All pregnancy bumps are different, so it's no wonder that some women worry their pregnant tummies might be too big, too small, or the wrong shape. Some women even fear that their belly size may reflect a health problem for themselves or their baby. Fear not. Here are some common questions and answers regarding the size of that mysterious pregnancy bump.
Is My Bump the Right Size?
It is a common myth that big bumps mean big babies—and likewise, that a small bump means a small baby. In most cases this is just not true (but some moms still worry that their baby is "the wrong size"). Chances are, if you are tall and have good muscle tone, you will carry high and your tummy might not be very noticeable. Conversely, if you are small and are carrying a big baby, your bump will most likely be truly present for all to see.
In Queen Charlotte's Hospital Guide to Pregnancy & Birth, author Adriana Hunter writes that there are two obvious ways of assessing whether a fetus is developing normally: by measuring the height of the fundus (the distance from your pelvic bone to the top of the uterus, a distance that grows by about one centimeter a week); or by assessing fetal size through abdominal palpation.
"If your baby is found to be smaller or larger than expected this could mean that your dates are not accurate and further measurements taken using an ultrasound scan will probably be able to assess the exact age of the pregnancy and you may be given a revised due date," explains Hunter. "If your baby is indeed smaller, or larger, than expected but its stage of development implies that your dates are correct, the fetus is said to be 'small-for-dates' [SFD] or 'large-for-dates' [LFD] respectively." Hunter adds that neither of these notations are necessarily cause for concern, but instead may be used by your doctor as a sign to rule out more serious problems. This is particularly the case with LFD babies, because it may mean that the mother will need a Cesarean section.