Instagram | @wonderlivingjbw
Moms Are Sharing What Baby Bumps Really Look Like To Fight Unrealistic Standards
When will movies and TV shows finally show a realistic baby bump? This is the question I ask myself every time I see a pregnant character sporting a perfectly round bump. Newsflash: that's not what all pregnant bellies look like!
Thankfully, pregnant women are taking to social media and finally dispelling the myth that of the perfect baby bump. These photos show that bumps come in all shapes and sizes and I am here for these pics.
First of all, most pregnant women have a linea nigra on their bellies.
The linea nigra is that dark line that runs down the middle of the belly.
It's always there but it becomes more visible as the baby grows and because of hormonal changes.
It can linger after giving birth as well and may never fully fade from a woman's body.
A lot of pregnant women also have stretch marks on their bumps.
When was the last time you saw stretchmarks on a baby bump in the media? They're basically never shown, even though they are very common.
Many women own their stretch marks and call them "tiger stripes".
As in, this mama is fierce and has the stripes to prove it. I love it! Way to embrace your changing bodies, moms!
Also, bumps also aren't always perfectly round.
Instagram | @twinmamallama
Especially if you are carrying multiples, it's common for your bump to change shape or be more of an elongated shape. It really depends on what position the baby (or babies) is in.
When it comes to shape, it's safe to say that no two baby bumps will be the same.
Some women "pop", some carry low, and others carry high — all of these baby bump shapes are normal and healthy.
Just as no two moms are alike, no two bumps are alike.
Here's one mom's photo of her bumps at 31 weeks pregnant.
And here's another photo of a bump, also taken at 31 weeks.
Instagram | @paula.b.oliveira
These two pictures show that even at the same stage in pregnancy, no two bumps will ever look exactly alike. This is also why you should never try to guess how far along someone is.
Even if you think you're sure, just don't say anything.
You'll save yourself and the expecting mom a lot of embarrassment.
Also, please keep your hands away from the baby bump, unless you've been given permission.
Nothing freaks a pregnant woman out more than having strangers stroking her bump in public. Please keep your hands to yourself!
It's pretty shocking just how drastically someone's baby bump can differ from another's.
Those who remained highly active, or were previously into fitness can sometimes show a smaller bump, with visible ab muscles around the obliques.
For some, you might not even be able to tell they are pregnant.
This mama is six months along, and you wouldn't really be able to tell based on what we see in the media — but her belly, much like others, is common.
It should go without saying, but don't shame a woman for "not showing" during pregnancy.
Model Belle Lucia received comments from trolls after she shared this pic taken just as she was entering her third trimester. Really, people?
Some bumps also have tattoos.
Of course, these were done pre-pregnancy, but we don't see a lot of images of pregnant bellies with tattoos, even though many women have tattoos on their abdomen.
There also seems to be this idea that a woman's tattoos will disintegrate upon pregnancy.
This mom-to-be looks pretty darn perfect to us, though.
Belly button rings are common, too!
Instagram | @bobbimarois
Yes, even moms have belly button rings and many pregnant women keep theirs in as long as it is comfortable.
Let's not forget that sometimes our outies become even more... out!
Instagram | @sarahmagen89
And that's totally okay. We love all bumps, all babies, and all belly buttons.
It might seem like your belly button will defy all laws of physics during pregnancy.
It's totally normal to feel like your belly button has been replaced with that button that pops when the turkey is done cooking.
Also, body hair on baby bumps is a thing and it's totally normal.
Instagram | @white_pregnancy_shoutout_93
I don't know why this is still taboo. It's just hair, y'all! Embrace it!
Some moms like to get creative with their bumps.
This is likely the only time in your life when you'll want to paint your belly. I say, go for it!
What's important is that we all remember that our bodies always have been, and always will be different.
Instagram | @chontelduncan
That doesn't change during pregnancy, it only becomes more pronounced!
So, let's start realizing that there is no "one-size-fits-all" ideal when it comes to baby bumps.
Unsplash | Camylla Battani
They come in every shape and size imaginable and it's important that we start recognizing that.
These photos and the conversations they generate will help a lot of pregnant women feel more positive about their changing bodies.
And, if you're expecting, enjoy the bump while it lasts.
Sure, it might make it difficult to sleep and getting kicked internally is a feeling that never stops being weird, but you will look back on these days fondly.