Pregnancy can be hard enough without the added stress of third parties injecting their own thoughts on your parenting techniques, upcoming birthing plan or, in the case of Elisha Bakes, the size of your baby bump.
Bakes has spoken about how she was bullied for the size of her pregnant belly, with commenters regularly calling it 'gross' and cruelling asking if she was 'expecting a horse'. The 30-year-old blogger, from Melbourne, welcomed her second son Kaelen last month but claims the negative comments began when she was just 14 weeks along.
Sharing a photo with her 33,000 Instagram followers to announce her pregnancy, Elisha claims dozens of comments told her she must have got the dates wrong because she looked "more pregnant," The Sun reports. Elisha, who already has a son, Kyson, 21 months, with her partner Tane, claims people criticised the size of her bump, suggesting she was eating too much and assuming her diet was unhealthy.
As she continued on her pregnancy journey, Elisha's followers continued to comment on the growing size of her belly.
“I found out I was pregnant when I was six weeks along. I had just stopped breastfeeding my son and we fell pregnant straight away," she told The Sun. "As this was my second pregnancy, I popped a lot sooner than the first time. I posted a picture when I was 14 weeks and people were saying I must have the date wrong and be much further along, or I was eating too much and not being healthy.
"People would say hurtful things like, ‘Why is her bump so big? I better not get like this’, and that it was the biggest bump they’d ever seen. When I was six months along I would often get asked if I was due to pop any day. I would get a very surprised reaction when I let them know I was only 24 weeks."
Elisha adds that the continuously negative comments left beneath her pregnancy photos began to make her feel self-conscious, eventually seeking out other women who had experienced the same.
“I had hundreds of messages from women who had experienced the same thing. They told me how they would get very anxious about people commenting on their bump and would make them feel very insecure and not be able to enjoy their pregnancy."
Elisha hopes that by speaking out about her experience, others will think twice before commenting on a person's pregnancy. “I express my feelings in my posts,” she explained. “I like sending reminders that everyone carries differently, and there are many factors that determine how you carry, such as weight, height, your partner’s genetics, fluid and pregnancy conditions."
"I get so many messages from women telling me how I have given them more confidence and make them feel better about their bumps. Comments regarding a woman’s size can really impact how they feel about themselves. Hormones are already running wild and adjusting to your changing body isn’t easy, so hearing hurtful remarks about your body can only have a negative impact."
“No matter what size you are, pregnancy isn’t easy.”
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