Women are no strangers to societal pressures — there is always an expectation to perform and look their best, whether it be at work or at home. When women become new mothers — especially when celebrities become new mothers — that pressure increases tenfold. Suddenly, all eyes are on these moms to return back to work and return back to their pre-pregnancy body, while still, you know, being a mother. Actress and new mother Alexa PenaVega knows this to be true — so when PenaVega says postpartum diets are unnecessary because moms have other priorities, people need to take note — because they have no idea how right she is.
Why do people expect mothers to bounce back to their pre-baby weight months after having a baby anyway? The months after giving birth should be spent enjoying every second with your child, learning (or re-learning) what it means to be a mother and taking care of someone else. New mothers are often so busy they don't have time to think about working out or starting a new diet. PenaVega, who gave birth to son Ocean with husband actor Carlos PenaVega in December, knows all about this, elaborating further on the topic in an interview with E!:
Throw anything diet out the window especially if you're breastfeeding. Don't think about diets, don't worry about diets. You need all of those nutrients. And the pounds will come off on their own. I'm focused on getting strong.
PenaVega added that it's hard for her to find the time to go to the gym, even with her husband's insistence on watching 3-month-old Ocean, because it feels so weird to leave him. These feelings are not at all uncommon — and PenaVega is right about the pounds shedding eventually. Research shows that breastfeeding does indeed burn calories. Add breastfeeding to the combination of lifting a growing baby and doing weekly tedious household chores (that burn more calories than you'd expect) and new moms have got themselves their own personal weight loss routine from the comfort of their own homes, no extra stress necessary.
PenaVega recently stressed to People how important it is for her and her husband to spend as much time as possible with their son. "It's nonstop and we don't have any nannies," PenaVega said. "We really try to do it ourselves because we want to spend every moment that we can watching him grow." PenaVega's words, about prioritizing her newborn son over society's postpartum body expectations, are ones that every new mother can take to heart.