A Rare Health Issue Caused This Woman's Baby Bump To Grow "Inside"

After being shamed for the size of her baby bump, mom-to-be Yiota Kouzoukas revealed that she actually had a "tilted" uterus for the first few months of her pregnancy — which might be why her bump appears smaller than you might expect for someone who is six months pregnant.

Kouzoukas wrote in an Instagram post earlier this month that she had been receiving comments about the size of her bump, and decided to address them by explaining what her doctor had told her.

"Not that I’m upset/affected by these comments at all, but more for the reason of educating in the hope that some people are less judgemental [sic] on others and even themselves," she wrote. "For the first 4 months of my pregnancy, my uterus was retroverted/tilted which means that I was growing backwards into my body rather than outwards."

Aaron Styer, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist, fertility specialist, and medical director of CCRM Boston in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, told Cosmopolitan that while your uterus can't exactly grow "backwards," a tilted uterus really is possible.

According to the American Pregnancy Organization, a tilted uterus (when a uterus is tipped towards the back of the pelvis) can occur for several reasons. The uterus may have just not moved forward as the woman matured, or in Kouzoukas' case, scarring from endometriosis could cause the uterus to shift.

"My uterus didn’t 'flip forward' until well into being 4 months pregnant because of the backwards tilted position paired with decade old endometriosis scarring that I have on my uterosacral ligaments," she wrote. "Basically, these ligaments are acting like anchors keeping my uterus 'inside' rather than 'outside,' which is why I appeared smaller than most people for the first 4 or 5 months."

The APO also explained that a tilted uterus should cause no issues during pregnancy, and that it usually will no longer be tipped "backwards" after about 10 to 12 weeks. Dr. Styer told Cosmo that the condition affects about one in five women, and "is normal and does not increase a woman’s risk for infertility or miscarriage."

Though it's not clear whether or not the condition actually causes a pregnant woman to gain weight at a slower pace, it's worth noting (as always) that everyone gains weight differently during pregnancy, and it's up to your doctor — not your Instagram followers — to decide whether or not that's a cause for concern.

Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.

Read these stories next:

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Why We're Probably Wrong About Pregnancy Weight Gain

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