Health & Wellbeing Pregnancy

Why Is My Stomach Soft During Pregnancy?

From hormonal changes that can lead to morning sickness and food cravings, to your growing baby bump, pregnancy comes with big changes to your body.

Even though all women experience changes during pregnancy, it’s important to remember that when it comes to the size, shape and firmness of your stomach, not all pregnancies are alike.

When you are pregnant, your uterus naturally expands to make way for your baby, and this can cause your stomach to feel tight and hard at some times, and much softer at other times.

Fluctuations during the day, and factors like gas and contractions, also play their part in contributing to how hard or soft your pregnant belly is during the first, second and third trimesters.

Let’s find out more.

Why Is My Stomach Soft During Pregnancy?

From the moment you became pregnant you probably started to experience some signs and symptoms of pregnancy, ranging from craving certain foods to throwing up as a result of morning sickness.

Food cravings and nausea may come and go, and if you’re lucky you might not even be affected by either.

But if there’s one symptom of pregnancy you were sure you would experience, it was probably a big, round and hard stomach.

So imagine your surprize when you felt or looked at your stomach and noticed it was soft.

For many women it’s the early to mid pregnancy, and particularly their 4 month pregnant belly, that feels softer than they would expect.

Although it’s natural to associate pregnancy with a hard belly, there is actually quite a lot of variation between the firmness of a woman’s bump, and several factors contribute to how soft or hard your stomach might look and feel.

Factors That May Influence The Size & Shape Of Your Bump

Just like no two pregnancies are alike, no two women are alike, and this is the reason why your bump might differ to another woman’s.

Some key factors that influence how soft or hard your stomach is include:

  • Your body shape.
  • The position your baby is in.
  • The shape of your uterus.
  • How many babies you are having.
  • How many previous pregnancies you’ve had.
  • If you are experiencing gas.
  • The time of day.

Woman Sleeping on Her Bed

Why Is My Pregnant Belly Smaller In The Morning?

Have you noticed during your pregnancy that your stomach is smaller in the morning than in the evening or at night?

The most common reason is because your abdominal muscles are typically tightest in the morning, and loosen up and relax throughout the day.

These muscles hold your bump, and the more they loosen, the more your bump is “pushed” out and the larger it appears.

Another reason is due to posture – when your stomach muscles are weaker or tired, it may lead to a more pronounced curve in your lower back, which can further emphasise the appearance of your bump.

But after a good night’s sleep, your muscles will relax, recover and become stronger again, meaning they can better hold the weight of your bump and better support your posture.

It’s also worth remembering that in the morning your stomach will be empty, and you are also less likely to be bloated or have gas, and these factors also explain why your belly may be smaller at some times of the day compared to others.

It sounds strange, but for these reasons it is quite possible for a 5 months pregnant belly to look smaller than a 9 month pregnancy belly, and for a pregnant belly to feel soft in morning and hard at night.

Why Is My Pregnant Belly Soft When I Lay Down?

If you have noticed that your bump is less firm when you lay down you’re not alone, because this is something that may women report during their first, second and third trimesters.

The reasons come down to many of the factors we mentioned above, so things like the position your baby is in, the shape of your uterus, your body shape, percentage body fat, previous pregnancies, being gassy or bloated, and the time of day can lead to your stomach being soft when you lay down.

Why Is My Stomach Soft During Early Pregnancy?

It’s also common for women to report that their stomach is soft during their early pregnancy.

This can come as a surprise to unsuspecting moms-to-be, especially as if this is your first pregnancy, you many have naturally expected your bump to be hard from the moment it became visible.

Again, the key factors causing this are most probably your body shape, the time of day, if you’re bloated or not and whether or not this is your first pregnancy.

In addition, the size of your uterus is relatively small in the first trimester, as it grows from the size of an orange (pre-pregnancy) to the size of a watermelon (third trimester), and this can help explain why your stomach might be soft during early pregnancy.

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Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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