Model Belle Lucia, 24, is thrilled to be expecting her very first child.
But after sharing photos to celebrate her 17th week of pregnancy, the expectant mom had to defend herself, People reports.
Lucia decided to post about the size of her baby bump on her Instagram story after many social media users started to criticize her looking small.
The model explained that she’s healthy and just isn’t showing much yet. She emphasized that she’s not trying to promote being thin during pregnancy. Lucia wrote:
Just because I’m not showing as much as you like doesn’t mean my pregnancy is ‘unhealthy’ or that I’m promoting a ‘skinny’ pregnancy — like some say. It’s just my body and I cannot help how I’m showing like many other women. Body shaming is not okay — no matter how ‘big’ or ‘small’ one is.
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Loving absolutely everything about my pregnancy… (so far) hope that doesn’t change ?? Plus – I’m 17 weeks yay!!!!! Don’t get me wrong, I did experience morning sickness and breast pain and definitely a lot of anxiety in the beginning because of the fear of miscarriage (I had no idea how common they were ?) but I’ve learnt to embrace everything – the downs and ups! It’s the most incredible feeling I’ve experienced, I’ve never felt so much love towards anything and it’s not even entered the outside world yet ?❤️ I’m so mushy now I’m pregnant ? I literally cry with happiness over this little person inside. #pregnancy #17weeks #almosthalfway
Lucia also shared photos of other women at 17 weeks to demonstrate how dramatically baby bump size can vary depending on the person.
Here’s more women the same week as me. As you can see women show very differently but are all carrying a little life.
Other moms were quick to support Lucia. One Instagram user commented that she had a similar experience and didn’t show until late in her first pregnancy:
Sweetie, don’t let the haters get to you! I was never a super thin person, even when I WAS thin, and I didn’t show with my 1st until I was about 6 mos along. We all show differently, and esp w the 1st, it tends to be later. I think by the time I was preg w my son (5th pregnancy, but lost one between the 3rd and him), I showed about 2 days in!
Jessica Kiley, MD, who works for the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, told Health in a 2017 interview that women’s baby bump sizes can vary.
She explained that some women don’t show until 20 weeks along, while others show much sooner:
“Women come in all different shapes and sizes, and carry differently depending on a number of factors.”
Women are more likely to show later if it’s their first pregnancy, Kiley said. She added:
“Pregnant women always feel like they look bigger or smaller than their friend, sister, or neighbor. It’s our job as doctors to explain that what’s normal for them might not appear normal for other women.”
Thankfully, it doesn’t seem Lucia is letting the negative comments keep her down.