When you’re pregnant it can seem like everyone wants to chime in with their insights and advice on everything from gender and names to cravings and labor. People also frequently comment on the size of your stomach — from saying you look like “you’re going to pop” to exclaiming that “you don’t even look pregnant.” Here’s the thing: There’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” pregnancy.
After months of sharing her pregnancy on Instagram — to a chorus of unrequited comments and messages about the size of her stomach — one woman shared why her baby bump may not look the way most people would expect.
Yiota Kouzoukas wrote that her uterus was tilted throughout the first four months of her pregnancy so her baby grew inward, not outward. “My uterus didn’t ‘flip forward’ until well into being four months pregnant because of the backwards tilted position paired with decade old endometriosis scarring that I have on my uterosacral ligaments,” she wrote, adding that both factors contributed to having an inward-facing uterus and a smaller “baby bump” that some women. “Now, at #6monthspregnant I’m growing forwards just like everyone else while the scarring on my ligaments slowly breaks down,” she wrote.
So what exactly does it mean to have an “inward-facing” uterus? According to ob-gyn Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine (who has not treated Kouzoukas), it’s likely she has what’s known as a retroverted uterus. “About 30 percent of women have a uterus which is tilted towards the back, and it is seldom a problem during pregnancy,” says Minkin, “As the uterus grows, it almost always starts tilting forward.”
If you have a retroverted uterus, you may not really “show” when pregnant, until your uterus changes position. And for most women, you start to look larger by about five months, says Minkin.
Minkin also notes that if you do have a retroverted uterus, don’t fret, since it’s not associated with any health risks.
Beyond opening up the convo about this pretty common uterine situation, Kouzoukas’ real talk on Instagram is also helping to quash all cases of “bump-shaming”. Her post even includes the perfect clapback: “Our bodies and bumps are all different and our shapes and sizes are all different too.”
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US
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