Growing a baby is a miracle. Being pregnant is amazing. Something you can only truly understand if you’ve been lucky enough to experience it. A wonderful, special, amazing, life-changing and yes, sometimes worrying time.
But, not every pregnant woman is glowing and not every pregnant woman feels amazing all of the time. In fact, some days we actually feel pretty lousy. Morning sickness aside, there are a tremendous amount of physical and emotional changes that occur to a woman’s body when we are pregnant, affecting how we feel every minute of the day and night. Every week there are changes occurring, as the baby grows and as our bodies grow and change too.
And nobody ever tells you this, but when we are pregnant we worry about every single thing! Is the shower too hot? Am I supposed to eat that? Can I climb up there? Can I reach that? Can I fit through there? What is good for the baby? What is good for me? Is the baby kicking enough? Is the baby kicking too much? Worry worry worry… all the time! It never stops.
Every person is different. Every woman is different, therefore, every PREGNANT woman is different. And every pregnancy is different too.
Depending on your weight, your height, your build, your genes, your race, your surroundings and your environment – everything can affect your pregnancy. Just as these things affect how all human beings look different to one another. Just as no two people are the same, no two pregnancies are the same. Every one of them will be different. Every one will feel different. Every one will LOOK different.
Don’t add to a woman’s worry or anxiety by telling her she’s big, or small. In fact, don’t comment on her size or shape at all.
I’ve had three babies, and five pregnancies (with two sadly ending in miscarriage) and EVERY TIME I have felt different during pregnancy. Same me, same father. Every time I was pregnant I was a different shape, I felt different to the last time and experienced my pregnancy differently. They are all unique.
Don’t expect people to look the same, so there’s no need to say that they don’t look the same.
Fitness coach, blogger and new mum Revie Jane Schulz recently posted a photo of herself and shared her story of the many negative and derogatory comments she received when she was pregnant with her first child, daughter Lexie.
“Me at #24Weeks and I looked like a lot of people’s full term. I know a lot of you babes on here are mamas to-be so here is a throwback for you. I posted this after so many comments were thrown my way for having a massive bump. I was so fed up, even when I had tried on this dress and the shop assistant said “Holy moly! My friend is 36 weeks and you’re only 24 weeks and you’re WAY bigger than her!” She repeated this to the lady in the next changing room to me. I cried while I tried the dress on. I got it everywhere I went and it did make me want to hide away. It’s tough, you’re carrying a human, your body is dramatically changing, more than you ever expected and then to rub salt in it, strangers feel the need to comment every time you’re out in public.
Here’s a tip, don’t mention the size of a bump. No “you’re so big!’s” No “oh! You’re so tiny!’s” Just say something like “you look beautiful/ healthy/ amazing!” – From @reviejane on Instagram
I too have had people comment on my pregnancy photos on Stylish Bump that I am “huge”, “enormous for 20 weeks” and using emoticons that mean I was big. And it hurts. It’s rude. And insulting.
Comments like that affect how a woman feels, allows doubts to creep in and may make her concerned about here health, and the health of her baby.
If you can’t think of something kind and positive to say to a pregnant woman, just say Congratulations.
Size doesn’t matter. Shape doesn’t matter. It’s up to your Doctor to advise you on the health, measurement and shape of your baby and your pregnancy bump, NOT the greengrocer, your hairdresser or person at the check-out.
You are growing a human being, and that is a miracle.