There were times that our grandmothers remember very well when it was considered a bad form to demonstrate a pregnant belly or to be closely interested in them. The future mother carefully concealed her roundness, since they were clear evidence that the woman was having sex.
Fortunately, everything changed closer to the 70s, when, along with the sexual revolution, there was a turn in the minds of citizens; In addition, an ultrasound scan appeared and data on the life of the future child became available. And while dresses for women “in position” still resembled bags, attitudes toward pregnancy began to change.
And then there was a real revolution: actress Marie-Christine Barro shot a pregnant woman to advertise washing machines! The final point in this story was put by American actress Demi Moore: in 1991, being in the eighth month of a happy wait, she appeared naked in the pages of Vanity Fair magazine.
After that, it is not surprising that the stomach has ceased to be considered something intimate.
In the same woman during the first and second pregnancy, the abdomen may differ in shape and size. Usually, for the first time, the wall of the uterus is stretched with difficulty, and some expectant mothers are even concerned that the abdomen is not visible.
However, this is not unusual: have patience, and soon everyone will see that you are in position!
Growing every day belly causes a lot of emotions in the future mother. A woman involuntarily compares him with the belly of pregnant girlfriends or casual acquaintances, argues about who is inside – a boy or a girl, listens attentively to the guesswork of acquaintances regarding the expected date of birth, the position of the baby and (again!) Of his gender.
However, all signs, focused on the form of the main attribute of pregnancy, have no basis. After all, as there are no two identical future mothers, so there are no absolutely identical pregnant bellies. Each story with a length of 9 months is unique, and, as a result, the height of the uterus floor, the shape and size of the baby’s “home” are always individual.
The abdomen can be large, small, pointed, high, low; however, only a doctor can assess the development and condition of a child living in it. That is why, if, apart from joy and pride, you are doubted (if the volume of the abdomen is sufficient and everything is in order with the baby), it is better to contact a specialist.
Remember that too much weight gain (20–30 kg) creates problems for the expectant mother: the load on the spine and vessels increases, swelling occurs, pressure rises, which in turn prevents the child from growing and developing normally.
What can be seen on the future mother’s belly?
Stretch marks. So called pink stripes, which occur due to rupture of collagen fibers, when the stomach begins to actively grow. It is believed that the predisposition to the appearance of stretch marks is inherited, so if your mother didn’t have them, perhaps they will not appear.
Nevertheless, it makes sense to pay attention to skin care products, which, by increasing its elasticity, help prevent or reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
The fluff. According to legends, it occurs if the birth of a boy is expected, but in fact both the hair on the abdomen and everything from which the pimples come from are the result of too active production of male sex hormones.
Do I need to somehow intervene in this process, the doctor decides, after having studied the results of hormonal analyzes.
Bulging in the navel. It may appear under the influence of increasing intra-abdominal pressure, and this is considered to be absolutely normal.
The exception is the umbilical hernia, which was observed in a woman before pregnancy.
The so-called pigmentation, that is, a thin brown strip that stretches from the navel to the pubis. It usually appears in the second half of pregnancy, and disappears or brightens soon after the birth.
This is considered to be an absolutely normal sign of pregnancy.
Studies have shown that, while in her mother’s belly, the child hears and distinguishes the voices and intonations of the parents, the music that sounds in the house, and so on. After the birth of familiar sounds help the baby to adapt and feel safe.
What determines the shape of the abdomen? First, on the height, weight, thickness of the bones and size of the pelvis of the future mother, secondly, on the muscle tone of the anterior abdominal wall and the amount of amniotic fluid and, finally, on the actual size of the child.
Like a balloon, the uterus is first stretched to the side where the resistance is weaker: most often down. For this reason, and also because a good tonus of the muscles of the abdominal wall is characteristic of the first pregnancy, the stomach can remain “classified” for the first 4–5 months.
However, since both the second and the third child tend to occupy the position at the top faster, the next pregnancies are more visible.
Is the size of the abdomen related to how the expectant mother feeds? Of course, although if a woman recovers greatly, this does not mean that a large child will be born to her, most likely, the acquired kilograms will turn into body fat.
By the way, this is why doctors advise to monitor weight gain during pregnancy: the best option is 7–13 kg. These kilograms will not disturb the metabolism of the future mother, and the child will be able to develop harmoniously.
However, speaking of weight gain, we should not forget about the features of each particular patient. A very thin woman or a lover of strict diets can easily gain 15-18 kg: first, the body will fill up the weight deficit, and then move on to the set of kilograms necessary for pregnancy. As for women “in the body”, they need to monitor the weight gain especially.
It is believed that a proper balanced diet will allow a full expectant mother to add only 3-5 kg, which does not prevent the child from developing normally.
The emerged belly helps the future pope to realize the joy of his position: communicating with the child, realizing his existence and studying behavior, the man internally prepares to meet with him.
It is known that obstetrician-gynecologists determine the duration of pregnancy starting from the first day of the last menstruation. This is understandable: in most cases it is impossible to determine the exact date of conception.
However, the result is that the obstetric period is two weeks longer than the real one. What happens to the uterus during the 40 weeks of waiting?
5 weeks of pregnancy (delayed menstruation for 1 week): the uterus slightly increases in size, therefore, it is possible to determine the presence of the ovum only with an ultrasound scan, and even then not always.
8 weeks: the uterus resembles a goose egg or an orange. From the side of the abdominal wall, it is not defined.
12 weeks: the bottom of the uterus reaches the edge of the pubic arch (pubis).
16 weeks: the uterus is located between the navel and the pubis, its bottom can be probed through the anterior abdominal wall.
24 weeks: reaches the navel.
28 weeks: rises 4-6 cm above the navel.
32 weeks: located between the sternum and the navel, the navel is smoothed.
36 weeks: maximum lift – the bottom of the uterus is located at the costal arches.
40 weeks: a woman may feel that her stomach has dropped. This is explained by the fact that the child began to prepare for childbirth and began to move forward, to the “exit”.
1. In order not to miss important changes in the condition of the future mother and baby, starting from the fourth month, the doctor or midwife will measure the height of the uterine floor above the womb and abdominal circumference. This simple procedure may seem somewhat outdated, but quite often it allows you to quickly and accurately obtain information about the growth rate of the child.
More specific data gives ultrasonic fetometry, that is, measurements made during ultrasound.
2. It is believed that it is the weight of the child that is the main indicator of his well-being: a very small or, on the contrary, a large baby requires special attention of the doctor. Growth retardation can occur for several reasons, most often due to the fact that the placenta does not cope with its function. In this situation, timed treatment helps to avoid problems.
With regard to the large size of the child, they can be inherited from the “big” parents or caused by disturbances in the metabolism of the mother, for example, because of diabetes, which occurred during pregnancy.
3. By the size of the abdomen and its growth rate, the doctor can judge the amount of amniotic fluid. It is possible to confirm the diagnosis, as well as find out the causes of low-water or high-water periods using ultrasound.
4. If, before the very birth, the abdomen form seems unusual to the doctor, he will first measure the external dimensions of the patient’s pelvis, and then refer her for a special examination – X-ray digiometry. It will help determine the conformity of the internal dimensions of the pelvis and the head of the child.
If it turns out that the pelvis is very narrow and the baby is too big, the doctor will suggest that the expectant mother should undergo a cesarean section operation so as not to injure the child during the birth.
ATTENTION! If something seems unusual to you, do not associate your situation with what was once happening to your friends, but discuss the problems that arise with a doctor who can objectively evaluate all the changes that are taking place.