Celeb Style Maeve Madden
Influencers are posting before-and-after photos to show how bloated women’s bodies can get during their periods

Maeve Madden

  • Influencers are showing the reality of how much their bodies bloat before and during their periods.
  • Period bloat is completely normal and occurs due to hormonal changes which result in water retention.
  • Influencers are being praised for posting side-by-side images taken just days apart to show the reality of how their bodies bloat around their periods.
  • “It is chaos, physically and mentally, for at least a week,” personal trainer and fitness influencer Maeve Madden told Insider.
  • Here are 10 women showing the reality of period bloat.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Although each woman is differently affected by her menstrual cycle, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who says she doesn’t experience any sort of discomfort both before and during her period.

For many women, one of these unpleasant consequences is bloating.

Your stomach feels swollen and hard, you may feel puffy all over — it’s not pleasant.

Period bloat is completely normal and occurs due to hormonal changes which result in water retention, however, it’s not something many people talk about publicly.

For this reason, influencers who do show the reality of how their bodies change around their periods are being praised by their followers.

Related Video: Why Women Wait Longer for the Bathroom Than Men

When personal trainer Courtney Pruce, for example, posted on her Instagram story that she was feeling “fluffy and swollen” due to her period, she received so many messages that she had to delete the post as her inbox was so overwhelmed.

“The general theme of the messages I received were all much of the same; lots of women sharing their past or repeated experience with getting the same physical affects pre-period,” she told Insider.

Equally, London-based fitness influencer Maeve Madden recently shared two side-by-side images taken just a few days apart to show how much she bloats around her period, and she was wowed by how much it resonated.

Maeve Madden is a London-based fitness influencer in her 30s.
Maeve Madden is a London-based fitness influencer in her 30s.

Maeve Madden

Madden told Insider that the lead-up to her period is “chaos, physically and mentally, for at least a week.”

She said that her bloat was particularly bad due to the extra stress of being under lockdown.

“I often talk about my period and the effects, especially not to feel guilty when taking time off to rest the body,” she said.

“But this month was different, with the stress of COVID-19 there has been a huge effect on the body hormone balance, resulting in delayed, irregular, and heavy periods. This month for me I was way more anxious, swollen, and emotional than before, and I knew other women could relate to this.”

Madden explained that she received an influx of direct messages in response to the post, but actually not as many public comments as she’d expected, which she found sad.

“In 2020, is speaking openly about your period still a taboo subject? It’s something women have had since the dawn of time … It blows my mind,” she said.

Madden’s advice for women is to “track your cycle, know when it’s coming, understand your body, and listen to how you’re feeling.

“When someone tells you, ‘Oh just drink water to debloat,’ tell them where to go. Every body is different. I generally lead a healthy balanced lifestyle, and it happens to us all.

“If you know it’s coming you can prepare yourself for it, although every month I still have a meltdown and want to quit my job.”

Here are 10 influencers showing the reality of period bloat.

Maeve Madden

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A post shared by Maeve Madden (@maeve_madden) on 

Alongside images taken just a few days apart, Madden said she was so swollen that her hands “looked like sausages.”

“Yes your sweatpants really do get tighter during your period, even my bra doesn’t fit and they are so sore.”

Hayley Madigan

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A post shared by Hayley Madigan (@hayleymadiganfitness) on 

Trainer Hayley Madigan posted photos taken two days apart to highlight how much her body changes in the lead-up to her period.

She recommended avoiding weighing yourself and sticking to low-intensity workouts.

Victoria Grimes

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A post shared by Victoria Grimes🇨🇦 (@victoriadariano) on 

Fitness influencer Victoria Grimes told her followers that not only does her stomach bloat during her period but her energy drops drastically, she feels depressed, she gets cramps, an upset stomach, and gas, and she’s “moody and emotional.”


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A post shared by Lauryn (@lifting_lauryn) on 

Fitness micro-influencer Lauryn showed how different her body looks before and after her period by posting two photos taken just nine days apart.

“No, I wasn’t pushing out my stomach in the picture on the left … I just had so much bloating that my belly was hardened and poked out from my bust and down,” she said.

Janice Liou

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A post shared by Yoga Teacher | Digital Creator (@janiceliou) on 

“Camera angles are real, period bloat is real, the up and downs of life are real … but you know what? You’re not alone,” said yoga teacher Janice Liou.

Erika Weiss

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A post shared by Erika Weiss | Fitness Mentor (@workoutswitherika) on 

Personal trainer Erika Weiss pointed out that bloating is just water retention and is caused by a number of factors.

“Bloating is caused by water retention and can occur after huge DELICIOUS meals, PMS, heavily drinking on the weekends, traveling — you name it … it’s NORMAL,” she wrote.

Gabrielle Rodriguez

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A post shared by Gabrielle Rodriguez (@gabsfit15) on 

Fitness influencer Gabrielle Rodriguez shared photos of her PMS body with and without posing and said: “Just because you see girls AND guys working angles and lighting, doesn’t mean they don’t have days where they feel like a whale too.”

Instead of seeking ways to counteract bloat, she’s urging her followers to embrace it.

Rachel Osiecki

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A post shared by Rachel (Ryan) Osiecki (@rachel.osiecki) on 

Rachel Osiecki highlighted how simply by flexing or posing in a certain way, it’s possible to hide period bloat in a photo.

“There are so many reasons your stomach may not be flat and all of them are natural,” she said.


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A post shared by ✨Kaitlin✨ (@trainerkaitlin) on 

Personal trainer Kaitlin stressed that period bloat, much like bloat of any kind, is not weight gain.

“[Your body] will change throughout the month,” she said. “As we menstruate, as we ovulate, as we enjoy the f— out of our Thanksgiving meal. IT’S OK!”


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A post shared by Dace (@dace.fitness) on 

ersonal trainer Dace described her period bloat as her “five months pregnant look.”

“My stomach hurts and actually almost every muscle in my body is sore,” she added.

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