Woman Told Not To Wear A Bikini To The Beach Because Her Sister Just Had A Baby And Is Self-Conscious About Her Postpartum Body

Her sister's demand may have been unrealistic, but it highlights the struggle mothers have with the pressure to 'bounce back' after giving birth.

woman wearing bikini on beach, woman staring at body in mirror Photo Book Pro, Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock

A woman was accused of ruining a family trip after refusing to listen to her sister's request about what she shouldn't wear to the beach.

Posting to the subreddit "r/AmItheA--hole" (AITA) — an online forum where users try to figure out if they were wrong or not in an argument — she shared that her sister recently had a baby and has been feeling self-conscious about her postpartum body.   

She was asked to not wear a bikini to the beach because her sister feels insecure about her body after having a baby.

In her Reddit post, she explained that she had recently taken a family vacation with her husband, daughter, parents, her sister, Rachel, her sister's son, and her sister's husband, Adam. While on vacation, there was a day when they were all supposed to go to a beach club and have a day by the water.


However, just before leaving for the beach, Rachel pulled her aside and claimed that she didn't want her to wear a bikini or anything that was too "revealing." 

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"She said both she and Adam are not feeling the best about her postpartum body and she really doesn’t want to bring the topic up," she wrote. Apparently, Rachel's husband had made several comments in the past during and after Rachel's pregnancy about her body. 

"He asked me about my postpartum diet/workout regimen. I was vague about it but did end up telling him I’d had surgery and various non-invasive treatments and that diet/exercise was not the deciding factor. He stopped asking," she continued in her post.


Hearing her sister's request, the woman was sympathetic and told Rachel that she did feel sorry that she was going through these insecurities, but she wasn't going to spend the entire time at the beach burning up because she couldn't wear a swimsuit.

She also pointed out that there are going to be other women wearing bikinis, so it wouldn't really make a difference if she opted out of wearing one. Unfortunately, Rachel was incredibly unhappy about her sister's refusal.



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"We went to the beach and Rachel was a wreck all day and refused to come with us to the beach," she added. "My parents are now saying I’m [in the wrong] for not just wearing a cover-up that you can still swim in and that if I keep wearing swimwear it’s going to ruin the trip."

While her sister's demand was unrealistic, it proves that women often struggle with accepting their postpartum bodies.

According to a survey conducted by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, out of 161 pregnant and postpartum women between the ages of 18 and 45, 50% reported feelings of body dissatisfaction. More than 40% said being pregnant or having a baby had made them self-conscious about their appearance.

It's incredibly sad that this woman's sister is trying to come to terms with her postpartum body and is feeling insecure about her appearance, which only seems to be exacerbated by her husband's comments that were made throughout her pregnancy and even after.

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Both pregnancy and childbirth are significant life events that bring about substantial changes in a woman's body. These changes can vary from experiencing weight gain to gaining stretch marks.

No matter what the change is, shaming women for these changes implies that their bodies are not allowed to evolve in the ways that come with having a child, which is a ridiculous idea to have.

While the demand that her sister wear a bikini is misplaced, especially considering that you can't dictate how other people should dress and act when it comes to your own insecurities, there needs to be a level of compassion for how hard it must be to live in a different body after experiencing a life-changing moment.


There's also this unnecessary pressure placed on new mothers to "bounce back" once they've had their babies. Not only is this expectation a physically challenging one for many women, but it also fails to recognize the physical and emotional toll that pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period have on women.

Rachel's struggle with her postpartum body highlights the broader issue of body dissatisfaction among pregnant and postpartum women, and can be used as an example of how we all need to have empathy, reject body-shaming, and recognize the beauty and strength inherent in every stage of womanhood. 

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.