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Must Weight Gain In A Newly Married Woman Necessarily Mean That She’s Pregnant?

Why should "Is there any Good News?" be the only question a married woman is asked if she seems to have put on even a little weight since marriage?

Why should “Is there any Good News?” be the only question a married woman is asked if she seems to have put on even a little weight since marriage?

“This pink is gorgeous, but a correct fit for me. The green is subtle and a bit loose. Now, which one do I choose?” Holding the salwar kameez sets together Neethu asked Nikhil.

“Wear the green one,” he bluntly replied.

“We are going to your cousin’s reception party. Shouldn’t I look stunning?”

“For the very same reason, please wear the green one.”

“What is it Nikhil? Just spill it please,” Neethu now understood there is something behind the answers from Nikhil. It was not just the color. His expressions and words did not go the same.

“In the pink outfit, your stomach is a bit protruding out,” he managed to speak.

“So?”

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“We are married for more than six years. All my relatives will be there. Won’t they think you are pregnant when you actually are not? Don’t shame me in front of them.”

It was then Neethu felt the pressure behind the reality.

The pressure to stay slim or provide the ‘good news’

In many households, there are plenty like Neethu. After a wedding, if a woman steps out for attending a function, there are unwanted glances piercing at her to check whether she is conceived or not, which in turn gives space to gossip. Sometimes it also continues with comments about visiting hospitals or doctors or so on.

The decision to have a child or not should be of the couple alone. It is totally they who must decide when they need to plan for the same. Just to avoid the unwanted comments from friends or relatives, why should women be pushed into the stress hole of motherhood, if they don’t want to? Not having a child can also be a question of ego for men, but for that, should the woman be burdened with unwanted motherhood?

Also, isn’t it basic freedom to dress how a woman wants? Even dieting or exercising; shouldn’t it be her choice? After all, it is her life, so isn’t she the best person to decide for herself? How does her ‘figure’ or being size zero become a matter of his honour or embarrassment?

Isn’t there anything else that can be a valid topic of discussion?

For those who actually ask such questions, it is just a conversation that lasts for a few minutes, but can be traumatic to the person who is questioned. It can affect their mental health and affect their normal routine and personal life. It can make them question themselves.

Yes, it is possible to ignore the comments and questions about having a baby, but these interactions can lead to anxiety. We may have come across people who tend to avoid attending functions for the fear of facing people. ‘What if they ask me?’

Aren’t there many other questions to be asked to women like
‘How is your work going on?’,
‘Are you able to maintain work and personal life?’,
‘Do you get you me-time?’,
‘What are your vacation plans?’
And most importantly,
‘How is your health?’

The situation may sometimes be unavoidable, but to face it, both husband and wife need to stay strong in their decision and support each other; after all it is their life. The vows taken during the wedding to trust and protect each other play a major role in these situations, shouldn’t they?

Image source: a still from Hindi short film Methi ke Laddoo

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