Zoe Saldana reveals her ‘frustrating & painful’ post baby body struggle

Zoe Saldana

I’ll readily admit to pegging Zoe Saldana wrong as a celebrity mom. Perhaps it’s still too early to judge whether or not she’ll be judgy, but so far, Zoe’s been chill. Perhaps that’s because she’s so exhausted by the task of caring for twin baby boys. Zoe and Marco Perego welcomed their sons in November and waited to announce the names, Bowie and Cy, in January. Zoe looked tired but glorious at the Oscars. She was a bit curvier than usual, but the extra few pounds looked nice on her frame.

Zoe’s been having a tough time. Yesterday’s episode of GMA detailed her struggle to get back into shape. Zoe didn’t appear on the show, but her trainer (Steve Moyer) popped in for her. You can see the (autoplay) clip here, which discusses Zoe’s 70-pound weight gain during pregnancy. Moyer talks about planks (which I hate-love) and other core strength exercises to rebuild the body. The segment points towards Zoe’s weekend Facebook post, in which she reveals her ongoing health issues and a struggle to get back into fighting shape:

As you all know, we welcomed twin boys last November. Yes, by far, the most amazing experience of my life, but also a very challenging experience when it pertains to my body. I’m sure moms across the world (and dads sometimes) can identify with what I’m about to say.

Your body changes dramatically, inside and out. You grow in places you never knew you could, and you are tired beyond belief. In some cases more than others, your body experiences a kind of trauma through childbirth that is difficult to explain unless you’ve had that experience. My case was like that, everything from my thyroid to my platelets crashed. Thank God, we are all doing great now, but my body was really bent out of shape after the boys were born. Bouncing back feels impossible, but I know it is important as a woman, and now a mommy, to not give up. I am determined to get my energy back and find balance for my body before these little guys start walking, and before I go back to work ….. my clock is ticking!

2 months ago I started my journey, and its been REAL- I’m not gonna lie- it is slow …. painful … and frustrating. But it is worth it.

And that is why I’m here… I know many of you have gone through this or are going through it as we speak. Let’s do it together. Let’s talk about it, hear each other out, and seek advice when we need it. I have my friend of many years and trainer, Steve Moyer that will be guiding me and sometimes training me for the next 2 months before I go back to work. I will be sharing with you what I do, what I eat and how I feel about it in hopes that it will be of any help to you. cool?

I started in January with Moyer. I was 160lbs (at the peak of my pregnancy I reached 185lbs). I had no flexibility, weak joints, and exercising was painful. We started with just walking, I think I only walked that first month. I did however change the way I eat. I began to make better choices with my food. Moyer was instrumental at this point. he gave me great tips of what to eat, how much water to drink, he even gave me some recipes of his own sometimes. It was important for me to learn this so I can do it on my own if I have to. I want to prove to myself that if I have the right determination I can do anything.

Crap, boys are up from their naps! gotta go!
I’m looking fwd to sharing this journey with you…

[From Zoe Saldana on Facebook]

GMA talks about how Zoe’s struggle “humanizes” her, and I agree. Before she became pregnant, Zoe came off as full of herself. Now she’s going through something that many mothers have experienced. The platelet crash and thyroid problems sound particularly scary, right? I don’t think Zoe’s positioning herself as a future internet curator. She’s not out to profit directly from mom-based products and discussions. Zoe’s already got her plate full with twins and three ongoing movie franchises. She’ll be doing more Avatar and Guardians and Star Trek flicks. Her goal is to return to her butt-kicking best, and it’s a lot of pressure. I feel for her having to bounce back from twins so quickly, but … Hollywood.

Zoe also talked to Us Weekly last week about how she’s not looking forward to leaving the twins for work. She said, “I’m pretty sure that every parent — not just every mom– would [take time off] as long as your work doesn’t suffer. But we have to pay bills and at the end of the day, I think that’s the best example we can set to our children.” Zoe says that it takes three people (herself, Marco, and a nanny) to take care of twins. Sounds exhausting.

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana

Photos courtesy of Zoe Saldana on Facebook & WENN

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66 Responses to “Zoe Saldana reveals her ‘frustrating & painful’ post baby body struggle”

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  1. G0tch4 says:

    I couldn’t do two babies. That would break me. I can barely do one.

    • Esmom says:

      I once said something like that to a client who had twins and he replied that since they didn’t know anything else, it didn’t necessarily seem harder or worse than just one baby.

      He seemed like a good dad. He broke both his ankles when he tripped while holding one of the babies — he contorted himself in such a way as he fell to protect the baby and ended up with his broken bones. Definitely made things harder once he was on crutches!

      • Val says:

        Twin mom here, and your client is right. When you have them as your first, you don’t know any better. When my twins turned one I got pregnant with my third son. I had 3 in diapers for a while, but let me tell you that single one was a breeze. Most of the time my husband and I were like “What baby?”

      • nursedarry says:

        Ditto. Twins was all I knew, so I can empathise. (Although, sadly, a nanny didn’t figure into the picture…)

        She looks great in these, sounds more “real” than ever before, and I hope she doesn’t lose either the look or the attitude on this “journey” of hers.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      Lol. Twin here. Me and my twin were born three months early. My grandma tells me that they could hold us in each hand, we were the size of coke cans. When we were born, the doctors thought that we were both going to be blind, and have significant health problems (we both wear glasses and that’s about it). We had to stay in the hospital for a month, on a ventilator. My mom was a single parent, on her own in Washington D.C.–with my older sister, who was about 7. And she was in the Navy at this time, working nights. She eventually transferred to another country to work (I’m thinking Japan, but not sure), and the only way that she could afford to have someone watch us was to coordinate her shifts with a coworker (whose wife had left him and their son for another man), and so they took turns watching all of the kids, while the other person worked.

      And there have been twins born in every generation of my mom’s side of the family–in my generation, there have been two sets already.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        It put tears in my eyes to think of you as tiny as a coke can, so vulnerable. Who knew that little coke can would grow up to have a heart the size of the moon?

      • VirgiliaCoriolanus says:

        You’re so sweet, GoodNames 🙂

    • Moneypenny says:

      My brother and his wife have triplets. I cannot even comprehend it, but they agreed with your client. They went from 0 to 3, so they didn’t know any different.

      For me, I’m pretty sure our daughter will be an only child :).

    • MtnRunner says:

      You know what’s harder? Having twins on top of twins. My friend in Boston just gave birth to her second set of twins after giving birth to the first set 16 months ago. The oldest is 4 so she’s got her hands full. No nanny, just her mom is around to help a bit. She a creative sort and seems to be taking it all in stride, but I just think that she won’t get 5 minutes to herself until those kids are all in school. Makes me tired just thinking about it.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Wow. I bet they are adorable, but wow.

      • MtnRunner says:

        GNAT, all of her kids are cute as a button. It helps that their mom is has a great sense of humor and very easygoing. Most women would crack under that kind of chaos, I think.

    • Jib says:

      My boys were 13 months apart, which is harder in some ways, and I had no help. My family lived far away and my husband worked 14 hours a day. It was hard. But we got through it without a nanny and husband being home. She sounds like a whiner.

      Also, the body worry seems like a borderline obsession/eating disorder. I always thought that she might have one, or just have taken a ballerina’s obsession with her body along with her into adulthood.

      • kat says:

        Wow, sympathetic. Mine are 16 months apart, and I totally feel what she’s saying, not whining about. My body hurts. My hips hurt. I have no energy. It’s hard to exercise. It’s hard to want to exercise. You don’t feel that? And it’s hard when you’ve lived in a body that you know for 30 years and then it’s just…different. That’s weird, not necessarily eating disordered or obsessive.

  2. Esmom says:

    It took 9 months to put the weight on, I’m not sure why people think it would take only weeks or a couple months to take it off. Sounds like she’s got a healthy, realistic outlook on bouncing back. Wanting to have the energy to keep up with toddlers is a good motivator.

    • MCraw says:

      Yeah, I like what she has to say here. I also really like the extra weight on her frame. She just glows. She shouldn’t go below 130, she was so thin before it looked painful, but I guess whatever makes her happy.

      • Magnolia says:

        MCraw — I was thinking the same thing! She looks so much sexier with an extra 15-20 pounds on her frame.

      • MtnRunner says:

        It’s too bad she’s conditioned in HW to think that her new curves are a bad thing. I think she looks gorgeous and healthy.

  3. Livealot says:

    He’s hot. They look good. That’s all I got.

  4. thaliasghost says:

    I think for me her perspective would humanize her more if it included an acknowledgement that not everybody has a personal trainer and nutrionist at their beck and call with the additional free time and financial stability to concentrate on solely optimizing their body after pregnancy.

    • Imo says:

      But she is just speaking her truth. She doesn’t owe us a script a la Jennifer Garner. She *is* human but these people will never quite be like the rest of us. When we have proof that they are we usually don’t like it lol.

    • swak says:

      I agree and not to mention a nanny. My daughter had twins, spent the last two weeks of her pregnancy in the hospital because her water was leaking and she was only at 27 weeks. She delivered at 29 weeks. Babies luckily only spent 6 weeks in the NICU. But she didn’t have any extra help and she had a 5 year old to take care of. I get how her body changes, my daughter has back problems because of it.

    • Sabrine says:

      She still went through the physical part of it like anyone else. She still has to go back to work so they can maintain their lifestyle. She is fortunate certainly in being able to afford help. Best of all she has a supportive husband.

  5. Jegede says:

    Zoe’ body probably changed more then she expected it to.
    From her early films like Guess Who she’s always been very slim and fine boned, and is now in uncharted territory of being curvier post pregnancy.

    Best of luck to her. I personally think her face looks much cuter, and younger filled out.

    I do find it fascinating that someone like ScarJo who I would have guessed will be curvier post pregnancy, is actually much thinner now, while someone like Zoe 5 months on, (with the opposite body type), filled out more post birth.

    I know age and multiple pregnancies is part of the reason, biology and the way genetics work is never not surprising for me.

    • Junior says:

      Interesting comment. I also thought Scarlett looked odd on the red carpet the other day. Less sexy than before, and less appealing, quite frankly.

    • Mel M says:

      Mom of two 14 months apart here and I am for sure one of those people who looked thinner after my babies. The problem is that it’s because of the muscle mass that I lost in some places and the fat in my boobs and butt that disappeared. So instead of having a nice butt and perky boobs I was flat in front (from nursing) and back and my nice lean muscle was gone. All of my pre baby clothes “fit” but they didn’t fit in the same way at all and I’m always pulling my pants up due to my flat butt lol.

      Also I’m currently pregnant with twins, surprise and last for us. I’m really scared of what it’s going to do to my body since pregnancy was never easy for me and I always felt uncomfortable. I’m also hoping either my mom or mother in law will decide to spontaneously retire and come live with us when they’re born, sigh. A girl can dream.

      • Angel says:

        Thank you, I had this too. Loss of muscle mass but out of shape, you’re thin but not ‘right’ looking. Everyone wants to love curves but usually it’s flat, saggy fat in not sexy places.

        Zoe does look great though, always found her a bit skinny.

      • Ange says:

        My mum was like you. She had my brothers 14 months apart and lost her curvy bod, she got thinner with each kid until she became scrawny. Even now she is a tiny thing, it never came back.

  6. launicaangelina says:

    I just had my baby boy on Friday and I’m totally feeling this post. I’m glad she’s sharing the reality and not some glammed up version of pregnancy and parenthood. The weight gain…argh… I was active and tried to control my diet but I was consistently hungry in the last few weeks and started to swell like crazy. I also was overdue and it led to an induction. It can mess with you mentally. I look forward to following her journey.

    Side note: Twins run in my family and I’m so glad we had just one. God bless those with multiples and kudos to her for admitting needing a nanny.

  7. Samtha says:

    I like her post. It sounds down-to-earth and real, not hyped or glossy or judgy.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Me, too. It did sound real and sincere. I don’t have children, but my friends who have all say that it’s nice when someone else acknowledges the difficult parts. Not to dismiss the happy and miraculous parts, but just to say wow I’m exhausted and I feel fat and I hurt all over. Because most people do, but not many people talk about it. I remember my cousin, who is the sweetest person I know, looking up from her wailing baby to say “no positive feedback. Ever.” Lol

  8. Junior says:

    Nice comment from Zoe, very real. She doesn’t mention her husband. Hope all is well between them.

  9. Lindy79 says:

    It’s nice to see a female celeb acknowledging what is a perfectly normal and healthy struggle to dealing with the pregnancy weight gain instead of adding to the problem by posing on the front of a magazine in a bikini 2 months after having the baby backed up with phrases like “it just fell off because I’m running around after my baby”

  10. Estella says:

    I feel for her. Thyroid and blood count issues are no joke and raising two babies at one time can also not be easy – especially when your body is already fatigued. I hope she feels better soon. Selfishly, I do hope she keeps some of the weight on as I think she looks amazing at this size.

  11. JenniferJustice says:

    She looks great to me right now. Fuller face and breasts compliment her. I understand wanting her flat tummy back for her avatar leotard, but she gained 70 lbs over the course of 9 months. It’s going to take a bit of time. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for any woman whose body changes during and after pregnancy and how it affects self-esteem and image. It’s too bad we feel that way, but it’s natural to miss your pre-pregnancy body once it changes and you were used to be able to wear whatever you wanted and look fabulous. That said, she has a trainer, a dietician, a nanny, the time to focus solely on her body while 90% of the rest of us do not. She has it alot better than the average mom struggling with the same issues. It actually makes me admire more the regular moms I see at the gym and walking the track.

  12. QQ says:

    185??!?!! haahahahahhahahahahahahahahaha That’d be me on a weight loss kick That was her post baby hahahahahahahahahhahahahaha

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      My ex sister-in-law could wear my pants when she was 7 months pregnant. 🙁

    • snowflake says:

      me too!!! i gained back 35 pounds and i wasn’t even pregnant, just got lazy. I shudder to think how high my weight would go if i got pregnant!

    • Emily says:

      Glad I’m not the only one!

  13. HoustonGrl says:

    Ugh, why does she need to lose weight at all? Her body is normal sized now. F*ck hollywood.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah I think she looks better post-baby TBH. Not that she didn’t look great before, but her body filled out in a really enviable way.

      That being said, she had a dancer’s body pre-baby, and if she was used to being thin and athletic-looking, the change in her appearance is probably a huge adjustment for her.

      I’m not sure it’s *just* a Hollywood thing, because from her post, I get the impression that Zoe is uncomfortable with her new body.

      • Lilalis says:

        I agree with this. Maybe she doesn’t only want to get back in shape for obvious Hollywood-pressure-reasons, but also for herself. I know that this was important for me; the one thing that I could still work on in this huge chaos that my life became with children, was my body. And I also wanted to get back to super skinny prepregnancy size, despite the “You look great for having two kids!”-comments. Getting fit and toned is something I do for myself and I can see Zoe feeling the same way.

  14. sketches says:

    I can relate – my body was completely thrown out of wack after our twins were born in Nov 2011. The forceps/vacuum births did a number inside and out. I have had fibromyalgia since my 20s, so that was an added strain. By about Feb 2014 my back pain and the general effects of their birth were awful, so I started with pilates, yoga, massage and physio. It’s taken a year but am sooo much better – which is good, because running after 3 year old boys is no joke.

    • swack says:

      So feel for you with having fibro. My oldest has it and she is in constant pain. Good luck with keeping the fibro in check. Good luck with running after the little ones also!!!

  15. snowflake says:

    why does every celebrity mom think we want their tips and input? imo, they’re just trying to sell something. tbh, i don’t really care about their struggle and think it’s a bit egotistical of them to think we want/need their input. jmo. and let’s be honest, it’s not genuine, she’s prob getting ready to come out with some kid’s line or something. i understand they’re all trying to expand their brand but i’m not interested.

  16. Gretchen says:

    She comes across much better now, less arrogant and more relatable. And kudos to her, losing baby weight is tough and no matter what you do your body is still going to look and feel somewhat different than pre-pregnancy. It’s nice that she wants to share her journey rather than preach it.

    I know this is a terrible way to think but I have pretty much decided that I’m not going to do a serious “getting back in shape” until I’m done having babies. I have one now and the thought of having to work on a major transformation every couple of years is demoralising.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      That is not a terrible way to think. It’s perfectly natural to not want to have to struggle, force yourself and at the same time deny yourself every couple of years. I would warn though that having to lose a little or some poundage every few years isn’t as demoralizing as having to lose a lot more due to waiting until all additions to the family are here and all those changes & gains have added up. Only because the struggle is more difficult and the goal(s) seem damn near impossible. Either way I praise all my fellow women out there for the sacrifices we make to bring life into the world. It’s all worth it and Hell, men wouldn’t do it if they could and frankly, most could not.

      • Gretchen says:

        Haha can you imagine the epic amount of complaining if men were the ones to carry and birth children? Also reminds me of a thread the other day about breastfeeding in public, a lot of people declared their disgust of it (which frankly baffles me), if men were the ones doing it, it would be universally praised.

        Although I suppose if men could do it, we wouldn’t be in this patriarchal mess in the first place…

  17. TeresaMaria says:

    I think pretty much every woman struggles with her body one way or another after giving birth. It’s not only abought gaining weight.
    I went back to my pre-pregnancy weight very quickly and the weight just kept dropping. To the extent that I was basically eating in every spare minute in order to keep the weight on. I looked like a skeleton and it was scary.
    Whenever I was breastdfeeding my baby I had a sandwich or cookies myself 🙂

  18. Regina Phalange (formerly Kara) says:

    From what I remember, she was pretty much a skeleton with skin before from starving herself (or eating “healthy” or whatever Hollywood BS she said, I don’t follow her closely) so I actually find the fact that she feels like her weight is all out of whack now pretty humorous. The pregnant body does what the pregnant body wants. Obviously her body was crying for some fat and took the opportunity during/after the pregnancy to keep some of it on.

    Well, good luck to her if she wants to get back down to a size nothing, although personally I think her body/face never looked better than it did at the Oscars.

    • Kitten says:

      So if she had the same experience as many women commenting here and she suddenly dropped a lot of weight after giving birth and was much thinner than her pre-baby body, would you say that her body was “crying” to lose some fat?
      Just curious.

      Personally, I don’t see how there is any relation between a woman losing/gaining weight after pregnancy and what their body intrinsically “needs”. It seems to me like it’s more genetics than anything else, but maybe I’m wrong.

  19. Alex says:

    In minority here, but she still somehow manages to Sound pretentious (as always) and this Time also try-hard. She Has more than enough money for a stable and comfortable life than most women can’t afford. I personally think there’s nothing more pretentious than a celebrity trying to convince us he Or she is relatable and Has the same struggles than the rest of us. They do as long as there’s a Simple solution you can but. The rest of us don’t have this comfort that money gives.

    • Val says:

      + 1000 !!
      Her “we re in together” motto rubs me in the wrong way.
      (I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life. Even if I had a newborn, I could hardly relate to her)

    • Newgirl says:

      I agree with you

    • jo' says:

      Oh spare me! So because she’s rich she can’t get sick? Talk about being pretentious. Having money and being famous doesn’t make you immune from some things. Her thyroid and platelets crashed for God’s sake! She probably had a c section and the delivery wasn’t easy. She might look good to you from the outside, but she is keeping it real reminding people that pregnancy is more than the way you look. Stretch marks, loss of tone and energy, diastasis recti are all issues that many new moms experience. If anything, because she is an actress she feels the pressure of bouncing back more than common women do because she has contracts to respect and works she might lose if she suddenly looks not her best. She knows that many women can’t afford a trainer and nutritionist like her and guess what? That’s why she says she’ll share the advices they give to her. More than anything, I think it was humble for her to say ‘I’m not perfect either’ new moms feel so much pressure and you see actresses bouncing back as if it’s no big deal. Zoe keeps it real and reminds people that pregnancy is no joke even for someone like her and if you see actresses looking good right after you should’t feel bad because you still can’t lose the extra weight because chances are that these actresses are wortking their ass with a trainer (or had a plastic surgery on their tummy asap) and even if they look good from the outside, it doesn’t mean they don’t have most of the issues and side effects of pregnancy that common women have.

  20. A.Key says:

    What weight gain?!??! She looks the same to me!!!
    She’s exaggerating these numbers I bet, no way did she gain 70 pounds, wtf, WHERE did she gain them?? In her mind?

  21. bobbie says:

    ZOE SALDANA: Hollywood’s favorite affordable racism and sexism denier. She just doesn’t see racism and sexism because she has not experienced it. So we get to witness her going through life and acknowledging difficulties as soon as she “discovers” it for us.

    • Newgirl says:


    • nao says:

      Uh? She has always talked about racism and sexism in hollywood and she’s a supporter of more equality between men and women. But y’all called her ‘victim’ when she talks about these issues and said that racism and sexism don’t exist anymore and she’s just making up excuses.

      She’s an actress anyway, her purpose is not validating your life and being a politic so keep it real.

  22. Emily C. says:

    She’s still very thin. There’s no “extra” weight there. The healthiest weight is not the lowest you can possibly be without dying, ffs.