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Women Feel Pressured to Reclaim Their Physique After Birth, Survey

Update Date: Aug 01, 2013 07:44 PM EDT

One in five women feel like they're pressured to return to their pre-pregnancy body after giving birth because their husbands or boyfriends aren't happy with the way they look, a new survey reveals.

The poll found that the majority of new mothers feel insecure about their figure immediately after pregnancy and many admit that they feel emotionally unstable, stressed and pressured to looking their best.

Experts said the latest findings are "concerning" because women should be given more support when put under "unnecessary pressure" by society.

The survey was conducted by BioOil and involved 793 expectant others who were three months into their pregnancy.

Survey respondents were asked about how they felt about their bodies before and after they've given birth.

The survey revealed that 20 percent of mothers felt pressured to lose weight and reclaim their pre-pregnancy bodies because of stress from their partner. Researchers found that other forms of pressure came from the media and relatives. However, the survey revealed that half of women said they put the pressure on themselves to return to their pre-pregnancy bodies.

"I find it concerning women are under unnecessary pressure at a time where their main priority, aside from their baby's wellbeing, should be how they're coping with the huge physical and emotional changes to their bodies," said Kathryn Gutteride, a consultant midwife, according to the Daily Mail.

'"It's important that women realize that just as they took nine months to produce a full grown baby, it will take at least that long for them to regain some of their former shape," she added.

The survey found that over 12 percent of women admitted that they were surprised when their bump did not deflate immediately after delivery. Around 20 percent of women said it took two weeks for the pregnancy bump to go down, 17 percent said it took month, 15 percent said it look three months and 27 percent said it took longer than three months.

The survey revealed that 40 percent of women admitted to worrying about their body image the first three months of pregnancy.  Researchers found that the top concerns were stretch marks, weight, body shape and breast size.

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