Throughout a pregnancy, women tend to analyze each moment. We scrutinize every kick, each craving, and every new stretch mark wondering if everything is normal. We wonder about the future with our baby. We keep questioning if we will be a good Mama, and if we have other kids, how they will get along? We have questions about everything.
Our baby bumps are no different. Looking at our bumps, we wonder how it is possible for a baby to actually fit inside our bodies. We rub our hands over the emerging bump, feeling it from every angle and trying to tell exactly where our precious bundle is at that precise moment in time.Some bumps develop slowly and then pop out; announcing our well-kept secret to the entire world. Other bumps, especially in subsequent pregnancies, make their appearance sooner. These rapid belly changes can confirm our pregnancy suspicions.
Yes, baby bumps are special! They are also very different. Even in later pregnancies when we think we know what we will look like during pregnancy since we have experience now, our bumps prove just how wrong those notions are. All baby bumps are different, from one woman to the next, and also from one pregnancy to the next.
What determines what our bump will look like? Several factors influence the size, shape, and overall appearance of our baby bump. Here are seven reasons why no two baby bumps are the same:
7 #No Two Babies are Exactly the Same
The most obvious reason that no two baby bumps are the same is because no two babies are. Each baby lies in a different position. A mama carrying a baby who has not yet descended to the head down position will have a bump that looks different from a mom who has an already engaged little one. Likewise, a transverse baby will stretch our bumps in a completely different way than a head down or a breech baby. Each position a baby can take brings a change to our expanding bellies.
Then there is that whole matter of size. Some babies are chunky monkeys right from the very beginning, and others are not. With birth weights ranging from barely a pound to over twenty pounds, it is no wonder that our baby bumps are unique. A bump holding a tiny baby will look different than one holding a larger wee one.
Your Baby's Movements Matter Too
In addition to size, your baby's movement also has to be taken into consideration when explaining bump differences because of the baby. Babies who are super active will kick and roll frequently, making our bumps morph in strange, alienesque ways. You will just get used to how your belly looks, and then with a strong kick and a change of position, it now looks completely different. In contrast, baby bumps housing calmer babies will reflect an occasional kick or roll, but with less effect on our overall bump shape.
Our baby’s unique personalities begin to show right away, even in the womb. Ea ch child is special, and different from all the others. Thus, having a distinctive bump for each baby should not come as surprise for all expecting mamas.
6 #No Two Women are Identical
Those special, unique children grow up to be differing adults. That means that each woman has a distinct body structure, height, posture, and weight. These are just four of the many elements of womanhood that change the way our baby bumps appear.
Taller or slender women will carry a baby differently than shorter or plumper women. Our personal size and shape have to be accounted for in bump differences. Some bumps look like basketballs, others like watermelons. Some are up high, and some are low. Our individual differences play a role in the shape our baby belly will take.
The way that we walk also affects the way that our baby bump will look. When we are walking with good posture, our body offers more support for our wee baby as compared to when we slouch or walk with shoulders hunched and our head pointing down. Since movement can affect our posture, women who are working at a desk job and sitting all day could carry the baby differently than women who are moving around more throughout the day.
How Many Times Have You Been Pregnant?
The number of pregnancies that we have had also affects our baby bump. Women who are pregnant for the first time will likely exhibit a smaller bump that appears later in the pregnancy. Those first bumps can grow slowly and often look smaller. On the other hand, subsequent pregnancies tend to bring a visible baby bump sooner because our bodies have already carried a baby and stretched. These bumps may look larger, and people may even ask if you are expecting twins!
5 #Our Bodies Change
Those stretching muscles are not the only way our bodies change during pregnancies. We get flooded with a variety of hormones. Our activity level may change because of morning sickness or fatigue. Alternatively, we may feel great and get out as much as we can. Everything about our bodies can change.
Bloating is another way our pregnant bodies change. The increase of progesterone can lead to this buildup of gas and extra fluids in the body. Since bloating can last through the entire pregnancy for some women, this symptom can really change the way a baby bump looks.
A Unique Experience
Each of these small changes can add up, greatly affecting the way that our baby bump appears. That means a women will not even have identical baby bumps across subsequent pregnancies. They are all different! It makes each pregnancy a unique experience and a time of wonder. What will our bump look like this time around?
4 #The Shape Our Muscles Are In Vary
It takes muscles to support a growing baby bump. Our stomachs and lower backs, in particular, are needed to hold our baby in place. Depending on your activity level prior to this pregnancy, your muscles were in a varying shape of fitness. This means that one bump may sag more and some may be higher up.
To give your muscles a bit of a helping hand, you could consider wearing a belly support band. These maternity belts not only help support our growing bellies, they also can alleviate pregnancy pain, especially the kind found in the lower back.
Wearing a Belly Support Band During Pregnancy
If you talk to your doctor and do decide to wear a belly support band during your pregnancy, the bump you have will likely look different when you are wearing it.
3 #We Perform Different Exercises
In addition to wearing a belly support band, there are low impact exercises we can do to help give our bump holding muscles a bit of a boost. From daily walking to Pilates, and many options in between, each exercise we do helps our muscles.
For safety reasons, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine while pregnant. You definitely do not want to overdo it while expecting. However, it is not only the exercise we do during pregnancy that affects our muscles. Our activity level prior to our pregnancy also influences how our body holds our baby bumps. A woman who was more active before becoming pregnant will probably have a baby bump that looks different than a woman with a less active lifestyle.
Things may Differ
Even among women of the same activity level, bumps will be different depending on the types of exercises they engage in, and the muscle tone of the stomach and lower back muscles.
2 #We Don’t All Gain the Same Amount of Weight During Our Pregnancy
Women do not all gain the same amount of weight during pregnancy. Many factors go into our weight gain. Women do not become pregnant at exactly the same weight, so we have to consider our starting weight when analyzing how our bump looks.
Additionally, our diets differ greatly. Some women follow, or switch to, an organic diet when they learn they are expecting, and others do not. Eliminating processed food will affect the body, including its appearance. Cravings can also influence our weight. If we are craving sweets or fried foods and eating those at the expense of more healthy fruit or vegetables, we may put on a few more pounds than pregnant women with healthier cravings may.
The Size of Your Baby
In addition to our unique diets, the size of our baby affects our pregnancy weight gain. Women carrying a larger baby will usually gain more than a woman carrying a small one. Numerous factors go into weight gain, and the amount of weight that each woman does gain during the course of her pregnancy will influence how her baby bump appears.
1 #Some of Our Belly Buttons Pop Out, Changing Our Bump Once Again
Our belly buttons can change the look of our baby bump as well. Some women have belly buttons that pop out during the second or third trimesters of their pregnancy. This outward appearing belly button change will affect the way our clothing hangs, which alters the way others see our bump. Other women have belly buttons that stay tucked in, moving towards the surface of the abdomen but never actually making an outward appearance.
So what makes the belly button pop outin some women, but not in others? As our uterus expands with our growing baby and all the amniotic fluid baby needs to develop, it puts pressure on the abdominal cavity. This pressure builds up fairly rapidly, completely changing the landscape of our bodies in only nine months. There is not much muscle over the top of the belly button to keep it in place, so the building pressure is often enough to push it out.
Women who already have a shallow innie belly button may find that theirs pops sooner than women who have a deeper set belly button. However, this is not always the case. Each woman is different, and space in each abdominal cavity varies. The belly button and all of the changes it can bring is one final reason that no two baby bumps are ever the same.
So many factors play a role in determining what our baby bumps will look like. If you are ever concerned about your baby bump and its size or shape, be sure to discuss your concerns with your doctor or midwife. He or she will be able to determine if your bump is on the spectrum of normal. Otherwise, you can relish in the knowledge that every baby bump truly is different!