Aug. 23, 2012 at 10:08 AM ET
I posted this new #BumpProud picture on my blog recently after I got sick of all the harsh comments about two bathing suit pictures that had circulated a few months back online and in the magazines. I caught a lot of flak for baring my baby bump in a bikini and monokini while spending the day poolside with my family. Apparently, people online have some strong opinions about showing your pregnant body and what’s appropriate to wear. I got a lot of comments like these:
“Too much showing. Not suitable for a pregnant mom with a seven-month-old.”
“Ewww. She’s pregnant! Cover that bump up! No one wants to see that!!”
“NOT motherly AT ALL. In future years she will surely regret that unflattering picture. COVER up girl!”
“Have a little more modestly when you’re pregnant!!! Geez!!!”
“I mean, it’s OK for a younger girl to wear something like that, but a mom of (soon to be) 4, had having a baby bump, that suit doesn’t seem, ahem, ‘suitable.’”
I have developed a thick skin over the years, as I’ve noted on TODAY Moms. Can’t please everyone all the time. I think I have done a pretty good job at turning a blind eye to all of the negative Nancys out there who choose to say really nasty hurtful things. But, this time I want to speak out on behalf of myself and pregnant women everywhere! I’m super proud of my bump. Why should I be embarrassed and cover up something that’s the greatest gift a woman can experience? A pregnant woman in any shape or size is beautiful! Pregnancy is an amazing journey and we preggers should be able to show it off. I call it BUMP PROUD! Embrace your growing curves and bourgeoning belly.
Plus, we are hard at work baking a baby. It’s not easy! We have aches and pains and crazy things happen to our bodies we never imagined, so we should have the same right — if not more — to dress how we want without judgment. I would wear either of those bathing suits in a hot second before pregnancy (and I have!) so why shouldn't I be able to now just because I have a big baby belly?
As for setting an example as a mother — please. I’m making a conscious choice to show my daughters that they can express themselves and be proud of their bodies. I don't ever want them to think that they should be ashamed of or self-conscious of their body, no matter what shape it's in.
And, I'm very happy to report that I had an amazing reaction to my blog post. Sisterhood is NOT dead! It turns out there are many more positive Pollys out there than the negative Nancys and they support women being able to wear what they want! It's so nice to know that others are supportive of preggers wearing their bumps proudly! Here are some of the great comments I got:
"You look beautiful! I always enjoyed wearing bikinis when I was pregnant as well, but I did get some strange looks occasionally. A baby bump is nothing to be ashamed of! Be Bump Proud!"
"I am six and a half months pregnant and live in Alaska so I wear a lot of sweaters and hoodies because it barely gets over 60 here. But am going to visit my family back in St. Louis soon and cannot wait to wear a bikini and show off my bump. I am super proud of it and don't understand why people are so disgusted about it. It is an incredible experience to know that you are creating another human life and it is something to be proud of. So I say strut your stuff and if someone doesn't like it they don't have to do the same if/when they are pregnant. Or even more I dare them to come say something to me because with my hormones I will gladly give them a piece of my mind. It may not be for everyone but if you are comfortable then do it! Who cares what other people think. I think if they don't like it they don't have to look, right? Be proud and be strong."
"I think your baby bump is absolutely adorable. It seems to me most folks who make such statements are truly unhappy with themselves and need to push negativity onto others. Sad really, being as that you are such an inspiring, loving, caring and compassionate wife and mommy. I would continue to proudly show off your baby bump, your positive attitude and happiness in general."
"I just feel sad for women who cannot embrace pregnancy. I cannot see any issues with showing off a baby bump in style and style being the operative word. If only such amazing maternity fashions were available when I was having children — instead I was relegated to tents hahaha. There is absolutely no shame in being pregnant — isn't it one of the most natural things in the world for a woman do to? Society appears to be becoming more conservative and less tolerant these days which is such a terrible thing to have happen. Wear your bump with pride!"
Thank you to everyone who agrees that we strong women we should rock our bellies! So remember, our bodies are beautiful, and preggers everywhere be BUMP PROUD!
Are you bump proud?
Send us a photo of you showing off your baby belly — whether you're in a bikini or business suit, sweats or a caftan — and we will publish a selection of the best right here in TODAY Moms. And share your #BumpProud photo on Instagram or Twitter.