These days, Hannah Jeter is back to modeling, but the Sports Illustrated model, and wife to Derek Jeter, now explains that she suffered a challenging road to get to this point. “I went into hiding,” she told the Editorialist about her experience following her first pregnancy in 2017, during which she gained 70 pounds.
“No one really saw me, but I have pictures,” she said of the time during her first pregnancy. During her second pregnancy the following year, she gained 55 pounds, and weight loss was again hard afterward. “I always thought, you know, I’m going to have kids and go right back to work and pop back into shape,” she said, “and it’s not that easy.”
No — it’s sure not.
When I carried my twins back in 2014, my weight gain exceeded the gain recommended for twin pregnancy that my ob-gyn put forth. If memory serves, he suggested a 40-pound weight gain was ideal; I gained 53. (And that seemed plenty reasonable given that I carried 12 pounds 2 ounces worth of babies — but who’s counting? — plus excess amniotic fluid in a condition known as polyhydramnios.)
After my babies came, I worked hard at healthy eating and exercise when approved, and I lost all of the pregnancy weight within a span of five or six months. But I nevertheless spent a lot of time hiding. That’s because — and I wish this was a topic more widely discussed — it’s not just the weight that changes your body into an unrecognizable shape after pregnancy. It’s so many other more complex things.
I often quote a colleague who put it simply this way: “The cargo shifts.” But in my case, it was a particular condition known as diastasis recti — a tearing apart and separation of the abdominal muscles — that changed my form in a way that was both unrecognizable and deeply embarrassing to me.
My clothes didn’t fit even after I lost the weight — because it was still a different body. (Insert rant about why headlines blaring “get your body back after baby” is a dangerous fallacy.)
And in the many months — even years — it took me to come to terms with those changes, I spent a lot of time hiding— hiding under tent dresses (which, word to the wise, always make you look pregnant no matter what). Or hiding altogether by avoiding social events that required any kind of… lewk, worn confidently. Because back then, my confidence was in very short supply.
But now, five years later, my postpartum body is no longer new to me, and I’m no longer hiding. I’m back in the light again as a proud mom — and trying to do what I can to speak openly about the body changes that send moms like Jeter (and me) into hiding.