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What's the Normal Size of a Baby Bump?

What's the Normal Size of a Baby Bump?

After finding out that you’re carrying precious life in your womb, it’s normal to feel more conscious about your body. Am I showing yet? Isn’t my belly too big? Is it too small? It also doesn’t help that many people may comment on your baby bump size based on what they know or how they experienced it. But does baby bump size truly indicate the baby size?

When Will You Start to “Look” Pregnant?

Before we discuss the normal baby bump size, let’s first answer the question, when will I start showing?

Doctors say that most women will not show a bump before their 2nd trimester. In most cases, you can expect to look physically pregnant between your 12th and 16th week.

However, not all mothers will show at the same time, so you may develop a baby bump earlier or later than that time frame.

Does Baby Bump Size Indicate Baby Size?

If you have a bigger bump, you might have a bigger baby. Likewise, if you have a small bump, you may be carrying a small baby. In other words, the size of your baby may affect the size of your bump. However, it’s not the only – nor the main – contributing factor.

Experts emphasize that your bump size does not accurately represent the size and weight of your baby. This is because each woman carries differently. Furthermore, a lot of things can factor in when it comes to how big or small your bump develops.

What Factors Affect the Normal Baby Bump Size?

When a relative or someone you know comments on how you don’t seem to be “measuring up,” don’t panic. Remember that your baby bump size does not necessarily indicate the size – or the weight – of your baby because there are other factors to consider.

Some of the factors that may affect the size of the baby bump are:

Condition of Core Muscles

Moms who have tight core muscles due to regular abdominal exercises may have a small-looking baby bump. This is because tight abdominal muscles mean that the uterus or womb will grow closer to the core of the body.

On the other hand, abdominal muscles that have been “stretched” by previous pregnancies may result in a bigger bump.

Mother’s Build

Does bump size indicate baby size? Medical experts disagree. According to them, the mother’s build plays some role in whether or not the bump size will be bigger or smaller.

They explained that a taller woman may not show a bump as early as a shorter mom. Additionally, a shorter woman may grow wider because “the baby has less room to move up and down.”

Pregnancy Progress

Another factor that affects baby bump size is the way the pregnancy progresses for each woman. For example, a mother who’s constantly experiencing nausea and vomiting may experience weight loss. This weight loss could lead to a smaller-looking bump.

On the other hand, if the mom experiences weight gain early in the pregnancy, she may grow faster and have a wider-looking bump.

Finally, a surge of progesterone hormones can lead to bloating which may change the shape of the bump.

does bump size indicate baby size

The Amount of Amniotic Fluid

Interestingly, even though it can change every hour or so, the amount of amniotic fluid also contributes to the size and shape of the baby bump.

Reports say that in the earlier stages of pregnancy, it’s mostly the mom’s body that creates amniotic fluid. However, in the later stages, the baby will also make the fluid through urine outputs. If you or your baby is making a lot of fluids, then it can alter how your bump looks.

The Baby’s Position

While the baby bump size doesn’t indicate baby size, the baby’s position may matter. Since a baby moves a lot, your bump may look bigger or smaller depending on how your baby lies in your womb.

For this reason, don’t be surprised if one day you look big, and then on the next day, you look smaller.

Does Baby Bump Size Matter?

For many doctors, a baby bump size doesn’t matter as long as the baby has the right size and weight for their gestational age.

You can determine your baby’s size and weight through prenatal check-ups. Ultrasound reports will also estimate the baby’s weight.

Prenatal Care and When to Seek Medical Help

For pregnant mothers, regular prenatal check-ups are important.

The moment you complete your first check-up, the attending physician will give you a schedule on when your next visit will be. This is so they can monitor how your baby grows inside the womb. Additionally, they’ll also want to assess your health as the pregnancy moves along.

Healthcare providers can quickly check the growth of your baby through the fundal height measurement.

  • Essentially, the fundal height is the distance between the uterus (top part of the baby bump) and the pubic bone.
  • The rule of thumb is that the measurement (in centimeters) must more or less correspond to the number of weeks.
  • So, if you’re in your 28th week, the fundal height must be somewhere around 28 centimeters.

If the measurement deviates too much from what’s normal, the healthcare provider will probably order an ultrasound scan to see the baby’s condition.

At home, if you notice that your bump stops growing, don’t wait for your next scheduled visit, go to the doctor immediately. The same is true if you feel that your bump is growing “too much.” Furthermore, feel for your baby’s movements. The number of times your baby kicks or moves inside your womb may also relate to their heath.

Key Takeaways

Does baby bump size indicate baby size? Experts say it doesn’t. Just because you have a bigger bump doesn’t mean you’ll have a bigger baby. Likewise, a smaller bump doesn’t automatically mean a small newborn.

The normal baby bump size varies from one woman to another depending on several factors namely: The condition of core muscles, the mother’s build, the baby’s position, the amount of amniotic fluid, and, of course, the way the pregnancy progresses.

Learn more about Being Pregnant here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Baby bumps aren’t the same size — here’s why
https://globalnews.ca/news/5236861/baby-bump-sizes/
Accessed September 1, 2020

7 Reasons Why Belly Size Doesn’t Always Equate To Baby Size
https://www.bellybelly.com.au/pregnancy/why-belly-size-doesnt-always-equate-to-baby-size/
Accessed September 1, 2020

What’s the significance of a fundal height measurement?
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/fundal-height/faq-20057962
Accessed September 1, 2020

The lowdown on your baby bump
https://www.bounty.com/pregnancy-and-birth/pregnancy/lowdown-on-baby-bump
Accessed September 1, 2020

Pregnancy: Is my bump too small?
https://www.bountyparents.com.au/expert-advice/pregnancy-bump-small/
Accessed September 1, 2020

Belly size in pregnancy – does it matter?
https://www.kidspot.com.au/birth/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/belly-size-in-pregnancy-does-it-matter/news-story/f0a011cd9b192c46a8ad992cd9670a03
Accessed September 1, 2020

What your bump size really means
https://www.livingandloving.co.za/pregnancy-blogs/what-your-bump-size-really-means
Accessed September 1, 2020

Does your baby bump size matter?
https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/parenting/pregnancy-birth/a9212/does-your-bump-size-matter/
Accessed September 1, 2020

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Jun 18
Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, M.D.
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