The mom is pregnant again and still seriously fit — in fact, she even shared a nude photo showing off her slim figure to announce the baby's gender (it's a boy!).
In a progress update on Instagram yesterday, Stage shared a photo of her baby's ultrasound explaining that her second child's fetal development is right where it should be.
"Doctors appointment went great today," she captioned the image. "Baby is weighing a little over 2lbs with a strong heartbeat and huge hands lol Thanks for all of the well wishes."
Even though Stage kept her six-pack through the entirety of her first pregnancy, that isn't stopping Instagram trolls from attacking the expectant mom.
Some accuse her of "starving" her body of the necessary nutrients it needs during pregnancy, while others falsely stated that her unborn son's weight is too low — some even accused her of using a surrogate, claiming she couldn't stay so fit while pregnant.
"LOL A surrogate! I've literally heard it all!" Stage responded to one comment, which has since been deleted. "Are you attending the University of Instagram?"
"Your comment should win a award for being the most entertaining & ridiculous!" she continued. "I can also confirm as a mother of a baby who born almost 9lbs that it IS possible ... Anyway, I'm starting to feel really guilty because I'm taking away from your medical "studies"... probably best if you get off Instagram and do more research babes."
Although critics doubted Stage's healthy pregnancy the first time around, her first son James weighed over eight pounds at the time of his birth.
And even though Stage is receiving similar criticisms this time around, the pressure isn't stopping her from posting prenatal workouts and fitness tips. Read on to learn more about Stage's full story.
Stage's First Pregnancy
When Stage's six-pack remained intact and well-defined throughout her entire first pregnancy, she says it was a result of being super fit before getting pregnant.
After posting her first pregnancy photo, her Instagram following quickly grew to over one million, but Stage told Cosmopolitan that she didn't see what set her apart from all the other pregnant women on Instagram.
"I didn't think anything of the way I looked, I just thought, This is me," she said. "I think women are beautiful, and we're all different shapes and sizes. Some women don't show a lot when they're pregnant and my mom carried this way when she was pregnant. She didn't show until around six months, so I didn't think anything of it."
Stage even said that she was able to continue modeling lingerie and swimsuits up until the seven-month mark of her pregnancy, which is when she announced it to the 'Gram. In the photo above, she is seven months pregnant.
At nine months, Stage was attracting even more attention on Insta. After posting this photo (in what would be the her final pregnancy photo before giving birth) with the caption "Still waiting..." she received comments from "Wow! You look amazing!" to "My stomach gets like that when I smell chocolate."prevnext
The Rapid Weight Loss
On April 16, 2015, baby James was born at 8.7 pounds and 22 inches — a very healthy baby born with no complications.
"I was most surprised at how big James was!" Stage told Cosmo. "[Childbirth is] a different experience for everybody, but with me, it wasn't traumatic at all. There were no complications, so we were lucky."
In the two weeks that followed, Stage said she lost nearly all the 28 pounds of baby weight she had put on during her pregnancy. In a photo posted to Instagram just four days postpartum, there's not a single sign of her baby bump.
"James was a big baby," she told PEOPLE. "He was almost 9 pounds — so with that plus all the fluid, you lose a lot, so it took me a week or two to get down to [my pre-baby] weight," she said.
Stage said she waited five weeks to start exercising again per her doctor's orders, but she did go right back to her healthy diet (small, frequent meals). While she was in the hospital her mother-in-law even brought her fruit, veggies and chicken soup.
After having James and going back to posting skin-baring photos on Instagram, she received a fair amount of criticism from commenters, accusing her of using Photoshop or even questioning her parenting skills.
"I'm not sure why people attack me, especially as a new mom," she told PEOPLE. "I wish people wouldn't be so quick to make judgments, especially when they don't know me. I think as women, we should stick together, we should encourage, each other. We shouldn't bash each other, we shouldn't tear each other down."
She doesn't let the negative comments get her down, though.
"I try to not to read negative comments," she says. "I try to focus on my followers that have been so supportive. Those are the ones that really motivate me."prevnext
Stage's Second Pregnancy
Just like with her first pregnancy, Stage says she's received flak for the size of her baby bump. "I could eat a taco and look more pregnant than that!" one person commented on her Instagram birth announcement. Someone else wrote, "Is the child underdeveloped or a damn jelly bean, cause her stomach makes no sense?"
But Stage isn't letting the hate make her nervous or anxious about her baby's health. "The majority [of comments] are very supportive and positive, so I focus on that," she told Cosmo. "The entire [first] pregnancy, I felt reassured from the feedback from my doctor, which was always that the baby was measuring normal and healthy. The same goes for this pregnancy."
She shared the exciting baby news on Instagram with a naked photo, which shows more of her six-pack than her baby bump. In another similar snap, she revealed she is six months pregnant and can feel her "sweet baby kicking up your heels."
She credits her own ebook for her current state of fitness, since most of her workouts these days are done at home while James, now a toddler, is napping.
"Having a toddler makes it tricky to have the time [to work out]," she said.
She works out three to five times per week, mostly weight training — just with lighter weights. She's a big fan of exercises that get her heart rate up, like squats, lunges and ab work.prevnext
More Backlash During Her Second Pregnancy
Eek!! #6MonthsPregnant this week! ?? Doing some at home workouts from my Fitness ebook ???(LINK IN BIO) #momlife with a toddler is crazy but #NoExcuses right? Also, some of you asked about healthy snack options and I love @proteinworld bars they are great for on the go! ALSO, Baby is perfectly fine in my tummy nice and safe while I work out. My doctor has given me the OK to continue exercising while pregnant but if you're expecting please check with your dr. first since everyone is different !
The mom of one shared a video earlier this month of a core-centric workout, in which she can be seen doing Russian twists, crunches, standing side crunches and planks, among other moves.
Once again, she made it clear to her followers that her doctors approved her active lifestyle during the pregnancy.
"Doing some at home workouts from my Fitness ebook," Stage wrote in the Instagram caption. "ALSO, Baby is perfectly fine in my tummy nice and safe while I work out. My doctor has given me the OK to continue exercising while pregnant but if you're expecting please check with your dr. first since everyone is different !"
The ever-vocal Instagram commenters had a lot to say, giving their two cents (as usual) about her belly size, but also voicing their concerns over the safety of the workout routine.
"Are you allowed to lie on your back because you're on the smaller side?!" one pregnant woman asked. "I wish I could do crunches, but my doctor told me after the first trimester to not lay on my back. (This is my 4th child and [I] always am told the same thing)."0comments
While we're happy Stage is following the advice of her doctor, and the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians calls for 20-30 minutes per day of moderate-level activity for pregnant women, it's important to emphasize her note about all pregnancies being different; everyone should check with their OB-GYN before continuing with their normal exercise routine.
Photo Credit: Instagram / @sarahstageprev