Most pregnant women will agree that the moment their bump is noticeable, everyone they meet has an opinion about the size of the baby. Then the worry creeps in. You start to question yourself. Is the baby going to get bigger? Have I been eating too much or too little? But there’s really no need to worry. Pregnancy bellies come in many different shapes and sizes. There are plenty of reasons why you appear to be carrying a small or large baby, here are some of them.
#1: You’re Height
If you’re tall and have a long abdomen, your baby has a lot of growing space. Your uterus will tend to grow upwards rather than push outwards.
Result: your belly will look smaller.
If you’re a shorter woman, there’s a smaller space between your hip and your lowest rib. That means less room for the baby to grow upwards, so your uterus will push outwards instead.
Result: your bump will show earlier and look bigger.
#2: If you’re A First Time Mother to be
A woman having her first baby tends to have a more compact bump because the large abdominal muscles haven’t been stretched before. They are usually toned and tight, holding the baby snug and high. This can make you look smaller than you might expect at a given point in your pregnancy.
#3: Baby’s Position
Babies are pretty active in the uterus. They move around and change positions frequently, especially up to the end of the second trimester. During the last trimester, babies usually favor a head-down position, but can move their backs from one side to another, or even move into a posterior position (baby’s back against mother’s back). Your belly will change shape and size depending on the position your baby is in.
#4: You’re running out Of Room
When you’re housing a baby, placenta, cord and fluid, your internal organs have to fit somewhere. As the uterus grows, the intestines can be pushed behind it, making your belly look very round. Or your intestines might move to the sides of your uterus, making your belly appear big and ‘to the sides’.
#5: Baby’s Size
Genetics play an important part in the baby’s size. If both parents are tall then the baby will probably have the same traits. If both are average size, the baby is more likely to be petite and not very long. Babies tend to be in the same weight range as their parents. Birth order can also make a difference in how big your baby is likely to be. Boys are generally bigger at birth than girls, but unless you know, guessing the gender of your baby from the size and shape of your belly is not wise.
The truth is, no one can judge the size of your baby simply by looking at your belly not even your doctor or midwife. As your body changes at each different stage of pregnancy, you should not compare yourself with other women. Remember, every pregnancy is unique. Unless you have a medical condition, such as diabetes, or you’ve been suffering from severe and prolonged morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum), the size of your belly shouldn’t be a concern.
If you’re overly stressed about the size of your belly, talk to a consultant or doctor who’d be able to help you.