After giving birth to daughter Neilia last Monday morning, fitness blogger Caroline Berg Eriksen took to Instagram just days after to show off her svelte post-baby body.
“I feel so empty, and still not 4 days after birth,” the new mom - who is married to Footballer Lars-Kristian Eriksen – captioned the image.
Yes, 4 days postpartum!
During that first week, most new moms are knee-deep in sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, postpartum hormones and trying to figure it all out. But this Norwegian mom slipped into lingerie to take the above selfie of her toned tummy and slim frame.
While many have attacked the new mom and accused her of fat shaming, several have shown their support, telling her to “be proud” and “rock it.”
The new mom responded to the online critics.
“I let out the picture because I’m proud of myself and my body for something as tough as a pregnancy / birth, and I think all mothers, regardless of the body shall be,” she said.
Don’t get me wrong, if I looked like that just 4 days after giving birth, I would take a picture too! But do you know what I would not do? I would not share this image with friends, let alone publish on social media.
As a mother-of-three, I am keenly aware of the raging postpartum hormones after welcoming a baby. While there is often joy in the newborn phase, there is almost always some form of the blues, or even postpartum depression.
And I would not want to encourage this image as a normal or realistic goal during the postpartum period. Again, I would keep that photo to myself, knowing that it would not be supportive or helpful to my sisters in any way.
I truly feel nothing good can come of an image like this. Already having gone viral, I am sure this unrealistic image of new motherhood has negatively affected many women, making them feel shame during the postpartum period — a precious moment in time that should be focussed on baby, not body image.
And on this note, I truly wish the urgent desire to quickly drop pregnancy weight would go away.
We should encourage new moms to blissfully bond with her baby. We should not create and perpetuate superficial, unrealistic and shallow body images for women and girls.
What do you think of this 4-day transformation?