Polites shares photos of her pregnancy with her 1.2 million Instagram followers with good – and bad – results

By Julie Mazziotta
May 19, 2016 01:35 PM
Courtesy Hannah Polites

Hannah Polites pays no attention to the commenters on her Instagram account, she says she knows that her pregnancy is healthy.

The midwife and lifestyle blogger started sharing photos of her wellness-focused life with her 1.2 million Instagram followers in 2012, but since announcing her pregnancy, the comments have shifted to shocked and often mean discussions of her small baby bump.

“Unfortunately, it’s become common for society to comment on the health of a person simply from their size being different to what they perceive to be normal,” Polites, 25, tells PEOPLE. “However, I do not take the small amount of negative comments to heart, especially when I know I am making informed decisions when it comes to nutrition and exercise in pregnancy and motherhood.”

Polites thinks the negativity comes from how we treat pregnant women.

“Pregnancy is such an emotive topic for women,” she says. “In general, there is a lot of misinformation when it comes to nutrition and health in pregnancy. Society has become used to viewing pregnancy as an illness that needs to be treated rather than the normal physiological event that it is the majority of the time. We aren’t used to seeing strong pregnant women but the reality is that it’s more normal than not.”

Thankfully though, those comments are the minority, and most of Polites’ followers are thrilled for her.

“It was overwhelmingly positive to be honest, mainly with themes of inspiration, congratulations and encouragement,” she says.

And her baby, now six months along and due in late August or early September, is completely healthy.

“As I have a normal, low risk pregnancy, research does not support the need for any further ultrasound monitoring of the baby at this point,” Polites explains. “However, I see a primary midwife on a regular basis who ensures I am measuring appropriately for my gestation and checks on the babies and my wellbeing. We are both doing perfectly at the moment.”

It helps that she’s nourishing her baby well with organic, nutrient-rich foods, and working out to keep up her energy.

“I was very physically active before I fell pregnant, so I have luckily been able to continue with most of my training, making modifications as necessary as the pregnancy progresses,” Polites says. “I still currently participate regularly in strength training, reformer pilates, swimming and walking and find that this has been my saving grace in combatting fatigue, nausea and aches and pains common in pregnancy.”

“I don’t follow fad diets, or count calories and instead believe in nourishing my body with foods in their most natural state possible. I listen to my body and certainly don’t leave myself deprived or hungry. Although pregnancy adds some challenges, I want to show women that it’s not only achievable to maintain health and fitness during pregnancy but beneficial for the woman and her baby.”

What Polites really wants though, is for women to understand that all pregnancies are not the same.

“All pregnant bodies are beautiful,” she says. “It’s such a magical process to grow, sustain and birth new life. But, in saying that, we don’t all feel that elusive glow of pregnancy and there’s nothing wrong with that!”

“I think it’s important not to compare ourselves with other women, there is no right or wrong way to carry a baby and there is no universal standard of what a pregnant body should look like.”

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