At this point in pregnancy, many expectant mothers are worried. You may have been unwell and exhausted up until this point.
Your kid is fully formed at 12 weeks of pregnancy and all of his vital organs, including his liver, heart and kidneys, are in place.
Some of them are starting to function independently.
As your uterus grows, you experience a tightening sensation and your belly begins to feel firm.
But what if your 12 weeks pregnant belly not hard? Should this be a concern?
This guide will answer this question and explore some causes of belly not getting hard by the first trimester.
12 Weeks Pregnant Belly Not Hard
At 12 weeks, it is normal for the bellies of most pregnant women to alternate between being hard and soft.
However, a hard belly is a common symptom for most pregnant women at 12 weeks.
Nevertheless, the bellies of some women at this point remain soft, and this can be distressing for some.
Your pregnancy belly goes through a lot from the time you conceive until you have your baby.
At 12 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is nearly the size of a lime, which is double the size compared to the past three weeks.
Therefore, your stomach must physically change to accommodate the growing baby as your uterus expands.
Your belly will be more pronounced and it can be noticeable in some women while in others it may seem like they have just added extra weight.
At this point, some women’s bellies may start to get hard. Normally, the hardening of a pregnant belly starts at the end of the second trimester and feels similar to menstrual cramps.
It can begin as early as 12 weeks for some women when the uterus pushes against the abdominal wall and this gives it a tight and firm feel.
So if your 12 weeks pregnant belly has not yet hardened, you have nothing to worry about.
This is because the baby bump varies widely with the woman’s shape and size.
Some pregnant women rarely get a hard and defined belly throughout their pregnancy journey.
So, it should not be a call for concern if one woman’s belly is hard at 12 weeks while another one is not.
Nevertheless, you should not hesitate to contact your practitioner for any concerns you may have.
Why a Pregnant Woman’s Belly Becomes Hard
As your uterus expands, it pushes up against your abdominal wall, giving your belly that drum-like appearance and sensation.
Some of the most common reasons for 12 weeks pregnant belly not hard include:
1. Stretching of the Uterus
A woman’s uterus stretches fast during the first trimester of pregnancy to accommodate the developing fetus.
Sharp pain or stomach cramps could result. Due to the stretching of the muscles, you may suffer strong shooting pain on the sides of the belly in the first trimester of your pregnancy.
2. Changes in Digestion
Digestive changes cause a larger tummy or a tight feeling in early pregnancy.
Your intestines are being pushed upward by the uterus as it takes up more space in your pelvic.
The hormonal changes can make you gassier and this can slow down the rate at which food passes through the digestive tract.
Similarly, a hard belly can occur as a result of constipation when your body becomes dehydrated.
Constipation is a common hormonal fluctuation, especially in the first trimester, and can cause digestion to slow down, resulting in more gas and constipation. This can lead to the hardening of your belly.
While it is completely normal to experience a hard belly during the first trimester, this can also be a sign of miscarriage in some cases.
Usually, miscarriage occurs before 12 weeks and is accompanied by symptoms like vaginal bleeding with clots and painful lower back pain.
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact a doctor right away.
When Does Belly Start to Feel Hard During Pregnancy?
There is no definite answer for this as it can vary from one person to another.
Generally, the belly mat starts to feel hard during the second and third trimesters as the uterus grows and pushes against the abdominal wall.
This is also contributed by the stretching of muscles and ligaments around the uterus.
Again, the hardness will depend on the stage of your pregnancy, body type and shape, muscles tone, height, and whether this is your first child.
It can even depend on the time of day, as it may alternate between feeling soft and hard depending on the time.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, your belly can feel tight and heavy, more like a watermelon.
However, it is good to note that not every woman will get a defined belly even towards the end of the pregnancy term.
Why at 12 weeks Pregnant belly May Not be Hard
In most cases, you don’t have to fret if your 12 weeks pregnant belly not hard.
It is very normal to have a soft stomach at 12 weeks of pregnancy. This appears to be a prevalent complaint among pregnant women in their first two trimesters.
It all depends on the fetus’s size and location. Your belly will most likely get hard as your pregnancy progresses.
Don’t be too concerned about it. Also, something else to know is that it’s different for every woman.
The majority of women experience pregnancy symptoms shortly after learning they are pregnant.
However, many women do not detect their baby bump until late in the first trimester.
Many people identify pregnancy with firm, round bellies. But the truth is that women’s bellies vary greatly.
When you compare your pregnancy tummy to that of other women, it’s easy to get worried.
Women with a higher body fat percentage, for example, may be able to keep their soft tummy for longer. This is because their womb has more space to expand.
Also read: Pregnant Belly vs Fat Belly Difference
We hope that article has been helpful if you were wondering why your 12 weeks pregnant belly not hard.
Pregnancy takes you on an unusual journey. Your body becomes odd and feels achy.
This comes on top of all the feelings about life-changing forever. Stomach tightening is an unanticipated pregnancy symptom.
And we’re not just talking about the tight skin you get in the ninth month when you feel like you’re going to burst.
The reasons for stomach tightening and abs clenching vary per trimester.
Generally, if you’re pregnant, you can notice a tightening sensation in your tummy on some days. Sometimes, this can feel uncomfortable.
A tightening sensation in the stomach can occur as early as when you are 12 weeks pregnant.
However, if your belly is still soft at the end of the first trimester, there is nothing to worry about.
That is perfectly normal. However, it does not hurt to consult with your doctor if you feel that something is wrong.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a certain way that a pregnant belly should feel at 12 weeks?
The truth is that there is no such thing as a “normal” against which you can measure yourself.
Pregnant bellies come in all sizes, forms and hardness levels. Some women appear to be more pregnant while others have a smaller bump.
Hormones, muscle tone, body shape, pre-pregnancy weight and height as well as whether or not this is your first child can all influence how your belly appears and feels.
Could hardening of the belly be a warning sign for miscarriage?
A tightening sensation in your tummy, along with pain, during the first trimester of pregnancy, could indicate a miscarriage.
If the stomach tightening is a sign of a miscarriage, it will be accompanied by other symptoms like lower back pain and cramps, vaginal tissue or fluid passing and spotting or bleeding with clots.
Set an appointment with your doctor if you notice any of these signs.
Why does a pregnant belly seem to alternate between being hard and soft?
You may notice variations in your bump throughout the day. In the morning, many women say that their bellies are softer and smaller than in the evening.
This is due to your abdominal muscles loosening over the day.
Additionally, factors such as gas and contractions, as well as your baby’s position, may cause your belly to change in shape and size at different times of the day.
Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.
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