AceShowbiz - Retired wrestler Nikki Bella is learning to appreciate and love her postpartum body after confessing the pressure to regain her pre-pregnancy figure was messing with her head.
The "Total Bellas" star became a first-time mum in July (20), when she welcomed son Matteo with her fiance Artem Chigvintsev, but her early days of parenthood have been tough as she battles postpartum depression.
Nikki agreed to lay bare her mental health problems for her reality show "Total Bellas", which also features her twin sister and fellow new mum Brie Bella because she felt it was important to normalise the issue, which affects one in nine postpartum women.
Speaking to model Ashley Graham on her "Pretty Big Deal" podcast, Nikki said, "What I've realised is, as mums, we don't talk about that enough because I think we feel like everyone then automatically thinks we hate our baby if we say we have postpartum depression, which, that's not it at all."
"It's totally the battle within yourself, within your partner (or) significant other. Especially, I think, for career women."
"We go from like, these major careers and then we're here. And then I'm looking in the mirror and then I think us, in the spotlight, we have so much pressure on us to get back to where we were in a short amount of time."
Ashley - who shares 11-month-old son Isaac with husband Justin Ervin - agreed about the expectations of "the snapback" and branded the idea "bulls**t."
Nikki replied, "It messes with you. Literally, someone the other day was like, 'Gosh, she's still big!' and I was like, 'Excuse me?' "
Fortunately, Nikki's sister Brie has been helping her accept her post-baby physique.
"She makes me, like, grab parts of my body I don't like and then I say, like, 'Thank you for creating Matteo and making him healthy,'" Nikki explained. "And (I'm) appreciating and loving my body."
However, Nikki admits she is still a little worried "Total Bellas" viewers will end up hating her after watching the upcoming episodes because so many people still don't understand the extent of postpartum depression.
"It was really hard on me and it's gonna be hard with Total Bellas because I still was filming and I recently watched the two episodes and I go, 'Brie, I'm gonna be hated because what if people don't understand postpartum depression?' Like, you completely see me just falling apart as a human being and as a mum."
But, she added, "I want to put it out there because it's a real thing. And I like to show how people around you adapt to that and how you can help yourself."