A friendly reminder that there's no "normal" when it comes to pregnant bodies.
The last time fit mom and Instagrammer Sarah Stage shared her pregnancy photos, her visible six-pack caused a bit of a stir. Now, people are having a simlar recation to her second pregnancy. (Related: Could Tight Abs Really Increase the Risk of C-Section?)
The fitness model took to Instagram a few days ago to announce that she's pregnant with baby number two, and she's now five months along. Exciting! The only problem? Her followers seem seriously confused about how it's possible to have such a tiny baby bump. It's true—Stage isn't "showing" very much, and it seems like fans are both concerned and confused about it.
Comments on her initial post range from "Where is the baby?" to "I have never seen this before. How is this possible to be 22 weeks pregnant and your belly is tiny? I can't understand it." There are some positive comments too, like one that points out that lots of women aren't *obviously* pregnant until much later on in their term, regardless of their body shape or size. "I'm thick and with my second baby no one noticed until I was like 8 months pregnant, and then I exploded," one commenter said. "It's normal. Let's be positive and just wish her a happy pregnancy."
The thing is, "normal" is different for everyone. As Alyssa Dweck, M.D., told us last time we checked in with her about having this kind of muscle definition and a smaller bump while pregnant: "Some women don't show." It's as simple as that.
Pre- and postnatal fitness expert Sara Haley had something similar to say. In reference to Stage's six-pack last time she was pregnant, Haley said: "I actually don't think she looks unhealthy at all. If you look at a picture before she was pregnant, she was teeny tiny. She's definitely gained at least 20 pounds, which is what doctors recommend. The muscles I'm seeing on her are the ones that help support your growing baby, so that's not a bad thing. That's amazing—that's going to help her bounce back." So yeah, there's nothing wrong with being on the smaller side during pregnancy, as long as your doctor agrees that you've gained an appropriate amount of weight.
For what it's worth, Stage doesn't seem to be bothered by the comments. In fact, it she hasn't responded to them at all. After all, only she and her doctor can *really* know whether or not she's having a healthy pregnancy. So what other people think doesn't matter very much. Plus, there are so many other things to worry about during pregnancy besides what other people think about your body—like all those weird pregnancy side effects that are actually normal.