We are living in the age of the selfie. I admit- I do love the odd selfie or even the odd “brelfie“- it breaks up my instagram feed a bit, you know? So it’s not just adorable kid/cat/food pictures.

Anyway, I recently read about this stunning lingerie model called Sarah Stage, who, like many of us, is a committed instagram selfie poster, and has been documenting her pregnancy.

pregnancy abs

Image via Instagram


And why wouldn’t she be?

Her instagram account has 1.3 million followers, many of whom appear to have surpassed medical experts and have been able to offer lots of advice and helpful comments about her physique and pregnancy based on photos alone. Some examples:

“doesn’t look normal. Doesn’t look like its gonna be a normal sized baby”

“eep is that even healthy”

“wtf is that? Lol shes gonna have a little bitty ass baby. I’m worried for her ass.”

“Anyone realize she is harming the baby by not eating ?”

“The baby is more important than your body . Please eatttt”

“wow…are you pergnet”

“Please this is not amazing. The baby is too small she is not eating enougth this ia not healthy”

“U arent supposed to work out when ur pregnant..stupid fk ur poor baby is compressed by abs lol”

(To clarify, these comments are reproduced here as posted. Not my typos!)

This is really no better than the “concern” leveled at plus size models like Tess Holliday. The simple fact is that Sarah Stage’s health is a matter for her and her health care providers to look after.

If Sarah shares a pic of her body- she gets concern-trolled. If she shares a pic eating- she’s accused of not really eating the food.

pregnancy abs

Image via Instagram

It seems like no matter what your body type is, if you are a woman, you body is up for public scrutiny. Sarah Stage hasn’t invited this scrutiny and negativity by sharing her pictures any more than anyone else with an instagram account.

You may look at her pictures and wonder how she does it. I did. That’s okay. Looking through them, I see that she’s eating healthy food and exercising. Question answered. She’s a model. Her body is her bread and butter, so to speak. It looks like she was slim and toned before her pregnancy and still is. Good for her! Good for anyone who shares those traits!

The defined abdominal muscles that have stayed defined for the last 30 odd weeks of her pregnancy have caused quite a stir, however, and now the US Cosmopolitan mag has published and article with the tag line:

You can have insane abs during pregnancy- here’s how.

But really, can you? Is it really possible for everyone to have pregnancy abs? Are there really that many women who have the type of body that will retain sculpted abdominal muscles throughout 40 odd weeks of growing an entire human being inside of their bodies? I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I, for one, don’t buy it.

Cosmo consulted a personal trainer for this article who says her six pack was back within days of giving birth. She also says she was back teaching exercise classes within days of giving birth, despite most doctors recommending a 4-6 week break. Not my cup of tea but hey, we’re all different.

Is this realistic for most of us? No. No it is not. Neither is striving for pregnancy abs! Is it not enough that we are constantly inundated with faces and bodies so digitally enhanced that they are unattainable? That we are expected to bounce right back after pregnancy into the exact same shape we were before?

I say getting pregnancy abs is another thing we can add to the list of crap we should not have to worry about. Not now, not ever.

pregnancy abs list

My List.


Whatever your size or shape, when pregnant, your body is doing something awesome and the last thing you should feel like you need to stress over is how your bloody abs look!


Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT

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  • LydiaCLee

    I was circus big on my tiny frame when I was pregnant (gained 25 kilos each time) – had kitchen staff come out of the kitchen to check me out in a restaurant at 39 weeks (not making that up – they came out one at a time because I’d been described as ‘going to explode’). So I saw plenty of pregnant women at birth class that looked like that to me (but were apparently ‘normal’ weight gain). I just think women are mean to each other.

    • They are indeed. I wish I could hold a mirror up to them so they saw how awful they were behaving.

  • Another case of the world gone crazy and social media taking things too far. We are all different, and all responsible for ourselves. Why can’t we work that out?

    • Absolutely. So many people out there with their judgy pants on!

  • Pregnancy abs! This is just insanity. Why would Cosmo even write an article about this? It’s just all too much really. I don’t know a single woman who would be concerned about keeping their six pack while they’re pregnant. It’s just such a strange concept to me. I feel sorry for this poor Sarah. To be continually trolled can not be easy. It seems as though she can’t do anything right in her followers’ eyes. It saddens me that people are so quick to judge and be cruel. #teamIBOT

    • It is insane, isn’t it? Like you don’t have enough to worry about!

  • I am in two minds about this. Personally, if you don’t want this kind of attention, don’t post pics like this!
    Secondly, this woman is a model and is obviously tall. Tall women can keep their babies tucked in better than us short statured ones. (I personally carried all of mine out front at 5’4.)
    In my first pregnancy I gained 20 kilos or more. I looked hilarious – at 6 months I looked nine months with twins! (I normally weigh in the 40’s and I went to 72kilos!)
    My second pregnancy saw me gain just 7 kilos by the nine month mark. By the 10th day post baby, I was entirely back to normal – in fact I weighed less than pre-preg – stomach gone entirely. (No six pack ever on this bod however!)
    Point being – every body and every pregnancy is entirely different.
    Really though, I’d never post this pic – it looks too damn sexy to the wrong sorts! LOL!

    • I agree with your second point but not the first- I don’t think anyone should be blamed for being the victim of online trolling- she didn’t invite it by sharing pics any more than you or I might by sharing our pics, you know? She’s a model but she’s also a person, too.
      Every pregnancy sure is different. I put on 30kg with my first and about 14 with my second!

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    Love your list there Amy. Don’t know what vagina steaming is and not interested in finding out either!

  • I am constantly amazed at all the stupid crap online. To even give it a name like pregnancy abs creates yet another thing for an insecure woman to think is possible and therefore necessary to be good. And boy does Cosmo love to fan the flames of insecurity. It is what keeps their mag going after all these years.

  • Ah, bloody hell. I tell you what, I’m getting sick of the morons on the net. I have abs, really jelly like ones and I love them!

  • Tash from Gift Grapevine

    Once again I’m going to start my comment on your post with – Seriously?! Cosmo must be running out of editorial ideas. It’s just irresponsible of them to publish an article about “pregnancy abs”. I expect women are smart enough to see through this. Sad thing is, by year’s end I have a feeling your list will have doubled in length! You should run an awards night for “Crap we shouldn’t have to worry about”. For me, the current frontrunner to take out the big prize is the fat mons pubis.

    • Yeah so much for empowering women, right? Go Cosmo! Yes the fat mons is about the stupidest so far, I thin!k

  • TeganMC

    I’m with you, I just don’t understand it. If someone is exercising regularly before being pregnant then generally, they can continue, it’s not going to hurt the baby. I’m sick of the body policing, it really is no one else’s business what someone does or doesn’t eat. Well not a strangers anyway.

    • Exactly right- why do we do this to one another?

  • I loved that I could put on weight when I was pregnant and not care. I ate the healthiest I ever have and weighed the most I ever have lol.

  • I was pretty fit before pregnancy and pretty tiny. But while pregnant, abs were the further thing from my mind. Surely all the stress on your body to keep it so fit is harmful to a baby? but I’m not a doctor. I was determined to do everything that was the best for my baby, I ate all the ‘right foods’, exercised the ‘right ways’ and did everything I was told too and still ended up on bedrest at 34 weeks, so I wouldnt do anything to push my body. lol at the Cosmo article though! Seriously, I couldnt think of anything worse during pregnancy than trying to maintain ‘insane abs’ 🙂 I was way to tired and bloated and nauseous for that!

    • She responded to all the fuss stating that both she and the baby were very healthy- we’re all different, after all! 🙂

  • Just as long as the baby is healthy, what does it matter? It is still your body!! I was huge when I was pregnant and have been battling to get rid of it ever since!

  • Oh I love you!! I won’t ever get over how complete strangers troll public figures, as if that’s all they are. As if they don’t hurt like we do. How did they miss the lesson growing up “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Are parents not teaching this?

  • I have the pregnancy rolls still. No abs here. If you’ve got em flaunt them but if you don’t, don’t worry about them. Great post. 🙂

  • Pregnancy abs. But of course! What next? I hate how as women, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. I’m willing to bet you if she had a big stomach and no abs, she’s be picked on as well about how it is unhealthy for her baby or something along those lines.
    I have seen women who have remained tiny even when they are heavily pregnant because they have kept exercising. Some women have a body shape that doesn’t really make them seem pregnant anyway! Everyone is different. The only person who can tell her if her pregnancy abs are ok or not is her doctor and only if it is affecting her unborn baby. Fark!!!

  • Great post. I find it disgusting how women turn on other women over absolutely everything. As long as her baby is welcomed into the world healthy, who cares? A single (or you know, however many selfies she has shared) doesn’t tell the whole story. Every baby and every pregnancy is different. She was fit and healthy before pregnancy and has obviously kept that way. I, personally, don’t feel the urge to get out there and try to get myself some pregnancy abs – I’m over trying to attain impossible ideals for the visual pleasure of others and I hope there aren’t too many others setting this as a goal. A healthy baby should be the goal.

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  • Hmmm pregnancy abs?? I’m sure they are tucked away inside there somewhere … I didn’t have abs before, so certainly won’t have them after this pregnancy (let alone during)! A healthy mum and a healthy baby are the main things to be concerned with.