No matter what you look like while pregnant, your pregnant belly is not weird. It’s probably perfectly normal.
My pregnant belly was huge. I’ll just admit it.
Prior to my pregnancy, I’d read so many articles about how first-time moms typically don’t show much, until late in the pregnancy.
Those articles were wrong.
By the time I announced my pregnancy at about 11 weeks, it was because I literally couldn’t hide it anymore and people were starting to notice.
I honestly just got tired of the awkward stares down at my belly as I walked down the halls at work, so I just got it out in the open.
A week before I announced, I’d gone to see a friend who is a former collegiate basketball player, tall and slender and I noticed how fantastic and in shape she looked. I told her about my pregnancy and she announced she was pregnant too, almost two months ahead of me!
I would never have known unless she told me. What was wrong with my body? Was I having twins that had been missed on the ultrasound? Was I gaining too much weight too fast? As a newbie, about a billion questions and concerns filtered through my mind, but after checking in with the doctor I found out all was well.
I was just told every pregnant body is different, and can even be different for each pregnancy from the same woman and that is perfectly okay.
There are dozens of reasons why your pregnant body may look different from others or from what some people would consider “normal.”
- Height of the mom
- Previous pregnancies
- Presence of fibroids (benign tumors) in or around the uterus.
None of these things absolutely mean that your body is abnormal. Of course, knowing this didn’t stop people from making comments my entire pregnancy:
“Are you sure there’s only one baby in there?”
“Most first-time mom’s don’t start showing that soon,”
“Be sure you don’t gain too much weight because it’ll be hard to come off later.”
That last one was pretty brazen and required some self-restraint on my part!
In the end, my pregnancy was pretty healthy and my baby came into the world at a perfectly healthy size, but there were a few things I learned along the way about handling both my own body comparison issues and other people’s comments. Maybe these will help you out too.
You don’t have to acknowledge strange or unwelcome comments.
When someone would say, “Wow, your belly is huge,” I would respond, “So is yours, are you pregnant too?” Just kidding! I didn’t say that (well, maybe in my head!) but I actually learned to not respond at all. When I would hear a comment about my belly, I’d just ignore it and immediately change the subject. You don’t owe anyone any explanations about your body or your baby.
Remind Yourself that your body is doing an amazing thing despite what it looks like.
This is pretty important because the person we tend to criticize the most is ourselves. It’s so easy to get caught into the trap of comparing your body with everyone else’s. Just don’t do it. Try to weed out those moments of comparison and doubt about your body, with positive affirmations, reinforcing the positive parts of your pregnancy. Your body is so strong and doing this incredible thing. You are growing an actual human. Regardless of what it looks like on the outside, what is happening on the inside is simply incredible. Try to focus on that.
Use this time as a practice in accepting that all bodies are different; even babies.
Parents worry about a lot of things. One of the biggest is a concern for their child’s physical growth and development. Every appointment with your pediatrician will be a chance for you to choose something to worry about. Are they growing on a lower percentile curve than other babies? Why hasn’t your baby started rolling over at 4 months? She’s a year old and not walking yet, what could be wrong??? Oh man, the list goes on and on. The comparison game in pregnancy only continues 100 fold once that baby is born.
Do yourself a huge favor now and begin accepting that every single human on this earth has unique physical traits that are personal to them. Everyone will grow in different ways at different times. That includes both yours and your child’s body. There is an immense amount of beauty in this world because of those differences. Learning to accept this about yourself right now during pregnancy will help you better accept it when your baby arrives and as they grow.