During your pregnancy journey it’s only natural to find yourself looking at, touching and even comparing your bump to other moms-to-be.
All pregnancies are different, so it’s wise not to compare your pregnant belly other women, particularly as there are many factors that determine the size and shape of your bump.
But something that might be confusing you is why your pregnant belly may look smaller on same days compared to others.
The first thing to note is it’s completely natural for your bump to look different from one day to the next, and there may even be times when your 9 months pregnant belly looks smaller than you 7 months pregnant belly and so forth.
These changes in appearance are typically nothing to worry about, and there are several reasons why your bump might look different from day to day.
Let’s take a look at 5 of the most common reasons in more detail.
Why Does My Pregnant Belly Look Smaller Some Days?
You don’t need us to tell you that when you’re pregnant, your body goes through a lot of changes.
From craving certain foods and changing how you cook meat, to dealing with nausea, vomiting and morning sickness, pregnancy means change, and no two days are alike.
When you add in your ever growing baby, the increasing strain on your body and muscles, and your changing hormones, it’s no wonder your belly can look quite different from day to day!
Here are 5 of the most common reasons for a pregnant belly to look smaller some days vs others.
1. Bloating & Gas
Bloating is a common symptom of early pregnancy, and can even be an early sign of pregnancy.
The thing about bloating is it’s usually not ever present, meaning that some days your belly could look huge, while on others it might look much smaller (which makes things particularly difficult for anyone trying to hide their bump).
Bloating often reduces or goes away overnight, which explains why your pregnant belly might look large at night, and much smaller in the morning (more on this later).
Experiencing gas during pregnancy is also very common, because when pregnant your body will produce more progesterone, which causes your intestinal muscles to relax and your digestion to slow down.
2. Baby’s Position
From around 12 weeks onwards your baby starts moving in your womb, and this movement can be influenced things like light, sound and even the food you eat and the temperature of the water you drink.
The different positions that your baby takes up will have an affect on the size of your bump, which naturally results in your belly looking smaller on some days and bigger on others.
Later on in your pregnancy when you’re close to labor, your baby will drop into your pelvis, which is also called lightening.
Once your little one does drop, your stomach will appear smaller thanks to your baby moving lower into your body.
This can explain why your 8 or 9 months pregnant belly looks smaller than you 7 months pregnant belly, which is something that surprises a lot of women but is completely natural!
3. Time of Day
A common question from moms-to-be is why does my pregnant belly look smaller in the morning?
Typically the reason for this is because your abdominal muscles are at their tightest in the morning, and gradually loosen up and relax as the day goes on (we’ll cover this in more detail below).
Things like bloating, gas, indigestion and heartburn can all vary depending on the time of the day, and this helps explain why your bump might look and feel smaller or larger from day to day, and even at different times on the same day.
This also explains why a pregnant belly can feel soft in morning and hard at night, which is another strange phenomenon.
4. Abdominal Muscles
As we saw above, your abdominal or stomach muscles play a key role in the appearance of your bump.
Your abdominal muscles effectively “hold” your bump, and these muscles loosen, the more your bump is “pushed” out, which makes it appear larger.
These muscles are at their strongest after a good night’s sleep or after you’ve rested for a while, and are at their weakest after they’ve been active all day.
When they are at their strongest, your abdominal muscles can better hold the weight of your bump and in addition they can better support your posture.
This last point is also important to consider, because when your stomach muscles are weak or tired, it may lead to a more pronounced curve in your lower back, which in turn can make your pregnant belly look bigger compared to when your stomach muscles are at their strongest.
5. Empty Stomach
Lastly, the amount of food in your stomach can explain why your pregnant belly looks smaller on some days.
If you’ve skipped a meal or have just woken up, your stomach will obviously be empty, which might lead to your belly looking smaller than after a big meal or when there’s more food in your belly.
To sum up, it’s quite common and natural for your pregnant belly to appear smaller on some days than others, and to even look quite different from morning to evening.
Factors like bloating, gas, an empty stomach, how tired your muscles are and your baby’s position all naturally contribute to how your bump appears.
If your belly sometimes looks smaller on some days this is typically nothing to worry about, but if you are concerned that your bump is not growing, or your feel like it’s too small for the stage of pregnancy you’re in, then you should contact your midwife so they can assess you.
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