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Body changes during pregnancy can make even the most confident mama feel insecure about her size. But that doesn’t seem to stop mums-to-be comparing the size of their baby bumps.
One woman who’s recently found herself on the end of bump-shaming is Billie Faiers. The 26-year-old who is currently pregnant with her second child shared an image of her growing tummy to Instagram. And though she received a whole host of compliments, the picture of the second time mum-to-be also seemed to spark a wave of bump-size comparisons.
“I can’t believe you’re 6 months pregnant! You look incredible! I was an absolute whale at that point!,” one woman wrote.
“Look so tiny,” another poster commented.
It’s not the first time one of Billie’s b-elfies has kicked off a bump size comparison. After sharing a throwback photo of her in the Maldives towards the end of the year, the reality TV star, who is mum to two-year-old Nelly, received a barrage of comments on the size of her bump.
“How are you so small at 6 months pregnant..? I’m 5 and a half and much bigger than you?,” one woman wrote.
“Boobs are bigger than bump!!” commented another user.
“Look how small your belly is for 6 months,” added another
But one woman was quick to step in and defend Billie from the bump shaming.
“Everyone is different depends what you eat how you were pre preg and if u exercise why do people hate it’s so sad!!” she wrote.
And she’s right. Because the truth is that no two pregnancies, or pregnant bodies are the same, even in the same woman. It’s all too easy to start comparing baby bumps, either with celebrities sharing b-elfies on Instagram or to mums-to-be in your local NCT, but the fact is there’s no such thing as a one size fits all baby bump.
One woman who wanted to illustrate this point and put an end to the baby bump comparison is fitness trainer Chontel Duncan. Last year the then mum-to be Instagrammed a tummy comparison photo of herself and her friend Nat, who was just four weeks further along in her pregnancy.
“Each women [sic] carries different and this most certainly doesn’t mean one is doing something wrong or not healthy,” she wrote alongside the picture. “We both have healthy growing babies & we both have had incredible pregnancies so far, feeling amazing & full of energy.”
Both women went on to deliver healthy babies offering an indication that the size of your tummy doesn’t necessarily offer a reflection on your baby’s health or weight.
According to experts bump sizes and shapes can be affected by various things. “Mums’ bump sizes can vary widely and be dependant on various factors,” explains Natalie Alexis Lee, former midwife, mum-of-two and style blogger at Style Me Sunday.
“Things like how much fluid there is around the baby, the size of your placenta, and the position your baby is lying in are key factors in determining the size and shape of your bump.”
The number of pregnancies you’ve had can also have an impact on bump size. “A mothers stomach muscles also change depending on how many children she has had. Typically a mother will have stronger, tighter muscles with her first baby making her abdomen appear smaller. The muscles become more lax the more babies you have.”
“A woman’s stature and fitness level are also factors that will significantly impact on the size of your bump,” Natalie continues.
There are a few occasions when the size of the bump can offer an indication that there could be something underlying. A large bump could be an indication of too much amniotic fluid or diabetes, while a small bump could be an indication of less amniotic fluid which can be associated with bladder or kidney problems. Natalie suggests speaking to your midwife if you have any concerns.
“Your midwife should measure your bump and feel for the size of your baby at every antenatal check and will therefore have a good understanding on what is normal for you,” she says.
So let’s just stop with the bump comparison shall we ladies, because not only is every bump beautiful, but no two baby bumps are ever the same.
Have you ever compared the size of your baby bump? Let us know @YahooStyleUK