Katherine Heigl has been a mother for years but she recently gave birth for the first time. Having adopted daughters, Nancy and Adalaide, the actress was surprised to learn she was pregnant with her son, Joshua. While the little guy was born healthy, Heigl struggled, at times, to accept the changes her body went through to bring him into the world.

In a blog post, the 38-year-old star opened up about gaining 50lbs which left her feeling “moments of sheer panic.” She went on to add, “I had hoped to only gain 25-30 pounds like my mother during her pregnancies but found that just wasn’t possible for me. Despite starting my gestation out on a pregnancy friendly meal plan and hiking my butt off 5 days a week my weight kept creeping up. At a certain point, probably around 4 months I gave up the struggle and tried instead to respect my body’s needs and trust my instincts.”

It sounds like she was really watching her weight right from the very beginning of her pregnancy. Trying to prevent any weight gain is unrealistic for an expectant mother and, as she learned, you can try to stay active and be healthy but your body will do what it’s going to do. If a mother is underweight before pregnancy, that could play a role too.

One of the expected outcomes of having a baby is that you will put on some pounds as things progress. In addition to the weight of the baby, mothers carry amniotic fluid, the placenta, and their own increased blood volume. It’s sad that Heigl, like so many new moms, felt the need to jump on the scale 10 days after giving birth to check the numbers. In her case, she reported that she had “miraculously” lost 30lbs.

 

As for the remaining pregnancy weight, Heigl explained, “We’ve all heard about the gals who tone up and get right back into their skinny jeans weeks after their babies birth but this was not me, nor was I trying for it to be. I have only lost 10 pounds since that first initial drop but that’s ok because I decided from the start that I was going to lovingly but patiently reclaim my pre baby body, and forgive the glorious imperfections that would forever grace my new post baby body.”

Fortunately, it does seem like she’s learning to embrace her beautiful body after it worked so hard to give her a wonderful son. For other new moms, she added, “my best weight loss advice is to start every morning by saying out loud a positive mantra of your choice about your body. Mine is ‘I am easily, with good health, inspiration, grace and gratitude losing weight faster than I can even imagine with harm to none.’”

She also added that she works on expressing gratitude for her body including her larger breasts. It’s a good message for anyone who has struggled with a post-baby body and it sounds like the experience hasn’t scared her off from the possibility of doing it again.

“I’d get pregnant again, and I still am very inspired by adoption,” she said. “I also have been thinking a lot about fostering. It’s all up in the air and I’m okay with that!”