No, That Disappearing Baby Bump Video Is Not “Black Magic,” It’s a Belly Pump

By now, chances are that you've seen one of the viral videos going around showing what looks like a bunch of pregnant women magically making their baby bumps completely disappear. The video shows a woman with quite a sizeable baby bump seeming to “suck in her baby” until it looks like her stomach is completely flat. It's actually kind of insane to see. 

The video is actually a demonstration of a “belly pump,” an exercise technique developed by Brooke Cates CPT, CES, HHC, CRS Pregnancy + Post Birth Exercise Specialist and Founder of The Bloom Method. The Bloom Method is an entire exercise program designed to help keep a woman's core strong through pregnancy and the postpartum stages. She and her instructors filmed the videos to demonstrate the “belly pump,” which is one of the key moves that she teaches in her program. 

While the original videos, like this one of one of the instructors performing the exercise, were posted to the Bloom Method's Instagram page, someone took it upon themselves to also create a mash-up video of the belly pump move, which also went viral. Many people shared it and commented that the move was actually hurting the baby and that it was akin to “black magic.” 

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“No way this is remotely healthy for your baby or you. I call idiot card on this one,” wrote one concerned commenter. “So sad people are more worried about the latest trends and wanting to do them then what's safe,” wrote another. 

Image via Brooke Cates/ The Bloom Method

But Cates assures us that the move is definitely not black magic or even a big secret. It's simply what's possible for pregnancy when women learn how to properly engage their cores and maintain their abdominal strength during pregnancy. If anything, it's sad that women think anything else is “natural” during pregnancy.

You know how so many women joke about peeing their pants after having kids? Yeah, that's not normal. Cates started her program and her exercises specifically to counter what women think is “normal” during pregnancy; namely, expecting that having a baby means destroying your body and a life sentence of never being able to jump on a trampoline again. 

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The belly pump, in particular, occurs when a woman activates her muscles while engaging her pelvic floor and instead of disappearing like magic, the baby is simply moved up into the ribcage. It's actually a great demonstration of just how strong a woman's body is, especially during pregnancy. And while Cates has faced quite a lot of attention and backlash from the videos, she is staying positive and hopeful that the attention her videos have received will help educate people more about what a healthy pregnancy can really look like. 

“Since the day I decided to create The Bloom Method, my vision has been simple,” Cates said in a recent Instagram post. “To provide women with easy to implement tools that would provide them a lifetime of results and empower them deeply in their own skin! Whether you're pregnant or post birth, our tools will help you know & see your body in a new light.”

A new light that might just involve showing off a pretty cool party trick if you happen to be pregnant too …

Would you try the “belly pump?”

What do you think?

No, That Disappearing Baby Bump Video Is Not “Black Magic,” It’s a Belly Pump

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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