Everyone talks about the physical changes a woman goes through during pregnancy. You know, the constant nausea, abhorrence of certain smells, skin problems and hair fall. They even warn you about mind-numbing labour pains and the frightening birth process. But no one prepares you for what awaits beyond the birth of your child. Apart from the inexplicable love you develop for your new-born, you also struggle with so many other feelings—not particularly happy ones. Finding yourself crying in the middle of the night for no reason, doubting yourself as a parent and other emotions root from sleepless nights, confusion and millions of expectations and judgements that are unloaded on you as a new mom. One of the most ridiculous ones, as Neha Dhupia would tell you, is getting back in shape and losing your pregnancy weight as soon as you deliver.
A lot of moms have this pressure on them to shed the extra kilos they gained during pregnancy. Mostly, it stems from of other people commenting on their postpartum weight. And, celebrities are no different. In fact, they are on close watch all through their pregnancy and are even trolled for their weight afterwards. Among the many celeb moms who have opened up about the stress they went through because of the trolls is Neha Dhupia. She had previously said in an interview that although she was not really insecure about her body, a comment from a female journo made her feel bad about her postpartum weight. Recently, she talked about how she was brutally trolled and fat-shamed for gaining 23 kilos, which is very disturbing for a new mom.
She said, “Moms after delivery go through postpartum but I have the support of my husband. I get so much support from him. You have this beautiful life that you are carrying inside and suddenly life is outside and suddenly you feel weird seeing yourself and then you are in the public eye. Everyone is not fortunate enough that you can go through pregnancy and don’t put on weight. I had put on like 23 or 25 kilos.” She said that she was criticised for her weight, adding that “from getting like fat-shamed to people passing judgements or saying that my life and my career have come to a halt. But I feel that it’s in my control.”
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However, it was in the lockdown that she decided to work on her body, not because people wanted her to, but because she wanted to. “During the lockdown, I didn’t worry what people said about me. I lost 21 kilos in the lockdown. So, my point is how you react to it. People go through ups and downs but reach out,” she said. I think it’s so amazing of her to do it for herself and not because the society expected her to fit into a certain mould. She must have gone through undeniable stress and pressure but she didn’t succumb to it, and that’s what matters.
She had told in an interview a few months ago, “Women — not men or the media — control the narrative around their bodies during and after pregnancy. I put on 23 kilos after I gave birth to Mehr, but I refused to let society’s ideals dictate my recovery. My husband (Angad Bedi) applied zero pressure on me to lose the baby weight. During my recovery and up until now, I’ve always given myself self-love and self-care. I’ve only just started dropping the pounds, but I’m okay being curvier too. I accept what my body wants to be.”
It’s really upon the new mom how she wants to recover and when she wants to work on her body. As a society, we need to stop put new moms under the scanner and expect them to lose their baby weight. They will, if and whenever they feel like getting back in shape. It’s no one else’s business. So, can we put these expectations from new moms to rest?