Pregnant Instagram model praised for not editing 'veiny' chest out of photo

Pregnant Instagram model praised for not editing 'veiny' chest out of photo

The process of pregnancy isn't always easy. Most women experience morning sickness, swollen ankles and back pain. And while many would argue that bringing a new life into the world is all worth it, growing in size is often the most difficult pregnancy symptom.

But some women don't necessarily experience that, and Instagram model Belle Lucia, 24, is one of them. Since she's been expecting, Belle has consistently posted photos for her 1.4 million followers showing her toned, pregnant stomach. But it's not due to photoshop or a killer workout routine.

Originally from Sydney, Australia, the model lives in London and aims to promote body positivity through her maternity journey. One of her more-recent posts shows Belle posing in a swimsuit, bearing her veiny chest. Her caption for the photo says that she has one week until her third trimester and reads:

"p.s I know I got a veiny chest. Happens because your blood volume increases by 50% when pregnant and they go away after pregnancy when your blood volume returns."

Her followers loved to see Belle showing her true colours. Comments on the post include: "Truly natural and very beautiful. Bless you and bless your baby," and "be yourself, be you, be real! dont conform to the perfect other model like pictures."

But the Instagram model's fans weren't always so positive when, a few weeks back, Belle wasn't showing nearly as much. After posting a photo in a bikini at six months pregnant with barely a bump, she sadly received some backlash.

Followers commented on her photos "are u sure u r pregnant?" and "This is legit me when my stomach bloats up." To defend herself and her pregnancy, Belle took to her Instagram story:

“As you can see, women show very differently but are all carrying a little life. Just because I’m not showing as much as you like doesn’t mean my pregnancy is ‘unhealthy’ or that I’m promoting a ‘skinny’ pregnancy. It’s just my body and I can’t help it if it doesn’t look the same as other women. Body shaming is not okay no matter how ‘big’ or ‘small’ someone is."

Often, first time mothers show less because their abdominal wall hasn't stretched as much as moms who have done the whole pregnancy thing before. It's important to remember that every woman's maternal journey is different. And Belle's baby is going to rock either way!