The Biggest Loser star Michelle Bridges is under fire for working out too soon after giving birth.
The first rule of motherhood is you can’t do anything right, at least according to other people, and the star of Australia’s version of The Biggest Loser found that out the hard way this week when she shared her postpartum exercise routine and got smacked down by the internet.
Health and fitness expert Michelle Bridges gave birth to her son, Axel, just four weeks ago. Despite the short time frame, she’s already back in the gym — you know, because she basically works out for a living — and people have been asking what her fitness routine looks like. So she took to Instagram to share some of the details with her fans. With a note cautioning non-professionals to take it easy, she wrote:
Almost immediately, the backlash began. Regular Joes and even some health professionals came out of the woodwork to call her irresponsible, say she’s putting herself at risk, and even question her fitness knowledge. Here’s a small sampling of the lovely notes:
“So irresponsible of you @mishbridges to post something like this. Any medical professional will tell you that running is the worst thing you could be doing so quickly after labour, no matter how fit you are.”
“Running is NOT recommended so soon post birth, regardless of how fit you were pre pregnancy or during pregnancy.#incontinence #womenshealth #pelvicfloor#thankmein40years”
“Don’t worry people, she’ll be the one with a vaginal prolapse, not you!”
Welcome to the internet, where people actually hashtag the word “incontinence” and strangers gleefully wish vaginal prolapse on their fellow moms.
Bridges has yet to respond to any of the criticism, but that hasn’t stopped the comments from pouring in. Everyone has advice for her because apparently having your own baby or knowing someone who has one means you’re qualified to tell other moms what to do with their bodies. Oddly enough, the Mayo Clinic doesn’t corroborate any of their advice. According to them, health care providers used to instruct women to wait at least six weeks after giving birth to begin exercising, but now — provided you had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery — it’s “generally safe to begin exercising as soon as you feel ready.”
Bridges’ entire professional life is built on health and nutrition, and she worked out through her entire pregnancy, so of course she’s going to feel ready to exercise sooner than the average person. I’m sure she got clearance from her doctors privately, and her decision to share her routine was in no way a call for others to emulate her. She even cautioned that others should cut their workout time in half if they’d like to attempt to do what she does.
It just goes to show that when it comes to the choices we make as moms, most of us are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Either we hit the gym and everyone has an opinion about how soon it is, or we wait it out and get told that we’re letting ourselves go and need to work harder to get that perfect post-baby shape. It’s impossible to make everyone happy, and it’s honestly surprising Bridges hasn’t just posted a video of herself waving her middle finger at all the haters.
Being a mom is hard enough without hundreds of judgmental internet strangers jumping on your back. Let’s stop finding new ways to tear each other down.