Holly MadisonOn behalf of moms everywhere, I'd like to go ahead and offer up a huge round of applause to Holly Madison for proudly showing off her post-baby belly. Yes, I said her post-baby belly. As in she still has one, as in her stomach is NOT magically flat a couple of weeks after having her baby girl, Rainbow Aurora.

OMG. Is there any bigger buzz kill than seeing a celeb mom on the cover of a magazine looking all svelte and perfect right after having a baby?

The answer is no. And even though she's a former Playboy model, Holly Madison knows that.

And that's why she wanted everyone to see what she really looks like after giving birth. Of her decision to share her postpartum photo, Holly says:

I don’t want the first post-pregnancy pics anyone sees of me to be miraculously skinny, either. I think it’s discouraging to moms to see these "overnight" transformations without any sense of how these women got there. It’s perfectly normal for a woman to walk out of the hospital after giving birth still looking a good six to seven months pregnant. Your belly only deflates a little immediately after giving birth -- you’ve still got a basketball sized uterus in there!

You can see I still look pregnant even though I was wearing Spanx for this shoot! I had a few awkward moments the few times I had to leave the house for appointments without the baby-people I knew would look at my belly and say "that baby just doesn’t want to come out, does she?" And I'd be like "um ... I had her a few days ago" -- super awkward! But that’s real life, people, so don’t feel bad if you don’t bounce back right away after giving birth!

Um, excuse me while I start clapping uncontrollably again.

I honestly don't know whether to jump up and down and cheer, or break down and cry over the fact that Holly's words of wisdom weren't around when I had my son seven years ago.

I distinctly remember sitting on my couch on more than one occasion, looking through the pages of a magazine featuring a new celebrity mom who was back in her skinny jeans pretty much as soon as she left the hospital. And as I glanced down at my own mushy, protruding, still pregnant looking belly, I couldn't help but feel like a total failure. I felt inferior, gross, and just plain hopeless, and I wondered where in the hell I went wrong since I hadn't bounced back as quickly as the women in those magazines.

But if I'd seen a Playboy model who still looked pregnant after giving birth? Yeah, that would've made things so much easier for me. And I probably would've been a lot less hard on myself -- and would've realized having a belly after having a baby is perfectly NORMAL.

Hopefully Holly realizes what a huge favor she's doing other moms by being open and honest about the way our bodies look right after becoming a mother. And with any luck, more celebrities will follow suit and won't hesitate to show off every their real postpartum bodies with pride. (Nah, you're right. That'll probably never happen.)

Did you still look pregnant for a while after giving birth?

 

Image via Splash