The race for stars to lose weight has spurred a new phenomenon called "Pregorexia." What is it? Our expert weighs in.
Just two weeks after giving birth to daughter Sunday Rose, Nicole Kidman revealed her perfectly flat stomach in a photo published in Us Weekly. Blogs, magazines, and people everywhere were buzzing about Kidman's fast weight loss. How??? But this isn't the first time a celebrity has quickly dropped her baby weight.
Former Bond girl Denise Richards, who, after gaining 30 pounds during her pregnancy with first daughter Sam, posed for the cover of Playboy magazine five months after she delivered. And supermodel Heidi Klum walked the Victoria's Secret runway in a bra and thong just eight weeks after giving birth to son, Henry.
That's great for these women, but what impact do these images have on the rest of the world? A survey conducted by Babycenter.com found 31 percent of moms felt angry about the "extra pressure on regular moms to look like celebrities" and 24 percent just felt depressed.
The topic of celeb baby weight has even spurred a new phrase called "Pregorexia"--a condition where women get so obsessed with keeping their weight down during pregnancy that they go to extremes with diet and exercise, ultimately harming the health of their baby.
But since most moms can't afford personal chefs, private Pilates sessions, and those rumored delivery room tummy tuck/C-section combos, should we feel jealous of celebs whose basic survival depends on their ability to stay thin and beautiful?
"Women are used to having celeb envy, but new moms are particularly sensitive to it and feel judged as soon as they give birth," says Yvonne Fulbright, Ph.D., author of Your Orgasmic Pregnancy: Little Sex Secrets Every Hot Mama Should Know.
According to Fulbright, having a baby is a time for women to be honored and praised for her efforts. But instead, many feel pressure to lose weight immediately. "Women are no longer allowed to gain weight beyond that of the baby and if she does, she fears being seen as a failure," says Fulbright.
"Women should gain one or two pounds per week for a total of 30 pounds, but how quickly a woman loses that weight is related to whether she's breastfeeding, her activity level, and her diet and sleep schedule," says Fulbright. Sleep keeps cortisol (a.k.a the stress hormone) levels low, which help suppress cravings and stay trim. In fact, one Harvard University study found women who sleep five hours or less when their babies are six months old are three times as likely to keep their baby weight six months later than moms who sleep seven hours a night. (Having a nanny also helps!)
And do husbands expect their wives to shed weight quickly? They're hardly immune to the images of a sexy Halle Berry hitting the red carpet weeks after giving birth. "The good news is, guys aren't comparing their wives to celebrity moms," says Fulbright. "Sure, they drool over eye candy, but they're just thinking, 'She looks good.' Most don't relate those images to reality."
"The bottom line is, unless you have the funds to afford the luxuries celebrities have, you shouldn't worry about losing all your weight right away," says Fulbright. "Most women take a year to get back to their pre-pregnancy state anyway. In the meantime, proper nutrition, sleep and exercise will help your body return to its pre-pregnancy state."