How Does A Pregnant Belly Feel In Early Pregnancy
For most of your first trimester, you may not feel much, if any, difference in your belly. It will probably be soft and look a little bigger similar to when you get bloated during your period or after you’ve eaten a large meal.
Your baby is still tiny at the end of the first trimester, they weigh just half an ounce and measure around 2 inches long.
Your uterus is still nestled in your pelvis, well protected by those strong bones. In early pregnancy, a bigger belly or feeling of tightness is probably due to digestive changes. As your uterus takes up more room in your pelvis, it’s pushing your intestines upward. In addition, hormonal changes are slowing your digestion, leading to increased gas and constipation.
Why Do Bellies Get Hard During Pregnancy
As mentioned earlier, numerous factors can influence your pregnant belly.
The most common reasons why a pregnant womens belly gets tight and hard during pregnancy are uterus expansion, labor-related contractions, and muscle stretch. However, sometimes, a miscarriage can also cause this physical change. So, if you are experiencing cramping and bleeding, you should immediately contact your doctor.
While some pregnant women can notice the hardening of their belly even before the 1st trimester, others might not even notice it until much later. Here are some of the most common causes why your belly gets tight and hard during pregnancy:
- True-Labor Contractions
- Gastrointestinal Issues
- Uterine expansion
These clinical signs can cause the hardening of your belly, but they are not quite consistent. The momentary nature of these signs can cause soft and hard bellies from time to time. So, you dont have to get worried immediately if you feel like your bump is disappearing.
Is Pregnant Tummy Hard Or Soft
Generally, you expect a hard stomach when youre pregnant. Your hard-feeling stomach is caused by the pressure of your uterus growing and putting pressure on your abdomen. The hardness of your stomach while pregnant can be more pronounced if you eat a low-fiber diet or drink a lot of carbonated beverages.
Dont Miss: Why Does My Stomach Blow Up After I Eat
Does Your Tummy Get Bigger At 6 Weeks Pregnant
Don t be surprised if you develop a bit of a 6 weeks pregnant belly. Although your 6 week embryo is still well down in your pelvis, some women, especially those whove been pregnant before, seem to show much earlier. General abdominal distention is usually the cause.
Hard Stomach Tummy Early Pregnancy
As soon as you complete 30 weeks of your pregnancy, dont be surprised if you get a hard feeling around your belly areae Hard stomach during pregnancy is very common and this happens because of the growing uterusu For some, it is earlier, approximately after the completion of eight to twelve weeks of pregnancyc Belly hardening during pregnancy depends on your body type as welll If you are slim, it is possible to detect a small hard uterus when you are just about a week or two into your pregnancyc However, if you are overweight, then it may take more time for your uterus to push out against the skin and appear hardr The point that you need to remember here is that your stomach never goes rock-hardr It will become fully hard only when you go into labor or when you start getting the real contractionsn Although, you cannot do much about this condition, you can definitely start looking at it as a temporary phase that you need to sail through in order to get the bundle of joy in your handsd
Because of the fact that the hard stomach under normal circumstances can also easily be the result of certain medical conditions such as gastroenteritis, it is highly recommended that you approach a doctor for a physical check up as well as to ensure that this is not the main reason that your belly appears to feel hardr If it is, then follow the treatment plan prescribed by the doctoro
You May Like: How Long Does It Take Couples To Get Pregnant
How Reliable Are Home Pregnancy Tests
According to the NHS, home pregnancy tests are reliable as long as you follow the instructions correctly. It may not be reliable if you didnt follow instructions or youve taken the test too early.
Most pregnancy tests can be taken after the first missed period, with any tests taken before this time running the risk of being inaccurate. Professionals also recommend avoiding drinking too much fluid ahead of doing a test, as it can dilute the level of HGC.
Negative tests may not be reliable if youve taken it too early, as the level of HGC might not be enough at the time of taking it. Tests can also vary in their sensitivity and so its recommended you read instructions thoroughly before using one, as theres no guarantee each one will be the same.
Does The Hard Part On Your Stomach Mean Youre Pregnant
When youre pregnant, you should expect a firm stomach. The pressure of your uterus developing and placing strain on your abdomen is causing your hard-feeling stomach. If you eat a low-fiber diet or consume a lot of carbonated beverages while pregnant, the hardness of your stomach may become more evident.
Tummy ache, pinching, and pulling In the early stages of pregnancy, some women get feelings within their tummies that mimic the sensation of their muscles being tugged and stretched. These tingles, often known as abdominal twinges, are not cause for concern.
Also Check: How Many Days To Check Pregnancy
My Child Hates Their Playpen What Do I Do
Am I pregnant?
One of the special things about pregnancy is that no two women experience it in the same way. One woman doesnt stop vomiting for weeks in the first trimester, and another might never even feel nauseous .
There are several early signs of pregnancy. Some of them are subtle, and you may not notice them right away, or you may mistake them for PMS since they are similar. In fact, in one study, 29% of women reported that missing their period was their first clue that they were pregnant.2
Youll probably want to know if youre pregnant sooner rather than later since its important to receive appropriate prenatal care and discontinue any unhealthy habits you may have.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, and if youve missed a period, you should definitely take a pregnancy test. Its the only way to know for sure if youre pregnant or not.
Why Is My Belly So Hard When I Am Pregnant
However, as a result of this stretch, the belly of a pregnant woman becomes rather firm. The discomfort associated with the stretching of the round ligament might feel like someone is stabbing you in the stomach. It affects the right side of the pregnant belly the majority of the time, however many women experience it on the left side, the right side, or both sides.
Read Also: How Does The Stomach Feel In Early Pregnancy
How To Love Your Pregnant Belly
Some women are smitten with their bump from the get-go and others have mixed emotions about their changing bodies throughout the different pregnant belly stages. While all the feelings are normal, resist the urge to compare your someone elses moreover, it may be different for you from pregnancy to pregnancy. Bumps are a beautiful thing, but no person should obsess about their bump size or stress over them. Every body is different, Duke says.
Instead, focus those energies on taking care of yourself and attending all of your prenatal appointments to have the healthiest pregnancy possible, Duke suggests. And dont forget to snap a few pictures of your bump as it grows. Months or years from now, you will be glad you did.
About the experts:
, MD, is an ob-gyn with Texas Health Physicians Group in Bedford, Texas. She earned her medical degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Cindy Duke, MD, PhD, FACOG, is an ob-gyn and clinical assistant professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine. A dual fertility specialist and virology expert, she earned her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry in New York.
Plus, more from The Bump:
How Will I Know When I Am Having Contractions
You might think that youll feel a contraction as soon as it starts, but they often start slowly and then build in intensity. So, how do you know if the cramps you feel are just gas or something more?
Don’t Miss: Do You Get Full Faster When Pregnant
Your Body At 40 Weeks Of Pregnancy
At full term, or 40 weeks of pregnancy, the fetus head has generally lowered into your pelvis, where it takes up most of the space. This is called lightening. In first pregnancies, this may happen a few weeks before labor. In repeat pregnancies, this can happen at the time of labor. The canal of the broad, enlarged cervix is still filled with the plug of mucous. If this is your first pregnancy, the small opening at the bottom of your cervix is usually not dilated, whereas if you have given birth before, it will often be open as wide as two fingers some time before labor begins.
At this point, you may be experiencing frequent urination, increased constipation, edema and aching legs or vulva. Varicose veins in the vulva, rectum and legs are also possible. This is because of the position of the uterus, the pressure of the baby’s head and a loss of muscle tone as the hormone relaxin loosens your tissues in preparation for birth. Other changes at this time include increased development of blood vessels and increased amount of blood.
Pregnancy Week By Week: Week 5
If you have confirmed your pregnancy by a home pregnancy test, you know you are definitely pregnant.
But your body could already be giving that away your breasts and nipple may feel very tender.
You might have also felt some cramping and backache. If this is very painful, see your care provider.
Your baby is very tiny and looks a little bit like a tadpole. The placenta and umbilical cord have developed and are helping to nourish your baby as they will for the next 8 months.
Recommended Reading: Can Stomach Issues Cause Bad Breath
Don’t Miss: Can You Eat Tuna While Pregnant
What Part Of Your Stomach Gets Hard When Pregnant
The baby will grow rapidly throughout weeks 1327 of pregnancy. This is the point at which you may begin to feel the baby from the outside. A firm place on your abdomen during the first trimester is most likely your fundus, which is the top of your uterus. Your uterus grows by about 25 percent in volume, so its reasonable to assume that there is some hardening of the tissue at this stage to support the growing baby.
Your cervix also becomes more flexible at this stage, making it easier for your fetus to be born. You can relax your pelvic muscles now too, since you wont need them anymore once the baby is born.
Your womb fills with blood to provide nutrients to the growing baby. This makes your belly look bigger and also explains why you might feel bloated even though youre not eating much different than before you knew you were pregnant.
Your breasts will also fill up with milk to feed the baby after it is born. Most women report that they dont feel like themselves during their first trimester rather, their bodies are constantly changing shape to accommodate the growing baby.
As well as feeling big and swollen, you may also experience heartburn, constipation, morning sickness, and headaches. All these symptoms can be explained by the changes that take place in your body during the first trimester.
Recommended Reading: What Does An Ulcer Feel Like In Your Stomach
Your Bump Wont Disappear Right After Giving Birth
After you get home from the hospital, dont reach for those skinny jeans quite yet. Youll still have a post-baby belly after your little one has come into the world. After all, it took nine months for your uterus, abdominal muscles and skin to stretch to their current size. So itll probably take at least a few months or longer for everything to go back to the way it was .
If it seems like your belly still has a bump-like appearance many months after giving birth and feel soreness around your belly button or lower abdomen, you could have diastasis recti which can happen when a growing belly causes abdominal muscles to separate and protrude slightly. Sometimes diastasis recti resolves on its own, but talk to your doctor if its not easing up. Most of the time the problem can be fixed with targeted core exercises.
In the meantime, think about all the incredible things your body has done over the last 40 weeks. And soak up this special time with your adorable newborn!
From before you begin to show to the time your baby finally arrives, your belly is growing and changing. And now that you know more about your baby bump, you probably appreciate it more too. Not only is it the warm, cozy, nourishing home where your little sweet pea spends her first nine months, its also a way for you and your baby to bond and even get to know each other before shes born. So embrace that bump!
- A Child Is Born, Lennart Nilsson, October 2004.
What Triggers Braxton Hicks Contractions
One of the things that might cause them is sudden movement. If youve been stationary for a long period of time and then suddenly get up or start exercising, thatll do it.
They can also happen as a result of physical pleasure or due to the babys movements in the womb.
These false contractions are also known to strike when youre dehydrated, which is why drinking enough water is highly recommended.
Have people been touching your stomach excessively lately? Because this can also cause you to go into false labor.
Finally, a full bladder and doing too much without resting enough is likely to result in BH contractions so always keep that in mind.
You May Like: Can I Smoke Marijuana While Pregnant
Early Signs Of Pregnancy: 23 Symptoms To Be Aware Of
Dont miss these early signs of pregnancy and oh-so common pregnancy symptoms
Thank you for signing up to . You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Early signs of pregnancy are always there, and there are many, you just need to know what to look for.
If you think you might be pregnant and know its too early to take a pregnancy test, and definitely too early for an ultrasound scan, then look out for the subtle signs of pregnancy that we outline below you know your body better than anyone.
Early signs and pregnancy symptoms can show as soon as four days after conception. For most people, one of the early signs of pregnancy is a missed period,Lesley Gilchrist, registered midwife, and co-founder of My Expert Midwife, explains. Some people feel tired and a little sick before this. Its these symptoms that are the most common in early pregnancy. They tend to show around six weeks from your last period and improve from about 12 weeks onwards.
Read Also: What Does Low Platelets Mean In Pregnancy
Recommended Reading: Can I Go To Urgent Care While Pregnant
Alternative Ways To Check For Pregnancy
If you dont want to buy a test yet, there are other ways you can find out whether its likely youre pregnant or not. But keep in mind that this is in no way accurate, and pregnancy tests are the best way to confirm your pregnancy.
All of the symptoms listed above can be early signs of pregnancy, but dont always mean that you are. If youre experiencing several of them at once, it could be a sign that its time to take a test.
Clearblue has a free online quiz which asks you about any symptoms, as well as what contraceptives youve been using, if applicable. It takes minutes and they can give you advice on whether or not to use one of their tests.
You also know your own body better than anyone, so you might identify significant changes to your mood, physical changes to your body especially around the stomach. If you have regular periods, any changes to that routine could indicate youre expecting too.