I am one of those women that have legs for days. But my torso is on the short side. And I’m not alone. I keep getting questions from women with a short torso and pregnant belly who wonder if their pregnancies will be more complex than their longer torso contemporaries.
So what should you do if you have a short torso and pregnant belly? Well, for one thing, don’t panic. For another, read below!
Can short height affect pregnancy?
Sorry, short mamas! But the science is in, revealing that shorter moms have shorter pregnancies. You’re also more likely to have a smaller baby and a greater risk for preterm birth. Your height directly influences your risks.
You can’t control these genetic factors, but knowing this and working with your doctor can help you have a healthy pregnancy.
So, in other words, the shorter you are, the more likely you may deliver before your due date. It may only be a week or two early like me, or it could be much earlier than that.
If you’re worried about your short-waisted pregnancy, it’s something you should absolutely discuss with your doctor. They can answer questions directly related to you as their patient. They will also be able to help you create a birth plan and cover those what-ifs that are likely on your mind should you go into labor early.
Does torso size affect pregnancy?
What if you’re tall but have a short torso? For the tall but short torso pregnancy, this too can affect your pregnancy, though differently. It will affect the way your bump looks.
Some women are tall and have long torsos. This will mean you’ll carry more in front than your shorter friends. But there are tall women with short torsos too. With a short torso, you will simply show sooner with that bump than your tall friends with long torsos.
The reason is that the baby has more room to push up with a longer torso. A shorter torso means the baby will spread out more and look wider.
Can having a short torso cause early labor?
Well, yes, having a short torso can lead to early labor. According to research, shorter women have babies with lower lengths and birth weights, plus their pregnancy duration is shorter. So, if you’re short, you should prepare and discuss your plans for the event of preterm birth with your doctor.
However, it goes beyond genes as well. When researchers dug further into the genetic study, they found that in addition to small moms making small babies, it was not just genetics that dictated it. Environmental factors also seem to be critical.
So, the length of your gestation period is more than what your genes have imprinted on them. It could be a wide range of things like your nutrition and health habits, your metabolism, the level of pollution in your area, or even the size of your pelvis or uterus.
Again, this is why discussing it with your doctor is crucial since you’re unique and your needs are too.
Do short people show more in pregnancy?
A woman with a short torso and pregnant belly will almost always show earlier than a taller woman or a woman with an elongated torso. As you get closer to the due date, you’ll be even more uncomfortable since your baby will move out wider to make room for the baby.
I can tell you that in my ninth month of pregnancy, particularly with my eldest, I was miserable! I was so uncomfortable that I considered my day a success if I found just 5 minutes in a position that made me comfortable.
I remember being less aggravated with my youngest, probably because I had experience under my belt with how everything should go. I also managed my weight gain better the second time, which was huge by 20 weeks the first time.
What can you do if you have a short-waisted pregnancy?
While you can’t change your genes, short women and those with short torsos can do something about it. The best thing to do is maintain good health for your pregnancy. This means keeping in line with healthy weight gain. Experts also recommend you wait 18 to 23 months before you get pregnant for your next child.
Your doctor may have already put you on their watch list for petite moms. Shorter moms tend to be watched more as the pregnancy may not last quite as long as someone with a greater height or longer torso. You may need a c-section as well because of your pelvis.
And yes, the dad plays a role in this too. If your husband is much bigger than you, it stands to reason the baby will likely be bigger too. These are all factors your practitioner will note and observe throughout the course of your pregnancy.
The key here is not to freak out or stress. Follow proper prenatal care and work with your doctor to keep healthy during your pregnancy. You certainly can’t change your genes, but other factors contribute to preterm birth, and for the ones you can control, you should follow what your doctor says to ensure your pregnancy is safe and healthy.
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.