Losing baby weight can be a challenge, but the stress provided by the tabloids doesn’t help.

Here are the common unspoken messages in the tabloid headlines seen on a near-weekly basis:

Back to a Size 4 just days after having twins!

[Message: What’s wrong with you? She did it, why can’t you?]

Star Still Wearing Baggy Clothes Two Months After Baby Comes: Career Over?

[Message: What’s wrong with her? If she couldn’t do it, you might as well forget it!]

Get the theme? Losing baby weight as presented in the tabloids falls into one of two buckets: the good girl bucket, or the bad girl one.  Life, and the post-natal period, is just not that black and white. No two women’s post-pregnancy physical and emotional state is alike. Throw in metabolism differences and this shakes it up even more. For someone who has a history of an eating disorder and has recently had a baby, there are even more reason to ignore tabloids and remember that each person is unique.

Often a pregnant women who is in recovery for an eating disorder has already ramped up the coping skills learned in treatment before birth. This just makes sense. Emotions related to the hormonal changes of pregnancy, as well as the every growing body changes over nine months, can trigger anxieties and eating behaviors. Even someone who has successfully recovered months or years ago from anorexia, bulimia, or another eating disorder, may need some professional help during pregnancy, and in the post-partum period, where losing baby weight is an active pursuit.

Having a baby is a joyful event. Family, friends and co-workers of the new mother can provide positive support with caring, and careful comments. It can be essential to focus on building networks of support with other new mothers and on developing a healthy attachment with the baby over losing baby weight. New mothers can support themselves by ignoring the tabloids, or at the very most feeling empathic towards a celebrity who has her own challenges with losing baby weight thrown back at her by the media. For any woman the focus should be on celebrating this new role of motherhood and embracing yourself and your body.

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