There’s nothing more lowering than women bringing down other women, especially when it’s done by cowardly internet trolls who don’t have the courage to come out into the open but snipe cruelly from the cover of anonymity.
Recently, the daughter of a friend – a tall, slender beautiful model – was ‘shamed’ because her bump hardly showed at 20 weeks. It all kicked off when the Duchess of Cambridge was similarly shamed.
I have no hesitation in coming out in support of my friend’s daughter (let’s call her Laura), the Duchess of Cambridge, or any woman, who’s been trolled with this bump shaming.
Like the Duchess of Cambridge, Laura has suffered hyperemesis for several months and was unable to keep any food down. How cruel to add to her misery with shaming her bump.
Peggy Osborne, a midwife at The Women’s Health Clinic, has said: “There is a lot of pressure on new mothers to have the perfect bump, especially when you have had to announce it perhaps before you were ready.
“But there is no real use comparing one pregnancy to a previous one, as the embryo could implant differently or eating habits may have changed – especially with hyperemesis.”
Lesley Gilchrist, practising midwife and co-founder of My Expert Midwife, emphasised the potential harm: “Bump shaming can really damage a woman’s body confidence and cause needless worry and anxiety over the health of their baby.
“It’s important to remember that the bump is just the size of the baby’s “packaging” and has no bearing on the size of their baby. At this stage in pregnancy the roundness of the bump is just fluid.” And fluid is in short supply if you’re being sick all the time.
Unlike regular morning sickness, hyperemesis can render some women bedbound as they can’t keep food or drink down. They may even lose weight.
It’s a serious condition and the second leading cause of hospitalisation during pregnancy. It can also lead to dehydration, which is dangerous for both mother and baby.
A lot of people complimented Kate on how well she looked, but others were quick to point out her tiny bump with one saying: “I can’t believe she’s pregnant, she looks too thin” and another questioning how she could still look so slim.
However, experts hit back at these type of comments saying that bump shaming can cause unnecessary anxiety for mothers-to-be.
And, after all, haven’t pregnant women already got enough on their plates to worry about?