You've made it through nine months of nausea, back pain, and hemorrhoids while wearing hideously ill-fitting maternity clothes. You've endured hours _possibly days — of painful labor. And now that your beautiful new baby is finally here, you can say that it was all worth it (well, maybe not the hemorrhoids). When you are finally ready to share him with the world, not only will people ooh and aah over your new little bundle of joy, they will undoubtedly offer their unsolicited opinions on your appearance. Though they may think they are being nice, there are some "compliments" people say about the postpartum body that are actually insults.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the average weight gain during pregnancy can vary anywhere between 25 to 40 pounds. And while we can fantasize about having a Kate Middleton or Beyoncé-like postpartum recovery, OB-GYN Laura Riley, writes in her book, You and Your Baby Pregnancy: The Ultimate Week-by-Week Pregnancy Guide, that four to six months is a more realistic time frame for losing weight.
New moms are already dealing with a crazy cocktail of emotions including joy, anxiety, and, at times, isolation. Add in sleep deprivation, and you could have a ticking time bomb on your hands. And these "compliments" about her postpartum figure may push her over the edge.
1"You'll Lose That Baby Weight Before You Know It."
Most new moms want to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight, but the reality is that every postpartum body is different. While some may be rocking their skinny jeans within a few months, some may have to permanently trade them in for a larger size.
2"You Don't Look Like You've Had Kids."
In some cases, moms shed their pregnancy pounds within a few months. While it may be the result of good genes and exercise, it could also be due to sickness or lack of time and energy to eat. Besides, even if you don't look like you've just given birth, you definitely feel like it.
3"Your Boobs Are Insane!"
It's no secret that pregnancy changes the size and shape of your breasts. But for moms who choose to breastfeed, that rack is the vessel that carries your baby's meals. New moms often experience very unsexy things like sore nipples and engorgement. And as time goes on, you may look less like a Hooter's girl and more like you're carrying around two deflated beach balls.
4"You Look So Relaxed!"
People who are used to seeing you glammed up 24-7 may not know how to react when they see you in more casual outfits. They have no idea that you've been wearing the same sweatpants and N'Sync t-shirt for days because you're too exhausted to shower.
5"You Only Look Pregnant From The Front."
This is probably one of the worst things you can say to a new mom. As Ob-GYN Michele Hakakha tells Parents magazine that it can take about six weeks for the uterus to return to the pelvis (one of the factors that contributes to a bigger belly). But the truth is, some moms will never get their pre-preggo abs back.
6"All You Have To Do Is Breastfeed."
They may think they're telling you that losing the baby weight will not require much effort, but breastfeeding is not for everyone. Though they may want to provide their baby with breast milk, for many women, it is not a viable option.
7"You Just Need A Little Makeup."
They aren't telling you to lose weight, but they think you could stand to cover up those bags under your eyes with a little concealer. Being a mom, especially of a newborn, is hard work. Give her a few months before you expect her to start using mascara again.