Belly of the pregnant woman: what evolution during pregnancy?

When does the belly start to get bigger and rounder during pregnancy?

Once the pregnancy is confirmed, it often takes the expectant mother to see her belly appear. So, at what point in pregnancy is the uterus large enough to become visible? If some women have a slight baby bump at the end of the pregnancy, 2and month of pregnancy, others regret not seeing anything at the end of 4 months. Yes the appearance of the pregnancy belly usually occurs between the 3rd and the 4th month of pregnancyit varies widely from one pregnant woman to another.

Audrey Martini Obstetrician: “At 4 months of pregnancy, the uterus is about the size of a grapefruit and exceeds the pubic symphysis, which explains why it becomes visible”

But various factors make the abdomen more or less visible quickly. “It depends on the physical from the future mother, from her muscular systemby Number of pregnancies previous and also the position of the uterus‘ says the midwife.
A woman whose belly band is very muscular will tend to keep your belly flat longer in early pregnancy, because the uterus is located underneath it. Gradually, the abdominal muscles stretch and move apart to allow the uterus to expand in the abdominal cavity.
” De uterine retroversion may delay the appearance of the tummy at the beginning of pregnancy,” adds the obstetrician. This anatomical feature affects 20 to 30% of women, the others have an anteversion of the uterus, namely tilted forward and resting against the bladder.
Finally, it seems that there is also a psychological partin the more or less rapid appearance of the mother’s abdomen. “A woman who had a very strong pregnancy desire and waited a long time to get pregnant may have a belly faster than another, for whom the pregnancy was less expected,” explains the obstetrician. This is also what happens, conversely, during a pregnancy refusal, when the belly sometimes remains almost imperceptible until the moment of pregnancy.

Is it different in a second pregnancy?

During a second or third pregnancy, the abdomen tends to get out » faster † “The uterine muscles have already been stretched during the previous pregnancy and are therefore more flexible,” notes Audrey Martini.

At the time of fertilization, the sperm of the father pierces the membrane of the mother egg to enter it and permanently close the entrance to the remaining sperm. A few hours later, the chromosomes of the two cells fuse to form the egg. The latter then begins its descent into the fallopian tube, which will take 3 to 4 days. At this stage, the egg resembles a blackberry, it is called morula. At D+7 after fertilization, the egg implants itself in the endometrium: this is The nidation.

During the 5and SA (week of amenorrhea) : the egg becomes embryo.
It goes from a round shape to an elongated shape and measures 2.5 mm, from the head to the tailbone. “During the first two months of pregnancy, the embryo develops: its organs, its nervous system and its main pole are put in place and the baby’s cells are differentiated from those of the placenta,” the midwife describes.

To the 11and HAIR : the embryo becomes a fetus.
Its organs and tissues develop and grow. During the 2nd trimester, the fetus experiences a dizzying growth : the cranio-caudal length increases from 12 to 25-30 cm. Between the 16th and 20th week of pregnancy, the mother begins to feel the baby’s movements in her abdomen, such as kicks or hiccups. Finally, during the 3rd trimester, all his organs, and in particular his lungs and brain, refine and mature.
At the end of pregnancy, the fetus weighs an average of 3 kg, to which 0.5 kg of amniotic fluid and 0.5 kg of placenta are added.

How does the uterus change during pregnancy?

The uterus is a pear-shaped hollow muscular organ nestled in a woman’s lower abdomen, between the bladder and rectum. It is intended to house the fertilized egg until its expulsion, 9 months later. Without pregnancy it measures about 7 cm long and 5 cm wide. During the weeks of pregnancy and fetal growth, this muscle stretch and grow.
To monitor the proper growth of the fetus and the smooth progress of the pregnancy, the midwife regularly measures the foundation height of the future mother. “This measurement is done with a tape measure, placed between the symphysis pubis – just above the mons pubis – and the fundus of the uterus, identified by manual palpation,” explains Audrey Martini.

The body length increases by about 4 cm per month from the 5th month of pregnancy to the 7th completed month. From the 8th month until term, it increases by 0.5 cm per week.

Until 5 months pregnancy: the fundal height is 20 cm, and the uterus is about the size of a coconut.

Until 7 months pregnancy: the fundal height is 28 cm and the uterus has the size of a pineapple.

futures: the fundus height is 32 to 33 cm and the uterus has the size of a . reaches watermelon.

Pregnancy line: when does it appear and why?

Also called “linea nigra”, the pregnancy line is a brown pigmentation of the skin, which goes from the pubic bone to the navel and sometimes even to the sternum. Very common and completely benign, affects approximately: 3 future mothers out of 4. It usually appears towards the end of the first trimester under the influence of: pregnancy hormones, and in particular of the melanotrope synthesized by the placenta. “This line fades postpartum, usually a few weeks after delivery,” reassures the midwife.
To prevent it from getting too dark and last longer, it’s best to limiting sun exposure and apply a total screen.

Belly High or Low: Why Don’t Pregnant Women Carry Their Babies the Same Way?

When some women carry their baby very high, others very low, while still others carry it wide: what explains these differences? “The shape of the abdomen depends on several factors: the duration of the pregnancy, the number of fetuses, the number of previous pregnancies, the location of the fetus and also the amount of amniotic fluid,” recalls Audrey Martini.
It also depends on the absfrom mom:

Audrey Martini: “The more muscular and firm the belly band, the higher and more pointed the belly. Conversely, a very low abdomen is generally a reflection of poorly developed abs.

It also happens that the baby is transverse , namely lying horizontally in the womb: the mother’s belly then becomes very wide, in “banana”. Whatever happens, the shape of the abdomen can evolve during pregnancy, at the same time as the baby’s position changes.

Pregnant woman’s soft or hard belly: what is it?

Normally the belly of the pregnant woman is supple and therefore quite soft. But sometimes it starts to get hard for a few seconds, usually from the 2and trimester of pregnancy: We talk about Braxton-Hicks contractions.These painless contractions usually last between 20 and 30 seconds and can occur at any time of the day. they can beall the way normal, but if the frequency exceeds 10 per day and or if they are accompanied by other symptoms, a medical consultation is necessary.

What shape of belly for a girl or a boy?

We sometimes hear it said that a high and pointy belly definitely hides a boy, and that a low and wide belly probably hides a girl: At the risk of disappointing curious parents-to-be, it’s a legend. “The Shape of the Mother’s Belly” does not predict the sex of the baby in any way confirms Audrey Martini.

What special features in a twin pregnancy?

In a multiple pregnancy, the uterine volume – and therefore the abdominal circumference – is logically larger than when the mother is expecting a single baby. “At 5 months of pregnancy, the foundation height of a woman expecting twins is the same as at 8 months of pregnancy, in the case of a single fetus. In time, the foundation height is 4 to 6 cm higher if the woman is expecting twins”, sums up the midwife.

And after childbirth: how long does it take for the abdomen to return to its original shape?

Going from a round and firm belly that protects the baby, to a soft belly, with swollen and empty skin after birth, is never easy for the young mother. In order to regain her pre-pregnancy body and belly, it is necessary on the one hand that her uterus returns to its original position on the other hand, that they remuscles are belly band,and finally that it loses the small fat reserves it has sometimes built up.

“Classically, just after childbirth, the uterus returns to the level of the navel, it is hard and firm, then we speak of the uterine bulb,” describes the obstetrician. It usually returns to its original size in4 to 8 weeksknowing that breastfeeding promotes uterine contractions, and thus its retraction.
“In addition, breastfeeding generates significant calorie expenditure because more calories are burned feeding a baby than an intrauterine baby,” explains Audrey Martini. l’ feed with milk– in addition to the benefits for the child and the mother – is therefore a good way for the latter to find your linebut it is important to eat well during this period.

That is why we advise young mothers not to follow a slimming diet too soon after birth. Childbirth and the first weeks with a newborn are physically demanding. It is therefore preferable that she wait a while to get her marks and regain her strength.

Finally, in order to regain a flat stomach, it is essential to re-muscle the abdominal band, which has been stretched and weakened during pregnancy. “But be careful, before doing any physical exercise that calls for the abs, it’s imperative”waiting for perineal rehabilitationwhich must be run from aone and a half monthafter delivery,” the midwife insists.

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