The Size of Your Belly During Pregnancy

Sometimes for pregnant women it may seem as if their tummy is growing before their eyes or, on the contrary, it is almost imperceptible. Let’s read the comments of experts on this question.

– What factors depend on belly size during pregnancy?

– Belly height, that is, the height of the uterus, normally coincides with the pregnancy period. For example, at 32 weeks of gestation, it should be 32-33 cm. And the volume of the belly depends on the individual characteristics of a woman. Sometimes anatomical structure affects it: miniature women with thin pelvises have a larger belly than tall women with full thighs. But most of all belly growth is linked to the overall weight gain of the pregnant woman. This is the factor that a woman should always pay attention to.

– What weight gain is considered normal?

– Each woman has her own individual norm. It depends on the body mass index, which can be calculated according to a special formula. Divide the weight in kg by the height in square metres. The normal index is 19.8 to 25.9. If you are expecting twins, add at least 2.3-4.6 kg to these figures.

Most women gain 40% of their weight in the first half of pregnancy and 60% in the second half. If a woman had a normal weight before pregnancy, then in the first period she can gain no more than 1.5-2 kg, in the second – 0.5 kg per week, and for the whole 9 months – no more than 0.5-1. kilogram. The weight should be increased evenly and gradually. The development of a normal baby depends on it.

– What are the dangers of being overweight?

– If a woman has gained too much weight, both herself and the fetus may suffer. Excessive weight gain – one of the signs of late toxicosis, an unhealthy condition of a pregnant woman. Late toxicosis can provoke the development of the threat of miscarriage. In this case, the woman begins to feel pain in her waist and lower abdomen. In extremely severe cases, preterm labor or premature placental exfoliation can occur.

Also, being overweight makes it harder for the muscles to work. It also causes edema in the feet, anterior abdominal wall and hands. Back and calf-leg muscles begin to ache, blood circulation in the leg veins deteriorates, varicose disease becomes more intense. The pregnant woman gets tired more often and becomes stronger, irritable. As for the fetus, late toxicosis can cause chronic anoxia and even prenatal death. Very full women have a higher risk of such complications.

– What can cause extremely rapid weight gain during pregnancy?

– Sometimes people who like to eat well gain weight quickly. However, moderation in eating still does not guarantee normal weight. In some female organisms, too much fluid can accumulate – for example, when the kidneys do not work well enough. Therefore, if a pregnant woman is gaining weight too quickly, she should control the amount of fluid she drinks and develops day and night. The healthy woman develops more fluids than she drinks. And the accumulation of fluid in the organism leads to excess weight. Then not only external organs, but also internal organs swell. Edema of the placenta is especially dangerous: they disrupt the development of the normal fetus.

– How can a pregnant woman get rid of edema?

– While going to the maternity ward, he/she should pay close attention to the recommendations regarding the nutrition regime that the doctor will give him/her. As a rule, doctors advise all pregnant women to limit the consumption of salty, spicy, fried and fatty products. The thing is that these products contribute to the accumulation of fluid in the organism and lead to edema. It is recommended to arrange fasting days every 10 days. Of course, this does not mean that a pregnant woman should not eat. Fasting is categorically contraindicated for a future mother. On fasting days, a pregnant woman should limit herself to certain products, for example, apples, cotton cheese, kefir, meat in strictly established quantities. He should also observe his confinement to the bed – this improves the excretion of fluid from the organism. Diuretic herbs also help a lot. However, it should not suddenly restrict the amount of liquid drunk. It should not drink less than 1.2-1.5 liters day and night.

– It turns out that it is quite simple to combat edema?

– Unfortunately, not always. Weight gain depends in many ways on the functioning of the kidneys. So, for example, if a woman has chronic urolithiasis, chronic pyelonephritis, weight is quickly gained. Sometimes pyelonephritis occurs during pregnancy. Since the hormonal background changes during this period. The organism begins to produce more hormones, which contributes to the expansion of the urinary tract. And through these open doors, various infections come to the kidneys. For this reason, all pregnant women should pass the bacteriological test of vaginal secretions and constantly check their urine analysis.

– What if the fetus of a pregnant woman is very large and this explains her excess weight?

– Sometimes these things happen. However, this may testify to another problem. Very often women with diabetes have a large fetus. If a woman was born large, she needs to control the sugar content in the blood and urine, since diabetes can also progress in a latent form. Sometimes diabetes occurs during pregnancy. Again due to hormonal background change. Such pregnant women are at risk – even if only one of several tests showed high sugar content. By the way, excess weight during pregnancy often forces obstetricians to use a cesarean section.

– Under what circumstances is sudden weight gain particularly undesirable?

– Excess weight gain is especially dangerous in the second half of pregnancy, more precisely from the 20th week. And the sooner such complications occur, the more difficult the confinement of a woman will be.

That’s why we recommend women to pay attention to their weight and to have arterial pressure and urinalysis done on both hands. If a woman has late toxicosis, as a rule, her blood pressure increases and albumin appears in the urine. If all 3 symptoms are found – edema, high blood pressure and albumin in the urine – a woman is urgently hospitalized.

– Probably my question will surprise you. Is it possible to somehow “adjust” the size of the fetus?

– I think yes. For this, a balanced diet containing products rich in animal and vegetable proteins, vitamins and minerals is necessary. A woman must necessarily take vitamin preparations. Of course, these are the facts in the book, but a woman doesn’t always follow these rules for one reason or another.

– It would seem that the size of the navel also depends on the amount of amniotic fluid? Does the liquid a woman drinks affect them?

– No. The causes of excess amniotic fluid are quite different: diabetes, abnormalities in fetal development, Rh-conflict, infectious complications. If a woman has a small amount of amniotic fluid, it usually means she will give birth to a post-mature baby.

– Probably, too small belly is better than too big?

– No, I wouldn’t say that. Inadequate weight gain often leads to defects in fetal development, delivery of a very small baby, premature birth and sometimes even death of a newborn baby. Pregnant women should strive for the “golden middle”.

Meanwhile, American scientists noticed that women with an optimistic outlook on life give birth to babies with less weight. Experts say optimistic women take better care of their health: get regular exercise and eat well.

– Is there a direct dependence between the emotional state of a pregnant woman and excess weight?

– Probably there is. You know, some women who are stressed start eating every meal they see and emptying the fridge. Here goes the excess weight. And, on the contrary, other women can not eat at all in a state of stress. Therefore, it is very important for close people and the future mother to pay attention to her stable, calm emotional mood.

Approximate distribution of weight gained during pregnancy

Baby 3,5 kg

Placenta 0.675 kg

amniotic fluid 0.8 kg

Increased uterus 0.9 kg

Breasts 0.45 kg

Volume of maternal blood 1.5 kg

Maternal intracellular fluid 1.4 kg

Maternal fat cellulose 3.25 kg


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