Women face a whole lot of societal pressure pertaining to their appearances, in general. But the pressure definitely amplifies during and after pregnancy. 

Women usually have a ton of opinions thrown at them about what they should look like after giving birth, about how they should lose weight to go back to what they looked before pregnancy. And it’s infuriating, honestly. Because, giving birth to a child is no joke! 

So, we thought that maybe this Reddit thread where women opened up to share how they felt when they faced pressure to lose their baby weight might enlighten us all on the entire predicament. And hopefully help society become a little less judgmental about women’s bodies. Take a look.

1. My 3 kids were born about 40 years ago. I had many friends who had babies at the same time. We were so wrapped up in motherhood, that losing weight and working out were barely on the radar. 40 years later, women are under tons of pressure to do more than ever.  We took walks for a chance to get out of the house and to chat with each other… not for exercise. There were exercise records, but being a full time mommy left little time for them. Fitness centers were rare and unaffordable. But the weight came off after a while, despite any of today’s options. Be kind to yourself. Being a new mom is hard enough. Your body has changed a lot, so recovery will take a while. Everyone is different.

– mojodrag ·

2. I hate the thought of “bouncing back.” You will never be where you were before. Your body just went through one of the most life altering and changing events ever. I could wear my old jeans basically when we got back from the hospital. I think I was at my pre baby weight in a few days. But it’s been 19 months and my tummy is still much more flabby looking. My boobs are huge and saggy. It is what it is. My major gripe is women who insist everyone can “bounce back” if they just work hard enough. Not every body is the same. It’s unfair to place the same assumptions on every woman. It’s similar to good skin. I was born with great, clear skin. I also take great care of it and use good products. But just because I have great skin doesn’t mean I’m trying harder or necessarily doing anything different than someone with terrible acne.

– brunette_mama

3. I don’t let society dictate expectations for me in any regard. It works quite well. But, on this subject, growing a human in your body is absolutely miraculous. Anything other than celebration and appreciation for your body, exactly as it is, is bullshit IMO.

– piscean-vibes

4. As a FTM, it felt awful, but so much of that pressure was internalized. I had no women around me to help, to tell me to take it slow, to normalize how messy postpartum recovery is. I white-knuckled a C-section recovery and started running five weeks later. I was desperate to feel like I did before I had a baby, not realizing that old person was gone. Things changed permanently in some ways, physically, and completely in the emotional arena. The second time, I was much kinder to myself. And in turn, so much judgement, pouring in from every angle. We are sleep-deprived to the point of madness and then told to hop on an elliptical and also, get back to that career. It’s honestly infuriating. Perhaps the greatest act of rebellion against all this is to refuse to do the impossible and give ourselves time to heal.

– niecymarie

5.  The suggestion that producing another human, causes no trauma, changes, and evolution to your body – is just one more example of mega corporations degrading women’s self-worth for gain. 

Biologically speaking, 
1. Your hips had to adjust to allow for birth, and to redistribute weight so you don’t fall forward when walking. 
2. Your organs all shifted to allow for an expanding uterus. 
3. Your hair growth changed because of hormones that are there to support the pregnancy. 
4. Your bone density has changed. 
5. Your breasts started producing milk – thereby changing and possibly creating stretch-marks. 
6. Our skin stretched, and often would result in loose skin or stretch marks or both or neither. 

And these are just the 1st six changes I could think of. Many of the changes are permanent. You made another human! You are a goddess. Why would you want to go backwards on that?

– funnybunny66 

6. I wanted to lose the baby weight for myself, not for society. I’m much happier when I’m fit. Being fit makes life easier.

– drunkenknitter


7. I have given birth twice. With my first I didn’t gain much and lost the weight really quickly (for whatever reason, bodies are weird), and got a lot of push back and comments from friends/family/acquaintances about it being “sad” that I had caved to societal expectations and even insinuations that I must be paying more attention to what I look like than my baby. With my second child, I gained a lot more weight and had trouble losing it after my pregnancy. Also got a lot of negative comments on my body and questions about whether I had decided to “let myself go.” Seems like society feels at liberty to comment on newly post partum and pregnant bodies at either end of the spectrum and you can’t really win, whether you “bounce back” or not.

– Dracarys92788


8. My youngest is 13 years old and my body is still trying to bounce back. 

– airlee77

9. Caring for an infant is hard enough work for anybody and f*ck anyone who thinks that you have to simultaneously be decorative. I mean, if you want to, that’s your business but any kind of social pressure is unreasonable and objectifying.

– all_the_cats_wanna

10. I haven’t given birth yet, but I’m 6.5 months pregnant. I definitely have felt the pressure, but at the same time, I’m uncharacteristically calm about it. I don’t feel the need to cave to the pressure. I’ve had a hard time with the weight gain, I won’t lie, but I don’t expect myself to lose it quickly, or even lose all of it. Being pregnant has taught me to respect and honor my body in a way I hadn’t before.

– WitchInAWheelchair

11. I did “bounce back” (visually at least) very quickly. It wasn’t something I worked for so it was really weird being congratulated for it like it was an achievement or something in my control. I felt like an absolute wreck inside for many many months but felt like I couldn’t talk about it at all because I looked “normal.” I also felt a lot of pressure to do it again the second time around.

– No_League_4819

12. I had two kids a year and half apart both via C-section. I’ve never “bounced back” as my body is irrevocably changed. But I do accept my body and when I feel bad or self conscious about it I remind myself I grew and birthed two children and I’m still alive, so my body has done a stellar job. I wish society in general would stop being so obsessed with women and our bodies and appearance. I wish we could all just BE.

– bitchincamaro79


Losing weight post pregnancy should be all about what you want, and whether your body needs more rest and rejuvenation, not about what others think of you.