Drs: Marriage Problems From Body Image Issues After Pregnancy

The Doctors: Wife & Mother Ashamed Of Body

The Doctors introduced Jennifer, who admitted to being incredibly disgusted with her own body. She’s been married to her husband William for eight years and they have six children. Because of those children, she has incredibly deep stretch marks and sagging skin on her stomach. She’s been unhappy with her body for 21 years and said she’s constantly hiding and covering her body. She knows that because she feels so poorly about herself, she can’t imagine what her husband thinks about her. William said her insecurities have definitely affected their intimacy, because Jennifer doesn’t want to undress in front of her husband.

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Recently, Jennifer noticed her husband was friends on Facebook with women who post pictures in bikinis, and she couldn’t help wondering if that’s what her husband wanted her to look like. When she sees those women, she’s even more disgusted with herself. Her 7-year-old even commented on her stomach, which really hurt her.

Drs: Marriage Problems From Body Image Issues After Pregnancy

The Doctors heard from a woman who’s body image issues were so severe, it was affecting her marriage. (barelyfitz / Flickr)

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The Doctors: Marital Issues From Body Insecurities

Jennifer and William joined the show and shared that she was always worried about what her husband thinks about her. When asked how he feels about his wife’s body, William said he loves her just the way she is and knows he helped contribute to those scars, with his three sons. He recognized that he probably shouldn’t have shown her as much as he should have, and recognized that a lot of their arguments resulted in things being said that he didn’t really mean. Jennifer said, when things are said, even if it’s in the heat of an argument, it’s carried with her and is always in the back of her mind.

Dr Chris Donaghue said body shaming can have a damaging effect which is why it’s so important to really be careful about how you talk about your partner’s body. He said a healthy adult relationship involves recognizing that your bodies are going to change and finding ways to stay connected through that. It’s important for William to not make negative comments about his wife’s body.

But it also comes from Jennifer, who has to learn how to be more comfortable with her body and not need to hide all the time. Dr Rachael Ross said if Jennifer can’t appreciate her own body, there’s no way anyone else can either.

The Doctors: Struggling With Body Perception Issues

The Doctors then wanted to talk to Jennifer by herself and said it’s important to acknowledge that she had six children, which as they said, is a remarkable thing. They were joined by plastic surgeon Dr Cat Begovic, who said she knows what pregnancy can do to the body, and unfortunately there are certain things only surgery can fix. The Doctors first wanted to know if the surgery would be something she was getting for herself, and no one else, and she said absolutely. Jennifer said she wants to feel beautiful.

The Doctors reached out to a plastic surgeon in Nashville who agreed to evaluate her, and if she’s a good candidate, he would offer his services to her free of charge. But it’s about more than just her body, so together she and William will see a marriage counselor so that they can build each other up and get stronger.

Have you personally struggled with body perception issues, particularly after a pregnancy?

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