“You don’t look pregnant.” Now that I’ve announced my pregnancy with baby #2, all the attention has gone to my baby bump size. Not only do women compare their belly size to mine, but I also find myself comparing my belly size.
Personal trainer and fitness model Emily Skye
Recently announced her second pregnancy, but based on her belly size, it was assumed she was 6 months or so. She said she was 15 weeks and because of her stomach issues and bloating, she appeared to have a bigger belly. Social media followers started attacking her belly size. In an Instagram story, she explained her medical condition and that instead of attacking her, we should celebrate pregnancy. She said it took her a year to get pregnant and regardless of her weight and size, she was blessed and grateful. So it got me thinking, why do we focus so much on the belly size?
Pinturas preciosas en la panza de las embarazadas ¿ya lo intentaste?
We all come in different shapes and sizes and although it may seem like an innocent comment, comparing belly size is a form of body shaming.
Women are most vulnerable when they are pregnant. In pregnancy, women gain weight differently and it’s not 100% our fault. Other times we could blame it entirely on our food intake, stress, work, lack of physical activity, etc., but during pregnancy, the weight gain is due to our bodies growing a baby. We all experience pregnancy differently. Some have a healthy pregnancy yet gain a lot of weight. Some make poor health choices and gain excessive amount of weight.
I am one of those girl’s that mainly gains belly weight. With my son I didn’t show until I was 17 weeks, this time around I started showing at week 18. However, my belly size is small compared to other women. With my son, I remained small until the 9th month, and then out of nowhere this belly appeared and my feet swelled up so bad that I could only fit into one pair of shoes. My Dr. was really strict about about my weight gain and made sure I lead a healthy pregnancy with a balanced diet and daily workouts. Overall, I gained 22 pounds. With this pregnancy, I’m also working out daily and eating healthy, but I have indulged in sweets and therefore feel I will end up gaining more than 22 pounds.
I know some of you are rolling your eyes about my weight gain. I know women can gain 50, 60+ pounds.
I know that some women have medical conditions that cause them to gain a lot of weight. I know that women’s healthy history, body, medications and other factors contribute to the weight gain. I know that some women struggle to gain weight. Every pregnancy is different; every woman is different.
But again, why do we compare our baby bump size? I think it’s to make ourselves feel better. We don’t have complete control over the weight gain and seeing someone with less weeks and a bigger belly, makes us feel better. During pregnancy our body goes through a major transformation that it can mess with our emotions. Some women don’t feel beautiful and feel they don’t have that “pregnancy glow.” I also noticed that women who tell pregnant moms that they had a big belly, it’s a form of body shaming the pregnant mom. In a way they make it seem like you’re not eating enough, or not gaining enough weight and therefore failing at pregnancy. Somehow you become the issue and you’re the wrong one in this scenario.
Pregnancy is a blessing. Some women struggle for years to conceive and others unfortunately are never able to conceive. There are women that would do anything to be able to get pregnant and wouldn’t care if they gained 100 pounds. Women are truly amazing. We bring life into this world. Our bodies create, grow and deliver human beings. Why do we focus on outside noise instead of encouraging each other? Who cares what your belly size is, what matters is the baby inside. As long as your baby is healthy, don’t worry about your belly size. Focus on delivering the new love of your life.