Every woman who has gotten pregnant can relate to being scrutinized over the size of their belly.
While some are being told that their pregnancy belly is too big, some have been scrutinized for being too small.
No matter what size your belly may be, you will always be the subject of their attention.
Almost everyone you meet will have an opinion on how big or small your pregnancy belly is. So don’t let it bother you too much.
If you are wondering, however, why does my pregnant belly look smaller some days, that’s a different story.
You may be getting nervous that your baby is too small inside your belly or that there’s something wrong with him.
It is normal to worry about this especially if you are a first time mom. But you shouldn’t let the size of your belly scare you.
There are plenty of reasons that make you look like you have a small or a big pregnancy belly. And some of these reasons don’t even have anything to do with your pregnancy.
In this article, we’ll be talking about the different things that affect the size of your belly.
We’ll also go through some of the common concerns of your pregnancy belly.
Why Does My Pregnant Belly Look Smaller Some Days?
You may have just made the big announcement to your family and friends.
And now, you’re waiting for the time when your belly will show so other people can know you’re pregnant.
Unfortunately, you may be wondering why does my pregnant belly look smaller some days and why does it look larger on other days?
The truth is, the size of your belly is not the only thing that determines how big or small your baby is. Throughout your pregnancy, your belly size actually depends on you instead of your baby.
This is why you shouldn’t compare your belly size with a friend’s or a sibling’s.
Here are some of the factors that answer your question:
1.) This is Your First Pregnancy
If this is your first pregnancy, your belly may appear more compact compared to someone on her third or fifth pregnancy.
This is because your large abdominal muscles in the area have not been stretched before. These muscles are usually tight and toned.
And this is particularly true if you were never on the heavy side. Your muscles in the area are able to hold your baby snuggly and high.
As a result, you may look smaller than what you would expect throughout your pregnancy.
2.) You’ve Had Previous Pregnancies
Contrary to the first reason, having a previous pregnancy will affect your abdominal muscles.
This is because the muscles on your belly stretches so that your growing baby can be accommodated.
After you give birth, these muscles stay flexible and are no longer as toned as they were before.
When you get pregnant again, your bump may appear earlier and even look bigger. However, this does not mean your baby is larger than the first.
It’s simply because your first pregnancy has altered your body.
3.) Your Height
Another factor that can affect your belly size is your height. If you are tall and you have a long abdomen, there will be a lot of growing space for your baby.
It’s also possible that your uterus will grow upwards instead of push outwards. As a result, your belly appears smaller.
Meanwhile, if you are short, the space between your hip and lowest rib will be limited.
So instead of growing upwards, your uterus will push outwards to accommodate your growing baby.
This is why your belly may appear bigger.
4.) No Room Left
Throughout your pregnancy, your body will accommodate a baby, placenta, fluid, and cord. But despite that, your internal organs still need to fit in your body.
One way your body will accommodate your uterus’ growth is by pushing your intestines behind it. This will make your belly look very round.
It’s also possible that your intestines will move to the sides of your uterus. If this happens, your belly will appear big and wide.
5.) Amniotic Fluid Content
Another factor that answers your question why does my pregnant belly look smaller some days is the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby.
This is because this fluid tends to fluctuate every hour.
In your first 20 weeks of pregnancy, most of the fluid comes from your own body.
But as your pregnancy progresses, your baby will produce more amniotic fluid; which comes from urine output and lung secretions.
Too much or insufficient amniotic fluid can be a cause of some pregnancy problems. Get your doctor’s advice on this.
6.) Your Baby’s Position
While your baby is in your uterus, he can be very active and move around. And as you near the end of your second trimester, your baby may change position frequently.
In the last trimester, however, your baby will turn his body downwards. This is in preparation for delivery.
Despite this, it’s still possible for your baby to move his back from side to side.
Your baby may even move to a posterior position, where his back is against your back.
Try to remember these things the next time you wonder why your pregnancy belly looks smaller on some days.
7.) The Size of Your Baby
Lastly, the size of your baby can play a role on how big or small your pregnancy belly is. But this all boils down to genetics.
If you and your partner are tall, it’s possible that your baby will inherit those traits.
But if you and your partner are average-sized, your baby may not be very long and be more petite.
In addition to your height, your baby will likely be the same weight range as you or your partner’s.
Lastly, subsequent babies are usually larger at birth compared to their older siblings.
And if you’re having a boy, he will generally be bigger at birth compared to a girl. This, however, is not an indicative way of guessing your baby’s gender.
If you are really concerned about the size of your belly, it’s best to talk to your doctor.
He may be the only one to reassure you that you and your baby are safe.
Pregnancy Belly Concerns
There are other things that contribute to your pregnancy belly’s size. These are the common ones that you should know about:
1.) You Appear Wider
If you have a wide belly, it may be because your baby is in a transverse position. This means that he is laying side to side instead of up or down.
Your doctor or caregiver will usually be able to determine this.
Normally, this isn’t a cause of concern. But if upon delivery, your baby doesn’t flip into a head-down position, you may need to undergo a cesarean section.
2.) You Look Small or Big
Even though you are eating well, exercising, and follow through with your prenatal checkups, you may encounter some comments saying that you look small for your gestational age.
Some people will even question whether you’re eating enough for you and your baby.
On the contrary, some will even comment that you are eating too much. If this is the case, you shouldn’t let it bother you.
As long as your midwife or doctor is monitoring your baby’s size according to your due date, you have nothing to worry about.
In either case, it could simply be because of the amniotic fluid in your belly.
Your doctor will continually measure and monitor your belly size so don’t feel bad about the comments you receive.
3.) You’re Carrying High
There are some women who carry their babies up high and front. Some will even comment that you look like you swallowed a basketball.
In the first two trimesters of your pregnancy, your baby will likely settle into your womb this way.
There are also some women who carry their pregnancies this way until the end.
The reason behind this is because of your strong abdominal muscles.
Take note: There will be some who will say that the way you carry your baby in your belly can be an indication of the gender. There is no truth to this.
It is simply an old wives’ tale that has been used so many times in the past.
4.) You’re Carrying Low
Although this is uncomfortable, there are some pregnant women who are built to carry their babies this way.
This is common with women who are on their second or third pregnancy.
The reason for this is because the muscles and ligaments have already stretched and weakened before.
As a result, they are unable to hold up the womb like the first pregnancy.
This also gives an illusion that your baby has dropped in preparation for delivery, especially if you are nearing the end of your pregnancy.
Remember though that not all babies do this. There are some who only drop when labor starts.
Also read: 12 Weeks Pregnant Belly Not Hard
Frequently Asked Questions
Can your baby bump look smaller some days?
Yes. Your pregnancy belly can expand throughout the day yet still appear small the next morning.
According to doctors, this is all because of your abdominal muscles that have gotten tired of holding your baby bump’s weight.
As a result, they loosen and expand; making you look bigger. When you go to sleep, however, the muscles are able to rest as well.
When you wake up the next day, the muscles are able to tightly hold your baby again. And this will make your belly look smaller.
Is it normal for your belly size to fluctuate during pregnancy?
Yes. There are a number of factors that affect the size of your pregnancy belly.
There is no “normal” belly shape, size, or appearance when you are pregnant so don’t feel pressured with any comments you may receive.
Is it normal to look pregnant one day and not the next?
Yes. As mentioned, there are factors that will affect your pregnancy belly size.
Your abdominal muscles also have to take a break from holding your growing belly. And as a result, you may appear more pregnant than the day before.
There is no one formula as to how your belly will look when you are pregnant.
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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