Reanna Stephens is an 18-year-old mother-to-be and a vegan.
As of January 9, Stephens is seven months pregnant with a baby boy. The teen constantly updates her Instagram followers with sonogram and baby bump photos.Reanna Stephens/Instagram
However, as one can easily tell by looking at Stephens’ photos, her bump is a bit unconventional. More specifically, it’s barely even there.
As a result of her tiny baby bump, Stephens has been subjected to a certain amount of criticism. Some people have accused the 18-year-old of faking her pregnancy, while others have accused her of starving her child as a result of her vegan lifestyle, even calling her anorexic.
In an interview with The Sun, Stephens told the news outlet that the comments have really affected her:
“People really affect me with their comments, I try to stay calm as I know both me and my baby are healthy. My baby is growing the perfect amount every month as it’s measured, just like everyone else’s, so it’s absolutely nothing to do with mine or the baby’s health.
I have compared my bump over my pregnancy to people on different parent pages on Facebook, and it’s not as big as other people’s. But I love my small bump, it’s not big, but I think it’s perfect in its own way and it’s my body and my bump – no one else’s.”
The South Carolina teen continued by saying she even gets called out while walking down the street.Reanna Stephens/Instagram
She added that getting “nasty looks” rather than hearing, “Aw, look at your bump,” has been “heartbreaking”:
“People have asked me, ‘You’re not faking your pregnancy are you?’, and ‘Are you sure your baby is healthy?’ as well as people telling me I need to eat more and see a doctor in case I starve my child.
I have also been told that I shouldn’t be having a baby if I can’t feed myself, but people know nothing about my diet or lifestyle.”
Stephens didn’t give an exact reason as to why her bump is so small, but she credits it to being a very active individual.
She explained to The Sun:
“I have done mixed martial arts for six years, including boxing, kickboxing, jujitsu, circuit training and weight training along with yoga and cardio. Now I only do yoga and cardio, but this is part of the reason for my slender physique.”
Stephens also added that her mom, who was an athlete at the time she got pregnant, also didn’t show until she was about seven months.Reanna Stephens/Instagram
The teen explained:
“She was an athlete and she didn’t show until she was seven-months pregnant. Although I’m much smaller than her, I believe being active has a part to play in the size of your bump.”
She then thanked her family for supporting her through this exciting — but trying — time in her young life.
Stephens has continued to post photos detailing her pregnancy, even after the backlash started, because the way she sees it, there’s no reason to let strangers keep her from enjoying this precious moment in her life.