If you’ve ever had a baby then I can pretty much guarantee that you’ve heard at least one of the following:
“You’re getting so big!”
“Are you having twins?”
“Wow, your bump is still so small!”
“Are you really only 6 months pregnant?!”
“You look ready to pop!”
And the list goes on. It seems that your bump size becomes the talk of the town. Suddenly complete strangers seem to believe that they have the right to be assessing the size of your bump and deciding on just how many babies it looks like you’re carrying. It’s a bizarre aspect of our culture that I’d really rather we did without.
So, what does the size of your bump actually tell you about your baby?
I was a midwife for many years and each time I did an antenatal check with a mum, I’d find myself assessing her bump size the minute she walked through the door. In a way, it was the perfect scientific experiment to demonstrate the point I’m trying to make. I’ve just done a quick bit of maths and I’ve estimated that I probably did around 2,000 antenatal checks during that time (and that’s probably an underestimate!). So, let’s just say that I gained a fair amount of experience in checking bumps. And even up to the last day of working, I never ceased to be amazed at the incongruence between the size of the bump and the size of the baby.
Each antenatal check would involve various different checks, and one of these checks was to measure the bump with a tape measure. It happened on many occasions that I would take one look at the size of mum’s bump and assume that the measurement was going to be outside of the normal limits. And it also happened on many occasions that I was… wrong.
So, if even someone that has as much experience as I had couldn’t judge bump size… what does that say for a generic stranger on the street or your Great Aunt Phyllis?
I’m just going to put it out there… their judgements are probably going to be wrong too.
So, next time you find your bump size the centre of discussion- at least now you know it truly is a load of old codswallop. Just as it is inappropriate to comment on someone’s bodily appearance, so too is it inappropriate for anyone to comment on your bump.
I officially give you permission to stick your middle finger up to any unwelcome comments and to fully ignore them, continuing your pregnancy with a quiet confidence that your body will grow your baby to the perfect size for the two of you. Your bump is beautiful, no matter it’s shape or size, don’t let anyone lead you to believe otherwise.