No pregnancy is the same. Some women start showing right away while others take months for even a tiny bump to form. The physical changes in a woman’s body can also change between her first pregnancy and subsequent pregnancies — something Laura Mazza understands too well.
In a recent Facebook post, Mazza posted a side-by-side comparison of her belly from her first pregnancy and her third pregnancy. She barely looked bloated at 14 weeks during her first pregnancy, but her stomach is protruding at just nine weeks during her third pregnancy. Her point? Don’t let society dictate the “right” way your bump should appear.
“You know, on the left I was 14 weeks pregnant. First child. I thought I was huge. HUGE. I was embarrassed at how bloated I looked (I spent time hiding my stomach even though people knew I was pregnant. I even wore Spanx to a wedding because I was afraid of how jiggly I looked,” Mazza wrote in her post.
“I wanted to get to the right size before I celebrated my bump. I was embarrassed that my husband had this blimp of a pregnant wife and all these people would constantly remind me that I’m gonna have to work hard to go back to my pre-body. That I better not eat too much … I look back and that makes me sad.”
“I see it all the time, women who think their bumps are too small or too big,” Mazza continued. She says people typically feel the need to comment on pregnant bodies, “constantly saying ‘you’re sooooooo tiny!’ Or ‘you’re soooo huge!’ like it’s OK to comment, and a growing baby makes it free for all.”
Pregnant women also tend to judge themselves on how they are meant to look — to have the “perfect body” and the “perfect bump” — but a bump that’s not too big — and not too small “…otherwise you must surely be starving your baby,” according to society, said Mazza.
“By my second pregnancy I got asked ‘Are you sure it isn’t twins?’ Yeah, for 9 months, that second baby has been hiding Wendy …no it’s not twins, but thanks for helping me feel positive about my body at such a vulnerable and hormonal time.”
Now Mazza is pregnant with her third baby, she believes she’s about 9 weeks — and she’s double the size compared to when she was first pregnant.
“There’s no muscles in there, I didn’t lose the baby weight after the first kid, nor the second, and I won’t rush to lose the weight after this one either,” she noted. Although the baby is a size of a pea, in her stomach there’s “some noodles, some banana lollies and about a kilo of watermelon” — so her bump might look slightly larger than a bump should at 9 weeks, but she doesn’t mind.
“I won’t hide my little pouch. It’s growing a baby and I should be proud of it,” she added. “I’ve been through so much with this body, how can I resent it and hide it away? Bodies change. It’s brought me children, it’s gone through battles, it’s had cancer scares with lumps in my boobs, it’s fought mental illness, it’s wrestled with no sleep and been a home to three kids. Worrying about how big I look surely does it an injustice.”
Mazza said she is a woman and a mother. She’s not a perfect size 0. One day she might be, but at the end of the day, she’s a “perfect mother” to her children and future children. So she’s happy — her children are happy — and to her, that is all that matters in life.
“And please well meaning individuals who feel the need to comment on a pregnant woman’s body, or any woman’s body, know this: The only time you should worry if something is too big or too small, is (when it concerns) the cake and flowers you’re going to buy her for being such an amazing human being.”
What do you think of Mazza’s powerful message? Should people ever comment on the size of a woman’s baby bump?