Being petite is usually pretty awesome. Discount clothes from the kids' section? Check! Boys of all heights want to date us? Check! Getting carded when ordering a cocktail at Applebee's at ladies night out while everyone else is assumed to be of age? Check! And we get to use the cute slogan of being 'fun size'! There are a million reasons why being a tiny girl and mom is so wonderful.
But when it comes to being a tiny pregnant mom, some things aren't so awesome. We probably get an abundance of negative comments and speculations on how tiny our baby will be, but being a petite prego doesn't automatically mean those genes will pass on to our children.
These people are probably just jealous that we can still fit into our pre-pregnancy pants at five months into our pregnancy, or they aren't giving us enough credit for being on the same journey as them while being so tiny.
There are also some downsides to being so tiny while pregnant, especially when it comes time to deliver. And everyone knows that while we can technically shop in the kids' section, there isn't a maternity section in the junior department!
Here are some struggles we face while being pregnant and tiny...
You are short, round, and full of hormones. And you kind of resemble a beach ball with legs because of your size. Your size is also what might get you mistaken for a teen mom. Teen moms are still developing and are generally smaller, so it's easy to see where the confusion takes place.
And if you forget your wedding ring that morning, you will be getting plenty of stares and comments about your emerging belly. While it isn't nice, that's the reality that teen moms face when they go out, and petite moms receive those same looks! You are especially thought to be a teen mom from behind or the side, when your face or wedding ring isn't visible.
If you get any of those rude comments or stares, just flash a smile and move along - those people don't know you or your situation. Or you can let the hormones rage because it's your pregnancy and you can cry/scream if you want to! Everyone deserves to enjoy their pregnancy without judgment!
Gaining weight while you are pregnant isn't that hard, especially when it comes to all of those wonderful pregnancy cravings!
But when you're already tiny to start with, the size of your belly in comparison to the rest of your body can make it seem like you aren't eating enough calories. It's a complete myth that you should gain a ton of weight during your pregnancy to make sure that you and your baby are getting all of the vitamins and nutrients you and your baby need. It's generally recommended that you gain around 26-35 pounds during the course of your pregnancy, and consume only an extra of 300 calories more than your usual healthy diet.
As long as you are eating a healthy, and preferably a colorful variety of foods, don't mind the judgy looks. It can be difficult to gain what seems to be the 'appropriate' amount of weight to everyone else, but as long as you and your baby are healthy, that's all that counts!
From behind, your tiny frame still appears quite small, and you probably don't even look eight or nine months pregnant to anyone else until you turn to the side. But, with only so much room between your head and your toes on your already teeny tiny frame, where else can your baby go?
Babies usually jut straight out on a petite frame, which can be really surprising for everyone around you to see! While you may be used to looking down and seeing this giant bump protruding outwards, to everyone else it looks like you have a basketball hiding under your shirt.
Be sure to make a belly cast of your shape so you can remember just how your baby sat within your frame, and you'll probably laugh about how big your belly stuck out, too!
With a shorter build, your internal organs are pretty squished to accommodate the size, shape, and position of your baby. One of your organs is your bladder. Normally, pregnant women find themselves in the restroom more often because of all that extra pressure from the baby pushing on their bladder. But for a tiny mom, that pressure seems more intense because the baby lacks the room to move anywhere other than on top of your bladder!
So with every bounce, kick, and alien-resembling elbow stretch across your belly, your bladder will probably feel like it can't even hold an ounce of liquid without you running the risk of peeing when you sneeze in the perfume aisle at Walmart.
Panty liners prove to be really useful when you approach the later months of pregnancy!
Being tiny and very pregnant can leave you a little clueless as to what to wear when stepping out of the house. Pajamas and your husband's work t-shirts aren't always appropriate, especially if you have older kids to pick up from school. And while you might have been accustomed to shopping in the junior's department, they certainly don't cater to the maternity crowd. Maternity shirts, pants, and outfits seem to be made for 5'5'' and taller, and accommodate their sizes for larger than a tiny girl's A-cup bra size. You might be larger in the chest area, but not all tiny women are.
You will probably find about 3-5 random items online or in the store (if you're lucky!) that will fit and flatter your bump perfectly, while the rest of the store disappoints. Good thing pregnancy only lasts 9 months...
Speaking of pregnancy terms, shorter women tend to have shorter pregnancies, according to some recent studies. It is believed that the fetus grows as large as it can within the mother's body (genetics accounted for), but when it runs out of room, which is the case for most short women, her body can possibly trigger preterm labor to give birth to her 'fully grown' baby. Or so her body believes. This isn't the case for everyone, but it isn't unheard of either.
You should consider the fact that there are a lot of other factors that contribute to preterm labor, not just your size. And just because you are tiny doesn't mean that you are guaranteed a shorter pregnancy.
You never really know how your pregnancy or birth will go until it's time! Trust your body, and your doctor.
Your doctor will talk to you during your prenatal appointments about the birth, and what to expect. They will most likely talk you down from your anxious and nervous thoughts if you choose to share those feelings with them, as well. And...if you're a petite pregnant woman, they will oftentimes consider the possibility of performing a C-section to deliver your sweet pea.
Plenty of women who are tiny have given birth naturally, with the support of their doctor and their partner (and plenty of nurses on standby). Sometimes there's an operation room on standby, just in case, anything goes downhill during the delivery process.
But with our slender frame and narrow hips, doctors don't typically recommend attempting natural childbirth through your lady bits due to the assumed risks that the baby may get stuck, you may hemorrhage, and the birth may result in a casualty or two. So, we are labeled as a C-section must, and not really given another option to deliver our babies.
Forget your bladder, what about your lungs? Don't us pregnant mothers need to breathe, too? Especially with the heaving and ho-ing that we do just to put our slip-on sneakers on so we can attempt to go to our weekly prenatal yoga class and socialize a little. Getting out of bed can be pretty exhausting in itself, understandably so because you are probably feeling like you just don't have enough room for an entire baby in your abdomen.
Luckily, only the last couple months of pregnancy will seem as if your insides are squished like a car being crushed in a compactor! Until then, prop up those piggies of yours, and watch the latest episode of This Is Us. Your pregnancy hormones will love a good cry, and you can focus on something other than your silly need to do something natural like breathe when there's a baby to be developed!
Naturally, the last few months of pregnancy will gain you some gawking stares. How is she even pregnant with being that small? The basketball under your shirt will protrude outside of your personal bubble so much that strangers will feel compelled to touch the cute little pregnant gal's tummy as they ask, "Are you having twins?"
Don't blame the universe, blame your adorable, yet troublesome, genetics. You are tiny, after all, and tiny girls have earned the term of being 'fun-sized'. To strangers who don't know any better, your what-seems-to-be-ginormous belly would look perfectly normal on someone at least 5-6 inches taller than you! Unfortunately, your fun-size gives you no room to hide your belly even by a little, and you probably appear to really be carrying two whole babies in your expanding stomach.
Don't fret, it just comes with being a tiny mom! One day, your 10-year-old will probably be just as tall as you ;).
Before I was pregnant, I loved to challenge myself with the groceries. I would try to loop all of the grocery bags on my arms before heading into the house. I would even try to wrestle a case of plastic water bottles with my semi-available hands just to avoid multiple trips out to the car.
When you are tiny and sporting a beach ball for a belly, however, carrying in the groceries by yourself becomes quite the feat. Your belly is in the way of everything - and forget carrying in that case of water bottles! You are probably going to need a little help, or a lot of patience because it's going to take more than a few trips back and forth between the kitchen and the trunk of your car for you to get everything in by yourself.
So if you've decided on a trip to Costco to stock up before the baby arrives with huge cases of toilet paper and paper towels, you might want to enlist some help!
Well, once you've conceived that precious little poppy seed in your belly, your belly decides to tell the world the news without your knowledge. Not just a simple food baby, your belly's new real estate lease has gone through and is expanding full steam ahead.
And whether or not you've decided to wait to tell your family until after the third trimester (in case of a miscarriage or medical problems), your belly might be doing all the talking for you! Without anywhere to go, your uterus will grow and grow and grow, just as that poppy seed begins changing into a grape, and then an apple, and so on.
You might not need to spring for that pair of maternity pants just yet, but your skinny jeans won't be so forgiving for too much longer after you've received the news that you're expecting!
Baby showers are wonderful for the new mom to show off her bump, get some much-needed gifts for her new life as a mother and for the new life she's bringing into the world (ahem, cash!). Tiny moms already have trouble finding pre-pregnancy clothing and maternity clothes that fit and flatter. Now, you need to find that perfect baby shower dress for the party planned in your honor!
Being that you're extremely small already, finding that beautiful dress can be a little daunting. Maxi dresses are the most popular (probably because they perfectly hide your 8-month pregnant cankles) and are much more easy to walk in due to how flowy they are. But with your height, beach ball shape, and tiny everything else, you might be better off finding a dress that fits well enough and have the hem altered to your height!
Everyone deserves to feel beautiful on the day of their baby shower, especially with all the cameras pointed right at you. Don't feel bad if your dress needs a little hemming, after all. You were bound to already have that done for prom back in the day, right?
It's true, pregnant women waddle! We waddle enough to resemble a drunk penguin who needs a chiropractor badly. But the tiny and pregnant waddle even more! Perhaps it's the size of our babies in our bellies compared to the rest of our overall weight that has us swaying side to side through Target with our baby registry scanner, or the desire to walk a little funnier than usual to prevent the baby's head from pressing straight down on our bladder.
Hey, accidents happen. Right in the middle of Target. Just saying.
Because we are so tiny already, our waddle is much more pronounced and way more hilarious for bystanders to witness. Nothing can be done about the waddle, unfortunately, just be careful you don't roll an ankle in the process!
Giving birth to a big baby is scary for all moms. Especially mothers who are determined to give birth naturally. That's right, those crunchy mamas who want to give birth to their 10 lb. babies without any epidural or help! And more power to them!
When a smaller woman is told she has a very large baby in her belly, usually the first thought to go through your mind is, "Okay, will the baby get stuck?" Things are a little different for a petite woman, and all considerations should be made as to what is the safest route. Of course, your doctor will spend plenty of time discussing that with you - if they don't, it's time to find a new one!
With modern medicine and technology at hand, even tiny moms can safely give birth (no matter what fashion) to healthy little tots and tikes.
For some reason, when a petite woman is pregnant, she is also hungry. Hungrier than usual. Growing a tiny human being takes up a lot of extra energy, requires some extra calories, and triggers some serious mood swings.
And that hangry feeling you're experiencing isn't always solved by a chocolate bar and a forehead kiss. After the stint of morning sickness has passed with the first trimester, you may find yourself consistently snacking with your nose shoved into the Cheez-its box.
Be sure to include some fresh fruits and veggies in your diet to keep a little more balance in your belly. This will also help manage any risk for gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced hypertension you may have or develop from constantly eating! Feel free to sneak in plenty of ice cream and pickles, though. You still need to satisfy a few of those normal and oh-so-fun cravings!
Sources: Fit Pregnancy, What To Expect, Web MD