Although you can suck in a baby bump for a short while, it is not recommended. Doing so can weaken your stomach and pelvis muscles, and cause you back pain. Alternately, the right clothes and accessories can make any baby bump appear smaller, or even hide it altogether.
Another suitable approach would be an appropriate regimen of exercises such as the bloom method’s belly pumping or pregnancy yoga classes.
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Okay, so you’ve reached that point in pregnancy where the charm of the baby bump has worn off. Sure, it’s great to know that your little one is growing, and sometimes it’s even charming when people ask to feel the baby kick.
But when it’s seven in the morning and you’re desperately trying to pull your socks on but you can’t reach over the baby bump, it’s easy to become annoyed and want to suck in that baby bump, even for just a little while.
So, the question is, can you suck in a baby bump, and is it safe for the baby?
If not, what are some healthy alternatives?
Is it Possible to Suck in a Baby Bump?
Although it isn’t possible to make a baby bump completely disappear by sucking it in, there are some alternatives to make your belly look smaller.
You could start by doing the Bloom method’s fitness program, which was specifically designed for pregnant women.
This program has an exercise known as belly pumping, which seems to be the latest craze in pregnancy exercises.
This exercise gives baby bumps the appearance of being sucked in for a small period of time, and though it doesn’t last long, it is a great way to tone and strengthen the stomach and pelvis muscles; this helps greatly when it comes to giving birth.
Another exercise regime for pregnant women is pregnancy yoga.
Pregnancy yoga is meant to be a relaxing set of exercises that strengthen and tone the muscles that will be used when giving birth.
With enough time spent on these courses, they should even help increase flexibility, aid sleep, decrease lower back pain, prevent headaches, increase lung capacity, and prevent nausea.
If you don’t have the money to attend a pregnancy yoga course, you can do it for free in the comfort of your home; all you need is access to the internet which has plenty of free tutorials on YouTube or Apps.
However, exercise isn’t for everyone and if belly pumping isn’t your style, then you may wonder whether you can compress your baby bump for a short while, instead of sucking it in.
With the use of leggings or tighter clothes, you can ‘tuck in’ your baby bump for a short while, with no risk to the baby.
Babies in the womb are protected by the amniotic fluid surrounding them, as well as the muscles of the uterus, allowing small levels of compression.
Unfortunately, tighter clothes aren’t usually comfortable, and while they won’t hurt your baby, you may not be able to say the same for yourself when the fabrics start to chafe your skin.
If you are looking to stay comfortable, you may wish to try some alternatives when attempting to make your baby bump look smaller.
If you don’t wish to exercise or ‘tuck in’ your baby bump with tight clothes, then you may still be thinking about sucking some of the excess weight in for a short while.
Although this technique is okay for a few seconds while you try to reach over your bump and put your socks on, for example, it isn’t recommended for any longer period of time.
Sucking in your stomach for long periods of time can weaken your core muscles, which are vital when giving birth.
It can also leave you with increased back pain where your body weight has shifted and weakened pelvic floor muscles.
If you still feel that you have to suck in your baby bump despite the concerns already laid out, then it is important for you to remember that you shouldn’t do so while you are lying down.
When you lie down, your uterus presses down on the vena cava. The vena cava is a major blood vessel responsible for carrying blood to your brain and to your baby.
Sucking in when you lie down adds to the pressure already on the vena cava, and can make you very dizzy by restricting some of the blood flow to your brain.
Is Belly Pumping Safe for the Baby?
Although belly pumping looks somewhat strenuous, gynecologists have assured mothers to be that it is a completely safe exercise if done correctly. Belly pumping isn’t sucking in your baby bump.
It’s an exercise wherein the mother-to-be synchronizes her core muscle movements to her breathing, thus helping her to lift up the bump through her diaphragm and pelvic floor.
There are several video tutorials online which depict how to correctly perform the belly pumping exercise, as well as some videos by gynecologists, stating their opinions on the exercise.
It is however important to remember that every pregnancy is different and that you should consult your own doctor before trying any strenuous activity to see whether it is safe for you and your baby.
Comfortable Alternatives to Sucking in Baby Bumps
While it is nice to feel good about the way you look, it’s even more important that you feel comfortable.
So, here are a few tips to help you look good while also feeling good.
- Buy Maternity Clothes – You knew that you would have to do this eventually, and maybe you were even dreading the ugly maternity clothes, after all nobody wants to wear a flower-print smock that looks like it came straight from a 70’s dumpster, but you needn’t worry. In this day and age, maternity clothes are fashionable as well as functional.
You can either go out on a shopping trip, or find the clothes you want from the comfort of your own home. Whether you go online or want to shop till you drop, you can find a maternity look for any event.
- Wear More Layers – This can help at the beginning of your pregnancy, when the baby bump is smaller.
Larger coats, jackets, or cardigans can be used alone or combined to hide your baby bump; this is especially great in winter to protect against the colder weather.
- Accessorize – Wearing large earrings or a flashy necklace may sound counter-productive because it doesn’t actually do anything to hide a baby bump, but this method can actually work.
The right accessory can distract the average person, drawing their attention to it instead of to your stomach; spread some cash to look extra flash.
- Wear Loose Dresses – Loose dresses that flow over your body without accentuating curves are now your best friend. Maxi dresses and retro tunic-style dresses are a god-send when it comes to hiding a baby bump.
- Do Sit-ups – You can do sit-ups for the first 16 weeks of your pregnancy, after which they shouldn’t be performed. This will strengthen your core muscles, helping greatly when the time comes to give birth.
Although it isn’t recommended to do sit-ups after the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, there are some other exercises that will help strengthen your core without posing a threat to your baby.
- Attend a Pregnancy Yoga Class – Pregnancy yoga courses are specifically designed to be relaxing while also letting you exercise.
The workouts that you will perform in these courses also help to tone the stomach and strengthen the muscles you need to give birth; this is truly a healthy way to look good during your pregnancy.
- Purchase a Pregnancy Support Belt – You can purchase pregnancy support belts online. These belts are designed to strengthen and support the stomach muscles that usually weaken during pregnancy.
As an added bonus, they also make baby bumps look smaller. These belts should be used with some caution as they shouldn’t be worn constantly, or wrapped too tightly.
So, now you know that sucking in your baby bump for long periods of time often does more harm than good.
You don’t want to weaken your stomach or pelvis muscles or hurt your back.
Fortunately, there are alternatives that can make you look and feel slimmer which are healthier than sucking in the weight.
Do you want to look good for that work party, or just make the baby bump look smaller for a short period of time?
Well, that’s great, because, with the right combination of clothes and accessories, that won’t be a problem.
All you need is loose clothes, flashy patterns, and a great attitude to go with them.
Do you want to work out and keep the baby weight off for a little while longer? No problem! Pregnancy yoga or belly pumping can help you out.
Tone your core stomach muscles and strengthen your pelvic floor with safe exercises designed for pregnant women so that you can look and feel good, all the while helping to prepare for the birth to come.