Being pregnant and creating another life can be a whole host of things from emotional, phenominal to downright scary but there are also a lot og emotions and feelings in between. And while there is information about everything you could possibly need to know or think about there is still plenty that you might experience and not even know it was a thing.
I recently discovered I actually had bump envy, this is something I was a little embarrassed and ashamed of at first. I was quite worried it was something that would be something I thought of everytime I saw another pregnant woman and would start to get me really down. So i spoke to my friend who is also pregnant and asked her if she felt the same and she did. After that I did some googling and found out on many forums it was WIDELY common with pregnant and non pregnant women.
I understand that you can feel this way if you are pregnant and if you aren’t and there is no real way of making it go away or having a ‘cure’. Now as far as I know it isn’t something to worry about and it is as simple as being jealous of something someone else has, like being jealous of someones car, handbag or even dog! So if you are experiencing this please don’t get down or overwhelmed as it passes and I have some easy ways you can make yourself feel better during your pregnancy.
Side Note: I understand that if you are not currently pregnant and are suffering from bump envy I understand this can be for a number of reasons from timing, fertility issues, your haven’t got a sperm donor/partner to have a child with or any other reason. This isn’t something to smile off and I understand this is harder to deal with, in this case speak to someone you love and trust, speak to a professional and seek help if you feel it affects your day to day life.
In this article I am going to talk about what bump envy is, what can cause it and how you can get passed it and enjoy your own pregnancy journey.
What Is Bump Envy?
Bump envy is simply being jealous of another pregnant womans baby bump. It can be any number of shapes, sizes and reasons behind it but it is simply you feeling like that other person or people have something you don’t and you wish to have. We experience the same sorts of feelings probably more than we realise, it can just more often be in the form of stuff such as cars, houses, lifestyles and clothing or even holidays.
We can relate to jealousy and envy of something more material another person has and bump envy is very similar. You may have a small bump and wish you were larger so you appeared ” more pregnant” or you might have a much larger bump and you wish to have a smaller bump.
This can be caused by a number of reasons such as;
- People remarking on you ‘not looking pregnant’
- Others asking if you are having twins (when you are only having one baby)
- Others remarking on how big you are in term making you feel insecure and selfconcious
- Feeling out of proportion when others look smaller/larger
- comparing yourself to other pregnant people (it is very common and normal)
Remember that bump envy is totally normal and you aren’t a bad person for getting it or thinking it, it is completely normal and it is just those pesky hormones playing tricks on you. Though if you feel you are abnormally large/small for your time period (how many weeks you are) make sure you speak to your midwife or healthcare professional to give you check up and make sure that you and baby are okay. This can often put a lot of nagging thoughts out of mind and give you a better outlook over the rest of your pregnancy.
6 Ways To Help You Get Past Bump Envy
Bump envy as I have said is totally normal and I experienced it with my first baby and I thought it was something I would have to deal with throughout my pregnancy and it would bug me every time I saw another pregnant lady but after a little while and talking about it, it was something that turned from envy to adoration of those other mum to be and I loved it.
Here are my top tips to help you get over your bump envy!
1. Wear Form Fitting Clothing
I found wearing things that showed off my bump made me feel like I had one and that it was more prominent, I liked this method as it was like having a reminder when I looked down there was my bump and I could see that my baby was in there and it just made me feel better.
You might enjoy this if you are small even if you are coming up to your due date you can emphasise your bump and so less people will ask about your bump and will hopefully see you are sporting your bump and be proud of it.
2. Remember Who Is In There!
I found that especially in the second trimester where my bump was still something just a flabby belly or small I would almost forget I was pregnant. Especially as I didn’t feel ill like I did in the first trimester and there wasn’t as much to remind me often that I was growing another person.
So I found creating little reminders for myself handy to make myself remember I was growing a person and that was a privalige, exciting and something magical to be happening. So I had a picture at my desk of the scan and little tokens on my phone to show how exciting this experience was and that mostly the baby at the end of it is what was important.
3. Speak To Other Mums
I found just speaking to other mums, how they felt and their experience helped a lot. I spoke to those who had children already so I could hear about their journey and how things got better for them and also to those who were expecting like me to have a sense of community and support knowing you aren’t going through it alone.
Also speak to your midwife or doctor about the feelings your having and why and they can help you go through some of the reasons you might be feeling smaller or larger than you feel you should be and kind of put any doubt of medical reasons from your mind. They can also give you different reasurances if you do feel that something medically is wrong or not sitting comfortably with you.
4. Spend Quality Time With Bump
I was going through a phase only for a week or two when I didn’t feel attached to the baby and also forgot I was pregnant and it kind of got me down so I decided to take a nice warm bath (mostly because my back was killing me and my wife insisted!) and spend some quality time with bump.
I relaxed and just decided to talk to the baby and I honestly felt silly but it was nice in the end, I felt some movements and it was kind of cool. I was glad I took the time to relax and actually remember I was pregnant and so since then I felt more in tune with my body and baby going forward.
You can do this by having a nice soak in the bath, just sitting in bed and relaxing or anything you find relaxing to kind of connect back to your body and what it is creating.
5. Remember Everyone Is Different
Remember that only identical twins are the same in most genetic senses but even they vary so remember that not one single person is the exact same as someone else. Something your body is doing might be the opposite to what another persons body is doing. For instance you might feel your bump is small and you want it to be larger, this can be down to a number of things from your frame, weight and size to the genetics of the baby.
Remember that just becuase you are tall doesn’t mean the baby will be, certain genes can skip a generation so might be getting something in terms of height and size or even eye colour or hair colour from the grandparents on either side.
As many mums of multiple children will tell you they can have the exact same pregnancy or atleast very similar but then others can have complete different experiences the second or third time around. So just remember even if you and that other pregnant lady are similar height and build – the babys biological father/parents may be completely different and basketball player tall or even really short.
Comparing yourself to another pregnant women is a pointless task, and it sounds harsh but it is something that we all do, its nature but remember that each of us is different and our bodies are different. If you need to make your self feel better watch the film “what to expect when your expecting” its so relatable and so honest and funny so that should cheer you up….or make you cry.
6. They Might Be Envious Of You Too
As I said above everyone is different and in different points of our life we all got envious of one thing or another and probably still do to this day. So don’t worry take a deep breath and carry on as you were. If that doesn’t work have a little mantra in your head, when you think that other pregnant person is glowing and has a beautiful bump and you find yourself wishing you were them.
Stop. Think to yourself, ‘they are probably just as envious of my bump’. While I know this might sound big headed or even a little stupid but if you really struggle and you find it hard to get past especially when that other person is in direct eye line or even if you work with this person and have to see them everyday. Think to yourself they might be just as envious as me and want to have a larger/smaller bump.
I can guarantee everyone has this feeling at some point, heck I bet Angelina Jolie even hhad bump envy at some point! So it doesn’t matter who you are, how your pregnancy is going because from another persons point of view you might be smashing it, looking like your ready to be on the cover of a magazine and look like your breezing through your pregnancy.
Remember we are all experiencing the same journey just with different obsticles in the way.