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  • Here's What Your Pregnancy Bump Can Tell You (It's Not the Sex of Your Baby!)

    As every pregnancy is different, so is every baby bump. Embrace and celebrate it!
    by Rachel Perez .
Here's What Your Pregnancy Bump Can Tell You (It's Not the Sex of Your Baby!)
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Why do some women who are six months pregnant already still have a barely-there baby bump? Then, other preggos’ bellies look like they’re having twins or triplets when they’re just carrying one baby. And is shape or size an accurate prediction for the baby’s sex? What does it mean when one is carrying high or low?

    Every pregnancy is different, and baby bumps come in all shapes and sizes. But a preggy belly’s shape or size can clue you in on some things. Here, we answer your common baby bump questions.

    Does the shape of a baby bump indicate the baby’s sex?

    Pointy when it’s a boy and round when it’s a girl? The shape of a pregnant woman’s baby bump has no link whatsoever to her unborn baby’s sex. The best way to find out if you’re having a boy or a girl is by having an ultrasound scan at around Week 20 to Week 24. Genetic testing is sometimes also done if you want to know the sex of your baby before you give birth.

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    Is the size of a belly bump an indicator of my baby’s size?

    In the absence of medical technologies pregnant women enjoy today, such as the ultrasound, doctors measure the size of the baby bump to assess the baby’s growth. They measure the fundal height or the length from the top of the uterus (fundus) to the pubic bone (symphysis pubis). But it’s not an exact science; the fundal height chart serves only as an estimate of the baby’s size and more accurate to the size of your uterus.

    Sporting a sizeable preggy belly doesn’t automatically mean you’re having a large baby. Turn a deaf ear when hearing comments about how small or huge your baby bump is. The only person pregnant women should listen to when it comes to the size of their unborn baby is their doctor.

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    Do I need to work out for my belly bump?

    Just like everything else in the pregnancy, how a woman carries her bump depends on his ab muscles. Fit women are still more likely to carry high or small because their abdominals are strong. “Strong abs hold the baby more into the body, which can cause the bump to appear smaller or less protruding,” explains Katie Page, a certified nurse-midwife.

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    Will I get the same shape and size bump for every pregnancy?

    A new mom can regain her pre-pregnant tummy after giving birth, but its muscles will never be the same as before. First-time preggo bellies will likely show later in the pregnancy, while “veteran” preggos may appear to already be in their second trimester at the beginning of their pregnancy.

    Women who are pregnant for the first time sport a compact baby belly because their ab muscles have not been stretch before. On the other hand, women who have been pregnant before already had their abdominals stretched during their previous pregnancy, making it able to expand readily.

    Does the amniotic fluid affect my weight during pregnancy? 

    The amniotic fluid is what your baby breathes and swallows in your womb (and it’s his pee, too!) and allows your baby to move freely. The amount of amniotic fluid increases as your pregnancy progresses (it peaks at Week 36) and decreases as you near your due date.

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    Eight percent of a pregnant woman’s weight gain comes from her amniotic fluid. Obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Geraldione Mendoza, M.D., says it’s the first to be affected when the mama-to-be is not gaining enough weight to sustain the baby. Too high or low amniotic fluid levels are signs or a cause for pregnancy complications.

    How does the baby’s position affect the shape or size of my bump?

    Have you ever noticed a footprint on your belly when your little one gave you a good kick? If his foot can make such an impact in your baby bump, his position can alter your baby bump’s shape. When the baby is sideways (also called transverse lie position), which is the normal position early and mid-pregnancy, you may appear to have a fuller midsection.

    Typically, starting at Week 35, you may notice your baby bump getting lower, also called lightening. Your baby is getting into a head-down position to descend towards your pelvis. If you notice a sudden drop of your baby bump before term or earlier than Week 38, alert your doctor as you may be at risk for pre-term labor.

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    Does my height and weight have an influence on how big my belly bump is?

    Tall women have more torso for the baby to occupy up high or in front. Petit moms, on the other hand, tend to carry low and wide since there isn’t much space for baby to grow. A woman’s pelvic size and if she has uterine fibroids also play a part in how much room and were in your abdomen area can your growing uterus and baby occupy.

    Weight gain during pregnancy may also be a factor, more so if you weigh a lot before getting pregnant. As always, it’s crucial to watch your weight gain no matter how your baby bump appears. That said, having a large baby bump doesn’t automatically mean you’re having a big baby.

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    Is my baby bump’s size a clue for the type of childbirth I will have?

    A lot of things can affect how you give birth, whether it’s before or during labor, but the short answer is no. Remember, how large or small your baby bump is has nothing to do with the size of your baby. The only indication your baby bump can show you that’s related to birth is when the baby has descended. It means that it’s only a matter of time before you meet your baby for the first time!

    Celebrate your baby bump — have it painted or cast or go bare on your maternity photoshoot or take photos of it yourself (this baby bump filter is a favorite of moms-to-be)! Embrace your baby bump no matter its shape or size. It’s your preggy belly, so accept it as you willingly endured the pregnancy symptoms regardless of how painful, uncomfortable, or icky they may be. Research shows that touching or caressing your belly makes your baby feel warm and fuzzy inside.

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