Jennifer Garner says delivering three babies has changed her body forever — and she's good with that.
On Monday, the 48-year-old Camping actress, who shares three children with ex-husband Ben Affleck (daughters Violet, 15, and Seraphina, 12, and son Samuel, 9), appeared on the Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast with host Giovanna Fletcher to discuss how motherhood guided her career choices and self-image amid pregnancy rumors and a size-obsessed culture.
"There are some incredible women whose bodies just, no matter how many babies they have, they bounce right back to that slim-hipped, no stomach," she told Fletcher. "It's incredible, I have so many girlfriends who have that physique and I’m so happy for them. I am not one of them, that's not my gig."
"I can work really hard and I can be really fit and I will still look like a woman who's had three babies," she said. "And I always will."
Garner recalled a 2014 interview with Ellen DeGeneres during which she admitted she gets "congratulated all the time" on faux pregnancies, as reported by the tabloids. "So I asked around and apparently, I have a baby bump," she told DeGeneres. "And I am here to tell you that I do." Although not pregnant at the time, Garner said that birthing three children had changed her shape, as it can for many other moms. After birth, the still-expanded uterus and fluid can keep the stomach enlarged, while age, lifestyle and genetics affect the ease at which women lose weight. Many moms also develop diastasis recti (when the stomach muscles split during pregnancy) which can either correct itself or require specific exercises.
“I just thought, I might as well address it and Ellen was so sweet to let me," Garner told Fletcher. "But I just felt like we might as well. I mean, every week, 'Is she? Is she pregnant?' It's still happening, I’m 48 and I'm single. And it's still happening so you might as well just take that bull by the horns."
Garner suggested that she admired Kate Middleton for allowing the press to photograph her standing outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital after the births of Prince George in 2013 and Princess Charlotte in 2015. "It's like when beautiful Kate walked out of the hospital and she didn't hide the fact that she looked like a woman just a few hours postpartum." In both cases, the duchess did not disguise her figure with clothing, her posture or shapewear.
However, last year as a Happy Mum Happy Baby guest, Middleton admitted that taking photos so soon after birth was "slightly terrifying" adding, "I'm not going to lie."
And Garner shared her shame after the birth of Violet when a friend joked of her body, "Is there another one in there?" she told Fletcher. "Luckily, I have a sense of humor and so I laughed. But I remembered it."
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