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Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Bump Manifesto

I hear and see it over and over again:

"I'm huge! I feel enormous."

"I'm barely showing; is something wrong?"

"I love your bump, I wish mine looked like that."

"My bump is shaped so weird."

Here's the deal: As long as you're eating relatively healthy, your bump is fine. Your bump is normal. Your bump is perfect.*

Love your bump. Embrace your bump.

Those who show early wish they were smaller. Those who have flat stomachs well into their second trimester long for a cute little bump to show off. Most of us are just average, but because of the rampant comparisons, feel like we're too big or too little.

We all have different bodies, different uteruses (uterii?), different amounts of amniotic fluid, different stomach muscles, different babies, different genetics, different starting points. The way these factors are coming together during your pregnancy are what determine your bump shape and size, along with your current diet and, to some extent, your level of activity. Here's the thing: as long as you're putting forth some effort to eat healthy and putting forth even a minor effort to be active, there's nothing you can do about the other components. Your bump is your bump. It's not anyone else's bump. You should not compare it to the girl next door who is a foot taller or shorter than you and who weighs 50 pounds more or less than you do.  Her bump is hers alone. She probably wishes it were bigger/smaller/rounder/higher/lower, too. So stop comparing it to hers!

Some of us are Kate Middleton, athletic and slim throughout our pregnancy. Some of us are Kim Kardashian, curvy and voluptuous. Most of us are somewhere in the middle.

A few of us will gain all over, and you'll know that we're pregnant just by glimpsing an ankle alone. Our cheeks will expand right along with our bellies. Some of us will gain just in the belly, and truly look like we're smuggling a basketball in our shirt. Some of us will hardly show through the entire pregnancy, and people will be unsure whether they are pregnant even as they are walking into the delivery room ready to give birth.   Some will grow straight out and be able to balance a cup of water on their abdomen. Some will grow up and down and be sticking out from boobs to crotch.  Some will grow wide, and you'll be able to see their bump from behind. Some will have pointy bellies, some round bellies, some square bellies. Some won't show at all from the back. Some won't show at all from the front. Some will show from all angles.  Some will carry so high you wonder how they can breath; some will carry so low you wonder how the kid hasn't fallen out yet.

Some of us will gain the majority of weight in the first trimester, when scarfing down carbs and crackers are the only things that keep us from puking into our breakfast. Some of us won't gain a pound until close to the third trimester.

A few women will start showing the day before the pregnancy test turns positive. A few women will still have flat stomachs halfway or even two-thirds of the way through their nine months. Some will have strangers asking if they're due any day - at 4 months pregnant. A few people will go through their through pregnancy never having stepped foot in the maternity section of the store or having to even employ the hair tie trick.

Heck, Google "Pregnant Celebrities," where the images in this post came from, and look at the variety of baby bump and body shapes during pregnancies - and these are people who are in peak physical condition with trainers and nutritionists caring for them their entire pregnancy.

The bottom line is that you are not anyone else. You are not your mom, your best friend, or that internet stranger. Don't be jealous of her bump. Don't worry abut whether your bump is normal or whether it should be bigger or smaller or rounder or flatter. Appreciate your bump - it's growing your baby, and that is the ONLY thing that matters. Anything else is just superficial noise.

*Note: there are ALWAYS exceptions. Someone might be huge because they have a giant tumor growing in their abdomen; some might be tiny because they have low amniotic fluid levels. I'm not talking medical situations here. Those are unusual, unlikely, and rare scenarios. This manifesto is for the other 99% of pregnancies. 


  1. What are stomach muscles? ha!

    Cute post.

  2. Love this post- i am a bit behind in reading your blog, but this one totally rings true for me. I have been avoiding the "Hump Day Bump Day" posts on the Bump because I all too often get bump envy and think there is something wrong with mine - thanks for this post!

  3. I love this. I smiled reading this. I remember when i was pregnant and a co-worker was as well and we were due 5 days apart, i had serious bump envy. I'm 5'2 with a huge husband and she's 5'11 so i looked like a bowling ball and she had the cutest little bump at 37.5 weeks.

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