“Since when has body shaming a pregnant woman become the thing to do?” Cindy Morgan of Minnesota and Iowa’s ABC 6 posted on Facebook. “I’ve been told to wear maternity clothes (which I do), I look like I’m about ready to tip over, I show too much of my belly, and my choice in clothes is distasteful and disrespectful.”
Morgan, 33, was inspired to write the post after receiving numerous emails bashing her appearance.
“There is this common theme of, ‘I don’t like the way that you look, and therefore you’re unprofessional,’ ” she tells PEOPLE. “That really bothered me. I’ve worked a long time in my field and I know what I’m doing, and the idea that just because I’m pregnant that I’m all of a sudden unprofessional, that got to me after a while.”
“Bit-by-bit those comments take away a small piece of my excitement about my little girl’s arrival,” she wrote in the Facebook post. “I have a public job and there are many things that I choose to do, not do or change because of it. But to feel that way about my baby is unacceptable. To have these things said is unacceptable.”
Despite the criticism, Morgan says she will not give in to her body shamers.
“I proudly say I’m not ashamed of my bump,” she posted. “I will embrace my pregnancy and will gladly continue to visually offend those who disagree.”
Morgan encourages other women to #embracethebump in her Facebook post.
“It’s okay to show your figure as a pregnant woman,” she tells PEOPLE. “There’s nothing wrong with seeing the shape of the bump.”
Her post now has over 4,000 likes, with many commenters coming to her defense.
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“You look great!,” wrote one commenter. “You are growing a baby – that’s a pretty amazing thing! Focus on the positive and keep doing what you are doing!”
“No women should have to hide their baby bump!” wrote another. “It’s a beautiful thing.”
The outpouring of encouragement has come as a shock to Morgan.
“It was surprising how most comments were so supportive,” she says. “It’s heartwarming. It’s amazing.”