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“My FIL Told Me I Should Be Trying to Get My Body Back into Shape One Week After Giving Birth!”

Whilst there is never a good time to ask a woman about her weight, one week after she has given birth could possibly be the absolute worst time to bring up the subject. Pregnancy and childbirth take a huge toll on a woman’s body, and caring for a newborn during the early weeks and months is exhausting. It is certainly not a time that a woman should be feeling pressured into getting her body ‘back into shape!’ But, one new mum recently found herself as the unwilling recipient of this advice, from her father-in-law!

Ok so I am a week postpartum and quite tired and in recovery. My FIL is a retired doctor, a GP to be precise. He is generally a kindly man and we haven’t had issues the 10 years I’ve been with my husband.

When I was in the third trimester, I noticed he made a lot of unwarranted and unsolicited comments with regards to my condition. For instance, I had gestational diabetes. He seemed to disagree with the advice of my (highly regarded) endocrinologist. Then he asked me when I was getting induced into labour and said I should be induced at 38 weeks because of my GD, age and that my placenta could degrade and result in stillbirth. I found that incredibly insensitive and told my husband that if he says one more thing about my body and our birth choices (which are entirely conventional, by the way, I ended up going into spontaneous labour right on 40 weeks and had a smooth delivery), I would have a word with him.

Today he came to visit the baby. He asked me if I’ve started exercising yet. Both my husband and I were surprised and said no, and my husband added that I needed bedrest, on the advice of both my OB and physio. My physio advised half an hour on my feet per day, building it up gently and going for small walks with intense exercise from 6 weeks. FIL said he disagreed. Ok. Then he asked me if I’ve been weighed yet. That threw us both for a loop. We didn’t know why that would matter. Not that it should matter but I’m a petite woman and have always been skinny. I look appropriate for one week postpartum. Then he said I should be careful about diabetes down the line. My husband asked him what that had to do with my weight and he said well you should look to getting back in shape. I saw red. I told him to keep his nose out of my body, and that I already had a team of doctors looking after me, and he wasn’t one of them. He said I’m coming from the point of a concerned FIL. I replied that’s even more inappropriate and that anymore unsolicited comments, I would consider not allowing him in my house. He looked taken aback but apologised, mumbling about concern and then left. He has a history of depression and looked very sad when he departed, which made me doubt myself. AITA?


Understandably, people in the comments section were outraged by his comments and thought it was highly inappropriate.

NTA. Even if he meant well, the questions were incredibly invasive, inappropriate, and frankly none of his business. As long as you’re listening to your doctors, your FIL shouldn’t be trying to insert his opinion into your recovery plan.

Congrats on the new addition to your family! 🙂 (nerdgirlnav)


NTA The only things I wanted to hear anyone say after I gave birth is do you need anything from the grocery store, can I do your laundry and all you have to do it reheat this in the oven for 20 minutes at 325 degrees. (Heloise_Morris)


NTA that is so sexist and out of line for him to make comments like that. (woodsblueblanket)



So you’re supposed to put his happiness above your own? You’re postpartum last thing you need is postpartum depression. He can keep his comments to himself or he can stay home. (zadidoll)


If it’s true he was a doctor he had no bedside manner! Part of taking care of people is having compassion and empathy. He has absolutely no idea what it’s like having a baby and didn’t know about your private medical details. Only a huge AH would say what he did. (Dazzling_Note6245)

However, some people thought that her father-in-law’s comments were well-intentioned and made out of concern for her.

NTA, but I disagree with a lot of comments saying his intent was malicious or controlling. I genuinely think he may be trying to help in the way he feels he can the best. Or at least, without further context I can’t say his intentions were bad. The way you implied that you and your husband were surprised makes me feel like this isn’t normal behavior from him.

Everyone likes to feel like their professional opinion is worthwhile and desired, but he pushed too far. I don’t think you’re TA for telling him to stop, but I do think it could have been done in a more gentle way if he was genuinely just being overly vocal with unsolicited advice. To his credit, he also seemed to have genuine reasons for his comments too, not just “hurry up and lose the baby weight so you’ll be nice and housewife shaped” or some drivel like that. (DoingMyLilBest)

NTA. He doesn’t need to be your doctor. But, you could have set boundaries a little sooner and with more gentleness. It probably came from genuine care for you and wanting to be useful. (WyoDude92)

Others even wondered if it was a sign that he was suffering from a condition himself.

NTA and his behavior is so wildly inappropriate it would be safe to wonder if he is experiencing some type of dementia. (alk_adio_ost)

What do you think? How would you deal with someone giving you this advice one week after giving birth?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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