There are a lot of myths about your baby bump and what it can mean for the baby and the position in which you’re carrying. And when you’re pregnant, you’ve got so many things to deal with that this seems like just another anxiety to add to the pile. So if you’re a bit worried about how your baby bump is growing, you’re not alone, because many mothers find these uncertainties a bit difficult to grapple with. You might be wondering what exactly your bump can and can’t tell you, and no doubt your mother and aunts and other female relatives have already given you a lot of wisdom on the subject. But what is true and what is false? Read on to find out.
The baby’s gender
You’ve probably heard this old wives tale that your bump determines the gender of the baby. If your belly is high, you’ve heard you might be carrying a baby. If your belly is low, you’re carrying a girl. But actually, this hardly has any truth to it. If you’re a tall woman, you’re likely to be carrying high because the belly weight is distributed more evenly, while if you’re on the shorter side you might be carrying a little lower. Also if your baby is a transverse lie (horizontal), your bump might also be a little low. The baby should get to the head-down position by 36 weeks, so you’ve not got anything to worry about there.
Your belly’s size
You might be concerned that your belly is too big or small. Conventionally, your belly grows according to your weeks of pregnancy. You could have a larger belly because of fluid retention or swelling, or maybe you’re a little on the heavier side so naturally, your belly is a bit bigger. If you’re suspicious about having something like gestational diabetes, your doctor can usually check for that and give you the appropriate medication required. If you’re underweight, however, as in, you were underweight before you got pregnant, you might have to gain a little weight for your belly. Now you’re eating for two and your body is basically a home for the baby till it’s born. However, obsessively tracking your weight and measuring your belly during pregnancy isn’t really going to help you. It’ll just add to your worries.
The question of stretch marks
Stretch marks are hard to predict, and any woman can get them. Although there are a lot of products out there that try to reduce them while you’re pregnant, the efficacy of these products isn’t really certain. Stretch marks might be genetic. You might also get them if you lose or gain weight very quickly in general. It’s quite difficult to tell, so it’s much better to just forget about it. A lot of women have stretch marks and there’s nothing ugly about them. If you really feel uncomfortable, after the baby is born you can see a skin specialist or try some products that might be of benefit. However, reducing their appearance can be a bit of a long-drawn-out process, if it works at all.
Bump size doesn’t correlate to baby size
Many believe that the larger your bump is, the larger the baby is going to be, and similarly for small bumps, the smaller it is, the smaller the child is. When doctors look at the bump, they’re examining the outline of the baby in utero, not necessarily the size of the baby. If your bump is larger, it might be because you’re a bit shorter or that you have weaker stomach muscles. It might also be because of certain growths in your uterus called fibroids. Such concerns will be addressed by your doctor, hopefully. But you shouldn’t worry in advance about having to push out a very large baby simply because your bump is huge.
All in all, pregnancy can be a hard enough time without having to worry about these additional things. People will randomly touch your belly or ask you invasive questions, and you’ll have to deal with those things as well. Parenthood really is a whole 24-hour job in itself, so this is just the beginning!