Pregnant celebrities 'too posh to push'

  1. I just found this article subtitled, "New mothers choose surgical delivery in bid to get fit and toned." (I tried to include the website address, but can't make it work. Below is the article.)

    Author: Anne Marie Owens
    National Post

    Monday, February 10, 2003

    If Claudia Schiffer and Elle Macpherson are true to their supermodel trade, they will likely be returned to their whittled forms within weeks after giving birth, flashing their toned bodies in public before their new sons are even a month old.

    These new mothers, who both gave birth in the past two weeks, are the latest in a long list of models and actresses who are beginning to superimpose their impossible body image standards on pregnancy.

    The pictures in tabloids and glossy magazines show a stream of celebrities slimmed down and toned within mere months of giving birth -- the result of rigid pilates routines, personal trainers, strict diets and even, it is rumoured, babies delivered about a month early by Caesarean section.

    With their unbelievably flat stomachs, their scanty post-pregnancy fashions, and their toned physiques, it should come as no surprise that these celebrity mothers operate under a different set of rules than most women.

    "The supermom syndrome has expanded from working and having kids, to working and having kids and having a body like this," said Dr. Jan Christilaw, a Vancouver obstetrician-gynecologist and head of specialized women's health at B.C. Women's Hospital.

    "It is not attainable in most women's lives -- nor should it be."

    She joins other medical experts in their condemnation of this new celebrity standard of post-pregnancy shape.

    "Women's bodies change when they have a baby. The fat distribution changes. It's functional and, I think, it's beautiful. We should be celebrating the changes that women's bodies are going through," said Dr. Christilaw. "The main problem I have is that this creates an atmosphere of frustration for women."

    She said the speedy return to pre-pregnancy form "usually means that you've manipulated your body in ways that are not very healthy."

    There have always been rumours that some celebrities, in their desire to keep a streamlined form, push for an early C-section as a way of avoiding the final month of major abdominal stretching.

    It is the extreme of what some tabloids have dubbed the "too posh to push" movement, whereby wealthy and simply busy mothers eschew the haphazard nature of a natural birth for the precision of a surgical delivery.

    Those rumours abounded earlier this month, when Ms. Schiffer, the German-born supermodel, had her son delivered a few weeks early by Caesarean because of risks associated with an earlier accident involving her foot.

    Among the celebrities who have delivered their babies by C-sections: Catherine Zeta Jones, Madonna, Céline Dion and Victoria Beckham, the former Posh Spice and one of the original namesakes behind "too posh to push."

    Dr. Jennifer Blake, obstetrician and gynecologist in chief at Toronto's Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre, says these flat-stomached pictures of new celebrity mothers strain credulity.

    "I have never seen anybody with a flat stomach after pregnancy -- never," she said. "There is a stretching of the abdominal wall that occurs in pregnancy. It is physiological. It is necessary."

    She said although it is possible for some very tall and thin women, the typical model physique, to carry their pregnancy more upwards than outwards, she suspects these celebrities look so thin due to clever clothing choices, flattening undergarments and even digital manipulation of their photographed images.

    "I am skeptical really," said Dr. Blake. "Furthermore, I would be really concerned if women actually thought this was the standard to be achieved. The most important thing for a woman who is pregnant or has just had a baby is her health and the health of her baby. A flat stomach should be the last thing on her mind."

    Wendy Burgoyne, a health promotion consultant with Ontario's Best Start program, said it can actually be dangerous for women to lose weight too quickly after pregnancy. "There is a reason why that weight typically goes off slowly and it is to support breast-feeding," she said.

    "Women shouldn't be worrying about losing weight, particularly at a period of time when you aren't getting much sleep, you're tired and not in the best condition. Losing weight can be pretty stressful.

    "This is not something you should be thinking about right after having a baby."

    Most celebrity mothers, when asked how they managed to transform their postpartum bodies so speedily, wax on about the merits of a good diet and exercise regime.

    Pilates and yoga seem to be the toning methods of choice for the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Cindy Crawford and Elizabeth Hurley, although the pace would have to be intense to bring about the kind of results these stars get in a matter of months.

    Sascha Ferguson, owner of Absolution, a Los Angeles gym favoured by the celebrity set, maintains it is entirely possible for women who are absolutely dedicated to exercise to escape without many of the usual ravages of pregnancy. "These celebrities are just hard workers when it comes to their bodies."

    aowens@nationalpost.com
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   fab4fan
    can anyone say superficial!
  4. by   deespoohbear
    Celebrities getting C-sections for convenience and/or looks is nothing new. I can't remember off the top of my head at the moment, but there were several movie stars in the 50's and 60's who had C-sections for convenience. I will see if I can dig up the information....
  5. by   CashewLPN
    for convienance..... geez... well, we know it is happening... its no surprize...
    but, in my 2 floats to maternity (I'm a rehab nurse... not a maternity nurse by anyones imagination).... isint it the moms w/ vag. deliverys that are generally up and walking around, and actually being with the baby BEFORE the ones with the c/s are up at all(from the nerveblock?)
    just a question...
    --Barbara
  6. by   Q.
    This pisses me off. What selfish women! Having a C-section, totally not giving a crap about the side-effects for the baby - arrghhh.

    I have to not read these threads.
  7. by   at your cervix
    Unless they had a tummy tuck along with the c section, they still wouldn't have a flat stomach. It isn't a vaginal delivery that causes "flabbiness" it is the pregnancy itself. As for delivery a month early, I don't know an OB that would take the legal risk of electively delivering 1 month early. I think that someone that has no medical background whatsoever wrote this article!!! It sounds like something a pt would tell me!
  8. by   MomNRN
    One question for them - I've had 3 c-sections (not by choice), how come my stomach doesn't look like that?
  9. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by MomNRN
    One question for them - I've had 3 c-sections (not by choice), how come my stomach doesn't look like that?




    Probably because they can get whatever money can buy to get your body "perfect." Nurses don't have that kind of dough (at least the ones I know)....
  10. by   MomNRN
    No I don't have the extra dough and frankly, I'm beyond caring anymore. Yeah, I could lose 20 lbs and plan to lose at least 10 of that by Easter, but it's too much work to worry about it anymore! That extra baby weight is here to stay. Too bad the "baby" is 8 1/2 years old!
  11. by   LasVegasRN
    Well, childbirth turned me into a marsupial. I could smuggle contraband with my extra pouch.

    oops... shouldn't say that out loud...
  12. by   Lausana
    Originally posted by MomNRN
    One question for them - I've had 3 c-sections (not by choice), how come my stomach doesn't look like that?
    Just blame it on not having a personal trainer like the stars I think even more that early c-sections it's the beauty of having your clothes sew on you or your body touched up *sigh* I wish :chuckle
  13. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by at your cervix
    It isn't a vaginal delivery that causes "flabbiness" it is the pregnancy itself.
    I think that the (twisted) thinking is that the last month, that last big stretch, can be avoided.

    As for the docs doing sections a month early... these are the same doc that write script upon script for pain killers and narcotics and sleepers. Somehow I don't think that ethics are very high on their list of importance.

    $$$$$$$$$

    Heather
  14. by   RN-PA
    Is it even possible to do a tummy tuck right after a c-section?

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