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"Strangers on the street tell me my bump isn’t big enough."

“I have noticed that being pregnant opens up women to a whole new world of criticism.”

Too big, too small, too high, too low. If they exercise, or lie on the couch. If they dress in body hugging lycra or bikini on the beach. It seems that once a woman is pregnant her appearance becomes public property to dissect, discuss and openly criticise.

Melbourne Fashion blogger Nadia Bartel has opened up about the barrage of comments she has received during her pregnancy and how shocked she is that her body has become an open forum for discussion.

“I have noticed that being pregnant opens up women to a whole new world of criticism.”

In a revealing blog post the wife of Geelong footballer, Jimmy Bartel has described how, since becoming pregnant she has been judged by perfect strangers for how much she “ate, wore or worked.”

The 30-year old, who is now 34-weeks pregnant writes that she has been asked why her baby bump was not “big enough” and asked if her “doctor was okay with it.”

“Before getting pregnant (and now), I would never even think to comment on a lady’s bump size, (other than to think how beautiful it is). Or to judge her on what she is eating, wearing or how much she is working. ”

She says that making the leap into pregnancy was hard enough for her. ” I always pushed off the idea (it scared the living hell out of me and still kind of does) because I didn’t think it was possible to be a career girl and a mum at the same time. How could I do both of these demanding jobs well?!

My hubby would have loved to have children earlier (I know he is perfection in every way). As much as I loved the idea of having a little family with him, I felt like I needed more time. I am so lucky that he has been super supportive.”

“I would never even think to comment on a lady’s bump size.”

She says that around four-months she struggled with how her body felt “My boobs were out of control and my bum and thighs were also growing rapidly. I didn’t have a proper bump at this stage, but none of my clothes are fitting right. You just don’t feel like you at all. Of course this is fine, as your body needs to change to be able to carry your little bubba.”

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What she says has shocked her the most about her pregnancy is how her body has become open slather for criticism.

“I have had so many rude comments from strangers on the street telling me that my bump isn’t big enough and if the doctor is okay with it?? These same strangers have also accused me of not eating enough and stating I am not the ‘normal’ size.”

Nadia and her husband, Jimmy Bartel.

Nadia writes that she has gained 17 kg throughout her pregnancy  “so I am definitely in the normal range and not underweight and” but that the comments were so unnerving she checked with her doctor.

“I brought this up with my amazing OB and he assured me, I am totally normal,” she said.

“Our baby has always scanned larger than the size it is meant to be. When will people realise we are all made differently, and that’s what make us all unique.”

“When will people realise we are all made differently, and that’s what make us all unique.”

She says she now felt “more confident and sexy” than ever.

“Being a first time Mum does change the game as I started doubting if my pregnancy is normal because everything you are experiencing is new.”

Nadia says that she and Jimmy have not found out the sex of their baby – due in November – but that her husband wanted to know.

Nadia at the Brownlow Medal in September.

She ends her post by writing “Then there are those days when nothing in your wardrobe fits, your hormonal and you start wondering if you can handle this whole ‘mum’ thing when the baby comes.

On other days, you wake up and feel amazing and think how blessed you are to be pregnant and wish you could stay pregnant forever.”

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