After giving birth to each of my babies, it took a while to feel comfortable in a swimsuit again. I didn’t sweat it. So what if I gained 50 pounds per pregnancy? I carried a healthy, beautiful life form to term. It actually took about a year — give or take a few months — to feel somewhat “normal” again (is that even a thing after becoming a mom?), which apparently is somewhat common.
While breastfeeding, health specialists suggest eating an ample amount of calories to support breast milk production and to avoid rigorous exercise, as sweating can also decrease milk supply.
It always piqued my curiosity when I noticed celebrities and models back in bikinis just weeks after giving birth — especially when they claimed to be nursing. Sure, every woman’s body is different, but the days I failed to eat enough food I noticed my milk supply would dry up immediately.
Olivia Wilde, who welcomed her second child, daughter Daisy Josephine, with husband Jason Sudeikis on October 11, feels my pain. The star speaks for pretty much every breastfeeding mom on the planet with an Instagram post she shared this week, calling out a major advertising fail on behalf of a “Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump Bra” for sale on Amazon.
“Real quick just wanna take a break from online (lazy-person) x mas shopping to call bullshit on this ad for a breast-pump bra cuz this lady definitely did not recently birth a child who requires breastmilk to be pumped,” the star wrote alongside a photo of a super-skinny, flat-tummied model wearing a strapless nursing contraption, similar if not identical in style to those many of us have learned to love and loathe simultaneously.
I would have to agree with Olivia that the posed model featured on Amazon does not accurately depict the average nursing mother, whose tummy is lovingly lumpy and who probably isn’t wearing a stitch of makeup to cover up the bags underneath her eyes.
“Also want to give a quick cyber hug to this model who had to pretend to have recently birthed a milk-fed baby-child when she clearly has spent the last year lifting tiny weights and meditating,” Olivia hilariously continued.
“(Side note: why does Amazon insert breast-pump ads into every single goddamn search I make? I’m no longer in the market for more pump supplies Amazon! Shut it down!)” Olivia concluded, also offering her own stamp of approval for the Simple Wishes bra, with the postscript, “I own this bra and it’s awesome.”
While I understand the advertising industry is trying to sell a lifestyle and that most women would rather look like a washboard-abbed model than soft and flabby new mom, Olivia has a solid point here.
Let’s remember that most women are on the market for an item like this either right before or soon after having their child. It’s not like we are shopping for sexy Victoria’s Secret lingerie when we are perusing breast pump or nursing bras. We aren’t looking for slim-down inspiration or thinking about getting our bikini bodies back. Our main objective is to find an item that will aid in the goal of feeding and nurturing the little life we just created.
I can’t say that if I stumbled upon this ad, I would consciously feel crappy about my postpartum body, but I think most women subconsciously take it into account that this is how society expects us to look shortly after creating a human life.
I think it is important that companies take note of the ridiculousness demonstrated here and so perfectly called out by Ms. Wilde. Please inject some healthy realism into the postpartum market and give all the new moms out there — who are busy keeping their newborns alive, changing dirty diapers, and waking up every few hours to feed them — a little bit of a break. Save the flat abs for a pair of thongs and a push-up bra.