Joy-Anna Duggar Accused of 'Outshining' 'Best Friend' Carlin Bates on Wedding Day

Joy-Anna Duggar recently joined best friend Carlin Bates at her wedding. The pregnant Duggar was by her pal's side while she said her I Dos, and now she's facing backlash for outshining the bride on her big day.

Duggar posted photos from the special day on her and husband Austin Forsyth's joint Instagram account, showing herself standing next to the bride cradling her growing baby bump. Fans flocked to the comments section to accuse Duggar of trying to steal Bates' thunder. Many suggested she and her other pregnant sisters were touching their bellies too much in photos from non-baby-related occasions, accusing them of being rude and inconsiderate.

"You and your preg sisters need to stop putting hands on your bellies ... it's not your time to shine, good grief!!" One commenter wrote.

"It's a nice picture but does she have to cradle her baby bump in EVERY picture? Enough already. I'd like to see one picture where she doesn't," another said.

"Should you really try to outshine the bride by showing your baby bump?" a third commented.

Duggar didn't weigh on on the drama, as usual, but Bates did. It appears, at least based on her comment on the picture, that she wasn't bothered at all by her best gal pal holding her baby bump in the picture.

"Aww ... Thank you for all you did in making our day perfect! Couldn't have done it without you!! Y'all are the best! Love you bunches," Bates wrote.

Duggar isn't the first public figure to face such criticism. Meghan Markle was also slammed for holding her baby bump too much during her pregnancy. Katherine Graves, founder of KG Hypnobirthing, told Daily Mail it's perfectly normal — and very healthy — for expectant mothers to touch their stomachs often during pregnancy, however. In fact, it's encouraged.

"It's a positive thing for both mom and baby to touch and reassure baby, which is vital for baby's bonding and well-being, staving off postnatal depression and facilitating healthy connection for all," she said at the time. "It has been shown time and time again that babies recognize what they have experienced in the womb after they are born. If touching her bump does nothing more than help Meghan feel calm, even that will have a profound effect on her baby."

It seems unlikely Duggar will take the criticism to heart. She's made it very clear that she and her husband are thrilled about this second pregnancy. Since announcing that they were expecting, the couple has posted several updates about their impending bundle of joy, including sonogram photos and videos. On May 7, Duggar shared a video from her 10-week scan, writing that she was "Looking forward to meeting this baby."


Duggar and Forsyth welcomed their first baby in February 2018, according to E! Online. Gideon Martyn Forsyth was born on Feb. 23, 2018. They confirmed his arrival in a statement on the family website.

"Joy and Gideon are doing very well and we are just in love with this new little addition!!" the couple said in a statement.