Was I Just Weight Shamed By My Doctor?

Hello! I did not mean to abandon my blog, but taking care of a baby, (especially when solely breastfeeding), is crazy time consuming and exhausting! Layla is 6 weeks now, and is smiling, (she’s giving her best blue steel in the above photo), and loves to play! Which means she needs me, to not just feed and change her, but to engage with her. So, even though I don’t have much free time, I am compelled to write about my experience at the doctors office.

Yesterday I went in for my 6 week check up. I want to say that I did not see my normal doctor, I saw a nurse practitioner. I also want to say that I have seen this NP once before when I was pregnant. So, lets back up to the first time I had an appointment with this NP. My doctor was out of town, so I had my 38 week appointment with the NP. At this point I had gained about 45 lbs. I am 5’10, and naturally thin, and I like to stay in shape. However, I may have indulged in my food cravings a little too much during my pregnancy. But never once, did any of the doctors I saw, mention anything to me about my weight. They always said how well I was doing in my pregnancy, and that I looked great. I am aware that I gained more than what is considered the healthy weight gain, but it didn’t seem to be a health issue at all.

So, at my appointment with the NP, she told me weight, (which is normal practice), and then said, “Your’e doing….okay with your weight gain”. The okay was more of an “oooookay” in a questioning tone. It felt very judgy.

For the first time in my pregnancy, I felt very insecure about my body. When my husband and I left, I asked him if he heard what I heard. Was I just being sensitive? He definitely heard it too. We were shocked. We both were pretty angry with how she approached it. If it was a concern, let’s have a discussion about it. And why hasn’t any other doctor mentioned anything?

Fast forward to my 6 week postpartum check up. Guess who walks in the room! Our favorite NP. My husband and I both give each other the look. You know the look, “this lady again. Great.” The appointment seemed to be going well, and then the weight topic came up. She says to me, in a very cold tone, “You have lost 31 pounds since we last saw you.”. I thought, wow! That’s great, right?! For the first couple of weeks after labor, I basically laid in bed and recovered. The last few weeks I have been taking daily walks around the neighborhood, and just recently have been able to walk up to 6 miles. So, have not really been able to work out at all. So to me, 31 lbs was a great start.

I guess I was wrong. She then continued to say. -wait for it- “You still have a long way to go.” Ooooh burn!!! Way to put me down when I was boosting myself up! There’s no better way to motivate someone than to insult them and make them feel as if their progress, really isn’t progress at all. *sarcasm

I mean, I get it. It’s her delivery that is off. I’m sure she doesn’t mean to put me down. Maybe my weight is concerning to her. I’m trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, because until I met her, I absolutely loved everything about my doctors, nurses, everyone and everything at the hospital! There is just something off about this woman. And I should mention that she is no spring chicken. This is not an insult, just creating the image for you. I imagine she has been doing this for some time now. Has she always had this bedside manner? Or maybe she is just jaded?

Once again I left that appointment upset. But not down on myself. Angry. How dare her! I understand that most woman lose a good amount of weight from breastfeeding, and a lot of what we are carrying is water, so these first pounds come off quickly. I understand that the next 20 pounds is going to be a struggle. Every woman is different though. Although I don’t feel that I am losing weight from breastfeeding like some woman I have seen do, I have seen a difference in my body. Furthermore, I’m not sitting around eating junk food. I’m being as active as my body will allow. I’m filling my body with healthy food, (for the most part. I’m still me. Loves food and wine. Hates counting calories). So how dare her to mock my progress!

This woman needs to learn how to motivate woman. She is in a very powerful position. We come to her at a time when our hormones are going crazy. When we are going through the biggest change our body has seen. When we may be going through one of the biggest life changes! I just birthed a 8 lb 9 0z baby!

My sister said to me, “It took you 9 months to gain that weight. It may take you 9 months to lose it.” Preach on sister! Shoot, it may take longer than 9 months! We all know it’s easier to put on, than to take off.

Ok, rant over. The moral of this story is; that I do not like that nurse practitioner!! And also, that I am not going to allow anyone to tell me that I am not doing well. I am trying. I am being active. And I am seeing progress. So go me! I don’t care what your scale says, or your statistics. I’m doing damn good if you ask me.


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12 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Lauren, please write the head of the OB/GYN department to tell them your story and concerns about this NP. You can also request that you never see her again. Please speak up. It might help other patients of hers.

    1. That’s good advice. I did mention it in the survey about my last visit. Seeing where it goes from there for now. Thank you.

  2. Oh gosh I’m sorry that happened 🙁 I don’t like her either! Your sister is so right though! It sounds like you are doing everything wonderfully mama – you got this!

  3. I cannot BELIEVE that NP. I would be livid too. This gets me so fired up. So many women (including me) actually hold on to 10-15lbs when breastfeeding and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Even when they’re continuously working out and eating right. But, if you are just 6 weeks PP and already lost 31 of the 45lbs you gained, THAT IS FREAKING AWESOME. You go mama! Don’t let anyone knock you down.

  4. Just found your blog today and this was the first post I checked out. Wow! I cannot believe this NP. She doesn’t sound like the ideal professional to be working with pregnant and postpartum moms. Your weight loss sounds awesome! And many women hang on to ten pounds while nursing (which I didn’t know until I was in those shoes myself) so it really sounds like you are doing incredibly! I certainly hope you let the office know and won’t have to see her again.

    1. Thank you! It’s definitely a work in progress, as I’m sure you know. But it’s nice to see woman supporting each other xo

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