Ah, pregnancy. An inarguable excuse for women to eat Haagen-Dazs omelettes for breakfast and skip that 7 a.m. spin class.
Think again. “They still want to fit into size 27s!” says Jane Buckingham, author of “The Modern Girls’ Guide to Motherhood,” who believes that new moms feel lots of pressure to look perfect. So perfect, in fact, that they will start doing crunches within 48 hours of delivery.
“This is a very looks-focused town and a very ambitious town,” adds Buckingham. “It is harder when you’re in a place where you show up at pre-school and there’s an A-list celebrity whose job it is to look good.”
And do they. Angelina Jolie appeared on CNN in a skintight pencil skirt just weeks after giving birth. And when Heidi Klum hit the Victoria’s Secret runway last year in little more than angel wings just one short month after having her second child, her abs seemed heaven sent.
“Let’s face it, most celebrity women don’t have the weight really to lose,” says Jackie Keller, author of the 30-day get-back-in-shape plan “Body After Baby,” of the weight-conscious class that works out and eats right throughout their pregnancy. Typically, these women only gain the minimal amount that is healthy for their preganancy.
Who hasn’t seen those women who maintain their muscled arms, taut thighs, and toned butt right up until delivery? “A lot of the pregnant women who shop here only have tummies,” says one salesgirl at Fred Segal. “They are buying size 2 dresses and size 26 jeans because they can wear them as soon as they have their babies.”
Keller says the trend to shed the pounds quickly isn’t really about having the right genes or fitting into the right jeans. It’s all about the driven nature of Hollywood women. “They are concerned about having the energy to get through the next project or the next day as the VP of a network.”
So is there any rest for the ‘just-delivered’? Hardly, says Birgitta Lauren, founder of Expecting Fitness, a personal training firm that specializes in pre- and post-natal programs. “They can exercise in the hospital bed,” says Lauren, who gives clients a list of four simple exercises to do immediately after delivery. “They are definitely willing to do it right away. I tell them that they’re going to get a flatter stomach faster.”