With both of my pregnancies, I was a classic D shape. I looked for all the world like I swallowed my mom’s yoga ball at 20 weeks with my first one. I was a bit smaller with my second, probably because I was more careful about what I ate, especially Chinese food as I gave birth to my daughters in China.
We all have different pregnant belly shapes since we’re different. But is there any meaning behind them? Keep reading, and you’ll find out!
What determines a pregnant belly shape?
A growing baby means a growing belly. But that shape will depend on your muscle structure, your baby’s position, and several other things. Some people believe the belly shape corresponds to the gender of the baby, though I know people who proved those things wrong.
Still, it’s fun to wonder if it has merit, so let’s explore what those belly shapes really mean.
What does the shape of your baby bump mean?
When I was pregnant, everyone told me that how you carry your pregnancy weight (either high or low) determined the gender. I was also told gender impacted the size of the belly and shape. So, let’s talk about it!
High or low
With my first, I was carrying high. As soon as I posted my photos online, all my friends chimed in that it had to be a girl. While she did turn out to be a girl, I think it’s a coincidence. Also, you have a 50/50 chance of being right, don’t you?
But how you carry the baby is more related to your bones and muscular structure. Generally, the first pregnancy for most women will appear higher by sight because that abdominal wall has never been stretched like that before. With each consecutive pregnancy, it gets lower.
Furthermore, none of us have identical abdomens, so once we’re pregnant, every muscle and fiber along with that abdominal wall shapes our baby belly. This is why you may notice your belly is different in the following pregnancies.
Some say that a more prominent bump is a boy. Taking two pregnant women that stand at the same height and weigh the same, if one had a larger bump, the old wives’ tale says the one with the bigger bump is carrying a boy.
But science has yet to find any correlation. In fact, the CDC compared the birth weights in the 50th percentile and found only a difference of about 4 ounces and a length difference of about 0.8cm. That means it can’t possibly cause the visual difference between belly sizes.
Some days the baby bump may appear smaller in the morning and more prominent at night. If you’re wondering why, here are the reasons.
Some say wide baby bumps signify a girl but narrow and pointed means a boy. Again, I have to tell you that it doesn’t really matter. But why the different shapes? There could be a couple of things happening here.
For one, it could be diastasis recti. That’s when the pressure from the baby growing and pushing outward pushes the abs aside and makes a pocket of sorts that the baby pushed out from. The muscles may return to normal after delivering, but it may also mean more work for you to correct it.
The other thing that makes a difference with shape is how the baby is positioned. Depending on how the baby is facing, you may have a belly that protrudes further. So, long story short, belly shapes don’t mean anything about the baby’s gender.
On the contrary, if you’re petite in shape, read here about the risks of pregnancy.
When does B-belly turn to D-belly?
We’ve already talked about the B belly on here before. And chances are, if you have a B belly, you might wonder if it will ever turn into a D belly. Unfortunately, it may not change.
If you were overweight going into the pregnancy, especially with a muffin top, you’re not likely to change from B belly to D belly. You can smooth the look with maternity pants that flatter you, but you may not see it naturally change for the duration of your pregnancy.
Also, if you have diastasis recti, it may make that B belly more noticeable. When your ab muscles and connective tissues stretch to accommodate your uterus, it may make an apron belly more noticeable. Here are some effective tips to eliminate it.
You may joke that when your B turns into a D, you’re about to give birth, but the fact remains that it may never happen. The D part, not the giving birth part.
If you’re concerned about not having a D belly during pregnancy, the ideal thing to do is work on your weight and health before getting pregnant. It’s not only better for you but better for your baby too.
Being overweight puts a massive strain on your body. When you get pregnant, you’re further straining yourself. If you’re thinking of starting a family and are overweight, take the time to care about yourself, even for just 6 months before you start working on pregnancy. You’ll feel better when you’re pregnant and have a better chance of losing weight after you deliver too.
Here read how Linda lost about 30 lbs in 5 months after her cesarean delivery.
Honestly, that should be your main motivation rather than worrying about the specific shape of your belly. Keeping that sweet baby healthy and ensuring you are also the most important things when you think about pregnant belly shapes, so put your focus there!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.