By now we’ve all seen the pics and articles on social media of pregnant model, Sarah Stage, with a flat stomach at 6 months. We talk a lot about accepting a person’s body regardless of its shape or size but we’ve still got a long way to go. Whether or not a woman is pregnant, her size shouldn’t be a topic of conversation. Yes, Sarah is a fitness buff but that doesn’t endanger her baby. I’d like to share my story with you because I was also a pregnant woman with a flat stomach.

Sarah stage, femme enceinte, ventre plat

(source: Sarah Stage’s Instagram)

I was nowhere near as fit as Sarah; I didn’t do any exercise (and I still don’t). Even 5 months pregnant, my stomach was still flat. Totally and absolutely flat. Not even a slight swelling. And I’ll say it again… I didn’t do any exercise. I received a ton of comments; everything from “Are you sure your baby is alive?” to “You’re faking your pregnancy, right?”. Every. Single. Day. Do you think I enjoyed it? NO! I felt so awful; I was bordering on depression. I felt guilty. I didn’t feel pregnant. I ended up with a little tummy and gave birth at 37 weeks to a beautiful healthy 8 pound baby. Just like that pretty model who exercised throughout her first pregnancy under medical supervision.

ventre plate, femme enceinte, grossesse

(My tummy at 5-month mark)

Another example of pregnancy-related body shaming: a woman who quickly regains her slim figure after giving birth. Just like a lot of celebrities, Sarah Stage received thousands of negative comments on the emphasis she placed on regaining her pre-pregnancy body shape.

I’m NOT a model or a celebrity. I didn’t follow any particular diet or exercise plan and yet, after giving birth, I left the hospital every bit as slim as I had been before my pregnancy. Do you have any idea how miserable I felt because of the negative feedback I received from both strangers and the people in my personal life? The answer: I felt very miserable. Whether someone is a man or a woman, big or small, short or tall, pregnant or not… Nobody should not be subjected to body shaming.

Can we please stop focussing on the size of a pregnant woman’s belly? Next time, why not simply say “Congratulations!”. Period.

My wish for Sarah Stage, and all pregnant women, is a beautiful pregnancy, a wonderful delivery, and memorable moments spent as a family. ❤️

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Marie-Ève Lévesque

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