth in her penthouse apartment in Boston.

And of course there's the breathless reporting of how she's already back to her pre-baby body in just six weeks. People magazine reported: "Only weeks after giving birth to baby Benjamin, Gisele B√ľndchen is already back to work – and looking hot as ever....the new mom looked radiant, beautiful and as 'in shape as always, six weeks after the birth of her baby.'"

When I was at the gym this morning, I paged through a recent copy of Women's Health, which featured Ashlee Simpson's and other celebrities' secrets to getting your body back after a baby. They all talk about how they love to eat, how they don't stress about losing the weight...and I'm thinking yeah right, there's no way you can go back to your impossibly slim figure without a crazy amount of exercise and food restriction! At least have the honesty to tell us how much effort goes into taming your newly postpartum body back to its former shape and size--one that most American women can't attain in the first place.


  1. I have been thinking about that - how the media portrays pregnancy and birth so oddly and they have no clue. I think for these women it does help that they're already thin. And if you breastfeed, that's the best form of exercise there is!

    The article I read about Gisele had nothing but good things to say, LOL so obviously they didn't get the 'homebirth is bad for you!' memo. :D

  2. The *opposite* of starting out thin worked for me: during my pregnancy (and for the first time in my life) I actually ate extremely carefully and healthfully and I only gained about 15 pounds overall. And 10 days after my daughter was born, I weighed less than I did before I got pregnant. So I guess it was pretty easy to get back to my pre-pregnant "size"--shape is something else altogether. My abdominal muscles will never be the same again.

  3. I really hate the unrealistic perspective that the media portrays of women...especially surrounding pregnancy and one's body after birth. While it's all well and good if you are back to your "perfect" pre-prego body, why can't a mother's body be celebrated as it is? A vessel of life!

    Great post!

  4. Oh man, the obsession with the pre-pregnancy body (and more specifically, re-attaining it) drives me insane. Why should our bodies have to remain the same? We are forever changed within when we become mothers, why can't our shape reflect that? So very many women end up becoming mothers at some point in their lives, I wish we coul accept the new shape we take post-birth.

    I gotta say, with my first I got pretty close to pre-prego by doing a whole lot of nothing spectacular. (As close as I wanted to get, as I was actually malnourished and unhealthy skinny before baby) I'm not losing the weight as quickly now that I've had my second, but I'm very ok with it. I dunno if it was the strengthening of body image I received with my amazing HBAC, but I LOVE my new curves, tummy pooch and all. I actually would be quite happy keeping the extra 20lbs, but most of my clothes don't fit, and we can't afford a whole new wardrobe for me.

    That said, even motivated by wanting my clothes back...I'm not terribly motivated to diet. I am exercising to tone up a little, but mostly because I feel at 23 yrs old, I should be able to get off the floor without grunting and heaving and clutching at furniture for help. LOL.

  5. You'll love this, then: Kourtney Kardashian's cover for OK about her Amazing Instant Baby Weight Loss? Photoshopped. I mean, we all know images of celebs are regularly enhanced, but this is over the top.

    I like this quote: "To those who are tired of “all this body image stuff“? To those who say “Photoshop is a fact of life, get over it“? To those who say “we already know magazines digitally retouch images, move on“?

    I’m going to say this. I’m not going to move on. Because had the original photo of Kourtney not come to light and had she not spoken out about it, millions of women (and men) would have believed that’s what a woman really looks like 7 days after GIVING BIRTH."

    Kourtney also corrects the mag's claims that she gained only 26 pounds - she actually gained 40. Good for her for being honest!

  6. How Kourtney Kardashian's postpartum weight was photoshopped was on high buzz in my reader this week:

    Thought it was relevant here. :)

  7. I only gained 18 pounds during pregnancy and was back to my "old" size very quickly. It does happen, but it was pretty suprising to me too. I did not diet but my daughter breastfed round the clock.

  8. Anon, I know it does happen for some women and that should be acknowledged. I think the problem lies in celebrating it as though all women should be able to do it if they just follow this celeb's regamine.

    If the gossip mags put the same # of of mothers whose bodies didn't bounce back it would be more realistic. But they only glorify the ones who have bodies that didn't change much, or they lie and photoshop.

  9. I completely agree with your sentiments about how the media's portrayal of celebrities instantaneously regaining their pre-baby bodies is deceitful and unrealistic. However, in light of your following post, I must say that I also found your reflections oddly resounding of "sour grapes." :) For most of us, a completely pain-free birth is just as unlikely. I'm hesitant to presume that someone's lying just because it's not the case for me. While I'm still not back into my regular wardrobe four months after birth, despite lots of exercise and careful eating, I'm also trying hard not to envy and begrudge those who are.

  10. Kara--you're totally right! I was actually thinking, as I was typing this post, that I probably sounded like that. And it's not so much that I don't believe you can get back your pre-baby body (after all, I am the same pre-preg weight after 2 kids, although my body lost the weight around 4-5 months postpartum, not as quickly as some of the celebrities in the magazine I was reading, and of course I'm nowhere near that skinny!). I was objecting more to the breathless, easy-breezy tone of the article, implying that with just the slightest effort you, too, can look just like them.

  11. Gisele did an interview with a Brazilian magazine where she basically said she hardly gained any weight during the pregnancy (so little, in fact, that she never stopped wearing her regular clothes) so she was literally back to her pre-pregnancy weight as soon as she gave birth. I don't know how healthy it is to only gain 10 or 15 pounds during pregnancy, especially for someone who is extraordinarily skinny to begin with. I just think the message becomes that extreme calorie restriction during pregnancy is a good thing, because God forbid you gain more than 10 pounds.


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