Baby Weight and the Aftermath: Keep Your Thoughts About My Body to Yourself


body imageBaby weight is not the easiest thing to get rid of, no matter your health regime. Just know, it is NEVER appropriate to ask a woman if they are pregnant (even if you see them crowning, you should wait until they announce even to suggest it).

When you are pregnant for the first time, your doctor explains how much you should be gaining each week. Typically, people fall within the 25-40 pound weight gain, all of which “should” be easy to get rid of once the baby is here. Mostly because after birth, generally speaking, women leave the hospital at least 10-15 lbs lighter than when they entered.

Most women complain about the extra 5-10 pounds that linger after the baby comes home. These statistics, of course, exclude me. I gained 70 pounds and still carry about half. My pregnancy was extremely healthy, so I felt obligated to eat until my heart, and my baby’s heart, was content. It is experiences like this that make some women hate pregnancy.

“Breastfeed,” they said. “It will help you lose weight,” they said. It is 14 months later, and I’m still about 40 pounds heavier than I was pre-baby. However, I am the least bit worried about fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I am still very much enjoying maternity pants and the pregnancy cravings. But, people are starting to notice. 

Kids can be brutal, and thankfully mine is too small to comment on Mommy’s big belly. But as a teacher, I have had multiple students comment on my new mom physique. I have overheard debates as to if I was pregnant again or not. It wasn’t until I started telling them I eat small children for breakfast that they stopped. Grown-ups can be just as bad. Often, it is women making remarks about other women’s bodies.

Here is a list of some of the comments I have heard since giving birth, from both kids and adults. 

  1. “How is it that you just returned to work and still got that muffin top?”
  2. “Wow. Your kids will be so close in age.”
  3. “I didn’t know you were expecting.” (As she rubbed my belly).
  4. An overheard conversation of students; “She’s not pregnant. My mom had the same thing after she had my brother.”
  5. “Don’t cover up that beautiful belly. You’re performing a miracle.”
  6. “You must be what, four months?”
  7. “Is your daughter going to be a big sister already?” 
  8. “You’re getting what for lunch? I thought it was frowned upon to eat cold cuts while pregnant.”
  9. “Another? Your husband must be so happy.” 
  10. “I have maternity jeans that don’t fit. Do you need them?” Ok. This wasn’t as offensive because, heck yes, I do want them. I want to live in them forever. But I still don’t know if she was assuming I was pregnant or if she knows how much I hate to button my pants. 

Don’t worry about what others say during pregnancy or postpartum. There will always be petty people commenting about how you look, what you’re wearing, or what you’re eating. A woman’s body is amazing. Why not relish in the fact you created a miracle rather than how it left you looking? Focus on the positive part of your life; your child. The more time and energy you put into them, the less you will even think about the extra weight they left you with. Create an amazing little person that will be successful in life. Don’t worry about creating the perfect body. You already did.

And please, don’t comment on another woman’s body, pregnant or not.


  1. Sooo well written! As women/mothers we always feel the need to “bounce” back after we have children. But not everybody is the same. Our bofies change soo much after giving birth! We need to take the focus OFF that and embrace the miracle(s) we have brought into this world! Looking into my children’s eyes every day is so worth each and every stretch mark acquired! Every lump and bump that has shown up. We as women need to empower one another! We are ALL beautiful! Every shape! Eveey size! Mommas rock! Love you Rach! XoXo

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