Everything you ever needed to know about your baby bump

August 23, 2012 12:00 AM by

The baby bump is the tell-tale sign of a pregnancy – it's practically become the icon of expecting mothers. But there are a lot of things that happen to your belly that you might not know about. Aside from the obvious fact that it'll be growing every day of your pregnancy, here are some other facts about pregnant bellies.

It doesn't matter how high or how low it is

People will (without a doubt) tell you what gender you're going to have based on whether your bump is perched high or low, but it really has nothing to do with it. Think about it – why would this logically be an indicator of gender? Rather, it just proves how strong your abdomen is. High bumps indicate strong muscle tone, while low bumps indicate weaker muscle tone or perhaps the fact that you've had previous pregnancies.

Showing before the second trimester might be deceiving

Most women don't start showing until the second trimester, because the uterus is starting to emerge from behind the pubic bone at this point. If you've noticed a bigger belly in your first trimester, it probably has more to do with weight gain or bloating. However, moms who already had kids or who have lax abs might show a bit earlier.

You might get a dark line down the center

Some women, especially those with darker skin, develop a linea negra. This is just a dark vertical line that runs down the center of your bump, and it's caused by pregnancy hormones (what else?). It'll fade after delivery.

Prepare to sport an outtie

Sorry, but if you're attached to having an "innie" belly button, you're pretty much guaranteed to have an outtie during your pregnancy. Most likely, it'll go back to normal once you reach your pre-pregnancy size.

You might need to prevent stretch marks

With all that growing and stretching of your belly going on, you might end up with stretch marks on your skin. Not all women experience them, but if you've had stretch marks in the past or are just really worried that you'll get them, it helps to moisturize your bump on a daily basis to keep your skin soft and elastic.

You won't be flat right after the birth

It might seem like your bump should disappear as soon as your baby comes out, but in reality that's not the case. You'll probably have a belly that looks five or six months pregnant for a while, until your body returns to its normal weight and your muscles tighten up.

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