Remember this time last year, when the Internet freaked out over model Sarah Stage's six-pack abs and barely-there bump at almost nine months pregnant? Well, here comes another reminder that a healthy pregnant woman (like any non-pregnant woman) comes in many shapes and sizes.
Model and trainer Chontel Duncan, of HIIT Australia is due at the end of March, and she's been tracking her bump growth on her Instagram. She shared a photo of herself standing side-by-side with her pregnant friend back at 21.5 weeks. Although her friend was only four weeks ahead in her pregnancy, the photo shows the staggering difference in their bodies.
I was surprised with a cute visit today from a friend Nat who is also expecting Just being able to see someone in the flesh, rub her tummy, hear how incredible her journey has been so far, how healthy baby is & all the fun talk about kicks, food, names etc was beautiful. This is Nat's 3rd pregnancy so she had a lot of great advice to share ☺️ It's very clear in this photo just how tall I am, I mean my chin sits above Nat's head lol We worked out that we are 4 weeks apart, so our little ones will be the same age, same grade at school and potential best buds hehehehe..... Nat's due start of March & I'm due end of March. Each women carries different and this most certainly doesn't mean one is doing something wrong or not healthy etc. We both have healthy growing babies & we both have had incredible pregnancies so far, feeling amazing & full of energy. #21.5weeks #expecting #march2016 #pregnant #love #happiness #Babyduncan
"Each women carries different and this most certainly doesn't mean one is doing something wrong or not healthy etc," Duncan captioned the photo. "We both have healthy growing babies & we both have had incredible pregnancies so far, feeling amazing & full of energy."
Just as a refresher: There are plenty of reasons to explain why some women's bellies may look different than what we're used to seeing. "Some women don't show. The rectus muscles might be so well defined that they're masking her growing uterus," Alyssa Dweck, M.D. and co-author of V Is for Vagina, explained to us. (And, clearly, Duncan had some super defined abs to start!)
Not to mention, a lot of the way someone's stomach looks during pregnancy depends on how they are shaped on the inside—different pelvic bone structures may predispose you to looking different on the outside, Dweck explained. (At 186 cm, or 6'1'', Duncan also clearly has some serious height on her friend.) Plus, Duncan explains that her friend is on her third pregnancy while this is her first, and, as Dweck explained, "when you have your first baby, your muscles will remain tighter and more defined until you deliver and until the rectus muscles have the chance to separate."
Hopefully, this photo will help prove to any naysayers that yes, some women do look different than 'typical' pregnant woman—but that's never permission to jump to conclusions about the health of their baby. We can also happily dispel the myth that Exercising While Pregnant Is Bad for You. And a general PSA while we're at it: Being pregnant is hard enough without the entire world monitoring how you eat, work out, and how much weight you gain for nine months. Let's let pregnant women live, OK?