Jessica Simpson’s Post-Baby Body A Rallying Cry for Celeb Moms, Says Kendra Wilkinson (EXCLUSIVE)

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Jessica Simpson’s post-pregnancy body seems to become a rallying cry for women who have struggled with their weight after giving birth.

Kendra Wilkinson several weeks ago defended publicly the post-pregnancy weight gain of Simpson, who gave birth in May to her first child, daughter Maxwell Drew.

On Monday, July 23, at The Watch Hollywood premiere, Wilkinson told Celebuzz that she empathizes with Simpson.

Putting on extra pounds — and not being able to get them off — is something Wilkinson — who looked quite trim on the Watch red carpet — treats as a serious struggle.

How did Kendra handle the pressure?

“I struggled with weight — and I never thought I would,” Wilkinson said. “I’m very athletic. I grew up playing sports very thin. I never thought it would ever happen to me — and it did. I really saw what it was like to gain that weight, and work for it to come off. Let me tell you, I really appreciate people with weight problems now.”

She added, “It’s hard. It’s hard.”

Simpson’s weight taking front and center attention can be a difficult thing to focus on for her, especially publicly, Wilkinson says.

“That just breaks my heart,” Wilkinson, 27, said in early July. “I feel for her. I was in the same boat. People just need to mind their own business. That’s a woman who just gave birth. Her first priority right now is her child. Her first priority is not losing the weight. You should be proud of her for that. A lot of people just dump their kids off at nannies and lose the weight overnight. We should all be proud of her for being real and taking control and making priorities.”

Wilkinson told Celebuzz Monday that, after her public comments, she hadn’t heard from anyone from Simpson’s camp — but wasn’t expecting to.

“That was just an opinion [of mine],” she said.

Jenny McCarthy, who has talked publicly about her battles with post-partum depression, sent an affirming Tweet to Simpson in May, just after the singer gave birth.

Attached was a photo of McCarthy’s 210-pound post-pregnancy body. “Dear @JessicaSimpson. I think pregnant women look perfect just they way they are!” McCarthy wrote.

Simpson has been slow to embrace a rigorous post-birth workout regimen. She was reported to have, at one time, post-pregnancy, weighed more than 200 pounds. Us Weekly magazine reported this week that at an introductory weigh-in, Simpson gained 70 pounds during pregnancy.

Weight Watchers employs Simpson as a spokesperson — and has a multi-million-dollar deal with Simpson around promotion of her weight loss. Some outlets have reported that Simpson’s payday is contingent upon losing a certain amount of weight. Weight Watchers denies that contingency.

Simpson wrote on her Twitter page June 27 about her weight loss, “Just so everyone knows…Weight Watchers hasn’t put ANY pressure on me! I’m trying to be as healthy as I can be for myself and I feel great!”

Just so everyone knows…Weight Watchers hasn’t put ANY pressure on me! I’m trying to be as healthy as I can be for myself and I feel great!

— Jessica Simpson (@JessicaSimpson) June 28, 2012

With NFL player husband Hank Baskett, Wilkinson has one child, son Hank IV, 2 1/2. Wilkinson, a former Playboy model and star of E!’s Kendra (and later on WE tv) and The Girls Next Door. Wilkinson has been spending the summer tending to Hank IV — which she is crediting as “all the real things in life.”

“Of course, the show shoots all those moments, but it’s a quicker production of it,” Wilkinson says of the reality TV version of her family. “But now I get to focus on the what matters a little bit more.”

Kendra On Top has its season finale July 31 on WE tv. From her stated focus on family and friends, it may be safe to assume the reality star will stay at home in the short term.

For any new moms and Celebuzz readers, Wilkinson shares the following parenting advice:

Don’t ever go buy a book. Go learn about yourself and your child. What makes everyone beautiful is that they come from different places. Raise your child knowing that. The biggest thing is don’t let anyone control your parenting. Stick to your own rules. There a lot of people out there that say, Why do you do that? You should do this. Don’t take that crap. You know what I’m saying. I don’t. Don’t do that.

Watch a clip from WE tv’s Kendra On Top!