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New Mom Asks For Advice After Husband Says He Can't 'Look At Or Touch' Her After Giving Birth

Photo: Arsenii Palivoda / Shutterstock; Canva Pro  
Distraught mom with baby

It should go without saying that childbirth exacts an enormous toll on a person's body, and the recovery can be a long haul — sometimes even years. But one new mom is finding her husband to be less than understanding of what she's been through.

His response to his wife's changing body has a whole other layer to her difficult adjustment to motherhood.

The new mom's husband is disgusted by her weight gain after childbirth.

Writing in Reddit's "r/Marriage" subreddit, the new mom explained what has become a desperate situation for her since the birth of her son just under a year ago.

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Right from the get-go, her transition into motherhood was fraught. Her husband's 14-hour per day work schedule meant she was "home alone with a newborn recovering from major abdominal surgery while chronically sleep deprived," a situation so difficult she says "the stress made my milk dry up at 4 weeks."

As if that weren't enough, postpartum depression soon kicked in, and the new mom struggled so mightily with the condition she made two attempts on her own life.

She is sadly not remotely alone in this experience. As the video below explains, 80% of women experience the so-called "baby blues" in the first weeks after giving birth. But for another 15% of mothers, however, postpartum depression becomes not only debilitating but dangerous.

Thankfully, this new mom had the help of her mother-in-law, who stepped in to take her baby one night a week so that she could rest and care for herself, and she credits this help with allowing her to recover. Her husband, on the other hand, has been the opposite of helpful.

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Her husband says she is 'disgusting and unhealthy' and she needs to 'take accountability' for the weight she has gained since giving birth.

The new mom got a slight reprieve from the difficulties she was facing when her husband sent her on a trip to visit her family for three months. The trip, she says, "really put into perspective how much I had been doing, because suddenly I had help." She noticed that her C-section incision finally began to heal, and she even lost "half a stone," the equivalent of seven pounds.

Photo: Reddit

That all changed as soon as she returned home to her husband. "I was back to doing everything alone again," she wrote, and her depression "started getting bad again." The harsh winters in her country also meant she wasn't able to go outside much, so "I wasn't exercising and I was eating out of boredom."

She rapidly put on weight, which she's now trying to tackle with daily exercise, portion control, and the avoidance of sugar. But, she added, "the weight isn't coming off," and it's a huge problem with her husband.

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Photo: Reddit

Rather than have empathy for what his wife is going through, her husband is disgusted by her weight gain after childbirth. "He can't look at me or touch me," she said. "He hasn't told me he loved me in about 7 months," instead scolding her that she needs to "take accountability and grow up and mature and actually lose the weight." He also insists he "deserves an apology from me because now he has to live with a fat wife he can't look at our touch."

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People were shocked by her husband's cruelty — especially since his expectations are absurdly unreasonable.

Though conventional wisdom says that things like breastfeeding should help new moms lose weight, it is not true for every person, and weight gain after childbirth is incredibly common. So, too, is an inability to lose weight after having a baby, and it has nothing to do with laziness, maturity or accountability, contrary to what this woman's husband seems to think.

Rather, it often comes down to hormones. Hormones are all over the place during pregnancy, but they also stay that way after childbirth. The surging levels of the stress hormone cortisol, due to the demands of motherhood and especially the lack of sleep a new baby brings, is enough to cause weight gain and hinder weight loss in and of itself.

New moms' bodies also produce the hormone prolactin, one of the key hormones involved in lactation — and which not only stimulates the appetite but also suppresses adiponectin, the hormone that signals the body to break down fat. Roll it all together and many moms wrestle with precisely the difficulties this new mom is facing.

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Which makes this mom's husband's criticism all the more cruel. And it made other women on Reddit feel like there was an incredibly simple solution to the new mom's weight loss problems: ditching her husband once and for all, since he's the major source of the stress in her life nowadays.

Photo: Reddit

Of course, that's easier said than done. But one thing is for sure — women should not have to put up with this, especially after just giving childbirth. As a Reddit commenter put it, "You spent the first few paragraphs explaining to us why you'd gained weight. You're a person!... You really shouldn't have to explain yourself."

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.