Maybe you are looking forward to that adorable, round belly you get to display for the next few months. Or maybe you are dreading that gut that will extend out the bottom of your shirts and over the top of your pants for months. Either way, brace yourself for progressive belly changes throughout your pregnancy.
For the first 12 to 14 weeks, you will see little change in your stomach, at least once you are wearing clothes. If you pull up your shirt, you may start to notice a little lump over your lower abdomen. As your uterus grows, it starts to push up against the organs in your stomach and your abdominal muscles and skin. You may start to look bloated or water logged. Keep drinking plenty of water, exercising lightly and eating healthily. That bump is only going to grow.
Sometime between your 14th and 28th week of pregnancy, you will notice that bloated lump will turn into a hard bump on your middle to lower abdomen. This occurs sometime in your second trimester, depending on how many kids you have had and your individual body type. During this time, your growing uterus will grow so much that it reaches the skin of your abdomen. There’s no looking back now. It’s time for that belly to grow.
When A Bump’s More Than A Bump
During your third trimester, starting around week 28, your belly stretches and grows as a baby develops inside. As the uterus and baby inside grow up against the skin of your belly and stretch it tightly, you may start to see the baby’s movements on the outside of your skin. Some carry their baby “high” up under the ribs, while others are much lower around the hips. Near the end of your pregnancy, around weeks 38 to 40, you may find your belly “drops” down near your pelvis. This happens when your baby starts getting ready to move through the birth canal.
It may seem like a hassle to have such a big belly, but if you think about it, it’s kind of nice to get that belly out there quickly. Round bellies mean growing babies. If you can accentuate your enormous belly, you can dispel any doubts in any one’s mind. No one will wonder if you’ve been drinking too much or you have stopped working out. They will know that your big belly has a good purpose.
That’s Not All
Your belly won’t be the only thing growing. Around your first five to 10 weeks, or even earlier, you may start to notice your chest getter bigger, too. As you gain weight and your pregnancy continues into your second and third trimester, you may start to feel your ankles, legs and feet swelling, too.