In case you needed a friendly reminder that women’s pregnancy bellies do not magically disappear overnight, Meghan Markle made her first post-birth appearance today sporting a belted dress that revealed a visible baby bump.
Markle and Prince Harry, who are also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, appeared before the press on Wednesday to introduce their newborn son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to the world. Many women subsequently expressed their gratitude to Markle for not trying to hide her postpartum baby bump, as Buzzfeed reports. “The bump doesn’t disappear as soon as the baby pops out & I love that she’s embracing it,” one Twitter user wrote.
LOVE that Meghan has come to her photo call without trying to hide the ‘after birth baby bump’. Absolute icon. This is how 99% of women look after birth and she is helping normalise it. She looks amazing and is absolutely glowing. Power to her and all new mothers! 💗 #babysussex
— ☾madeleine (@idgimaddy) May 8, 2019
You know what I love *most* about this photo, apart from the gorgeous pic, it's that Meghan is wearing a dress that shows off her post baby bump.
The bump doesnt disappear as soon as the baby pops out & I love that she's embracing it. https://t.co/erxBCpbsTp
— Sabbiyah Pervez (@SabbiyahPervez) May 8, 2019
Fans had similar praise for Kate Middleton after she gave birth to Prince George in 2013. Before she had even left the hospital, a tabloid had published a cover story about how Middleton intended to lose the baby weight—so when she appeared for a photo-op with a visible bump, people were quick to hail her as “brave.”
Many women, in fact, would find it practically impossible to conceal their bellies in the days after giving birth. After being stretched out over the course of nine months, the uterus, abdominal muscles and skin can take time to return to their pre-pregnancy shape, explains Women’s Health. In fact, the Office on Women’s Health cautions new mothers not to “expect or try to lose additional pregnancy weight right away. Gradual weight loss over several months is the safest way, especially if you are breastfeeding.”
And yet, in light of our tendency to lionize mothers for their “post-baby body snapbacks,” women like Markle and Middleton offer important reminders that it is perfectly normal for women’s bodies to retain a pregnancy bump after birth.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were introduced to the newborn son of The Duke & Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle. Ms Doria Ragland was also present. The Duke & Duchess of Sussex are delighted to announce that they have named their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. pic.twitter.com/PaHVhPlUl5
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 8, 2019