Millie Mackintosh has spoken out about the pressure women are put under to “bounce back” from pregnancy.
The former Made In Chelsea star, 31, and husband Hugo Taylor became parents to daughter Sienna in May 2020.
Speaking on the Women’s Health UK Going For Goal podcast, Mackintosh addressed the challenges women face during pregnancy and after giving birth.
“Women often feel like they can’t talk about their postpartum bodies, and there’s so much attention on women’s bodies when they’re pregnant, and then there seems to be so much pressure to bounce back after you’ve had the baby," she said.
“That’s just something I really can’t stand because, like, give us a break. You’ve literally just grown a human and yes, your body changes a lot when it’s creating a life, carrying it for nine months.”
Mackintosh said she was still adjusting to how her own body had changed during pregnancy and since giving birth to her daughter.
“I did find it a bit uncomfortable at first adjusting, and finding things I felt comfortable wearing, adjusting to being a different size than I had been before,” she said.
“I have friends who have literally been the same size again after two weeks. I’m so happy for them, but they are genetic freaks, and for most women you do still look pregnant for a bit, for a while even.”
Watch: Jennifer Garner wants to normalise postpartum bodies.
Mackintosh also revealed she felt stronger since welcoming her daughter and is actually enjoying her more curvy physique.
“I feel really strong, I feel fit, I feel like I love my body and I’ve got curves, and I’m a slightly different shape to what I was before," she explains.
“Some of my jeans fit and the slightly more fitted ones definitely don’t, and that’s fine. Things don’t quite sit as they did before, but I feel really body confident… I feel so proud of what my body did.”
This isn't the first time Mackintosh has opened up about learning to love her postpartum body.
Earlier this month the reality TV star admitted that she felt "ashamed" of her body after giving birth.
Speaking to Women's Health magazine, the new mum said: “It was honestly quite hard to see my body after a baby. And I think it is for a lot of women.
“It can really feel like a shock and something that’s hard to love, maybe – and hard to feel good about… I did feel self-conscious when I went out and wouldn’t want anything to be tight to my tummy.
“And, yeah, I did feel a bit ashamed of my postpartum body. And it’s kind of sad that I felt that… It feels good to admit that and say, yeah, I did struggle looking in the mirror for the first three months.”
Last October, the mum-of-one also shared a nude photograph taken while she was pregnant on her Instagram page alongside a ‘love letter’ to her body.
The letter was posted as part of a project called A Love Letter to My Body, which was started by a friend of Mackintosh’s who runs the @thisisfindingbalance Instagram account.
In an emotional caption accompanying the pic, the former reality TV star wrote that she has always been her "own worst critic".
“[I have] had a love/hate relationship with my body,” she added. “My hope in writing this is that I can remind myself how lucky I am to have the body I live in and to treat it with more respect and kindness.”
The star has also previously been praised by fans for opening up about how she felt about her body shortly after giving birth to her daughter, admitting it would be a “lie” if she said she felt happy with her post-pregnancy body and that comments she has received online have made it harder for her to accept the changes.
Listen to the full interview on the Women’s Health Going For Goal podcast, available now.
Additional reporting PA.