Pregnancy can be difficult enough without having to face criticism from strangers on the internet.
But one mum has felt like she had to defend herself after cruel trolls shamed her online for having a “tiny” baby bump.
Brooke Barclay says she’s been accused of “lying” about being pregnant for attention and told she must be “starving herself” due to her small frame.
The 21-year-old from Edinburgh, Scotland, was overjoyed when she discovered she and partner Liam, 22, were expecting their second child.
She is currently 32 weeks pregnant, but her stomach is nowhere near the size that many people usually expect at that point along.
Brooke, who is already mum to Leighton, three, says she first noticed her belly wasn’t getting very big at her 16-week gender scan, her tummy was still completely flat.
However, this was something she had expected as she also experienced it during her first pregnancy.
The mum explained that the reason for her smaller bump is due to her tilted uterus – and not anything to worry about.
A tilted uterus means that the womb tips backwards at the cervix instead of forward, so a pregnant woman’s baby will sit towards the back rather than the front.
Brooke, who worked as a COVID-19 testing operative before her maternity leave, said: “The reason behind me having a smaller baby bump is because I have a tilted uterus.
“I found this out during my last pregnancy, and it doesn’t affect the baby at all.
“This is common and normal, and it is how some women don’t even know they are pregnant until labour.”
After sharing footage of her baby bump to social media, Brooke said she was hit with mean comments, with people saying she must be ‘starving herself’.
Others even said she must be ‘lying’ about being pregnant to get attention.
Now Brooke is sharing her story in the hopes to raise awareness about the reality of having a tilted uterus and to show that not all pregnant bellies look the same.
She added: “So I decided to post a TikTok at 20 weeks pregnant, not expecting more than my friends and family to see it.
“But after a couple of weeks, the views started to go up and the comments flooded in. It had a total of 3.4 million views.
“People were saying I was lying or starving myself and even wearing a waist trainer.
“There were a lot of people thinking they knew my body more than me and were telling me that I am going to have a tiny baby.
“These comments didn’t bother me really I knew my baby was growing fine and healthy.
“People automatically assume that having a tiny bump means there is something wrong with me or the baby but that really isn’t the case at all.
“I just wish people wouldn’t judge right away. Everyone’s body is different, and that doesn’t mean I’m unhealthy or underfeeding myself and baby.”
The expectant mum added that she and Liam are very excited to welcome their second little one.
“We were extremely happy finding out we were pregnant again. We had been planning and trying for just a couple of months.
“Even though the nerves kicked in about having two children, we still cannot wait to meet our new boy.
“So far, the pregnancy has been healthy but difficult, with constant morning sickness all the way through, a lot of back pain and heartburn to go with it.”