Celebrity mums swap their pregnancy stories
Facial hair? Embarrassing wind? Out-of-control emotions? These celebs have been there too, says Rebecca Howard Dennis
'I had pain and got paranoid [and] started Googling things. It freaked me out', Kim Kardashian.
Kim, we know you live your life on social media but pregnancy is the one time when a woman should resist the temptation to self-diagnose online in the middle of the night. After all, that is what your GP or midwife is for. Anxiety is common in pregnancy. ‘There is a lot that women do not have control over in pregnancy,’ says Mary. ‘And this uncertainty can very easily fuel fearful thoughts. If you have suffered from anxiety in the past, then there is a chance that you may be more at risk of suffering from it again during pregnancy, and it is always something worth discussing early on with your healthcare provider.’ If you are feeling anxious and don’t know where to turn, consider calling a charity helpline such as MIND (0300 123 3393).
'I had so much testosterone in me that I grew a beard. I'm not telling a joke. I was proud of it. I called it Larry', Adele.
It takes one heck of a woman to stand up in front of a stadium and say she’s got facial hair, as Adele did. But it is estimated that five to ten per cent of women are affected by hirsutism – an excess of hair on parts of the body. Dark strays on our upper lips, nipples and thighs might be embarrassing but they are normal and are usually caused by hormonal fluctuations and an increase in male hormones. Excess hair growth typically goes away by itself within six months of giving birth. If it lingers for longer, there are options that can help, once you’ve stopped breastfeeding. Try adding Inhibitif Face Serum (£17, victoriahealth.com) into your depilation routine; it uses active ingredients to minimise the appearance of regrowth. Or invest in a Philips Lumea Prestige (from £475, johnlewis.com), an at-home intense pulsed light (IPL) device that’s proven to reduce hair by up to 92 per cent in just three treatments.
'Officially harder to get into workout clothes than it is to workout', Chrissy Teigen.
We get it, Chrissy – just the thought of wrestling a post-baby paunch into Lycra leaves us feeling despondent and reaching for the Hobnobs. That said, health experts agree that small steps are the key to getting back into an exercise regime. ‘Set realistic goals, rather than daunting ones such as vowing to exercise three times a week,’ says celebrity trainer Matt Roberts (mattroberts.co.uk). Matt recommends simple switches at first, such as walking to the shops instead of driving (no sports bra necessary) and also incorporating what he calls fitness ‘snacks’ into your day – small bouts of activity that will increase fitness levels. When you feel ready for more of a challenge, consider circuittraining apps such as Sworkit (sworkit.com) that help you create personal workouts. Oh and if you do want to slip on some sports gear, Zakti Active (zaktiactive.com) offers great-quality, affordable workout wear to motivate you without breaking the bank.
'The thing that really got me was the indigestion, I would be saying something and I'd just start burping. It was awful', Kather Heigl.
It's a cruel irony, Katherine, that at the very moment women are meant to feel their most distinctly unladylike symptoms. Gas and indigestion often become more problematic after 27 weeks, due to hormonal changes and the increased pressure the growing ulterus exerts on your stomach. Try switching to five or six smaller meals a day and when you eat, ease that mounting pressure by sitting up straight at the dinner table. And don't drink with meals - sip fluids through the day instead, as this will reduce the amount of air you gulp down with food.
'People say that pregnant women have a glow. And I say it's because you're sweating to death', Jessica Simpson
Jess has a point – so much is made of the pregnancy glow that many mums-to-be can feel disappointed if they don’t have radiant skin. That said, there is solid science behind the phenomenon. ‘In pregnancy, blood volume increases and there is a dilation of blood vessels to maintain blood supply to the placenta,’ explains gynaecologist Dr Felice Gersh. ‘This causes increased blood flow to the skin, particularly the face, giving it a glow.’ However, hormonal fluctuations can also mean you suffer breakouts. So keep your skincare regime simple with gentle products, such as Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser, £10.50 and Skin Recovery Cream, £16.50 (boots.com). Oh, and FYI, you do sweat more – growing a baby, plus hormones and increased blood flow, equals a spike in body temperature.