My Pregnancy Body Shaming Story (And Why It’s Never OK)

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For the majority of my blog posts about my pregnancy journey and my little beans, they have been very happy, uplifting, and jovial (just like our precious babies are!). But today, I want to talk about a very serious topic that is a growing issue for pregnant women that I have personally been victim to myself. This is a topic that needs to be put to end, and one that should have never begun in the first place. And that my friends, is the topic of pregnancy body shaming.

Body shaming in general is never okay, but body shaming a pregnant woman – wait, what?

I personally grew up very skinny, and was constantly made to feel that I was never good enough. I thought high school had ended that trend, and once adulthood took off full throttle, I was sure I had seen the last of this kind of judgement. I was very wrong.

My First Baby

My first baby (as all babies do) definitely changed my body in a lot of ways. It was the first time I had gone through the process of growing a child in my belly, so obviously, I was going to ‘stretch out’ quite a bit.

I remember after announcing my pregnancy after 16 weeks, my husband and I had a get-together with a few close friends and family. I wore a beautiful black dress that definitely showed off all my ‘mama curves’, including my belly quite profoundly (that I was actually really proud to show off).

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I will admit, I had gained quite a bit of weight with my baby by this time, as that is to be expected of any mother.

I was a little insecure about this, but I didn’t think anyone would really care or point it out as they knew I was pregnant (obviously, I’m going to be heavier with a little bun in the oven, so why would anyone say anything?). But to my surprise, it was actually a close friend (who hadn’t had any babies yet at the time) who did not fail to make it rather obvious to everyone with a comment saying, “Wow! You’re huge! Are you sure you aren’t having triplets?” she said it, and laughed it off, probably not intending any harm by saying this. But to me, it hit hard.

Am I Too Big?

I didn’t think I was that big, but maybe my whole perception had been blurred by the excitement for my baby this whole time. I remember being at loss for words, looking down at my belly for the next 6 months, asking myself, “am I too big?”.

It easily became an obsession of mine to think about for the entirety of my pregnancy afterwards. It was some sort of misconception in my head that I had to have a tiny little bikini body despite being pregnant, and that wasn’t realistic or healthy. It quickly started having a very negative effect on how I took care of my body.

Scarily enough, I will admit that I even tried eating less for the rest of my pregnancy because of this. I remember I was starving, irritable, and constantly exhausted only after a few days of doing this. And when I went in for a check-up on my pregnancy, the doctor told me that I was putting my child at risk, and needed to stop immediately.

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Slapping myself across the face for even attempting this, I got back on track with my eating. And honestly, even in those days that I wasn’t eating very much, I was still getting bigger in the belly (looking back now, I can’t believe how out of my mind I was! Of course I was getting bigger, I was pregnant!). It felt like I was on a rollercoaster of trying to control my weight, keep a smile, and hide my body from everyone all because of that one comment that was made about my body. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror anymore, when I had once loved measuring my pregnancy progress every morning, and that broke my heart.

My Body is Amazing

After I had my first child, I was horrified of ever showing off my body again. I constantly wore sweatpants and sweatshirts, all because of that one comment that was made about how I looked. I absolutely hated feeling this way, and just wanted to get over it and be comfortable with spending time with family and friends again.

So I started digging into some research and blogs about this specific topic to find a way to feel better about it, and it wasn’t until I found a blog called, Therapeutic Miles, that I really begun to understand I wasn’t alone. There is a pregnancy body shaming post on this incredible blog that talks about a woman who was body-shamed through the entirety of her pregnancy, and post-pregnancy. This beautiful woman was told that she was taking too long to shed the baby weight, and her friends had gotten back on track so much quicker than she had. She eventually was able to laugh it off and let it go as nothing, because she understood what it meant to be a mother (bless her heart).

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And after reading this and several other heart-touching mommy blogs, I realized that I really wasn’t alone in this.

And not only that, it’s nice knowing and connecting with other moms on the internet, like Alex, the momma behind ActiveHappyMama, who explains the not-so-lovely aspects of motherhood perfectly. As a mom, marathon runner and qualified fitness trainer and nutritionist, she has some awesome information to share. My favorite blog post of hers is her mum baby and a six pack, amongst others.

And just like these brave women on these posts, I had to laugh it off and move on, because what my body did was something not that just everyone can do. I mean, I went through a 9 month journey of carrying and growing a child inside me, and bringing it into this world. I did that, no one else did it for me. My stretch marks I received, my extra skin, and my added weight all was a reminder of just how amazing my body is, and what it is capable of. It gave life to a beautiful human being, and that is never something I, or anyone should never be ashamed about.

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Ladies — I speak to you heart-to-heart when I say, body-shaming a pregnant woman, or anyone is never okay. It can alter their entire reality, and can make the person go through very drastic & dangerous changes to try to be ‘good enough’.

And believe it or not, it is completely normal to have extra body weight, and stretch marks after a pregnancy. In fact, it’s all a part of being a mother (own it, girl!).

Being a mother is a journey, and those stretch marks you have after a baby are earning your stripes of motherhood, and they should never make you insecure or make you feel any less beautiful than you are (and you’re pretty darn beautiful!).  And ultimately, if you’re insecure about the weight that you may still have post pregnancy, you can start a fitness plan, or start eating healthier. This is an excellent way to keep your mind off of it and start bettering yourself. So girl, really, what are you waiting for?

Overall, moms, you’re beautiful inside and out, and what makes you truly beautiful is by loving every part of you. Just remember, in the end, even though you may have stretch marks, you were given a child, and your baby won’t look at you with judgment as some may, your baby will just love YOU because you’re his mother who brought him into this world. You’ve given him a chance to have a loving family, a bright future, and an endless life of smiles and laughter. And that’s what motherhood truly is all about. 

Anna About Anna

Hi Moms and Dads, Anna here and welcome. I'm a relatively young mom, in my early 30's and my husband and I have 2 young (and incredibly cheeky) children. With my first child, I was confused about absolutely anything that had 'baby' written on it. I felt flustered and overwhelmed. For some Moms I believe it comes naturally, for others it takes a bit of work and patience, and the latter was me. With my second child, all those first round nervous flusters were gone and I approached everything ease, although I do admit, in between 2 children, baby products and my needs and wants had changed and in the baby/infant world, things change very quick and products that were suggested a few years back are now out of date, recalled or just not suitable no more. So it's not only your little bub that grows; products change and the needs and wants of your baby and you change also.

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