Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Uncomfortable with friend's husband's comments on her pregnancy weight gain

Carolyn Hax on

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I had a baby six months ago. Due to luck, general good health, and diet/exercise, I gained a fairly small amount of weight during pregnancy and shed it pretty quickly afterward.

My friend "Mia" is 18 weeks pregnant with her first baby and has gained substantially more weight than I did, but looks great and apparently is in good health. Our families get together often, and her husband has taken to casually interviewing me about how I stayed in shape through pregnancy.

He is totally transparent -- he only asks when Mia is in the room, presumably either to help motivate her or to outright shame her for gaining weight.

I don't want to be complicit in this. What should I say to Mia's husband, and do I say it in front of her or privately? I don't just want him to stop asking ME for advice, I want him to stop shaming her altogether.


-- Complicit in Mommy Shaming

O. M. G.

Women have a hard enough time with everyone's opinion of their pregnancy -- or their non-pregnancies, since even the ones who don't get pregnant are fodder for public judgment -- that the last thing they need is for any bystanders to scrutinize their choices.

Especially when choices are only part of it: Everyone's body is different, responds differently, recovers differently.


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