What Do Men Think About Women's Post-Baby Bodies?

You might be surprised - in a good way!
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What Do Men Think About Women’s Post-Baby Bodies?

You might be surprised – in a good way!

-Melissa Stanton

Woman looking at her reflection

When I was a fresh-out-of-college editorial assistant at a women’s magazine, I had to fact-check an article by a pop psychologist on how a woman could prevent her husband from having an affair. Among the tips: A new mom needs to make her partner feel special. In essence, if she doesn’t baby the daddy, he’ll stray.

Although I was a decade away from being a new mom myself, I was put off by that advice. A woman is recovering from a pregnancy and delivery, her hormones are out of whack, she’s sleep-deprived, may be nursing, is probably having major body-image issues and it’s her responsibility to ensure that her husband doesn’t sneak out for sex? Give a girl a break.

While there are men who cheat on their pregnant or post-partum partners, and there are men who shun a woman’s changed body, I believe that most guys aren’t so cruel or shallow. Still, a couple’s sex-after-baby dynamic can be filled with physical and emotional landmines.

Read Down with Yummy Mummies

She’s probably feeling exhausted, flabby, unattractive. (Unlike Heidi Klum and other celebrity übermoms, real life women don’t bounce back into bikinis within days of giving birth.) He’s likely proud and stressed, especially if he’s a first time dad. He may also be feeling both eager and tentative: He wants to get back in the sack, but he saw the woman he loves in agony, and he doesn’t want to cause her more pain. He wants to do all sorts of erotic things, but he remembers her being stretched wide or cut open in a way that’s both fascinating and horrifying.

From my unscientific digging, it seems that women—and the media—are more critical about and obsessed with the post-partum body than men are.

“What we found is that most women are much harder on themselves than their partners are on them,” says Claire Mysko, co-author with Magali Amadeï of Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? “Men do notice the body changes, but they don’t scrutinize them as much as women lament every stretch mark. Most guys told us they just wanted their partners to feel good about their bodies.”

That’s reassuring, but what about those men who don’t accept a woman’s now less than perfectly taut belly, boobs and bottom? “We did encounter a few guys [like that],” Mysko and Amadei write. “These are men who are just generally shaming and critical of women’s bodies, whether they’re pregnant or not. For these guys, their superficial obsession with women’s weight and appearance is really about their own baggage. Their time would be better spent dealing with those issues instead of picking on their partners.” Touché.

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7 thoughts on “What Do Men Think About Women's Post-Baby Bodies?

  1. Speaking from a man’s perspective I can say that I appreciate the difference between a slim trim 21 year old and a woman who has had a child. I love my wife’s body today as much as I loved it when she was 18 years old after two children. Stretch marks very very light, she use cocoa butter on her stomach the whole time she was pregnant and I believed that did help a lot. The rest does hold true though the “Baby pouch” the breasts have changed some as did the hips and bottom. You know what I love her body more today then ever, after nearly 40 years together. It is because I love her and admire her for being her self. I would love for her to wear sexy filmy nighties, but “She” feels she can’t do this any more. I would love her even more if she did so wear such clothes. I can rarely talk her out of her bra and g out in public, in a place where no one will know her. Me, I would be so proud to be seen with her in public close to home without a bra. My wife is not fat, but not thin either, maybe a little over weight, but so what! I am not a skinny thing either. But really it is a woman that I love and I just adore seeing her leaving the shower past the bed to the closet for her nightgown, what a beautiful sexy woman. It doesn’t matter if you are big or small chested, or narrow waist, big hips, thighs the same, in fact I prefer a little meat on the bone to be truthful. Marks or not you are as sexy and as beautiful as ever after children, even more so as far as I am concerned. I, like many men, look at women I know, pictures in the internet, etc., and I would much much rather see a natural woman then one all painted and air brushed. Women are much harder on themselves then most men would ever be. Don’t try to be something from a magazine it isn’t real. Men love real women no matter what. I hope this will relieve some women and let them be more open with their husbands because we love you the way you are, because we love “you!”

  2. TAKEN FROM THE ARTICLE; “One bit of proof: Consider the popularity of the crude but common acronym MILF. Google it if you need a definition.)” You all know how crude men can be, but please…..PLEASE…. DO NOT TAKE THE ACRONYM AS AN INSULT OR TO BE IN ANY WAY DEGRADING! From a man’s point of view it may be crude, but is meant, between men, as a definite good thing towards a woman in honor and respect so to speak of her beauty especially since she has brought a child into this world. Now, I would not expect all to understand this, but it, between men, is like saying OH Lala, and so much more of this wonderful creature, only in a man’s perverted way of saying how beautiful she is as a woman and a mother. Sorry, to all the ladies out there that believe otherwise. Men would not like to lay next to anyone they think, believe, or see as someone they would not want to be seen with in public, or any other place as that goes. If anyone was really gross and derogatory to my wife that she could hear or anyone else as far as that goes I just might have to do something. That being said my best friend has said that of my wife, and I took that as a compliment about her, between the two of us. Don’t be public and crude and particularly loud that everyone can hear because that is truly disrespectful to a woman, mother and lady that you do not know. I will start a post in “BettyTalk” that drives me crazy. Hope you all check it out and join in with your comments. I personally believe that “Women & Mothers” have a much higher and stronger voice in our country and they way things are allowed to go then what they actually believe. I honor and respect almost all mothers and women for who and what they are. Thank yo for listening to me. Sorry to be so winded!

  3. Hey ladies,

    Married guy..37 ..two kids. You girls worry too much about these things. There is no woman in the world that can come above the mother of your child….From a guys viewpoint, you are the ultimate….. i find it terribly distressing that a woman could think she is unattractive to a guy after child birth. it is a ridiculous notion…Sexy is not about how your body looks, its about how you behave..
    My wife's body is changed… lower boobs…stretch marks etc….. Doesn't make the slightest difference to how I fancy her,, But what i see is how it has damaged her confidence and made her feel less sexy,,,, and that is unsexy…. If a woman doesn't feel sexy, she doesn't react in the right way. Thats where the turn off is… it is not your body.. believe it…. its your attitude.

    Yes your body is different. yes a nice firm toned body is nice. But so is a post pregnancy body. Its just different.. The attraction with a post preg body is far deeper than it is to a young firm body, because it brings an emotional element to the table.. Its more than sexy…. You feel something emotional more towards it. Those changes have a deep meaning attached to them. Its nice..

    My advice is for you to accept who you are, how you are and what you are…Never feel ashamed for the body that God gave you. Let your husband see your imperfections and flaws. he will not love or fancy you any less for it.

  4. Thanks for this article. it is amazing. Pregnancy is a very precious things in our life. that time we are all bringing a new life in our body. But now I am newly married, after 3 years, I also want to feel the same. :)

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