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Why is bump-shaming still happening?

Why is bump-shaming still happening?


Jamie Reed

posted in Pregnancy

I attended a baby shower at 6 months pregnant and by the time I left, I was embarrassed by the comments others had made about my appearance. The real kicker was soon after when an acquaintance asked me how far along I was and her response was to look at me with pity and say “That must be one tiny baby.”

I immediately had to fight back tears. As someone who is fairly tall and has an incredibly long torso, I knew I would likely not “pop” until later in pregnancy. And while I’m certainly not complaining about genetic makeup in regard to how I’m carrying my baby, the comments that people make about it still hurt. (Haven’t they heard there’s only one appropriate time to comment on a pregnant woman’s body?)

When I saw a BabyCenter Community post recently called Bump shaming I could relate to how Tootiefrooties5447 felt.

“This is my first pregnancy, and from what I’ve heard, you’re just smaller the first time around. Well, almost everyone comes up to me and says ‘Is everything OK?’ ‘You’re so small are you sure there’s a baby in there?’ It makes me feel sad and [like I’m] an unfit pregnant person. I’m eating plenty and exercising — my doctor says everything looks perfect.”

pregnant woman - bump shaming

Nothing can make you feel more sad as a pregnant woman than for someone to suggest you’re not taking care of your baby. Others replied with their own stories of being shamed for their “big” or “small” bumps.

LittleBitofFaith replied, “I’ve had this too and, despite hearing from a doctor that baby and I are both healthy, it still stings a little. I’ve always had body image issues but now that I’m pregnant, everyone apparently feels that it’s okay to comment on my size. I popped just before 23 weeks and now people are commenting about much I’m showing. I swear this is going to be a never ending battle. It’s extremely frustrating how people think it’s okay to make comments about another woman’s body simply because she’s pregnant.

lindiejean18 said she had the opposite reaction from people, and that it really hurt her feelings. “I had back-to-back pregnancies so this is my second in a short time and I started showing at like 12 weeks and am 24 now but my belly looks more like a 30 week belly and everyone is constantly telling me how big I am and asking if I’m sure there’s not twins and I look like I’m about to pop any day when I still have like 3 1/2 months left, it just makes me feel even fatter than I already feel! So either way…small or big people should just keep their comments to themselves!”

After expressing my worries to my doctor about my small bump, she assured me the baby was measuring perfectly and that every body is different and carries a baby differently. She also told me that people seem to lose all sense of what’s appropriate to say (or not say) when a woman is pregnant and I should prepare myself for uninvited comments. What a sad reality that is! We know humans come in all shapes and sizes, why should we expect pregnant bodies to be any different? And more importantly, why are we still talking about it?

In a time when women are making incredible strides when it comes to our personal and professional lives, why is a woman’s body, particularly a pregnant woman’s body, considered public property when it comes to opinions and advice? Shouldn’t we have moved beyond this by now?

From 3dbabe, “People think because you’re pregnant it’s OK to comment on your bump, weight, etc. But it’s NOT!!! Every mom and baby are totally different. Sounds like you’re taking very good care of you and your baby. Don’t let others get you down. Do what you know and feel is best for you and your LO (little one).

baby bump - bump shaming

Sounds like pretty solid advice. “Do what you know and feel is best for you and your little one.” The bump-shaming comments may not end, but you know you’re doing all the right things to take care of yourself, and that’s what matters.

Have you experienced bump-shaming while pregnant?

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