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What is the approximate size of belly during different stages of pregnancy? What happens if stomach too small? – Part 2

This is a continuation of a previous post on this topic (Approximate size of belly during different stages of pregnancy – Part 1). Please read the first part as well.

Second trimester (contd.)
At 20 weeks:
• Baby is more active
• Slight fluttering is felt
• Baby develops lanugo – fine hair
• Baby is covered with a waxy coating called vernix which protects skin
• Eyelashes, fingernails, Eyebrows and toenails have formed.
• Baby can scratch itself
• Baby hears and swallows
• Baby is around 6 inches long
• It weighs around 9 ounces

At 24 weeks:
• Bone marrow starts to make blood cells.
• Taste buds form on the tongue
• Footprints and fingerprints form
• Real hair starts to grow on the head.
• Lungs form
• Startling and hand reflex grow
• Baby sleeps and wakes
• Genitals form
• Baby is about 12 inches long
• It weighs about 1½ pounds

Uterus size: In this trimester, the uterus size is that of a general sized papaya. It has extended away from pelvis. It is placed between the navel and breasts. The growth of uterus causes pressure on other organs, ligaments and muscles causing pain and aches. This is normal. Navel may stick out which reverts back after birth.

Third trimester:

Week 29- 40

Changes or discomforts of pregnancy continue like bloating, constipation etc. Additionally, there might be difficulty in breathing, frequent urination, bloating etc. This is due to increase in the size of the baby causes an effect of pressurizing of other organs.

Changes include:
• Shortness of breath
• Heartburn
• Swelling of the ankles, fingers and face
• Hemorrhoids
• Tender breasts
• Pre-milking breasts (colostrums secretion)
• Belly button might stick out
• Sleeping Trouble
• Baby dropping
• Contractions

With the closeness of due date, the cervix tends to become softer and thinner. This is termed as effacing. This is a natural process to aid the birth canal or vagina to dilate and pave a way to the baby. This is checked during pelvic examination.

At 32 weeks:
• Bones are soft and fully formed
• Baby kicks and jabs
• Eyes can open and close
• It senses changes of light.
• Lungs practice “breathing”
• Body starts to store vital minerals
• Lanugo starts to fall off.
• Baby is around 15 to 17 inches long
• It weighs about 4 to 4½ pounds

At 36 weeks:
• Vernix gets thicker
• Body fat increases
• Stretches and wiggles are felt
• Baby is around 16 to 19 inches long
• It weighs around 6 to 6½ pounds.

37 weeks:
• Baby is fully developed and its organs function completely. It is a full term baby.
• At birth, baby might be between 6 pounds 2 ounces – 9 pounds 2 ounces
• It may be 19 to 21 inches long.

Uterus size: In this trimester, uterus has completely grown. It would be of a size of a watermelon. It extends to ribcage bottom from the pubic area. With due date, it drops lower into the pelvis.

What happens if stomach too small?
A pregnant woman with a small stomach is considered to have a baby that is not developing properly.

But a small stomach could be due to:

Being a mother for first time:
The abdominal muscles stretch after pregnancy. Since it is first time being pregnant, the muscles that are quite toned and tight stretch slowly. It may look as if the baby is smaller due to this. If the woman is an athletic then there are chances of small appearance of the belly.

The position of the baby:
Baby’s movement and position keeps changing up till 32-34 weeks in pregnancy. The baby’s position can hence be a reason for appearance of a small belly appearance in pregnancy. In late pregnancy, the baby moves from one side to other on its back which changes the shape of the belly.

Height: Tall or long-waist woman tend to have large spacial length between bottom of the lower rib and top of the hip. This aids in baby’s growth upwards making them appear smaller. This is because belly may look small as the uterus in not pushed forward unlike many others.

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