Waiting and watching your pregnant belly grow is an anticipated part of pregnancy, but when you’re a plus-sized mom, your stomach might not look as you expected. Many plus-sized expectant mothers have a B-belly, or a double belly, leading to self-conscious feelings about their baby bump when they should be excited.
No matter what your belly looks like, a baby bump is something to cause excitement. Your baby is growing, but you want to show off your belly, and you might not feel like you can because of the shape of your belly.
Here’s the deal:
I’m here to tell you that a B-shaped pregnant belly is beautiful, and it’s nothing to feel shame or embarrassment over. We’ll answer your questions about your belly and embrace this plus-size pregnancy baby bump.
What is B-Belly During Pregnancy?
The typical shape of a pregnant belly is a large curve like a “D.” If you look at a pregnant woman from the side, you can trace the capital letter “D” by going over her back and baby bump. It’s nearly like she swallowed a basketball.
The curve starts small and eventually takes over her entire belly. That leads to the classic pregnant tummy that you typically see.
On the other hand, when you compare a D-belly vs. a B-belly, larger women often have a B-shape during pregnancy. As you might imagine, your stomach would look like a capital letter “B” instead of a “D.” Instead of a single curve, these bellies have two.
It’s more common in plus-sized women. As your baby grows, you’ll notice that the indentation that creates the “B” will be more visible. It’s almost as if a waistband stretches across the middle of your belly.
What Causes the B-Belly?
This belly shape is typical in plus-sized pregnant women, but why?
It has to do with your skin’s tautness and fascial health, playing a role in your shape and silhouette. Your skin can sag and change shape as you age and change. Some women develop a belly apron, a flap of skin with a fold or a crease.
That fold or crease creates the indentation in the middle to create the capital “B” shape. This doesn’t mean that only women who have a belly apron will have a B-shaped tummy. It’s all about your body and its unique shape.
Also, don’t forget that fascia is a connection and network of fibers that connect all of your body. Fascia can become distorted, changing the shape of our entire body. If your belly fascia faces constriction, it also can cause this belly shape.
What Doesn’t Cause a B-Shape
When you look at the belly shape, it does look like a waistband or pants are sitting in the middle of your belly. Some women like to complain that wearing pants too tight leads to their B-shaped belly.
While that can happen momentarily (We all have worn pants that gave our belly a weird look), clothing cannot give you a double belly.
Is A B-Shaped Belly Common?
Considering how many plus-sized women there are in the world, it’s easy to realize that having a B-belly is normal. You aren’t alone in the world. This is just a different variation of normal. Pregnant bellies come in all shapes and sizes.
Can a Double Belly Affect Your Pregnancy?
Believe it or not, your belly’s shape has nothing to do with the health of your pregnancy. As long as your fundus’ height matches your weeks of pregnancy (or close to it), your belly’s actual shape and size mean nothing.
Having a B-shaped belly will not influence your labor or determine whether or not you’ll have a vaginal birth or a c-section. If you have a c-section, a belly apron could make a recovery a bit harder, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible!
Picking The Right Maternity Clothes
One of the biggest challenges is finding clothes that show off your belly without focusing on the “B” part. That typically means that form-fitting clothes, such as tops or dresses, are out. You can wear anything if you don’t feel self-conscious about your belly shape, but many want to conceal it.
You can use a maternity support belt or a belly band to conceal the B. Then, pick flowy tops and dresses or babydoll tops. These dresses and tops focus more on your breasts than your belly with an upside-down V shape, widening as it goes towards your hips.
Another simple trick is to wear leggings and pull them over the top of your belly. Maternity leggings are large enough to do so. It’s a simple trick that can smooth the space of your belly.
5 Tips to Minimize the Look of a Double Belly
You either have to wait for your belly to become so large that the B isn’t as noticeable or wear appropriate clothes to decrease its appearance. Here are some simple tips that you can try.
Use Lycra Underwear
You can find lycra underwear or similar types at many plus-size stores or even maternity stores. These underwear are very stretchy and large. Yes, we aren’t going for cute panties if we want to decrease the B.
These undies are stretchy – think Grannie panties. You can pull them over the B or use them to smooth your belly.
Double Layer with Tank Tops
Another simple trick is to wear a form-fitting tank top underneath your clothes. Doing so creates a smoother line and gives that D appearance that you want so badly without needing to invest in clothes you might not wear later.
Wear Your Pants Higher Than Normal
If you’re used to wearing your pants at your hips, it is not the time to embrace mid-rise pants. If your belly is smaller on the bottom, wearing your pants higher will conceal that easily.
Size Up in Shirts
Maternity clothes are expensive, so investing in a whole closet that you might never wear again feels wasteful. Instead, size up in shirts. It’s less costly, and you can still wear them later. Some maternity clothes have a distinct look, like a shirt with bunched sides to accommodate belly growth.
Make Sure You Have Pants with Full Panel
Maternity pants either have a half or a full panel. These panels let the pants stretch over your tummy. The ones that are full panels go up to the top of your belly instead of being only about 4-5 inches tall.
Full panels are quite comfortable, but the best part is that they conceal any weird shapes or indents in your belly. They’ll create that smooth D shape you want.
Common FAQs about Double Bellies
Women have a lot of questions about their belly shape. Here are some of the most common FAQs about B-bellies.
Can It Turn Into a D-Belly?
Some women claim that their B turns gradually into a D as it gets larger, but most women will never have a full D-belly. If you have a B-belly, it’s more than likely there to stay.
That doesn’t mean the B will be as clear or prominent. Many women say their belly starts to rounder around 30-31 weeks as the baby grows. You will likely still have an indentation, but it might not be as noticeable.
That can be disappointing if you are unhappy about your tummy shape. Finding it in you to embrace your belly shape is the best thing you can do; if it happens to change shape, you can do a happy dance.
Can This Belly Shape Cause My Baby Not to Grow?
Nope! Your external belly doesn’t represent your internal belly – your uterus. Your stomach won’t change the shape of your womb, where your baby grows.
Of course, you can and should discuss any concerns about your belly shape or size with your doctor.
Can You Have a B-Belly While Pregnant and Not be Plus-Size?
Absolutely. It’s most common when you are plus-sized or lose weight, but remember, it also has to do with your belly fascia. If your fascia is distorted, you can have a B instead of a D shape.
You could have a belly overhang or a mother’s apron if you’ve had multiple babies. You don’t have to be plus-sized to have this! It’s merely from your belly stretching multiple times to accommodate your growing baby bumps. That could lead to a B-shape as well.
Can Diet or Exercise Change Pregnant Belly Shape?
Typically, no, it won’t change the shape of your belly. While exercise is recommended during pregnancy, doing any extreme diet is not, and it won’t change your stomach’s fascia. If you lose weight, you will probably have a belly overhang, making it more likely to have a B-shaped belly.
Embrace Your Belly!
No matter the shape of your belly, it’s beautiful. Every pregnant woman is gorgeous and glowing from the beauty and excitement of growing a new baby.
While society might make you feel that only one body type is right, they are wrong. Plus-size women with beautiful b-belly pregnant bellies are just as perfect as a D-shaped belly. Love your belly – it only stays for a while.
Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.
I’m passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I’ve faced it over the last ten years. Read more about Linda here.