A mum claims that when she had her baby she was skinny shamed by judgemental mums as she was still only a size eight. She believes that it’s the same as pointing out someone being overweight and that women should be supporting other women instead.
Alice Foster found that after having her baby she was made to feel skinny shamed by other women as people couldn’t believe she had just had a baby.
The 21-year-old first began to notice it just four days after giving birth. A hospital cleaner walked past her and said that there was “nothing of her” to have had a baby. Initially, the social worker assumed she must have been felt a bit emotional at the time, so tried to let it slide. Yet as the weeks went on, Alice noticed it was becoming a recurring theme from other women.
Alice, who resides in Waltham Cross, Herts, with her partner and their one-year-old son Riley, told The Sun: “Ever since I had my son other women think it’s okay to criticise me and pick on me about my weight.
“I had a tough pregnancy. I suffered with bad sickness throughout and was prescribed anti-nausea medication. For some of the time, I was bed-bound. I found it hard to keep food down and it’s why my weight only went up to eight-stone.
“I had Riley a month early and he was a healthy size at 6lbs 12oz.”
At this moment in time, Alice says she weighs around six stone but insists she hasn’t always been so slim.
She explained: “As a teenager, I was bigger but that was down to unhealthy choices. I didn’t have a very good relationship with food and would eat loads of snacks.
“After school, I’d have crisps and chocolate. I couldn’t eat just one slice of toast when I got in I’d have four pieces. I’d drink gallons of orange juice which is basically liquid sugar.
“Mum cooked and dished out large portions of lasagne or shepherd’s pie too.
“As I got older I got more cautious about what I ate and lost my unhealthy relationship with food.
“Now I’m a mum and working full time, eating isn’t the first thing I do anymore. I don’t have time to snack either.”
Yet Alice isn’t the only slim woman in her family, as she says her great-nanna is too. They have a private joke in which they say they have the ‘food-distraction gene’ which means that as they are always busy and have other stuff to do so they simply forget to get to eat.
Alice said: “Nan said she was always busy and a workaholic as a mum. She’d forget to eat some days and I can relate. Life is keeping me on my toes.”
This is why Alice reckons that other mums have been too quick to judge her and the way she looks, as they aren’t considering any factors before assuming why she is so slender.
Alice said: “One time I was in the supermarket and a woman came up to me, looked into my basket and said, ‘that food can’t be for you, you don’t look like you eat.’
“She then started giving me a lecture on the need to eat nutritious food before I wasted away.
“Of course I eat. But I don’t distraction eat. I don’t pig out on snacks. We don’t have a treat drawer in our house either.”
She added: “It is worrying when people tell me that I don’t look healthy.
“But imagine how an overweight mum would react if I told her she looked like she ate too much and launched into a speech on what she needed to do to cut back?”
In the morning, Alice enjoys having eggs on toast for breakfast or an avocado. However, she does admit that when it comes to lunchtime, she does tend to skip it. If she remembers she hasn’t eaten, she tries to at least fit in a snack. In the evening, Alice will prepare her family home-cooked dinners such as lasagne and pies.
Even when the young mum goes on holiday, she says the criticism and judgement never stop about her weight.
Alice said: “Last October we went to Spain. I was so looking forward to the break. I’d packed a couple of bikinis too. Within days another mum came up to me and said, ‘Your bones are on show.’
“Imagine criticising a mum in a bikini with rolls of fat. It just wouldn’t happen.
“I spent the rest of the holiday with a shawl around me.”
Reflecting on the comments, Alice believes that the biggest culprits are the ones who are meant to be the most supportive of all, the mums who attend toddler and baby groups.
She said: “I hate to say it, but the worst offenders are the other mums in the toddler groups. They say really sarcastic things like, ‘Someone’s got time to lose weight.’
“I get why they are so rude – it’s insecurity about how they look. It’s nothing to do with me.
“But why not think before criticising? I get told I look too small and too young to have a baby.
“I reckon it’s because I’m petite that they feel they can judge my appearance and get away with it.
“Everyone expects mums to look a certain way – when the truth is we are all different.”
She added: “Nowadays when I go to the groups I wear baggy jumpers to hide my collarbones. I wear bigger jeans from when I was heavier. I’ve got a belt looped around the waist two times to keep them up. I go to fairly extreme lengths so that I don’t flaunt my figure.
“Us women are our own worst enemies. I’d wear baggy clothes when I was bigger to hide my muffin top. Now I’m wearing them to hide my flat tummy. But it’s easier than putting up with the comments and the OTT looks.
“I hate it, I don’t understand why we can’t be accepting of all shapes and sizes.”
Luckily, Alice feels she has a supportive family and a loving partner who can make her feel better about herself. She has now learnt to look out for role models who are similar to herself, such as celebrities who have slim figures whilst maintaining a job and looking after their kids.