By DR. KAREN LATIMER
Seems you can't win in our society. Post an unflattering picture of yourself and get ripped apart. Post a beautiful picture of yourself and get ripped apart.
Model Sarah Stage has been posting Instagram pictures throughout her pregnancy. She is thin, she is fit and she is pregnant. We wish we could all be so lucky to look this good with baby on board.
Critics point out that she has a six-pack. She doesn't have a six-pack, she simply has some definition between her abdomen and her appropriately enlarged uterus. Yes, we are all jealous. Yes, she is making us mere mortals look bad, but before you judge her for an unhealthy pregnancy consider these points:
A healthy weight gain in pregnancy is anywhere from 25-35 pounds. As long as the baby is growing, doctors will accept less than this as within a normal range. The baby will weigh about 8 pounds, the placenta 2-3 pounds, amniotic fluid 2-3 pounds, blood supply 4 pounds and the larger uterus 2-5 pounds. The rest of the weight comes from stored fat ... Stage is clearly on the lower side here. You do not have to gain any additional weight on your body to have a hearty pregnancy.
Every woman's body is different. Taller women often look less pregnant because the uterus can expand upward as well as outward. I've been pregnant at the same time as tall friends and believe me, there is a big advantage to height when it comes to looking good with a baby bump.
Malnutrition can cause serious side effects on a fetus, but this woman does not in any way look malnourished. I am sure her food intake is more than adequate enough to supply her baby with the nutrition he needs.
This is her first pregnancy. Her abdominal muscles are at an all-time strong. As most women with multiple pregnancies will contend, they were much bigger, much faster with subsequent pregnancies as the muscles had already been stretched.
What you bring into a pregnancy, is what you will get out of a pregnancy. If you are at a healthy weight, exercise and eat right, chances are you will look and feel great during the nine months you are with child. Sarah Stage is a model. She looked great before child, she will look great after child. Unlike women who don't maintain their weight during their pregnancy, she will have an easy time losing what little baby weight she put on.
During my first three pregnancies, I was fairly lucky. I didn't put on a lot of weight, the babies were all big and healthy, and I lost the weight quickly. Each pregnancy was very different though, and my belly didn't look the same from one to the next. I won't even talk about my fourth pregnancy with twins. Ugly.
So, while each woman is very different, each pregnancy is very different as well. I know what you are secretly thinking. You are hoping her butt gets big during her next pregnancy, right? Maybe it will, maybe it won't. Either way, to me she seems like a beautiful woman who is excited about the birth of her son, and who is proud of maintaining a great figure during her pregnancy.
We mothers judge each other so harshly, yet we have so much in common. I don't have Stage's abs, pregnant or otherwise, but I know all too well the joys and pains of the journey upon which she is about to embark. Great abs won't make it any easier to sleep at night.