Suddenly you're supposed to look smart and pulled together after months spent devoting yourself to your bundle of delight, possibly wearing pyjamas.
And the pressure on someone like award-winning actress Penelope Cruz would have been even greater.
But shortly after giving birth to her first child, the Spanish beauty reappeared on the red carpet looking as radiant as ever.
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The yummy mummy wisely enlisted the help of a small group of trusted designers, who furnished her with a series of show-stopping gowns that made the most of her new curves, creating an hourglass silhouette.
On her first engagement after little Leo's birth - the 2011 Oscars - she wowed the crowds in a fiery design by L’Wren Scott, which flattered her impressive post-pregnancy figure.
And on a world tour promoting Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with Johnny Depp, the Madrid-born beauty continued to showcase her star-style.
Black is clearly a key feature in Penelope's glamorous wardrobe.
The 37-.year-old chose a stunning black feather appliqué dress by Marchesa, one of her favourite fashion houses, for the first premiere in California.
And she attended the premiere in Madrid - the chosen city to end the Pirates tour - in a black Giorgio Armani Privé gown featuring intricately-designed lace overlay.
But the Mediterranean beauty made sure to inject a dose of colour into her world tour.
She was a true scarlet starlet in Munich, wearing a vivid red long-sleeve Armani Privé dress with a waxy, luminescent finish.
A chic bun, sparkling box clutch and matching ruby slipper-heels completed the high-ocatane ensemble.
She swept down the sea-blue carpet in London in a flowing white lace Givenchy Couture gown, which featured a full zip front and asymmetric hemline.
Penelope also went for maximum impact at Cannes Film Festival 2011.
She opted for sexy in a sleek navy, Stella McCartney pencil dress, with matching satin court shoes.
A few days later, a lacy, lilac Marchesa dress adorned with thousands of gold beads clung to every curve of her enviable physique, the chiffon fishtail adding to the wow factor. And she was showing off a sleek new hairdo, giving the outfit even more impact.
An accessory queen, Penelope is never without her elegant Chopard jewellery or a sparkling Swarovski crystal clutch.