Coco Austin’s pregnancy weight gain gets the Internet all riled up

Dec 8, 2015 at 12:05 p.m. ET

Celebrity moms never fail to ruin it for the rest of us — their births are quick and easy, their kids are impeccably dressed, and if they’re anything like Coco Austin, they have no problem bouncing back to their pre-baby bodies in as little as a week.

Just a week ago, we congratulated Coco and Ice-T, married since 2002, on the birth of their adorable baby girl, Chanel. But far before Chanel ever made her big debut on Instagram, Austin had revealed a few shocking facts about her pregnancy with her first child. In her first trimester, the reality star of Ice & Coco shared that she actually lost weight, leading her to advise pregnant moms to not eat more in the first trimester to avoid unnecessary weight gain within the first three months.

After giving birth to her daughter, Austin dropped an even bigger bomb on Instagram, saying she gained only 13 pounds during her pregnancy and has almost reached her pre-baby weight of 137 pounds one week later.

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Suffice it to say, most of Austin’s Instagram followers (and fellow moms) aren’t happy to hear this news. Not only is Austin challenging the traditional view of pregnancy, in which women are expected and even encouraged to eat for two, but she has committed the unpardonable celebrity crime of making it look easy.

But as the saying goes, “haters gonna hate,” and Austin isn’t necessarily doing anything wrong if she was following the advice of her doctor. In fact, this assumption is really none of the general public's business. There are plenty of cases in which a doctor may advise a pregnant woman to gain very little weight because of a health complication, which is impossible to know just by looking at her.

Doctors have long been trying to tell us that eating for two is one of the greatest pregnancy myths women still buy into. In a 2015 study published in eLife, researchers found that this practice of doubling food intake during pregnancy can actually make it harder for women to lose their post-baby weight, as the body adapts to new energy demands.

More: Why I wish I'd 'eaten for two' when I was pregnant

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the average woman is advised to gain anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy, and it sounds like Austin clearly fell below that mark. But while being underweight can be a concern for a baby’s development, we often forget to talk about the other side of the coin — gaining too much weight during pregnancy can be a big problem too. Almost 50 percent of pregnant women gain more weight than is recommended, increasing the risk of diabetes, childhood obesity and even stillbirth.

More:Meal plans to help you lose the baby weight

Again, the amount of weight Austin gained during her pregnancy is between her and her doctor, but there is some evidence to suggest that she avoided a number of health problems associated with too much pregnancy weight gain, at the very least.

Unfortunately for Austin, her quick bounce-back to her pre-baby body plays into a common new mom double standard. Most of the time, we cheer on the new moms who are brave enough to embrace their changing post-baby bodies, and we should continue to provide this support. But a new mom like Austin, who lost her baby weight right away, deserves the same respect. Just like we can’t shame the moms who have a hard time losing weight, we can’t shame the moms who drop weight more quickly than we would like.

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