We’ve said it time after time after time, every body is different and yet there are still some people who question why a person’s body acts or looks different than theirs.
Yiota Kousoukas is a 29-year-old first time mother and she’s six months pregnant. At first glance it may seem like she’s not that far along and commenters have let her know, questioning the legitimacy of her pregnancy.
Kousoukas’s baby bump or lack thereof is often the topic of discussion on her Instagram account.
The mother-to-be said the rude comments were along the lines of “No more baby in that belly” or “Start eating more so your baby can grow.”
She said that when she first started reading some of these comments she thought something was wrong with her, but quickly realized it wasn’t her, it was the people behind the screen who had a problem.
“I wanted other pregnant women to know that my size was due to physical attributes that are out of my control,” she told Cosmopolitan.
Since her small baby bump seemed to be such an issue, Kousoukas explained why it’s so small.
*BUMP SIZE* 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. 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 judgemental on others and even themselves. For the first 4 months of my pregnancy, my uterus was retroverted/tilted which means that I was growing backwards into my body rather than outwards. Most people with this type of uterus tilt forward at around 12 weeks and continue growing outwards like you normally would. My uterus didn’t “flip forward” until well into being 4 months pregnant because of the backwards tilted position paired with decade old endometriosis scarring that I have on my uterosacral ligaments. Basically, these ligaments are acting like anchors keeping my uterus “inside” rather than “outside”, which is why I appeared smaller than most people for the first 4 or 5 months. Now, at #6monthspregnant I’m growing forwards just like everyone else while the scarring on my ligaments slowly breaks down. My torso is also short and my stomach is naturally toned which is keeping my belly super tight, so I’ve had to personally stop all ab exercises to avoid any issues with possible ab separation. This is for me personally, as instructed by my doctor and is in no way a blanket rule for anyone else. 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 ❤️
Kousoukas shared a photo of her baby bump on Instagram and accompanied it with an explanation from her doctor.
“For the first 4 months of my pregnancy, my uterus was retroverted/tilted which means that I was growing backwards into my body rather than outwards,” she wrote. “Most people with this type of uterus tilt forward at around 12 weeks and continue growing outwards like you normally would.”
Dr. Aaron Styer, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist, fertility specialist, and medical director of CCRM Boston, told Cosmopolitan that it is technically impossible for a uterus to grow “backwards,” but it is possible for a uterus to tilt backwards and for it to have some effect on a woman’s pregnancy.
According to the American Pregnancy Association a tilted uterus can occur when a woman’s uterus doesn’t move into a forward position as she matures, during childbirth, or it can be a result of scarring from endometriosis or fibroids. Kousoukas explained its likely her tilted uterus is due to old scarring from endometriosis.
She explained how she didn’t start showing until she was six months pregnant.
Typically during the tenth and twelfth weeks of pregnancy a woman’s uterus will no longer be tilted; Kousoukas wrote that for her it didn’t occur until she was well into her fourth month.
She also explained how her “naturally toned” stomach has played a part in her small baby bump.
Kousoukas didn’t owe anyone an explanation, but she hoped an explanation would educate some of her commenters.
Many who commented on the 29-year-old’s photo praised her and even shared their own stories. She told Cosmopolitan how she’s seen a shift with social media. People tend to focus more on appearances rather than the health of a women and her child and that’s something that needs to change.
“I’m perfectly healthy, baby is perfectly healthy and that’s all that matters,” she wrote on Instagram. “Our bodies and bumps are all different and our shapes and sizes are all different too.”