Before you continue, a reminder: Neither fat-shaming nor fit-shaming is OK!
With that said, Sarah Stage has made headlines throughout her pregnancy for having six-pack abs in addition to a tiny baby bump. But the 30-year-old model, now 9 months along, won't cover up to shut up her body critics—in fact, she's stripping down and showing off right up until the end!
On Monday, the mommy-to-be Instagrammed a lingerie-clad selfie showing off her petite bump. "10 days until we meet," she wrote excitedly, adding a #BabyJames hashtag.
Not surprisingly, the comments section heated up quickly, with some women calling the photo "sad," and claiming, "Her baby can't be healthy," while others came to her defense, writing things like, "That's amazing," and, "She must work hard to stay prego fit." One Instagram tagged a friend in the photo, adding simply, "Pregnancy goals."
As of last month, Stage was 8 months pregnant and had gained 20 pounds (no word how much she's gained since then). Speaking with Good Morning America at the time, she didn't seem too concerned about the noise surrounding her baby bump pics, saying, "As long as the baby is healthy, I don't think anything else matters...That should be the most important thing."
Some of the particularly cruel comments do affect the soon-to-be mother, though. "I don't know how someone could say something like that to a pregnant woman," she said. "I think that is so rude. My baby is healthy and we are happy."
ABC News medical contributor and practicing Ob/Gyn Dr. Jennifer Ashton told GMA she thought the model was where she needed to be at this stage of pregnancy, noting, "The fact that she looks skinny on Instagram does not mean her baby growth is restricted or too small...It has nothing to do if you can see her muscles if her uterus is the perfect size and she has gained an amount of weight that is acceptable."
"Pregnancy is an incredible physical feat and labor and delivery are athletic events so training for them isn't such a bad idea," Ashton said. "Having stamina, strength and muscle tone are good for both mom and baby."
Of course, having a baby (and everything leading up to it) is different for every woman. According to The Mayo Clinic, "There's no one-size-fits-all approach to pregnancy weight gain. How much weight you need to gain depends on various factors, including your pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index."
According to a chart on the site, women within the normal weight range (having a BMI from 18.5 to 24.9) should generally gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. The Mayo Clinic notes that each woman should work with her health care provider to determine what's healthy and right for her.