Bullies told me my pregnancy bump was ‘gross’ and said it was so big I ‘must be expecting a horse’
Personal assistant Elisha Bakes, 30, from Melbourne, Australia, welcomed her second son Kaelen last month.
But she says the negative comments about her bump began when she was just 14 weeks gone.
She shared a photo with her 32,700 Instagram followers to announce her pregnancy, where dozens told her she must have got her dates wrong because she looked much further along.
Elisha, who already has a son, Kyson (21 months) with her partner Tane, claims people continued to criticise the size of her bump, suggesting she was eating too much and assuming her diet was unhealthy.
As her pregnancy progressed the comments got worse, with people repeatedly telling her she looked as if she was expecting 78 babies or a “horse”, with some cruelly calling it “gross”.
Elisha said: “I found out I was pregnant when I was six weeks along. I had just stopped breastfeeding my son and we fell pregnant straight away.
“As this was my second pregnancy, I popped a lot sooner than the first time.
“I posted a picture when I was fourteen weeks and people were saying I must have the date wrong and be much further along, or I was eating too much and not being healthy.
“People would say hurtful things like, ‘Why is her bump so big? I better not get like this’ and that it was the biggest bump they’d ever seen.
“When I was six months along I would often get asked if I was due to pop any day. I would get a very surprised reaction when I let them know I was only 24 weeks.”
Elisha would often respond to the negative comments, explaining she tends to carry a lot of fluid and is only 5ft 3in tall, while her partner is 6ft 3in – so naturally her bump looked large in proportion to her small frame.
Taken aback by the negativity which surrounded her pregnancy bump, it became a constant worry which prompted her to reach out to other women who had endured the same problems.
“When people tell you that you look gross or suggest you’re not leading a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy, it can be hurtful,” said Elisha.
“I think people have an idea in their head about how a pregnant woman should look, sometimes based off their own experiences, so when they see a woman who is carrying larger or smaller, they feel the need to comment and give their two cents.
“I had hundreds of messages from women who had experienced the same thing. They told me how they would get very anxious about people commenting on their bump and would make them feel very insecure and not be able to enjoy their pregnancy.
“This would range from women who carried small and they would have people ask if they were even pregnant or telling them that they had looked bigger after eating a pizza. Some women were told they needed to eat more, whereas I was told to lay off the food.
“I ignored them 98 per cent of the time. I have thick skin so I just continued to embrace my pregnancy and baby bump while I could.
“The comments were always worse online. I would receive many nice compliments from women when I was out shopping or something.”
And they didn’t stop when Elisha gave birth: “People would say, ‘Oh he only weighed 8lbs.’
“I think a lot of people were eager to see how big he would be, expecting him to be huge.”
The mum-of-two, who also received negative comments during her first pregnancy as her bump was also very large towards the end, said it’s important to her to share her journey online.
“I express my feelings in my posts,” she explained.
“I like sending reminders that everyone carries differently and there are many factors that determine how you carry, such as weight, height, your partner’s genetics, fluid and pregnancy conditions.
“I get so many messages from women telling me how I have given them more confidence and make them feel better about their bumps.
“Comments regarding a woman’s size can really impact how they feel about themselves. Hormones are already running wild and adjusting to your changing body isn’t easy, so hearing hurtful remarks about your body can only have a negative impact.
“No matter what size you are, pregnancy isn’t easy.”
See more of Elisha’s positive posts by visiting @miss.elishab on Instagram.
We previously told how fans are claiming Meghan Markle’s baby bump is bigger than six months.
Meanwhile this incredible video shows a mum-to-be’s giant baby bump just days before her triplets are due.
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