Los Angeles-based model Sarah Stage faced some harsh criticism during her pregnancy. At one point during her third trimester, she'd only gained about 20 pounds, and her ab muscles were still prominent at the 9-month mark!
All along, though, she assured the body shamers that, per her doctor, both she and the baby-to-be were healthy. On Wednesday, the 30-year-old gave birth to son James Hunter, and the next day, she Instagrammed a photo to show the world what "8.7lbs/22 inches of HEALTHY baby" looks like!
He's a cutie (and the fox snuggly is an added bonus)! Understandably, James' mama wanted to show off her handsome little man, but she also wanted to thank friends, family and followers "for the positive support throughout my journey," adding excitedly, "It's just beginning!!!"
Sarah shared another snap of her big, healthy babe (and his full head of hair) muggin' for the camera. It was, as she captioned the pic, "Love at first sight"
Sarah cared deeply about her baby before he was born, too, and made sure she was doing everything she could to benefit his development and well-being. As she told Entertainment Tonight shortly before giving birth, "The doctor said my baby was healthy."
Still, all the criticism over her taut, tiny bump gave her doubts! "All my girlfriends that are pregnant now, their bellies are a lot bigger, so I asked him [the doctor] and he started laughing," she recalled. "He was like, 'You're fine.'"
Another doctor, ABC News medical contributor and practicing Ob/Gyn Dr. Jennifer Ashton, agreed that all was A-OK with Sarah's size during pregnancy. As she explained it on Good Morning America, "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," added Dr. Ashton. "Having stamina, strength and muscle tone are good for both mom and baby."
Let Sarah's story be proof, ladies: There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to pregnancy.