Celebs set a high bar for how a post-baby bod should look.
Cardi B recently copped to having at least two cosmetic surgeries in the year since her baby, Kulture, was born. At the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis earlier this month, she said she had liposuction to reduce her love handles — something she told fans on Instagram Live that she was thinking of doing as early as six weeks after she gave birth on July 10.
And she told Entertainment Tonight this month that she also had breast augmentation surgery — all before baby Kulture’s first birthday.
“Yes, my daughter f - - ked me up!” joked the “Money” rapper, who showed off her slender frame and six-pack abs in the midriff-baring gown she wore to the Billboard Music Awards on May 1.
Nor is Cardi alone: Pop star Jessica Simpson shared a candid post on Instagram Friday about using a rubber corset to cinch her waist back into pre-pregnancy shape following the arrival of daughter Birdie Mae barely two months before, on March 19.
While it’s refreshing to hear celebrities be honest about the work it takes to look that good, some doctors warn that too much too soon could be dangerous to both mother and baby.
“Cardi B is setting completely unrealistic and unsafe expectations for how a woman is supposed to look after having a baby,” says NYC-based psychotherapist Kimberly Hershenson, who specializes in eating disorders. “It’s better to focus on healthy eating, a balanced diet and a normal exercise routine once your doctor clears you.”
Dr. Alyssa Golas, assistant professor of plastic surgery at NYU Langone, also prefers that patients first try dieting, exercise and time before trying elective surgery. She adds that during that first year after birth, a woman’s body is in a state of flux.
Dr. Stephen Chasen, OB-GYN at Weill Cornell Medicine NewYork-Presbyterian, tells The Post that it can take six to 12 months, or even longer, for the changes in fat distribution during pregnancy to resolve, “or at least settle into some steady state.”
Plus, breasts will continue to “deflate” as the lactation period winds down, Golas says. If you have them touched-up too soon, she says, “you might be disappointed.”
Even Cardi agrees that the surgery isn’t as simple as it may sound. As she told “ET,” “It’s almost like the same process as after you give birth to a baby and you see your body change, and snapping it back.”
And, as with any elective surgery, there’s always a risk.
“Liposuction isn’t without complications, and it would be a real disaster to have a surgical complication while having a newborn,” Golas says.
Although corsets are relatively safe, even for new moms, Chasen warns against taking waist-cinching to the extreme, which could pose musculoskeletal as well as gastrointestinal problems.
Nor are corsets a permanent solution.
“Women have been wearing corsets for hundreds of years,” Golas says. “If that were something that actually worked, it would be something that [doctors] would use.”
Rather, women should know that there are no quick fixes — and be OK with that.
“Give yourself time,” says Hershenson. “It takes nine months to make the baby. Practice gratitude for what your body was able to do.”
—additional reporting by Doree Lewak