Why bump-shaming is a real problem that pregnant women are experiencing

Marie Claire Dorking
Giovanna Fletcher, wife of McFly star Tom Fletcher, is often told 'Oh you're so big!' [Photo: Instagram]
Giovanna Fletcher, wife of McFly star Tom Fletcher, is often told ‘Oh you’re so big!’ [Photo: Instagram]

Too big, too small, too oddly shaped. Pregnancy bodies come in all different shapes and sizes, but that doesn’t stop mums-to-be getting bump-shamed.

While people wouldn’t ordinarily feel they have the right to comment on the size of your stomach, somehow when you’re expecting a baby you’re fair game for the pregnancy police.

Whether they’re being criticised for their lack of bump or made to feel embarrassed for having too much bump, as if mums-to-be don’t have enough to cope with than growing an actual human, it turns out they have to worry if their bump is deemed the correct size too.

And one mum who has had quite enough is Giovanna Fletcher.

The author and blogger, who is currently pregnant with her third baby with her husband Tom Fletcher, says she finds receiving comments about the size of her stomach “deflating.”

The 33-year-old, soon to be mum-of-three took to social media to say how fed up she was about people commenting on how big her bump is.

Posting a pink caption with the words “You’re Big!” quoted in white font, the Happy Mum, Happy Baby author also shared an empowering message encouraging other mums-to-be to feel positive about their bumps and urging them to ignore other people’s opinions.

Giovanna Fletcher has spoken out about bump-shaming and why it needs to stop [Photo: Getty]
Giovanna Fletcher has spoken out about bump-shaming and why it needs to stop [Photo: Getty]

“Third pregnancy, 10 weeks (potentially) to go,” she wrote referring to the ‘you’re big’ caption.

“How many more times do I have to hear this every time I leave the house? It’s a little deflating, especially when it comes with an ‘Oh gosh’ before it.

“Just want to give a shout out to all those mums who are having people commenting on the size of their bumps, whether big or small.”

She went on to issue a reminder that the comments aren’t coming with any medical opinion.

“Remember, these comments don’t come from health professional or people in the know. They’re just comments. Perhaps something to say. A bit of pointless smalltalk that’ll play on your mind but not on theirs.

“Bat it away. Your body is doing an amazing thing right now and your focus should be on the little human you’re growing.

“Remember how lucky you are to be in this position when so many others would love to be. Your body is a miracle.

“It doesn’t need the approval of anyone else. Focus on the love! Xxxx #mybumpnotyours #bodypositivity.”

And users were quick to comment on the post, thanking Giovanna for drawing attention to the issue and sharing their own stories of bump-shaming.

“Yep, had this almost everyday with both of mine. To be fair, I was massive but that’s what had to happen for my beautiful babies to arrive,” one woman wrote.

“I had a small bump. When I was at work in my third trimester a customer asked “are you pregnant or did you just eat a big burrito?” Needless to say I knew it was a joke but those pregnancy hormones didn’t appreciate it,” another woman shared.

“So true!” agreed another. “Having been pregnant twice and had people clearly feel they need to comment on the size/shape of my bump the only thing I will ever say to pregnant women is how amazing they look! Because whatever size or shape you are, everyone looks amazing when pregnant!”

Giovanna isn’t the only celebrity to shine a light on the issue of bump-shaming. Earlier this week Vogue Williams opened up about nasty comments she’d received online about the size of her baby bump and whether or not she should be working out while pregnant.

The 32-year-old who is currently pregnant with her first child and recently married reality TV star Spencer Matthews, told This Morning hosts Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that comments about the size of her bump had lead to her seeking medical advice, after questioning whether something was wrong with her baby.

“It does stress you out because some of the comments sent me to the doctor,” she continued. “People were telling me, ‘Your bump is too small, there’s something wrong with you’ and I went to the doctor asking ‘is there something wrong with the baby?’ But he’s actually a big baby, which is brilliant – but also terrifying.”

Even the Duchess of Cambridge isn’t immune to being bump shamed. On making her first public appearance after announcing her third pregnancy, she was subjected to comments by many on social media who claimed the 35-year-old was “too thin” to be pregnant.

“I can’t believe she’s prego,” one commenter said on Kensington Palace’s Instagram account. “I thought she was pregnant?!” another questioned.

The truth is that no two pregnancies, or pregnant bodies are the same, even in the same woman.

And while it is all too easy to compare and contrast tummies, the fact is there’s no such thing as a one size fits all baby bump.

So let’s just listen to Giovanna and stop with the bump bashing shall we?

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for non-stop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day. For Twitter updates, follow @YahooStyleUK.

Read more from Yahoo Style UK:

We’re totally here for this empowering Instagram account celebrating women’s post-baby bodies

What you should and shouldn’t be eating if you’re trying to get pregnant

Woman sparks debate about whether colleague is faking extreme morning sickness