Expert Speak

A woman’s body weight doesn’t define her – How to support your wife with her post-pregnancy weight gain

Weight gain after pregnancy is a problem most women face. There is increasing body shaming nowadays, and men must be ready to protect and defend their women
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Pregnancy weight is often difficult to lose

Post pregnancy weight gain is a cause for concern for most women. Due to breast-feeding, they may not be able to get into a diet regime. There is also a lot of body shaming around this time. When the old clothes don’t fit any more, most women feel upset, despite the chance to have a completely new wardrobe.

Women step on weighing scales on a daily basis and try on pre-pregnancy clothes. Along with the stress of new motherhood comes a lot of anxiety of weight gain, which can lead most women to depressive days.

Body shaming interactions don’t always have to end with the receiver of the shaming feeling like complete useless and an utter failure. There are plenty of tips that can be used to mentally withstand the shaming. Support from her partner is very crucial at such times when she is being body shamed.

Related reading: Vidya Balan: Shutting down the body shaming

Tips to support your wife against body shaming

1. First of all, make your spouse understand that it’s not personally about her, but the preconception people have about the female figure. Tell her not to take it to heart, even if the other person’s intention was to hurt her. Tell her you will tide over this together.

2. Be extra caring and loving towards her, because this is the time she is feeling physically inefficient and unattractive. If you gave her fake compliments, she can see through them. Keep reassuring her that you love her for all the things she is doing during her motherhood. Tell her no matter how fat she has grown during her pregnancy, you still love her from your heart.

lovely couple
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3. Remember, this is the time of her life that she will be oversensitive about all issues; therefore, anything you do and say would hurt her even more than normal times. So be patient with her. Listen to her when she talks about her body concerns and the growing fat on her.

Listen to her when she talks about her body concerns and the growing fat on her.

4. Help her develop a workable plan to get back to her healthy self, incorporating exercise and a diet regime. Support her and be part of her plan. Do not make her dwell in self pity; assure her that this is a temporary phase and she can work towards a healthy and fit self very soon.

Give her your time and appreciation

5. Spend more time with her, because at this time if you leave her alone and go out with friends, she will think you are avoiding her, as she is no longer attractive to you. This will upset her even more. Besides, she needs help with the child and you also have to bond with the child.

6. Appreciate the great job she is doing as a new mother. It is very important for her that you know she has stretched and ached just to bring the child into this world. Don’t take it for granted that all women do, so she can also. Make her feel special about herself.

experts advice

7. When someone body shames your wife, stand up and support your wife in public, no matter who shames her. Talk as one and assure her that you are still genuinely attracted to her.

Related reading: How our sleeping improved when we gave the children their own bedroom

Body weight is not what makes her

8. Divert her attention from her physical self. Make sure she is not body shaming herself and being self-deprecating.

9. Tell her to be strong to stand up to shaming comments from others. It may not be a good idea to get into verbal fights, but it is always good to stand up for oneself when others shame you.

It may not be a good idea to get into verbal fights, but it is always good to stand up for oneself when others shame you.

But for this, she has to be in love with her body. Help her work on her self-esteem so that she is confident in public.

10. Not all bodies are created alike nor are shamers the same; therefore, the body shaming will also vary from one situation to the other. Let her be prepared for the varying degrees of shaming.

11. Your wife might have suffered from poor body image since childhood. Therefore it is essential to understand the past and deal with that as well.

12. Most importantly, have normal sex after pregnancy according to the advice of the doctor.

Deal with this delicate situation tactfully. Open conversations about body image. You cannot completely help her deal with her body shaming challenges, but you can continue loving her unconditionally right through the phase as she deals with it.

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1 Comment

  1. This is a real anxiety that comes with pregnancy, However as her partner you must make her feel at ease. Definitely don’t say anything that’ll make her conscious about her appearance, because she is already worried enough. The whole experience is overwhelming, with the hormones flowing in there may be excessive sensitivity. So at this point being there for your partner is quite essential, because you both are in it together. Don;t disregard her when she talks about how she feels related to her appearance, and reassure her and motivate her when she needs it

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