Is my belly too big? Too small? Why size doesn’t matter

May 03, 2012 12:00 AM by

If you've been trying to conceive and recently found out that your efforts paid off, congratulations! Now you can start preparing for pregnancy. Oftentimes, the first question that new moms ask is, "When will I start showing?" For most women, this is usually in the third or fourth month – but it's different for everyone. Once you notice your belly growing, you might be wondering whether your size is normal. Here's what you need to know.

Find the ideal range
Throughout your pregnancy, there's a way to calculate roughly how large your tummy should be, but keep in mind that only your doctor can tell you if your large or small bump is healthy. Simply take the number of weeks you've been pregnant, then add and subtract two from that number to get a range that represents how many centimeters your belly should be. If you don't fall within these numbers, don't worry.

Measuring large?
If your belly is a bit larger, it might simply be rooted in the fact that you were carrying a few extra pounds before you became pregnant. It could also be the result of swelling or fluid retention, which is common during a pregnancy. You might even have a baby that's large for it's date, which happens frequently – or it could be because your abdominal muscles are loose from a previous delivery!

Measuring small?
If your bump looks smaller than those of your fellow moms-to-be, it doesn't necessarily mean you have a small baby. Often, moms who are tall and have good muscle tone carry higher and have smaller bellies. If you were working out a lot before conceiving, you might also have a petite bump.

When it comes down to it, your doctor will tell you whether or not your belly's size is normal for you and your little one. Until then – don't let any comments about your bump bother you!

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