Everything You Need to Know About Your Pregnant Belly

Pregnant woman showing her belly

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Wanting to know when your pregnant belly will announce the good news to the world is normal. But the real answer depends on you:

  • How many babies have you had?
  • How tall are you?
  • How much do you weigh?

These factors will all influence when your belly shows. Though it always shows sooner with your clothes off, so your husband or significant other will notice more quickly than the outside world.

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How Will Pregnancy Change My Body?

When Do You Need Maternity Clothes?

Maternity clothes depend on multiple factors as well. For example, if your clothes are already loose and you don't mind wearing them a bit tighter you can go for longer periods of time without getting maternity clothes. There are also items that you can buy to help you extend your now wardrobe by allowing you to not button your pants. That said, the majority of moms need to use some form of maternity clothing by around 16-20 weeks of pregnancy.

Who Gets Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks can happen to just about anyone. Some women will find that they simply have inherited skin that is more likely to have stretch marks. For example, did you get stretch marks during puberty? You are more likely to get stretch marks if you gain weight quickly if you have had stretch marks prior to pregnancy, if your family members had stretch marks, and if you have poor nutrition.

What Happens to My Belly Button in Pregnancy?

Your belly button will change in pregnancy. Sometimes a belly button will pop out. Sometimes it sorts of caves inwards and lays flat. If yours pops out and you don't like it, you can wear waistbands over your belly button. Sometimes the belly button is sore and that doesn't work. Covering it may help or hurt, do what feels best.

Ways to Commemorate Your Pregnant Belly

If you're like most women, you are amazed by your pregnant belly. There are ways to make memories of your belly. The two most popular ways are belly casts or belly masks and taking photos of your belly, particularly over time. Both can be done easily, though belly casts are more of a snapshot in time.

What Does My Belly Shape Mean?

Your belly shape can look like many things:

  • All out in front
  • Down low
  • Up high
  • All over

These don't mean much of anything other than that's your body type and baby's position. Some women have the same shape every pregnancy, while others vary with each baby. Some women are told it means that the baby is a girl or boy. It doesn't. But the guessing games are certainly fun!

By Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH
Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH is a professor, author, childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, and lactation counselor.