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Baby or fat?

(24 Posts)
SparkleSoiree Fri 22-Jul-16 08:53:55

I'm 5'4 in height which means the slightest extra pound is noticeable. Since my 3rd baby a few years back I've developed a very round, pregnant looking tummy. It's where all my weight goes whilst I still somehow manage to retain slim arms and legs - frustrating.

Every so often, about once a month, strangers will ask me "when is it due?" (Happened 2 weeks ago in M&S jewellery section and has regularly happened since 2007, leaving me in tears sometimes.) I am always unprepared as its a stranger so not expecting to be spoken to but it always catches me off guard. I feel awkward, embarrassed and sometimes humiliated because there is no baby, just a heap of fat which they are drawing attention to in front of everyone. Yesterday collecting DD from a group a young boy if around 6 or 7 asked "do you have a baby in your tummy?" I replied no and smiled but other parents heard it and I was mortified. I do have a weight issue since having DD3 and have been ill so it's just this year I'm beginning to tackle it. I've actually lost 12lbs since beginning of June which makes these comments even more stinging!

It's obvious when people see my weight first because I watch their eyes drop from my face to my tummy - it's a horrible feeling because you feel judged by a total stranger.

AIBU in thinking people shouldn't ask complete strangers personal questions like this? Or do I have to suck it up that it's ok for others to ask these things?

Birdsgottafly Fri 22-Jul-16 09:03:57

People shouldn't, but they do.

I had to cut out white carbs and minimise wheat carbs.

I also had laser Lipo, it was being offered at a gym I was going to. It works, especially on C Section/Birth overhang 'aprons'.

Cadenza1818 Fri 22-Jul-16 09:07:35

Yup I have same problem! I avoid certain clothes. It's the skinny arms and legs that causes it. I feel your pain. I try n brazen it out and retort that this is what having three kids does to you!

Stiddleficks Fri 22-Jul-16 09:09:10

I'm 6' and after my second all my weight is on my belly. Lots of people have assumed I'm pregnant again, it's really depressing as nothing seems to help. I've had major surgery too so I suppose the muscles aren't what they used to be either.
I hate that people think they have the right to judge another persons body. My own mother being the worst.

SaucyJack Fri 22-Jul-16 09:11:21

I've had it a couple of times, but it doesn't bother me that much- although obv. no one wants to hear it when they're not pregnant. It's just as bad for the other person- usually it's meant kindly and they're asking because they're pleased for your imaginary pregnancy.

I just pointed to my youngest and said the baby was due however many months/years ago.

NisekoWhistler Fri 22-Jul-16 09:12:28

That's awful I can't believe people are so unkind. I sorry to hear that you've heard those comments.
Along with the white carbs, avoid sugar like the plague and take omega 3 supplements that really helps cut fat from your middle.

UntilTheCowsComeHome Fri 22-Jul-16 09:16:31

Me too.

I've always put weight on on my belly but when I was younger it wasn't bad at all.

Since 2 kids and my weight fluctuating by a couple of stone, my belly is hideous. It's big and saggy and I often have people asking me if I'm pregnant, particularly at work where the uniform is far from flattering.

I've lost over a stone recently but my belly still looks out of proportion.

GrimmauldPlace Fri 22-Jul-16 09:16:35

I have a rule, never ask anyone about their pregnancy unless they have told you that they are. Avoids stuff like this. Sorry you've been upset by thoughtless people.

LadySpratt Fri 22-Jul-16 09:18:28

Ooh Sparkle, I'm with you there. I've had loads of these. Generally I'm good humoured about them. If they get close enough to pat and ask when it's due I tell them 'x years ago' with a bright smile and a hearty laugh. The one I feel most guilty about is receiving a knowing smile from a pregnant woman as she eyed me up in the baby section of IKEA whilst I was looking for a plastic high chair for my retired mother to use in the shower after she broke her ankle and wasn't allowed to stand. I was mortified and angry and upset and I gave her a filthy look. I know I look like I've swallowed a goat whole.......
Hopefully when I look suitably past childbearing age people might think again about inferring. Until then, diet and exercise!!! Well done in losing 12 pounds!!flowers

NarcyCow Fri 22-Jul-16 09:24:58

I'm most certainly not in the same position as you, as I'm a size 24 and huge all over, not just my tummy, but I have had the same thing happen a few times. I generally laugh and say 'no, I'm just fat' which puts the embarrassment right back on them grin

Mouikey Fri 22-Jul-16 09:40:25

I lost lots of weight a few years ago and someone asked me if I was dying - i said we are all dying, and he had the cheek to come back and specifically ask if I had cancer!!! How to make a girl feel special eh!

Most people's hearts are in the right places, but they don't connect their brain to their mouth and think about what they are saying or the impact it might have. Its hard but try and ignore it, you've achieved loads by losing those 12lbs (although take that easy too) xx

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Fri 22-Jul-16 09:40:58

I think there should be a law that unless someone has an enormous bump and is seen picking out baby clothes, no one should ask if they're pregnant.

If it's any consolation, last time I was PG I was massively overweight and no one realised that I was pg, they just thought I'd got fatter. The sods.

BalloonSlayer Fri 22-Jul-16 09:41:57

There is a thing where your stomach muscles don't join back together properly after birth which causes this "fat tummy" look.

Normal stomach exercises make it worse, apparently. You have to do special ones.

I am trying to think of what it's called and when I do will post a link.

PacificDogwod Fri 22-Jul-16 09:42:07

YANBU - people should not be so bloody cheeky and keep their comments to themselves.

Having said that I once asked a somebody when they were due when they were not pregnant blush. In my defence, they were wearing an item of maternity nursing uniform (the single most unflattering piece of clothing ever).

Might this be of interest?
The bulging post-natal tummy is not something you must put up with. You may never get the shape of your girlhood back, but it can be improved rather a lot. And having a strong core has all sorts of benefits: improved continence/pelvic floor, less back pain, easier lifting etc etc.

BalloonSlayer Fri 22-Jul-16 09:43:42

Diastasis recti!

sparechange Fri 22-Jul-16 09:44:07

Have you tried pilates?
It flattens the core muscles around your trunk, which in turn makes everything on top of those muscles (abs and fat!) lie flatter

I initially did an 8 week course of weekly classes and noticed such a difference. If you can find someone that has specific knowledge of post-natal pilates, even better...

StillCounting123 Fri 22-Jul-16 09:44:21

OP, I'm not happy that you're upset by this, but I am happy to discover that I'm not the only one!

I'm a size 10-12 but since having 2 big babies (the youngest of which is 4 years old!) I find my belly gets very bloated easily and all fat goes there.

No one has asked me if I'm pregnant, but I sometimes look at my belly in mirror and think WTF?!

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Fri 22-Jul-16 09:47:22

I second it being diastasis recti, especially if you still look quite 'pregnant'. Ask your GP for a referral to a physio who knows what they're dealing with - a lot of the normal core strengthening exercises can actually make DR worse, any exercises you're shown need to target it specifically.

Bottomchops Fri 22-Jul-16 09:48:47

You can self diagnose disastis recti on YouTube. It made me feel queasy though.

PacificDogwod Fri 22-Jul-16 11:07:24

Any woman who has been pregnant should be very careful about abdominal exercise and ideally avoid sit-ups (they can be done safely, but too many people get them totally wrong and then, yes, DR can be made worse).

Cutecat78 Fri 22-Jul-16 11:26:18

I also have a rule to never ask as have asked/commented twice and been mortified to realise they were not pg.

As PPs say it's normally not malicious it's just chit chat (albiet thoughtless).

Well done on losing 12 pounds that's fab smile

BillSykesDog Fri 22-Jul-16 11:35:09

I had this whilst I was actually undergoing treatment for infertility so it was doubly upsetting. It's turned out to be PCOS and IBS related. As yours comes and goes it sounds similar, bloating being the thing that actually makes you look pregnant.

Do you think it might be worth getting a food intolerance test? My bugbear (typically of PCOS) is sugar and lowering that in my diet has worked miracles and stopped the whole pregnant like bloating when not pregnant.

SparkleSoiree Fri 22-Jul-16 22:43:17

Weirdly, I'm glad I'm not on my own!

I have recently started Pilates and love it but can't yet do exercises laying on my tummy as its too uncomfortable, but I will research the condition referred to by a few of you. After 3 c-sections and not one contraction my midriff us a bit of a muscular mess!

I'm also going to look into food intolerance testing as I have thought a few times this year my tummy gets very upset after certain foods and I can come over quite ill very quickly.

I know people asking if Im pregnant are only genuinely interested and I can see they get embarrassed too, it's just awkward all round really!

Topseyt Fri 22-Jul-16 23:19:51

I have a mental rule never to ask this, as I am terrified of getting it wrong.

I used to work with a man who had a tendency to ask this sort of thing and nearly always got it wrong. He embarrassed himself a few times. He was a nice person, just with a tendency to put his foot in his mouth in that sort of way.

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