Being just 6 days shy of labor with generalized edema and about 60 lbs of weight gain, I admit, I was straight up jealous looking at pictures of the now viral Sarah Stage’s baby bump. I mean, she doesn’t even really look pregnant. I didn’t have abs like that before belly fruit even. Then, I started to wonder why her story was going viral in the first space. There are 3,932,181 babies born in the US a year equating to 3,932,181 baby bumps, what’s so special about this 8-month pregnant model?
What was interesting to me was the split reactions. Some women like me were supportive of how great she looked, others immediately assumed she must somehow be endangering her baby to look that great, and honestly, I did consider that. The thought jealously crossed my mind that she must be some self-centered, selfish air head anorexic feverishly working out to avoid weight gain because she doesn’t want to get fat, but if you actually read her story, she has gained 20 lbs. She does workout, but has modified that workout for pregnancy. Several doctors have stated nothing she is doing is unhealthy. Her baby is of proper size and her weight gain IS within normal range. Realistically, Sarah should be winning a pregnancy award. There is no arguing that a healthy diet, exercise, and appropriate weight gain during pregnancy is actually healthier for mother and child. It results in fewer complications and a much faster recovery, and she is winning at all of the above, so why are so many women shaming this pregnant mom?
When I published a post on my own not-so-perfect baby bump a few weeks back, I received over 100K views and an out pouring of support, but my belly was not beautiful. It was not something most (excluding those struggling with infertility) would have any envy of. It was something most pregnant or once-pregnant women simply related too. The problem with this model’s barely-there baby bump is not the potential health effects for her baby or her lifestyle, it’s us. If you’re hating on Sarah Stage, you aren’t concerned, you’re jealous, and you shouldn’t be. The world of baby bumps is just as varied as the world of baby’s that emerge from within them. You wouldn’t criticize someone who had a baby that didn’t look like yours or was more attractive than yours (I’m sorry but my babies have already claimed the world’s cutest award, haters gonna hate), so why are you criticizing someone having a belly while pregnant that doesn’t look like yours does, or did, or even ever will be maybe?
The quick and dirty from a certain cartoon bunny who says you should shut the hell up is that as long as a woman’s baby is healthy as indicated by proper prenatal care, it doesn’t matter how big, small, misshapen, shapely, stretched, smooth, shiny, rashed, toned or bulbous that baby bump is, it’s a beautiful thing.