Have You Been Bump-Shamed During Pregnancy?

16 July 2016
Have You Been Bump-Shamed?

Most expectant mums hit the point, at some stage during pregnancy, of feeling uneasy about the way having a baby on board seems to make people think you're public property.

From people asking if they can touch your bump to total strangers getting all pass remarkable about its size and shape, it seems as though everyone thinks a pregnant woman is fair game when it comes to expressing opinions about how she looks.

But while I've had my fair share of those 'NO YOU CAN'T TOUCH IT' moments, I was surprised to read about the results of a new poll which suggests that 94 percent of women said they had been 'bump-shamed' during pregnancy, with people verbally attacking them for the way they look whilst pregnant.

The Mirror reports:

More than 60 per cent were told they were 'too fat', 32 per cent were dubbed 'too small' and on average an expectant mum suffers from ten verbal slurs while pregnant. Some women have even gone against medical advice and started dieting whilst pregnant due to body slurs in some cases from their partner or mother in law.

Two thirds of the mums polled said they would describe themselves as "embarrassed or ashamed or uncomfortable" during pregnancy on account of the bump-shaming they experienced.

Now maybe I'm just unusually thick-skinned but the comments mentioned don't actually strike me as bump-shaming - they include things like 'Are you sure it's not twins?' which I'm pretty sure was said to me during all three of my pregnancies.

I might not have loved the insinuation that I wasn't exactly slender but I certainly didn't feel the statement was a slur on my body or an attempt to make me feel ashamed of it. I just assumed that people speak first and think later when faced with a pregnant woman and I learned to shrug off the less-than complimentary comments.

But we'd love to hear your views on this topic. Would you say you were bump-shamed during pregnancy? And if so, how did you respond? Have your say by leaving a comment below or joining the debate over on our Facebook page.

TOPICS:   Parents


  • Dawn_marissa

    I definitely feel bump shamed on a daily basis. Just last week I had someone say, 'my god, you're huge. Remember you shouldn't eat for two you know. It's not an excuse to let yourself go. You were so thin before.' I'm eating as before btw - no change to my diet. This on top of the usual 'is it twins?', 'there's no way you'll make your due date,' 'you're massive,' has made me very self conscious and I have started do worry about losing my baby weight. 

  • Tricia W.

    What a shame for anyone feeling that way. I've felt my absolute best ever during my pregnancies. It's the most amazing experience. Every mum should feel special, not embarrassed or ashamed :frowning2:

    • Sarah S.

      It's the one & only time I've been body confident I loved it

    • Carrie W.

      Me too, I'd never felt so good and knew exactly what to wear and felt confident about it :grinning:

  • Melissa A.

    I've had several comments. They've not made me feel ashamed or anything, more a bit shocked that people could be so abrupt. I'm a teacher and one of my parents asked if my pregnancy was planned. I constantly get told my bump is tiny, despite being told I'm measuring big. My window cleaner said 'hi fatty!' to me and I also had a complete stranger in Asda rub my tummy.

    I'm currently 38 and a half weeks. Not long to go!

    • Melissa A.

      Might I also add that I adore being pregnant so none of this spoils anything in any way. Just sharing some experiences :joy: xxx

  • Kate M.

    It's the most beautiful thing in the world loved my bump :sparkling_heart::blue_heart::blue_heart::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes:

  • Ellie C.

    People keep telling me I'm huge and can't believe I have 3 months left. But I've felt it being in a negative or spiteful content.

  • Lisa D.

    From 20 weeks about 8 people a day asked if i was having twins/told me I'm huge/I'll never make my due date when i was in fact 15 days over, i had 1 baby and gained 2 stone so nothing outrageous. People just don't think about the other people that might have already said it that day. I didn't grow a huge amount from 28 weeks so i was big early. But i liked showing for so long.

    • Natalie M.


  • Jo D.

    Constantly told how big I was. Sure it's not twins? Sure your not further on? Oh you've got a double chin now.... etc did get a bit annoying but didn't let it bother me as I knew I was carrying all at the front and have narrow hips and I'm short. Turned out I was carrying alot of water too.

    • Katie T.

      I had the same with my last one! Bloody painful all that extra stretching at the front. And bloody annoying all your regular clothes fit everywhere except your tummy too! :relaxed:

    • Jo D.

      Yeah I'm covered with stretch marks haha was so sore at the time

    • Katie T.

      Don't remind me! And the itching! Jesus that was awful! He's 6 months old now and I still look about 5 months gone! Bit of a shock when with the first two my tummy was almost totally back to flat after 6 weeks! I did finally manage to do up my super high waist skinnies last week though, so I can't complain too much. Time to actually start a bit of exercise I think x

    • Jo D.

      That's brilliant! I ended up gaining quite a bit of weight by the end. My stomach is still like a deflated balloon haha but I've lost all the weight yay! My son is 2 now x

    • Jo D.

      Oh god the itching! Drive me nuts x

    • Jo D.


  • Marie P.

    Today I experienced my first ever stranger just touching my bump. Never had it with my first pregnancy and can honestly say, unless i know you-don't ever touch my bump. Why do people feel they have the ght to do it :angry:

  • Laura D.

    I made it through 2 whole pregnancies without a stranger asking to touch my bump :joy: amazing when you hear how many people have said it happened to them, perhaps I had 'crazy pregnant lady will karate chop your neck' look down to a tee :thinking::joy:

  • Kay S.

    Baby 1 From 20 weeks strangers were saying not long now!! And my grandma kept asking if I was sure it wasn't twins and telling me that sometime 1 can hide behind the other and it could have been missed :joy::joy: wasn't even remotely embarrassed buy any of that I'm little and only place for baby to go is out the way

    • Angela O.

      I got that too and had to ask midwife to double check just to be sure

  • Angela O.

    Constantly with my third child was funny first time but annoying at the end. Have twice been asked since giving birth wen I am due. People shud engage brain first. I wud never ask a stranger about her bump or wen she was due :cry:

  • Rebecca M.

    I was 28 weeks pregnant with twins when a lady stopped me in my local homebase and had a full blown hissy fit at me for being out and about..... Calling me a unfit mother blah blah blah saying "I was clearly about to drop and should be concentrating on my baby not shopping" I soon wiped the look off her face when I managed to get up from the chair I was sitting on and told her "not that it's any of your business but I'm not even half way and I'm expecting twins" she made a sharp exit with her witches tail between her legs :joy::joy:

    • Ashley K.

      What!!!! That's awful! It was irrelevant how far you were, that's unacceptable even if you were way overdue! Honestly some people...

  • Katie T.

    I think I must have got off quite lightly, babies one and two I was 6 months plus, managing a cafe and had regular customers very politely asking if I was pregnant, thinking i was only 3 or 4 months at most.. baby number 3 was a bit different. I was 5 months gone going back to work off mat leave. All those customers split into two camps, one lot felt OK to ask me directly the other lot asked other staff thinking I might just have a big swollen tummy. Funny really, going back to work and people not being sure, 3 weeks later I had to quit because of how huge I'd got, they were all sure then! :joy:

  • Lisa S.

    No stranger ever touched my pregnant belly thankfully, I was however told I had "a pregnancy moon face" :see_no_evil::hear_no_evil: Let's hope my face stays the same shape this time! :crescent_moon::new_moon_with_face:

  • Dorothy P.

    I was performing in a concert and a little girl very loudly asked her mum why I was so big!! The worst thing was, her mum replied, "I don't know, darling. Some people are just fat." :flushed::flushed:

  • Rhia S.

    I wish people would be offended by war and poverty, slavery and child abuse, gender inequality, racism, etc etc.

    Instead we are offended by someone saying you are ready to pop, or a celebrity kissing their child.

    Time for some perspective

    • Nikki H.

      Some people don't like being insulted when they're hormonal and vulnerable. That's ok. Plenty of people offended by war... Not that being offended stops it so that's pointless anyway. And this is a parenting page. Some people are offended by others being offended.... Apparently :grinning:

  • Natalie M.

    With both my pregnancies I was showing from very early on... I was huge... I was asked the usual 'is it twins' 'you don't have long left' and I was only around 16 weeks... I was also told I 'shouldn't be eating for 2' even though food was hard to stomach... I was all baby... people don't think... be proud of your bump, big or small... at the end of it, the baby weight can be lost, people's ignorance can't....

    • Paula M.

      Well said I'm showing already but hey ho as long as the baby is healthy who cares xx

    • Natalie M.

      It's just people don't think before they speak..... some people hate the thought of gaining weight while pregnant... xx

  • Samantha E.

    My 1st 2 babies in my early 20s my bumps were so small a lot of people didn't realise I was pregnant. My 3rd some 10 years later n I was huge about 30 seconds after conception n got all the above comments about it being twins and never lasting til my due date etc etc. People can be so rude some knowingly some not so.

  • Kirstie O.

    I got the typical "are you sure its not twins" but its the "you're massive" "you're huge" I know it wasn't meant as an insult but I'm always careful to make comments bump specific like "oo a lovely growing bump" so the mum doesn't feel like "she's huge" it's the bump that's big, as it should be!

    • Stephanie S.

      You're such a nice person Kirstie :blush: just saying, cause your comment made me smile xx

  • Joanne B.

    I was constantly told I was massive, told I had eaten all the pies. Didn't help I had diabetes towards the end and loads of other problems throughout.... None weight related I might add. Took lots of the joy out of it :pensive:

  • Louise M.

    I never took offence to any comments I received whilst pregnant it was my job to gain weight in order for my baby to grow. For my size and height I was quite big, but most of it was water. The only thing I found embarrassing was brushing past someone when you miss calculated how big you were. Also, I hated ppl trying to touch my bump or asking to touch it as I don't like being touched normally.

  • Vicky S.

    Perhaps some people are just a bit sensitive (don't hate me). When people say "gosh you're huge" they mean your bump, not you. I looked in the mirror every day and thought the same thing! It's just so strange to see a massive belly. I never once took those comments to be insulting, in fact I was proud of my big bump and loved to hear people tell me how big it was!

  • Emma S.

    I once asked when I was due whilst my baby was in the pram :flushed:

    • Nikki H.


  • Elizabeth M.

    One woman kept going on about how big I was... then she said "maybe it's just that dress"... double insult!! :joy:

    • Nikki H.

      Oh no!

  • Heather S.

    I had an old woman approach me and she put both her hands on my bump and whispered "Not yet... not yet". It was a bit strange. Also people saying how it had "dropped" when I was only like 7 months pregnant and saying stuff like "Are you sure you're only 7 months? Looks like you are due any day now!" Way to freak a pregnant woman out!

  • Nicola S.

    That is disgusting how dare anyone say those horrible things having a baby is beautiful. I have 3 children and loved having my bump every time

  • Kate F.

    Ha all of the time! "Eee that's massive it's got to be twins!!" And my particular favourite although not about the bump is "God you look tired" just when u thought you looked OK for once!!

    • Laura D.

      Ahh sorry I am guilty of the tired remark. I shall take myself off to the naughty step and repeat a mantra of do not tell kate she looks tired!

    • Kate F.

      haha nah it's fine I probably do ha

  • Sabrina M.

    My bumps were really big but my babies were so tiny when born it doesn't matter what size your bump is as long as that baby is born into love xx

  • Holly L.

    People told me I was massive, but to be fair I was massive.

    • Jessie S.


  • Jacqueline M.

    Yes my supervisor at my old job used to say 'are you sure you need to be eating that' insinuating that I was fat...all the while scoffing chocolate bars in his face. The worst is people touching your stomach and saying how huge you look!

  • Georgie C.

    I was huge. At 4ft 11, I carry outward. Who cares what people say. You should be proud. Let the haters hate!!

  • Nikki N.

    I'm getting it now, I'm 25weeks with baby 3 and get oooooooooooo not long to go, are u having twins, it doesn't bother me

  • Helen D.

    When I was around 5 months pregnant I was at the gym (taking it steady btw) on the bikes when I got asked by a member of staff if I wanted to take an abs class!!!!! "No mate I do not want to take an abs class I am 5 MONTHS PREGNANT!" He wished he never asked :see_no_evil::see_no_evil::see_no_evil::rage::rage::rage: xxx

  • Harriet S.

    I'm 28 weeks pregnant with twins, I don't mind the bump comments it's the constant 'they'll come early' comment, my babies will arrive when they are ready. It's the worst comment I can hear as I'm terrified they'll come premature, and I'm struggling to keep shaking it off :/

    • Jade M.

      Don't worry about a thing your twins will be perfect and healthy babies! My twins were 11 months old yesterday, beautiful identical girls and they were 8 weeks and 2 days early. You're right your babies will come when they are ready but you rest assured that if they do come earlier than you would hope they will be in the most amazing caring hands and they will be fine. My babies were in neonatal for 5 weeks and they are the happiest healthiest little girls ever. Enjoy your pregnancy and be excited not worried xxx

    • Joanne M.

      I was told this too by everyone so was convinced I would be early but no-one had told my babies so yours might not be early. My twins had to be induced and still didn't want to come out, they were too comfy! I was enormous :smile:

    • Harriet S.

      Thank you, aww twin girls you must of been so strong to deal with all of it, so happy they're happy healthy for you :) And wow I bet you was ready to have them if you had to be induced did they let you go to 40 weeks or over? Every pregnancy is different as you two ladies prove!! :blush:

    • Justyna L.

      My id girls will be four in September and they were only born 4 weeks earlier by elective csection so there's a good chance they would have been born later. We had no problems at all and no complications, no neonatal unit either. We came home after 3 nights in hospital. I know it's hard but try not to worry. Your gorgeous babies will arrive when it's time :baby_tone2: Best of luck. Crazy, amazing, tiering but magical times ahead of you :heart::heart:

    • Joanne M.

      My nhs trust only lets you go to 38 wks and then they induce. They were 6lb 5oz and 6lb 11oz so good sizes Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy, good luck xx

    • Holly W.

      I'm 32 weeks with twins and always hear this, don't worry though I'm sure your consultant would've said if they were concerned, most twins I know have come at 34+ anyway x

  • Kathryn M.

    Yes. It was summer boiling hot 40 weeks + pregnant. Decided to go to shops for a walk half way there a middles aged woman on a bike stopped yelled at me telling me I was disgusting because my bump was showing and I should cover up. I remember wondering how the hell some one could wake up in the morning and yell at another person for nothing

  • Natalie M.

    Funnily enough I got called a 'fat c&£@' in the street today by a 15 year old boy! If only I could have got away with decking him! He looked like he wouldn't be able to punch himself out of a paper bag. Not needed at 37 weeks at all! I don't really mind anything else after that one!

  • Samantha P.

    I'm 5'1" and my husband is 6'3" so our baby was kinda long but the hubbys step father telling me I look like a cow grazing in a field when at my nieces birthday buffet table did NOT go down well!!

    • Nikki H.

      That's just rude plain and simple!

  • Gemma G.

    My insults have came from the bloody midwives in the hospital ohhhh baby's going off the charts head looks big so dose baby watch the sugars baring in mind I've not gained nothing eat reasonable ur going to have a big baby it can cause childhood diabetes I bit my tounge coz if I had my way I'd kick right off cheeky opinionated ppl lol

  • Siân B.

    I was refused buying a prawn cocktail sandwich because I was pregnant and it wasn't good for the health of my baby. I shamed into buying a ham one instead:rage::fried_shrimp:

    • Nikki H.

      Surely cooked prawns are OK anyway!

    • Penny F.

      Prawns are fine but are more of a risk for food poisoning think that's why people think they are an issue when they arent

    • Holly W.

      Omg prawns are totally fine! How stupid of the person serving x

  • Sally M.

    Who cares what people think/say! I loved my three pregnancies and loved my huge bumps! Something I really miss :cry: if you can't be happy & fat whilst pregnant when can you :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: xx

  • Claire S.

    I'm 26 weeks with number 2, a lot bigger than I was with number 1. Last week I was out with my daughter, who is 17 months but quite small so looks younger than she is. I walked past 2 women and one remarked to the other 'she didn't waste much time!'

  • Jade M.

    I got a lot of comments when pregnant with my little girl and again with my twins who are now 4 and 11 months because both times I was very small I got told quite a lot "I hate you" "are you sure you're even pregnant" "what a bitch look at her" there was lots of other comments too which were equally as hurtful. It's the opposite end of the spectrum but doesn't hurt any less I have had comments too not during pregnancy such as "she needs a good meal" and "you need fattening up" which I feel are totally inappropriate as I would never dream of saying "I think you need a good salad" or "have you heard about slimming world?". It's easy to get offended with things like this but I think it's important to brush it off and remember it's a reflection of their character not yours. There's more important things for us all to worry about.

    • Irem A.

      I was same hardly had a bump at all. When i went to hospital to be induced the nurse actually didnt believe me and went to check that she was prepping the right person :neutral_face:

    • Jade M.

      When I came out of theatre with my twins the woman was checking my dressing before sending me out of recovery and said look at that stomach you wouldn't think you've just had twins what a bitch I couldn't belive it. They act like it's a compliment

  • Laura K.

    I actually was having twins and had the opposite, "oh but you're absolutely tiny, are they ok?" " you measure really small" Caused me so much anxiety during pregnancy a time when I was over sensitive as it was. The comments weren't meant to be mean but it definitely made me think twice about comments I would make to a pregnant woman. I would now not mention her bunk but instead focus on her as a person. She will be paranoid enough as it is without anyone else making comments.

    • Rachel W.

      This is what I had until recently when my bump has taken a growth spurt! Felt like saying yes they are small thats why I see a consultant 3 times a week and I'm scanned constantly! Even had "are you sure its twins!" A couple of months ago. Now 34 weeks tomorrow and my bump finally looks like it contains two lol x

  • Jo F.

    Yes. But more about my appearance, one being 'you look much bigger in the face' great thanks for that. Why can't people just say 'you look great' and leave it at that. You wouldn't tell a non pregnant person that they're looking massive, why should pregnant women be fair game?!

  • Vicky P.

    I know this feeling!!! X

  • Rebecca L.

    I had people put a complain in where I work saying I should be made to wear baggy clothes as my bump made them feel sick when I wore vest tops but when it is the summer no one wants to wear baggy jumpers

    • Nikki H.

      My boss had a weird anti bump thing.. He hates them. Luckily he didn't have to see me much lol

  • Carrie W.

    I was told by a customer at work "wow, you're huge!, my daughter is further on than you and she's still tiny".... Yeah cheers for that... just keep smiling :angry::angry:

  • Sally W.

    I got a lot of "it might be twins" with my first pregnancy. Until I explained it was but one stopped growing at 7 weeks. People just need to think before they speak, try and make a positive comment, otherwise just ask mum to be how she is!

  • Laura S.

    With my first because I was tiny I got 'are you sure your pregnant?' 'Wow your going on maternity REALLY early' (I was 36 weeks when I went on maternity) With my second I got 'wow your huge!' 'Are you sure there's only one in there?' 'Are your dates right?'

    By the time I'd had them both I was royally fed up of the negative comments x

  • Lauren R.

    / daily - people need to learn to think. If you haven't got anything nice to say... Then don't say anything! Xx

    • Claire J.

      Totally!!!!!! X

    • Vicky K.

      Couldn't agree more :grin::grin: xx

  • Penny F.

    Yeah constantly 'you're enormous' and even when I told them the bump was actually measuring small they would dismiss that and say no you are enormous!! I think it is cos the bump was all upfront and my tunic at work made me look bigger too. The worst was once I had him and very luckily bounced back literally one person said I looked good!

  • Susan F.

    I looked huge with No1 and had to go for a scan ( those days they didn't give scans as often as now ) and was told it's only 1 baby but your extremely large. He was born 9lb 7oz so that explained that! I later went on to have No2 I was a lot smaller 8lb 12oz. Then twins where I bloomed beautifully all over. 3lb 8oz & 5lb 12oz. Then a few years later when I began to Foster babies I met a lady who shouted at the next till to me in Asda WOW no wonder I haven't seen you recently you've had another 2 children...to which I politely but clearly added "actually I have had a hysterectomy and these are my Foster children". That night I joined weight watchers! :grinning: No matter what size or shape we are when pregnant we are blessed with being able to have babies.

  • Holly W.

    I'm currently pregnant with twins and get so many comments but I welcome the attention! Probably because most comments have been very positive! Some say I look small for twins but my babies are weighing 5lb each at 32 weeks so I know it's just their position making me look small and no concern. And bump touching from family and friends doesn't bother me either...from total strangers it probably would though!

  • Ifrat J.

    It's a real shame if anyone feels ashamed it's the best gift ever I loved it everytime but did get fed up at the end as all mine were 2 weeks over due date

  • Dannielle B.

    I did I had people call me Massive I was 9st 2 at 9 months pregnant I certainly wasn't massive. My way of dealing with this was to say "funny that I'm still slimmer than you" soon shut them up!

  • Cheryl C.

    I get this all the time :raised_hand_tone1::smirk: x

  • Donna S.

    Someone shouted "who ate all the pies?" To me once out a window while I was crossing the street xx

  • Elaine W.

    Many moons ago, I was told by a market trader not to stand there too long , I looked ready to drop. With two months to go it upset me a little , I was so proud of my bump x

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