When this new mother is feeling weird about her body post birth, she asks Reddit:
I’m a private person. I’d never thought of myself as being especially self-conscious, as in I’ve never objected to skinny dipping somewhere secluded, and in college I didn’t shy away from the “streak the quad” thing that was big at my school, so I thought that “not baring myself in public to any strangers walking around” was normal, but apparently it isn’t.
I found pregnancy particularly embarrassing, even dehumanizing at times, and labor was awful. I didn’t want my husband there but obviously had to let him join me, which was one of the worst parts of labor. He refused to give me any privacy and insisted on watching our baby crown.
Thank god for my mother being there and actually enforcing my clear boundaries (medical staff were no help). As we prepared for the birth and I didn’t hide the fact that I was dreading my husband’s presence, he started to build up this anger towards me for not “trusting” him to watch the most humiliating and least sexy moment of my life.
(This after several of his friends “joked” with him at our virtual baby shower that dads can never really be attracted to their partners after “watching their favorite pub burn down”, which many of my girlfriends have confirmed as true for them.)
This has reached sort of a breaking point with breastfeeding. I felt fine breastfeeding in front of medical staff (it’s their job), and in front of my mother, but I just don’t want to do it in front of anyone else.
My husband has latched onto the “unconditional” thing and is mad that I don’t “trust” him to watch me struggle through the agony of breastfeeding while I’m sobbing and bleeding (yes I’ve seen a lactation specialist and tried the guards and creams and everything and nothing has worked).
My reasoning is that my mother is a MOTHER and understands the humiliation I’m going through. And she does love me unconditionally, truly without conditions. If I shot my brother, my mother would still visit me in jail.
My husband’s love for me is based upon the understanding/conditions that my personality and appearance will remain largely unchanged—if I shot his brother he certainly wouldn’t visit me in jail. Obviously seeing me in such a humiliating state could very much change how he feels about me, and I don’t see the point of risking it over something like this.
I do understand where my husband is coming from—I have very low flow so I spend a significant amount of time breastfeeding, there have been a few days we’ve had almost no in person contact over this.
But with lockdown lifting here we were at a small family gathering over the weekend and he said it was “incredibly insulting” that I spent the whole time alone in the bathroom trying to feed the baby.
Am I crazy for not wanting to feed in front of my in-laws? Or my husband? He says I’m a “bad feminist” for not being ok with breastfeeding in front of whoever happens to be around.If it were up to just me I would've just switched to formula weeks ago. AITA here?
This! First, NTA for setting your own boundaries with your own comfort, but your reasons are not healthy.
This does not describe a healthy relationship at all. Humans, overall, are kinda gross and when we find the one we want to spend the rest of our lives with or whatever, it's not a great sign if you can't be totally vulnerable in all areas. It's not pretty, it's sometimes terrible, but uh - everyone's personality and appearance WILL change with time, birth, several factors.
NTA - It's ok that you want to have some boundaries even as a married person and your husband needs to respect that. It's awesome that you are continuing to try to breastfeed even though it's been uncomfortable because there are benefits to your baby that come with that compared to formula. If it ends up not working out, that's ok, but if you can keep doing it, you should.
Your husband needs to be supporting you through this key stage of taking care of your child and should defend your decision to do it in whatever way makes it easier for you. Some privacy and defending your absence from prying family members is the least he can do.
I also worry that you don't feel very good about yourself right now, and I may be off the mark here, but that's not uncommon after going through stressful and traumatic events.
Child birth can be great and wondrous but it can also be traumatic as can feeling betrayed by your partner. You may want to consider seeing a therapist to talk through these things and your husband may also want to see one if he's struggling with understanding how to support you at this point.