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July 25, 2013

Kate applauded for not hiding new mommy tummy

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

"This woman has just given birth, what was she supposed to do? Struggle into a pair of Spanx?" Jimenez said.

But some new moms do swear by girdles or their modern equivalent. Josephine Giraci, of Lloyd Neck, N.Y., says the best piece of advice she got before her first child was born 11 years ago was to pack a girdle in her maternity bag. She wore it for three months after giving birth: "I slept in it and everything."

One shapewear company, Hourglass Angel, wasted no time Wednesday emailing pitches showing a picture of Kate with the mommy tummy alongside ads for corsets and girdles as a way for women to "regain their body" and "feel even more beautiful."

Dr. Robert Atlas, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, explained that the "bulge that women have after they deliver" is mostly loose skin and fat. He said breast-feeding can help new mothers lose the weight "due to extra metabolic processing," but he doesn't recommend girdles as a way to lose baby weight — though women who have cesarean sections do wear a binder-like accessory around their midsections to support abdominal muscles.

As he spoke, he was with a patient, Melissa Baker, of Ellicott City, Md., who gave birth just a week ago. Asked what she thought of Kate, Baker said, simply, "I liked that she didn't look perfect."

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