Please Stop Commenting on My Body

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Pregnancy and childbirth bring a lot of changes to a mother’s life. This goes without saying. Your body changes. Your family increases by one. Your brain changes. Your heart changes.

I found, that with these changes, something else happened: people felt like they could comment on my body.

I know. Pregnant women are beautiful. And there is something so exciting about a woman on the verge of becoming a new mother. I find myself smiling at pregnant moms or moms with newborns. And I enjoyed being smiled at when it was me with the large belly or the wee baby in a sling.

The reaction is automatic. I want to say: “You look GREAT!”

Some better things to say would be: “How are you feeling?” “You seem so happy/calm/excited!” “How about this weather?” Even “That’s a cute shirt.

I also felt beautiful when I was pregnant. And in many ways I loved hearing “You look great.” But it also somewhat diminished how I felt. I felt vital and strong and happy and nervous. I loved my taut belly and my growing breasts. I secretly hated the stretch marks that took my once smooth, white belly and zigged it through with dark purple.

And people did say I looked great. And one family member good-naturedly told me my butt was getting big. (Which actually really hurt my feelings, despite the fact that I enjoyed my bigger butt.) But comments on butts aside, I liked hearing how good I looked.

But the postpartum period is problematic. Look at how we treat celebrities. We all marvel at how quickly they get their “pre-baby bodies back.” No one needs to say that it is unrealistic to expect anyone to present with washboard abs mere weeks after delivering. And even if I know intellectually that that is an impossible standard and that surely no small amount of photoshopping or working out or dieting or styling helped achieve that enviable postpartum look, it doesn’t change the fact that women’s bodies are routinely objectified.

And not that we needed research to man-splain that women are, indeed, objectified, judged, and perceived on their body before they even open their mouths, it does show that 99% of women have been cat-called or harassed on the street or in a public place in their lifetime. In the same survey, which was conducted in 2008 by Stop Street Harassment, 95% of women stated they had been the object of excessive leering or staring at least once in their life. 68% said it happened more than 26 times in their lives.

Do I think everyone that commented on my body was a sexist, patriarchal objectifier? No.

But society is full of the idea that a woman’s worth, abilities, or progress is marked by the way her body looks. Dr. Renee Engeln states that, from a young age girls are told that they are “beautiful” or “pretty” while their male counterparts are told they are “smart” and “strong” setting up the foundation for this innate belief that a woman’s worth is matched to her body. When it comes to pregnancy and postpartum, many people, including other women, will judge a new mom on how well she is doing in her pregnancy by how she looks.

But the truth is that a female’s body before, during, or after pregnancy has nothing to do with how well she’s doing mentally, emotionally, or even physically. Especially for postpartum mothers, where postpartum depression is so prevalent- her looks do not determine how well she is doing with motherhood, sleepless nights, or the hormonal changes that occurred when she gave birth. So why is it the first thing we look at when seeing her?

This was the case for me. Due to a number of health circumstances, I had dropped weight rather quickly after both my pregnancies, but people always commented on how “great” I looked. Dr. Englen states that, “Research has demonstrated that one of the reasons even brief exposure to all those Photoshopped media images of women makes women feel so awful is because these types of images activate appearance schemas. In other words, they heighten our awareness of and attention to information that’s focused on appearance — our own and others.”

I thought maybe after I gave birth, since I am not a celebrity, no one would pay any attention to my body any more. Of course everyone would be too busy looking at my baby. But that was not the case. Again, I was told I looked great. One of the first comments on a picture of my 12-hour-old son that I posted to facebook and me was “look how flat your belly is already!” This was from another new mom. And I totally read it as: “I’m comparing myself to you and scrutinizing your belly because I feel self-conscious about mine.”

And then I lost weight from breastfeeding. Quite a bit of weight. My son didn’t get the hang of solids for a long time and he was a big guy that nursed and nursed and nursed. I enjoyed the days of eating ice cream every night. And, honestly, I enjoyed how much attention I got for being a young mother who looks like she has never given birth.

People have said that to me: “Wow. You don’t look like you’ve had kids.” And it’s messed up. Like we should all be striving to be these pre-baby selves in so many ways: we should jump back into sex, we should shrink our bellies, we should get back to work quickly. To be a parent without seeming like a parent is somehow a lofty goal.

My son’s nursing slowed. I gained back weight until I was at about my “normal” pre-baby weight. I got fewer compliments on how great I looked. And for the first time in a long time, I felt truly uncomfortable at a weight I’ve been for most of my life.

That was a lightbulb moment. Because I realized just how much people had discussed my body as a thing.

The second time around, I was still gracious when people told me I looked great.

But everything was with a grain of salt. I was polite, but I was annoyed.

Fast forward to six months postpartum. I had been struggling for three months with a digestive disease. I couldn’t keep weight on. I fit the medical definition of “wasting” because of the percentage of body mass I had lost. I was so sick. I was tandem nursing. I was also spending half of my time in the bathroom and the other half just trying to eat enough. Forget exercising, I was conserving my energy for making milk.

And when people told me I looked great, I didn’t know what to say. People would ask how I lost the baby weight so quickly and I wanted to say “Oh, I go to the bathroom around fifteen times a day and my body is starving.” And finally I did start telling people that I was sick. Partially because I didn’t feel like taking credit for something I had not been trying to do.

And the sad part was, the thinness seemed like a consolation prize. I spent months of my daughter’s babyhood, placing her on the bed so I could run to the bathroom. I went to a lot of doctor’s appointments. It was tough being away from the house. But at least I looked fabulous.

No one means to be hurtful when they compliment a woman’s body. But it hurts. It really does.

As a result, I have stopped talking about women’s bodies. This includes celebrities. This includes my friends, who really do look so fabulous with their pregnant bellies. I never assume a woman is pregnant–or, even worse, ask her if she is. (Stop doing this!) And I’d ask other people to do the same.

In fact, Dr. Englen says it wonderfully when she states, “There’s something disingenuous about expecting a woman to live in a culture that systematically reminds her of every failure to meet an absurd beauty ideal and then asking her to nonetheless feel beautiful. Instead of telling women they are beautiful, let’s tell them they don’t have to be. Let’s remind the women in our lives that we value them for what they do, not how they look.” It’s an oxymoron to tell a woman that she should strive to reach this optimum level of beauty and fitness because that’s what female who has it all together does (that is more often than not photoshopped into magazines and Instagram images) but to still, “love your body” no matter what. How is it possible to even do that? How do you focus on something other than your body when that’s the only thing everyone seems to talk about?

Comment instead on how happy the child is. What a lovely mother she is. What a great job she’s doing. Or, you know, ask her how she’s doing.


42 thoughts on “Please Stop Commenting on My Body”

  1. Thank you for this perspective. I remember when my babies were wee ones living amongst other long term nursing families (which was heaven) and when Madonna was on Oprah just after she’d had her baby. Back before I killed my television, but that is another story. She was celebrated, not only by Oprah but by every woman in the room who stood in standing ovation vigorous support of her “achievement”. She basically looked like she always had, athletic, fit and high performance with no trace of having been pregnant for 9 months. Which is fine, too, but you’d have thought that she had just won a Nobel prize for avoiding looking like a (gasp) “mother”. I was so disappointed because what I wanted to know was, how do you like motherhood so far, how is breastfeeding going Madonna, are you co-family sleeping, how do you manage being a new mom and a pop celebrity at the same time, will you model the way for a healthy body image for your daughter? Honestly, I didn’t even really care about these things as they related to Madonna because I don’t know her, it was one of those days when I was probably nursing on the couch and did not have a remote handy and could not turn off the tv. But since I was marooned with Madonna and Oprah while topping off the baby, these questions popped into my head. Thank you for broaching this topic. I have likely done this to a new or pregnant Mom before. Something to reconsider.

  2. I can’t thank you enough for writing this. I am going through something similar with my second baby. Comments on my body, regardless of their intent, are unwelcome and uncomfortable. I wish more people would realize that.

  3. Thank you for this article, it resonates with me so much. As someone who is in recovery from anorexia and compulsive exercise, I always got so many compliments back when my eating disorder was raging and destroying me. I remember when I was about 3 months post-partum and at a normal, healthy weight (during pregnancy and nursing was the only time I would actually eat and not over-exercise) and my mother-in-law commented on my “fat ass” (which was in size 8 jeans). It crushed me. She meant it as a joke about the fact that I finally had some “meat on my bones”. Every time I am doing well with my recovery, my grandmother will make a remark about how I need to get back to the gym or start eating healthy. I am eating healthy. I’m actually eating. I am recovering from a disorder that could claim my life. Every positive comment about my thinness or fitness reinforces my disordered eating. Every negative comment about my body makes me want to give up on recovery. If people would just not comment, I could focus on my health, my children, and my recovery. If its not your body, just don’t comment. You never know what battle someone else is fighting. Almost every woman I know has some kind of body image issues. I think we know why.

  4. Hahaha Since when is telling someone they look great offensive? Gotta love living in a nanny world. I miss the days when people weren’t scared to give a compliment. Would it make her feel better if someone said that she looks fat after giving birth? I bet that she would feel a lot worse.Stop reading into things and dissecting what is meant to be a compliment.Get over yourself lady.

    1. I think the point is that we have a lot of pressure to “look good” because that is what is often commented on. When really we should be focusing on being a loving and healthy mom and wife.

    2. There is nothing in this article that says compliments and kind words are unwarranted. The key is to make them socially appropriate, and the author’s point is that comments (positive or negative) about something as intimate as a person’s weight, body shape, butt, etc. don’t fall in that category. There are many other ways to be kind, as she describes. A person’s habit of critiquing others internally doesn’t give license to share these invasive thoughts out loud and have it be appropriate or appreciated.

      1. So, if you know someone who has lost a lot of weight, is it offensive to say, “You look great!” or even “you’ve lost weight”?

        1. Yes, it is offensive. The last time I made that comment, the person had been attacked and was on a liquid diet and had their mouth wired shut. Cancer is also a downer that you can uncover. If you first ask ‘hey how are you feeling?’ It shows you really care enough to find out what’s going on with the person. If you are genuine, they will tell you. If it’s a stranger on the train, COMPLIMENT THE OUTFIT or mind your bees-wax.

          1. I certainly wouldn’t say comment on a stranger’s weight! Mind-my bees wax? That is generally what I do if I don’t know a person.

    3. I’m with Angei. People are trying to be kind and it’s hard to second-guess what one person will find offensive. Many may not know that the author had a digestive disorder. There are enough people in this world who try, deliberately, to be insulting. I would reserve my annoyance for them.

      1. New mothers should be protected and cherished. Unsolicited feedback, good or bad can mess with a new mother’s psyche. When those pregnancy hormones flux, a woman’s vulnerability can go through the roof. As a survivor of post partum depression, ‘compliments’ from people who don’t know you can be uncomfortable and fall in the same category of those people with all that ‘helpful’ advice that just sounds critical. When I was suffering, the dearest thing I heard was ‘ you’re doing a good job’ or ‘your son is beautiful’. those people saved my life. Why not err on the side of compassion when it comes to new mothers. Be accountable for making someone feel bad instead of thinking one size fits all when it comes to compliments. ‘You look good for a pregnant woman’ is not a compliment.

          1. You are with Angei. Did you see what she said? She said Olivia should get over herself. I find that deliberately insulting. It disregards Olivia’s perspective and her importance.
            My point is that a compliment always has a context. Telling someone that they lost weight is not a universal compliment. My weight goes up and down. So when I get a compliment for losing weight I wonder if the person is saying my weight wasn’t attractive last year when I weighed more.
            It’s okay to be gentle with mother’s feelings, the same way you might give her your seat on a bus.

    4. I agree. Take responsibility for yourself already I’m so tired of being told what to say….who freaking cares? If someone says something nice or kind say thanks. If they say something unkind or offensive, tell them. Enough with the over controlling narcissism already. Sheesh.

    5. Honey, did you miss the point? Compliments are great, the young woman thinks and says so, but considering what she’s been through, she’d prefer a compliment on something that matters, like expressing concern about her well-being. Our culture revolves around appearances, so much so that we make assumptions about them when perhaps we shouldn’t. We also think we have a perfect right to say whatever we please, too often speaking before thinking. Yes, I agree, in some ways we have become maybe a bit too sensitive –a generation of voyeurs and crybabies, my husband says–but then sometimes, I wonder if talk-shows, gossip-rags and shock-jocks have not helped create a culture that’s led us to become that way–an America with too little pathos, and too much bathos.

  5. Hey, I hope you have found healing for your digestive issues. You should check out Chris Kresser and the autoimmune protocol, the Paleo mom is a great reference and Mickey Trescott autoimmune Paleo recipes are excellent! I went through something very similar, and hope you friend healing!

  6. Thank you so much for writing this article!! I’ve never been pregnant, but am in recovery from bulimia during middle school and a damaged body image. Last year I finally stopped dieting or weighing myself and began focusing on doing what helped my body and soul feel good. As a side effect, I’ve lost some stress weight. And it’s surprised me how so many people (including myself -yikes) have no problem commenting on my body and complimenting me on being skinny/slender/etc. I know they mean well, but focusing on body appearance distracts from what is quite a bit more important: that I’m feeling much healthier, am considerably more joyful, and am a whole person. My body is an important part of me, but it’s only a part, not the whole, and ”skinniness” isn’t the goal.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! Oh how I wish our “skinniness” as women was not a focal point, even for good intentions. Much love to you and all the good things you are doing for yourself!

  7. I wish people wouldn’t have commented on my breasts and how I was using my breasts in the initial weeks post-baby. Our culture is so obsessed with baby feeding these days that even my father in law felt free to inquire if/how much I was nursing and the intricacies of it. Would folks have felt so free to ask about my body parts before? Nope. It made me feel incredibly uncomfortable and pressured.

    1. yep, i had people watch while i breast-fed & i was quite uncomfortable. just because one does it, does not mean there need to be observers… argh!

  8. At some point I started using people’s comments about my body to tell them something about my inner experience instead. For instance, a few months ago when I was pregnant with my second, a dear but seldom seen pair of friends started insisting I looked fabulous. Bless them, they actually said ‘glowing.’ I am one of those truly miserable pregnant women who hates every minute right up until the first contraction, and at that moment I was arguing with my toddler while trying not to be sick on the table, so I replied, ‘Thank you! That is really good news, because I feel like sh*t!’ People mean well, and if we can gently remind them that it’s a mistake to think you know something about someone else based on how they look, we might eventually get asked how we feel more often. Thank you Olivia for your thoughtful and eloquent reminder of that.

    1. That’s hilarious! I felt like shit while I was pregnant too – 9 months of nausea and vomiting does that – but I looked great!

  9. I’m 8 months pregnant and totally agree. I smile and say “Thank you” but the compliments really make me uncomfortably aware that everyone is staring at me and my roundness. They also make me scared that when I go back to work, people will still be looking to see if I’ve lost the baby weight because then I won’t have a “good reason” for being chubby. Would the same people telling me my body and my bump are cute also feel comfortable telling someone else specifically their body looks cute today? No! They’d say general comments: You look cute today, they like the outfit, shoes etc. My favorite compliment this week: “I like the way you’ve been doing your hair, it always is different and cute”. Thanks Person for acknowledging that I’m still a person, not a cute incubator. 🙂
    Another weird “compliment” people give is that I should be happy to be in the super pregnant stage because it’s even cuter…. ! Um, thanks- I can’t eat a whole meal, my hips click and my ribs burn constantly but as long as I am ascetically pleasing to you, I should be very happy. I much prefer when people ask the rhetorical and silly question “Are you excited to almost be a Mom”.

  10. I so agree with you! I grew up with a mother who scrutinized my body and I feel uncomfortable when people make comments. I have had people say, “You have three kids? You don’t look like it!” And I wonder what I am “supposed” to look like. I always assume the dark circles under my eyes give that truth away!

  11. Pregnant women are goddesses, and everyone wants to talk to them about the magic we all know is happening. I experienced this during both of my pregnancies, and while at first it surprised me to have strangers smiling and chatting with me out of nowhere, I grew to accept that these interactions are some of the most tender and loving ways that “community” is evidenced in our fast-paced, largely self-centered world.
    To act as if we are all blind to the magic and beauty that graces a pregnant woman is to become more robot than human. To purposely not acknowledge the rite of passage that bonds me to other women is an insult to our female ancestors who got us here–who carried us. Pregnancy is a tricky time for women who have had body issues for myriad reasons–let’s face it, pregnancy is all about the body–so silencing the outside world in the presence of a pregnant woman is not going to change that.
    I can get on board if we’re talking about stranger belly-touching or rude comments, but gestures made to pregnant and new Mamas are, far and away, coming from a place of awe, reverence and some tribal love that we’ve carried with us since we became the social creatures we are.
    Ps:Women who haven’t had children often pay close attention to pregnant and new mamas as a way to process what is going to happen to them one day(or what never happened, if they didn’t have children). This curiosity is played out in conversation, and yes, it involves discussion of the body. This is how women learn from each other. And if a pregnant mama doesn’t want to have that conversation, for whatever reason, she can politely say that. I think that is the most honest and real way to deal with the problem outlined by the author. The author’s proposed silencing of topics involving the body is to imply that women are to weak or fragile to talk about something as plain as the nose on her face.

    1. Thank you for that perspective. I actually really do agree with you in a lot of that! It is amazing what our bodies do, and I think to be in awe of that in ourselves and others can be wonderful. But I think the distinction is that there is a lot more to it than how we look. We feel different. Our bodies are different in the way they function. I think that until we as a culture really can appreciate our bodies for what they do for us (particularly women’s bodies) that focusing on the appearance alone is really problematic. I know some people love hearing that they look good. I get it. I did too! But the problem is, hearing that with great frequency without being asked about emotions, feelings, sensations etc etc, makes appearance too important.

    2. Okay, but what of the woman who needed cesarean? Does she owe her pregnancy story to every potential mother who asks? Can pregnancy be dignified? Whatever that means to the Mom? True empathy means you make your own curiosity secondary to the feelings of the person you are engaging.

  12. thank you for this article. I have had kind of the opposite experience I was always a little larger not unhealthy but not small either. when I got pregnant with my first my weight gain was minimal until I hit the end of my second trimester. Then no matter what I did I gained 4 lbs a week, I tired everything but nothing helped. By the time my son was born I was pushing 260 and hated my body and everyone else did too. strangers friends family my inlaws all had an opinion. I had a hard time loosing the weight and after over 40lbs dropped I conceived my second same story. I begged my doctor to put me on a diet I couldn’t stand the thought of being 300 lbs when my child was born. he put me on a strict diet and I managed to gain just over 40 lbs. After I had him I lost weight slowly until he turned 1 then it just fell off. I was tandum nursing and working full time losing rapid amounts of weight everyone said how good I looked. By the time he turned 2 I was half the size I was before I gave birth and a good 50 lbs less then my normal weight. I ended up divorcing my ex and met a new man and quickly got pregnant. this was the worst experience of my life everyone couldn’t weight to lecture me about ruining my new found body by getting pregnant. while I did gain a lot of weight I was significantly smaller than with my boys. Now with a 6 month old I am less than my normal weight ever was as an adult. It is horrible everyone constantly points out I still haven’t lost the weight yet. even my boyfriend even though I’ve lost 30 lbs says I look the same. it is so frustrating to be uncomfortable with myself I had an eating disorder as a teenager and fear it could happen again. worse even I look at pictures of my skinnier self and think how great I look but honestly when I look back to that time I wasn’t happy then either. I never had a problem with how I looked as an adult before having kids, I had gotten a comfortable with who I was and my body. now it feels like it will never be good enough. not to mention my boyfriend has little to no interest in me sexually I feel like I have thrown my body away and everyone loves to point it out.

    1. Dear Jill, I don’t know you, but I want to tell you that you deserve to be loved just as you give love to others. And you should find a life coach/therapist/social worker who can help you stand up to those who judge you harshly (including yourself). I am trying to learn to be my best friend. It is very hard to do. I wish a circle of sisters could embrace you and take you for a day at the spa. I wish some people would help you feel that you are more than your body. I will add you to my prayers.

  13. I applaude the title. I wanted to say this so many times! Please, stop commenting on other people’s bodies, people! And there really is a difference between “you look great” i.e. “radiant, vibrant, happy and healthy” and the fat scanner “compliment” “you look great, you’ve lost weight”.

  14. I continue to be interested and surprised by the topics on this site – really appreciate this story, but how many times have I read it? Dozens each year I’ve been alive. (Am 70.)

    My thoughts are – why point out how people talk to pregnant women when it would be more effective and accurate to talk about how gross and unfair most women’s clothing is, and how most women are talked to about their bodies 24/7, year in and year out. Studies have been done on how much skin is covered up by clothing for men and women, and has been determined that women often have 30-50 % more body showing than men when fully dressed. You can see it everywhere. Men on the weather channel for instance, look like they’re on the way to the UN, while their female counterparts look they’re going to a swap meet. And the stiletto heals are a disgrace. I’m afraid I’m left confused by the minute details women focus on concerning dress, such as the special state of being pregnant and what well meaning people say while trying to be friendly, while the dress situation in general regarding women is deplorable, in terms of expense, style, comfort, and health. In my opinion what women have to wear on an ordinary daily basis is a crime against humanity, and it takes a real serious effort to rise above it.

  15. How a compliment feels or how a question (in particular the ones you are suggesting) are interpreted is relative to the individual. In addition to being a mother of three, I also help organize a mother’s support group, and quite frequently women will discuss how genuine compliments helped them feel good. They will discuss how genuine compliments helped them through their pregnancy. In return they offer compliments as a gesture of support for other women. Furthermore, women will discuss how someone standing up on a subway to offer a pregnant woman his / her seat is received. Or how offering a pregnant woman to “go ahead” of you in line is also received. Pregnancy is life changing. Pregnancy is beautiful. Why should we hesitate to tell a pregnant woman that she is beautiful and recognize the beauty of pregnancy? Why should we be ashamed and self conscious if someone tells us we look good? And furthermore, why should we not acknowledge pregnancy? Most of the time people are attempting to connect with one another because on one level or another we understand pregnancy is a unique time in a woman’s life. Her community should support her. Our culture needs to counter against pregnancy being a shameful time that draws negative attention, such as stares, negative comments…A time where we need to hide our bodies behind something so people think we are not as “far along” during our pregnancy or how, later, postpartum we should hide behind our babies…No, our bodies are amazing. They have cared or are caring for babies.

  16. i have a hard time losing weight from pregnancy and every time someone tells me I look great, it just reminds me that I look nothing like my former self and am carrying around 50 extra pounds. I wish people would stop saying it, even if they are trying to be kind.

  17. I have always been one of those “lucky” people who was thin. Gaining weight isn’t easy for me at all. Including when I was pregnant. Comments from people about my weight, positive or negative, have always made me uncomfortable. I heard a lot of concerned comments from my family in the first year after each baby-I lost more weight than I had gained each time, and I did look very thin-my weight was lower than it had been since before high school. I would have been perfectly happy if I had never been asked if I knew that breastfeeding caused weight loss, if I was eating enough, or told admiringly at my lowest weight (80 ish pounds on a 5’4″ frame) by an uncle whose daughter developed severe anorexia that I was beautiful-I wasn’t, I looked like death warmed over. Commenting on a person’s size, regardless of the intent, is really never okay, unless they bring it up-“I lost twenty pounds this year” is a good time to say “you look so much thinner!” Or “you look so good, how did you do it”. I wouldn’t dream of telling someone they were lucky to weigh 200 pounds, and ask them how they did it. Because that would be rude.

  18. I never noticed this objectification until after my last pregnancy. Despite using barrier methods & avoiding what I thought was my fertile time, I ended up pregnant while battling breast cancer. I had already been treating it naturally as opposed to with chemo & radiation so I was able to nurse after the birth of my daughter,but after about 8 months, the hormonal changes i’d experienced caused a standstill in the progress I’d made with my healing. I began to lose a lot of weight. Suddenly people were commenting on my wonderful weight loss after my 6th pregnancy, not understanding that it was because I was ill. Even after I decided to change over to conventional chemotherapy, people still focused on my looks. “you look great for someone with cancer”. Because of my experience, I’ve not only begun to think about myself differently, but also to realize I should not be focusing on the looks of others, especially not new & very sensitive mothers & pregnant women.

  19. I want to say thank you for this insightful article. I have suffered with an eating disorder in the past, and recieved both compliments and criticism on my weight loss. When my weight went up a little, again I recieved both compliments and criticism. People never cared how I felt, they merely demanded to have their say on MY body. Now I am nine months pregnant, and I’ve been forced to endure all the comments on my body that have come with that. It has been such an uncomfortable time for me, I have truly hated the experience, not because of the nine months of sickness, the sciatica, the pain in my hips etc, but because all of a sudden I am public property, and everyone wants a piece of me. Peoples comments, whether or not they are generally perceived as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, all pain me. I don’t like focussed attention on my appearance, it makes me extremely uncomfortable. A few people have congratulated me on not gaining ‘much’ weight. In my head that translates as ‘but you’ve gained a bit’, which crushes me. I know I’ll likely struggle post partum with resurfacing body issues, and in preparation for that I’ve been searching for posts by those women who will understand. Thank you again for your insight, it has greatly helped me to read this and realise that I am not alone, and that my feelings are justified. Not everyone will understand, as shown by some of the comments, but for women like myself this is a relief to stumble across. Thank you Olivia.

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