The debate began after eagle-eyed parenting vlogger Louise Pentland, who posts under the name Sprinkle of Glitter, tweeted ASOS to enquire about their strategy.
'Dear @ASOS,' she wrote. 'Why do you use models with weird fake bumps instead of pregnant models? I'm sure some are pregnant but a lot are fake :('
Dear @ASOS, why do you use models with weird fake bumps instead of pregnant models? I'm sure some are pregnant but a lot are fake :(— Louise (@LouisePentland) September 2, 2017
The company were quick to reply though, assuring Louise that they had the best interests of the models at heart.
'Model welfare is important to us,' they explained. 'We don't want pregnant models on their feet all day so we use a prosthetic maternity bump.'
Louise herself seemed satisfied with the response, but there were lots of others on the thread who pointed out that plenty of women worked throughout pregnancy. To make matters more complex, models are usually contracted on a freelance basis, and therefore are unlikely to receive maternity pay.
'sorry Asos but I worked 15 hour shifts in a busy pub over Christmas while 7 months pregnant.... just cause a women is pregnant.... doesn't mean she's a cripple!!! (unless they are actually crippled by pregnancy),', said one angry commenter.
Another questioned: 'Do you not have seats they can rest on inbetween?,' whilst a third added: 'But plenty of pregnant women are on their feet all day -sounds like a bit of a bulls**t answer to me.'
Others pointed out that by using fake bumps, they weren't giving an accurate impression of what the clothes would look like on real pregnant women.
'That's not giving an accurate image of what your clothing will look like on an actual pregnant woman though?!' said one commenter.
Another agreed: 'Be real. Have a real pregnant woman modelling your clothes sitting down knee deep in sensations (accurate representation of myself pregnant.)'
What do you think - should ASOS use pregnant models for their ranges? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!