NEW YORK —
Nobody can say whether Kate consciously chose to send a message that this is what new mothers really look like, or whether she didn't realize — or didn't care — how obvious her tummy would be. Either way, she un-self-consciously handed the baby off to her husband rather than using the newborn to camouflage her figure from the cameras and crowds when she emerged from the hospital Tuesday. And her form-draping dress was a contrast to the caftan-like outfit that hid Princess Diana's figure when she appeared publicly for the first time after giving birth to Will in 1982.
Nancy Manister, who worked for 20 years as a maternity nurse and now teaches at Fairfield University in Connecticut, even noticed a moment during the photo op when Kate "clasped her hands together underneath the belly, and I thought, 'She's not trying to hide it.'" As for anxious new moms wondering when that bump will go away, Manister says, "it takes six weeks to lose 25 pounds, and a full year" to get your old body back.
Jennifer Moneta, who works in public relations in Dallas, gave birth nine weeks ago and was especially pleased that Kate made the post-partum silhouette "look very natural, as if that is what all moms can and should expect after having a baby." Moneta said that when she left the hospital, "I still looked five months pregnant, even though I only gained 20 pounds during pregnancy. My father even lovingly kidded me about it, saying 'I didn't realize the baby was still in there.'"
Alison Jimenez, a fashion blogger in Astoria, N.Y., said she was "outraged" by comments from some Kate-watchers asking things like "Is she pregnant again?"