Concerns About Your Pregnant Belly

Being Worried Can Be Normal

pregnant belly
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Pregnancy is supposed to be a time of great joy. You are supposed to just enjoy the changes in your body and sit around glowing all day. But the truth is that many moms actually spend quite a bit of time worrying about how their pregnant belly looks. Here you will find five of the most frequently asked questions about the baby bump and why you probably don't need to worry at all!

Do You Have a Small Pregnant Belly? Is That Bad?

A small pregnant belly
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You're eating well. You're exercising. You're seeing your doctor or midwife for your prenatal appointments. But there is still this niggling thought when people tell you that your belly looks small for your gestational age. So what can you or should you do?

First remember that babies come in all sizes, as do bellies. Your doctor or midwife is monitoring your baby's size in relation to your due date and the size of your pregnant belly through a series of screenings, including measuring your abdomen at every visit once you reach fifteen-twenty weeks. This measurement tells them how much your belly is growing. Really strong abdominal muscles can prevent your abdomen from "hanging out" and make you look smaller, despite having a perfectly appropriately sized baby. In rare cases, you may have less amniotic fluid, called oligohydramnios. If you had this your doctor or midwife would tell you at your prenatal appointment and you would not measure correctly.

Is Your Pregnant Belly Too Big?

A big pregnant belly
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Having a big pregnant belly is not necessarily a problem. Sometimes it is how your baby is positioned in the uterus. Sometimes it's simply how your body is built. Your doctor or midwife is checking for problems with your pregnancy like polyhydramnios, having too much amniotic fluid and checking for twins. What other concerns do you have?

Is Your Pregnant Belly Too High?

A high pregnant belly
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Carrying high means that your baby is more up front and up high. This is typically simply how your baby is laying in your uterus. This is not an uncommon way to see women carry their babies, particularly in the first two thirds of pregnancy. You might hear people say things like "It looks like you swallowed a basket ball." Just shrug it off and take your concerns to your practitioner.

Are You Carrying Too Low This Pregnancy?

A low baby belly
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Carrying low can be a hard way to be pregnant. But if your pregnant belly feels low, you know it. Sometimes this happens more in second pregnancies, or more. This is simply because your body is used to pregnancy and the muscles are more stretched out.

Towards the very end of pregnancy, you may also notice that your baby drops or lightens. This can be an impending sign of labor, though not in the short term, just a preparation. Ask your practitioner for advice if you are feeling other signs of labor and you are not yet 37 weeks as this can be preterm labor.

Exercises like the pelvic tilts can really help you ease the pain it causes on your lower back. But carrying low does not mean that you're having a boy - that's just an old wive's tale.

Is Your Pregnant Belly Too Wide?

A wide pregnant belly
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It is easy to get swept away in the whole worry bandwagon when it comes to your pregnant belly. But carrying your baby wide can be largely due to your baby's position. Perhaps your baby is in a transverse lie, meaning he is in a side to side rather than head or bottom down position. Ask your doctor or midwife at your next visit to check to help easy your concerns.

If you were overweight prior to pregnancy, you may also feel like you are carrying more side to side than other pregnant women. Be sure that you are eating adequately and that you are eating foods that are good for you and not simply empty calories. Your practitioner can help you determine how much weight gain is right and healthy for your pregnancy.

Perhaps your concern is that you've got twins in your belly! That very well might be. Your practitioner can also help you answer that mystery at your next visit.

View Article Sources
  • Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. Gabbe, S, Niebyl, J, Simpson, JL. Fifth Edition.