Why I love Kate
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture is surely priceless.
First, let me say that I paid no attention to anything surrounding Kate’s pregnancy or delivery. I rarely watch TV, and I ignored everything about this event in social media. Then this photo was released. And, now I must confess, that I love Kate.
Why do I love her? Because she had the guts to greet the press for the first time post baby looking absolutely radiant, while making no effort to “hide” the fact that she had just given birth. She appeared in a beautiful dress with an empire waist; which if anything, highlighted the fact that she (gasp!) still has a belly.
Although you wouldn’t know it from looking at any of the media surrounding most Hollywood stars departing the hospital, the fact is that MOST women still look pregnant after giving birth. Like 5 months pregnant. And it USUALLY takes 6-8 weeks for the uterus to return to its normal size.
What Kate has done in 5 minutes is give permission to women to be proud of their beautiful bodies after giving birth. She made the effort to look beautiful (yes, we can argue that she most likely had a hairstylist, makeup artist, etc. work with her prior to the photo-op); but, the point remains that she did not attempt to cover up her abdomen with the baby, a blanket, a black dress, or Spanx. She owned the way she looked.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could see more and more women “owning” their look? Imagine a culture where we didn’t even have to have this discussion! A culture that recognizes that our bodies take time to expand to carry a baby, and time to become the post baby body that we desire.
How could this change women’s health? Imagine a generation of girls that grow up knowing about their bodies, knowing that our bodies change slowly during and after pregnancy, and that we need to honor the healing that occurs after delivery. Imagine if women didn’t feel the need to cover up after giving birth, or the need to “punish” themselves “back into” their pre-baby bodies.
After treating women for 15 years, I can say that many of the acute and chronic injuries I see in women who have had babies can be traced back to their desire to lose the baby weight and regain their pre-baby bodies as rapidly as possible after delivery. Once they leave that 6 week post-partum appointment, they go home to lace up their running shoes (or weightlifting shoes, or walking shoes) and start right in. The problem is, their bodies have changed, their pelvic floor has experienced trauma (or their abdomen has due to C section), and things just ain’t what they used to be. This is normal. The solution is for women to have realistic expectations and to take the time to rebuild their foundation. Many women need to retrain the central stability system of the pelvic floor, diaphragm and the deep abdominal muscles. Some women need help doing this, and need to consult with a physical therapist with experience in this area. ALL women need to have support during this time.
I can imagine a culture where acceptance of our body’s need for healing is normal. Thank you, Kate, for your bravery. I hope it helps other women feel the same.