From the moment you decide to try for a baby until you give birth you will be met with many pregnancy myths, some being more believable than others.
One of the most common sets of myths is those around the shape of your pregnancy bump with many people questioning why women have a short torso during pregnancy. We take a look at the common myths about the size and shape of your pregnancy bump and tell you what your shape means.
Baby bumps come in all shapes and sizes and if you have a short torso it can mean that your baby is born small and pre-term but that is not always the case.
As you will see, pregnant women come in all shapes and sizes, with various size bumps from moms-to-be who have barely any bumps to moms who look like they could be carrying triplets. One myth tells us that a bump that is neat and sits high on the stomach is a girl and if the bump spreads around the waist and over the hips it is a girl.
While there may be occasions when this myth plays out experts have debunked this myth as a bump cannot determine gender and a baby’s weight does not always correspond with a woman’s pregnancy bump either.
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What Can you tell about a Woman from her Bump?
A shorter woman will often appear to have a bigger bump due to having a short torso compared to taller women with a longer torso. Having a short torso means that the uterus has less space to grow and will therefore expand outwards rather than upwards.
Conversely, if you have a longer torso then there may be room for the torso to move upwards so there will be a difference in the look of the bump.
This means that women with a short torso will carry most of their weight around their hips and waist and those who are taller will carry their baby weight to the front of the body.
Straightaway, this tells us that the size of a pregnancy bump does not determine the sex of the baby as this would mean that all shirt women have girls and all tall women have boys!
Can Pregnancy Bumps Determine the Size and Weight of a Baby?
When it comes to the size and weight of a baby, people often believe that it is linked to the size and build of the mother. While genetics will say that tall people will likely have tall children and that does not always correspond with the size of the bump when pregnant.
The size of the baby bump can be dependent on the BMI of the mom, with those who eat a lot and increase their BMI while pregnant getting a bigger bump and those with a low BMI having a smaller bump.
While the weight and size of the mother may have a genetic impact on the baby’s future weight it does not necessarily determine the weight of the baby, as you can see from the reasons below:
- For women who are fit and toned they may the bump may not be as pronounced as the taut abs will prevent it from sticking out as much as somebody who does not have a toned stomach
- Women who are not may carry the bump higher and close to the body compared to unfit women who may see a lower pregnancy bump.
- It is also noted that in first pregnancies the baby bump tends to be smaller than in subsequent pregnancies due to muscle tone in the abdomen and hormonal changes which can occur more rapidly in second pregnancies.
Can A Short Torso Affect Pregnancy?
While we can see that height, sex, weight, and BMI do not necessarily determine the sex and weight of the baby, there are some things for women with short torsos in pregnancy to think about.
There have been studies that indicate that short mothers tend to have shorter pregnancies and are more likely to have smaller babies. There is little that you can do about having your baby pre-term if you are short as genetics are at play here but you can focus on having a healthy pregnancy.
Try not to panic if you are short and are reading this, as generally this will only be 1-2 weeks pre-term and most moms will give birth to healthy and happy babies. You should always speak to your doctor and/or midwife if you have a short torso and are worried at any stage throughout your pregnancy.
Your medical team is there to reassure you and will also help you make the best birth plan suited to your size, shape, and medical history.
Environmental factors can also play a part in your pregnancy, it is not all about genetics. This means that you can maximize the chances of delivering near your term date.
The below advice is beneficial to all pregnancies but can be particularly helpful if you are short or have a short torso.
These hints and tips for pregnancy will allow you to have a healthy, restful, and relaxed pregnancy which will all enable you to feel comfortable and get to term without any harm coming to you or your baby.
Eat smaller meals often
Rather than having three large meals a day, you may feel more comfortable eating small meals more often.
This can reduce the feeling of being full and can help you digest your for more easily, leaving you feeling more comfortable.
Don’t eat close to bedtime.
Try to eat at least two hours before you go to sleep or lay down for a nap as this can reduce the chances of you getting heartburn.
When you have a large bump and a short torso you can get an increase in stomach acid pushing up into the esophagus and causing heartburn. This will be the case even if you lay down after something to eat so try to remain upright after eating.
If you find that you are suffering from heartburn try to reduce foods that trigger it such as chocolate, pastries, and spices.
Don’t drink too many carbonated drinks.
Carbonated drinks can make you feel full and gassy which is the last thing you want when you have a large bump and a short torso. Stick to plain water where you can.
Wear loose clothing
If you wear contrasting clothing when you are in your third trimester it will make your feel uncomfortable whereas flow clothing such as maternity dresses and tunics can allow you to be free and your bump may not feel as oppressive.
Skip the bra!
Along with wearing loose clothing, you will want to rethink your bra situation. If you can, drop the bra altogether as they can feel very restrictive.
You may however want to wear a crop top or a bralette which will give some support but will be more comfortable.
If you are sticking to full underwired bras then you should get measured at different stages throughout your pregnancy as your breasts will likely increase in size, especially in the third trimester when your breast is getting ready to breastfeed.
Go for a walk.
Getting out and about on walks can aid food digestion and therefore reduce your risk of acid reflux or indigestion.
The fresh air will also make you feel good as well as gentle exercise that can be taken as directed by your doctor or midwife. You may find some pregnancy yoga or pilates classes that cater to women in all stages of pregnancy and can help with the birth of your baby.
When you are in your thrills trimester it is very difficult to get comfy, especially if you have a large bump.
You can use a few pillows to keep your back upright which may be more comfortable and will also reduce the chances of your getting heartburn through the night.
Laying this way can also make it easier to grab water or get up to use the toilet during the night.
The look of your baby bump throughout pregnancy does not determine what sex your baby will be and it cannot always determine how big it will be.
However, if you do have a short torso you may carry more weight on your weight and hips and you may end up having a smaller baby that comes a week or two early.
To make you more comfortable during the last stage of pregnancy there are lots of things that you can do to help you feel more comfortable and keep you and your baby stress-free, including eating smaller portions and laying upright when sleeping.
Having a shorter torso may need a little bit more thought in the third trimester but you can still enjoy your pregnancy and look forward to welcoming a little bundle of joy!