Like most excited pregnant women, fashion designer Yiota Kouzoukas of Brisbane, Australia, is proud of her baby bump and posts pictures of her progressing pregnancy on Instagram. Unfortunately, she hasn't received quite the response she expected.
Instead of the usual "Adorable! Love that bump!" type comments, people have posted concerned (and often rude) comments about how small Yiota’s baby bump appears in her pictures. Questions have ranged from if she’s eating properly to whether or not her baby is healthy. Many people have joked about being able to sport a bigger bump after a large meal.
The 29-year-old, who is six months along, became so frustrated by the shaming that she decided to publicly share the reason that her baby bump is so small.
“I receive a lot of DMs and comments regarding the size of my bump, which is why I want to explain a few things about my body,” she wrote in an Instagram post on October 9. “Not that I’m upset/affected by these comments at all, but more for the reason of educating in the hope that some people are less judgmental on others and even themselves.”
She went on to explain that she has a tilted (also known as retroverted) uterus and scarring due to endometriosis that causes her to bump to appear small. She also has a very toned stomach, which contributes to her appearance. “Now, at #6monthspregnant, I’m growing forward, just like everyone else, while the scarring on my ligaments slowly breaks down,” she shared.
If you've never heard of a tilted uterus before, you wouldn't be the only one, which is shocking considering how common it is. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, one in five women experience this condition. Commonly called a “tipped uterus,” retroversion occurs when a woman's uterus tilts backward rather than forward. Pelvic adhesions (scar tissue) from endometriosis, uterine infection or pelvic surgery can hold the uterus in this tipped position.
A retroverted uterus won’t affect your chances of conceiving and isn’t considered an abnormality or medical condition. Physicians refer to it as a “normal anatomic variance” and there are no health risks associated with the having a tipped uterus. As in Kouzoukas' case, by the second trimester, the uterus expands with the growth of the baby to pop out of the pelvis and into the abdomen—which means a woman with a retroverted uterus will eventually sport a baby bump—even if it’s small.
For other women who have experienced similar concerns and comments over their smaller baby bumps (hello, Kate Middleton!), Yiota’s final words on the subject should be reassuring: “I’m perfectly healthy, baby is perfectly healthy and that’s all that matters. Our bodies and bumps are all different and our shapes and sizes are all different too.”
And, at the end of the day, is the size of your baby bump really anyone else's business?