Anger as Husband Compares 'Slimmer' Woman's Body to His Postpartum Wife

A mom is being praised online for standing up for another woman's postpartum body, sparking a discussion about beauty standards and the pressure on new mothers to lose weight.

In a post to Reddit's r/TrueOffMyChest forum on August 26, user u/throwawaybabybody shared a troubling encounter with her husband's friend over dinner.

'Shallow'

The 26-year-old explained that she and her husband have a six-month-old baby. Describing herself as "naturally slim," she went on a diet immediately after giving birth to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight.

"I would never expect another woman to do that," she said. "It's not fun. I did it because I've always been obsessive about my appearance."

The night before she wrote the post, the couple had visited a restaurant with her husband's friend and his wife, who had also recently given birth. At some point, the poster and her husband's friend were left alone at the table, where the man "complimented" her figure.

"He started by saying my husband is lucky and that I look even better after the baby," she wrote. "Then he started venting about his wife. To summarize he said he wishes she would have stayed slimmer like I did. I told him to be patient, she literally just gave birth. He said 'sure but you never looked like that.' I laughed and said because I basically starved myself during pregnancy'."

Husband Comparing ‘Slimmer’ Woman to Wife Slammed
A stock photo of a crying woman mid-argument with her husband who is angrily looking away. Reddit users dubbed a woman's husband and his friend who compared their wives' post-pregnancy bodies "shallow." Damir Khabirov/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The poster assumed that was the end of it until her husband came home the next evening.

"He asked if I told his friend I starve myself," she said. "I explained why and he told me to never embarrass him like that again.

"He said that it makes him look bad if I seem 'unstable and miserable.' He said it wasn't my place to defend her and he doesn't need his friends asking him if I'm okay.

"I was only trying to be honest. And yes I felt bad for his wife, she's a nice lady and her body just hasn't bounced back from birth yet."

'Lack of support'

According to the Mayo Clinic, it can take "weeks or months for the body to recover from pregnancy and childbirth." Although new mothers lose roughly 13 pounds immediately after birth, and a further 5 pounds to 15 pounds in the first six weeks, it can take "six months to a year" for new moms to lose the remainder.

However, it's not uncommon for moms to struggle with their weight after pregnancy, known as "postpartum weight retention" (PPWR). Having a baby is life-changing, and this transition can make it more difficult for many women to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine.

A 2018 study found that limited knowledge on how to safely exercise after birth, along with stress, exhaustion and sleep disturbances were a key factor in 42 percent of PPWR cases. Unsurprisingly, the need to prioritize childcare and household responsibilities over personal health and well-being also made it tough for new moms to lose weight, as was a lack of support from the people around them.

'Narcissistic' Husband

Although Redditors praised the poster for standing up for a fellow mom, they were disturbed by both her husband's and his friend's behavior. In less than 24 hours, the post received 10,500 upvotes and over 1,200 comments.

"So your husband, upon hearing that you were starving yourself, wasn't concerned about that and didn't go to you to make sure you were okay?" asked SoAnonymously.

"Instead he was just worried that his friends might judge him for having, God forbid, a wife who might be unhappy? Yeah, he should be embarrassed...for failing as a partner in this situation."

"OP's husband's reaction is narcissistic," said Delta-tau.

"If you need to control every single thing your wife says because you feel it reflects on your 'honor,' you're in urgent need of therapy."

Poinsettia917 suspected the husband's friend was actually trying, but failed, to hit on the poster, writing: "Ahh, just got to love guys like this. One guy is hitting on you and denigrating his wife. You try to mitigate what he said, because what he said sucked.

"Instead of getting on his creep-ass friend for hitting on you, your husband criticizes you.

"I feel badly for you and the other guy's wife. You are both married to shallow a********."

Here_forthecomments1 agreed, writing: "'My jock husband's friend is upset with his wife for being fat so he made a pass at me but got offended I didn't take it so he elaborated this story that I am unstable.'"

While Legitimate_Roll7514 commented: "Although OP's body obsession and starvation IS concerning and a bit sad, I am glad she stood up for the wife.

"Pregnancy affects every woman differently. Anyone who [criticizes] a woman's body post pregnancy is a giant a******."

Newsweek has reached out to u/throwawaybabybody for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

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