In an exclusive interview with HELLO!, EastEnders actress Patsy Palmer admits that her body shape has changed since giving birth to her fourth child last Christmas – and says she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m not one of those stars who want to ping back to a size zero in a couple of weeks,” she said. “I’m a mum and a real woman and you have to accept that after having kids your body will change and never quite be the same.
“Many new mums feel like they’re competing with celebrities to see how quickly they can lose weight after having a baby and put unrealistic pressure on themselves.
“That’s rubbish. It takes a good year and sometimes longer for your body, bones and muscles to recover. It’s crazy what some women do to get thin. I find it quite disturbing.”
And she says that women of all shapes and sizes should be celebrated.
“After having a baby you have to accept that your body changes,” she explained.
“The problem is we don’t seem to celebrate different body shapes any more. It’s such a shame as everybody just wants to be a size 6. Most girls look at themselves and because they don’t look stick thin they think it’s wrong.
" But thin is not necessarily healthy. I used to be naturally skinny as a kid. But now I’m wearing a size 12-14, my stomach’s a little loose and I’ve got stretch marks. But so what? I’ve got four wonderful children so it doesn’t really matter.”
“I put on more than two stone during my pregnancy and, although I’ve already lost quite a bit, I still have some way to go to get back to how I was. But I’m not stressing about it. I’m taking off my baby weight the healthy way – slowly.
“I’m curvier than I was but I like the shape I am and I’m proud of my body. I just wish more women would celebrate the amazing things that happen to their bodies and not feel so much pressure to snap back to a size 6.”
To read more of the interview with Patsy, including all about her health scare after the birth of baby Bertie and how she plans to lose her baby weight, pick up the new issue of HELLO!, no. 1178 out June 7.