Can You Suck in Your Stomach When Pregnant? Is it Harmful?

can you suck in your stomach when pregnant

You just found out you are pregnant. Congratulations! Are you now showing, or have you been pregnant for a while and suddenly you don’t fit into your favorite pair of jeans? Not all moms are ready to embrace the bump and show it to the world. It can be a stressful situation. So, if you are one of them and are wondering if you can suck in your stomach when pregnant, you are in the right place. We have all the information you need!

First, let’s answer your question. Yes, you can suck in your stomach when pregnant for short intervals of time without harming yourself or the baby. The only thing you need to remember is not to hold in your stomach when you are lying down, as it can make it difficult for you to breathe and lead to complications. Also, during the first two trimesters, you can easily suck in your stomach, and it is absolutely okay. In the third trimester, your stomach will become stiff and tight so it’s best not to try to suck in your stomach to avoid any kind of discomfort. Are you still concerned about sucking in your baby bump? Read on for more details. 

What Happens With Your Body When You Suck in Your Stomach?

When you are pregnant, your belly expands to accommodate and make space for the growing human inside. But, if for some reason you are trying to hide that growing bump, you may be thinking about sucking in your stomach.

The muscles of the uterus are tough during pregnancy to withstand any form of pressure. This means you would have to put a lot of pressure to pull in your stomach. This puts unnecessary pressure and stress on your stomach’s core muscles.

What happens when you suck in your stomach is that you overextend your abdomen’s muscles. This might make the bump look smaller for a while, but it is not recommended for long intervals of time.

What is the Correct Way to Suck in Your Stomach?

While you can hold it in your stomach for a short period without causing any harm to yourself or the baby, it might be difficult for you to do it every time. There are better alternatives than just sucking in your stomach.

There is the Bloom method fitness program that is designed for pregnant women. It includes an exercise called belly pumping, which is quite a rage right now with pregnant women. Belly pumping is an exercise that is specifically designed to make the baby bump appear smaller for a while. It helps you give an appearance of sucking in the bump. Although it does not last too long, it is a great exercise that strengthens the stomach and pelvic muscles while making your bump look smaller.

However, if you are not a fan of exercising or don’t have time for it, then you can consider compressing your bump for a while. There are plenty of shapewear and leggings options out there to help you tuck in that baby bump and make your tummy look smaller without compromising on the baby. The best part is that these leggings are trendy, fashionable, and designed to keep you comfortable.

If you are wondering whether wearing such tight-fitted clothes would harm your baby, you don’t have to worry. Amniotic fluid surrounds your baby in your womb, acting as a barrier to protect your baby from any external force. Outside the amniotic fluid are the uterus muscles that act as a second level of the barrier. This ensures that your baby is safe inside your belly.

Remember that while you can suck in your stomach, it is not possible to make it completely disappear.

Difference Between Sucking in Your Stomach and Belly Pumping

When you suck in your stomach, you are just breathing in and holding your stomach, like you are hugging your baby. Whereas belly pumping is an exercise to help the mother synchronize her core stomach muscles with her breathing and to lift the bump all the way up from the pelvic floor and diaphragm.

Diaphragmatic breathing with deep core engagement, belly pumping, is an exercise meant to make a pregnant woman’s core muscles strong, keep them active, and prepare to deliver the baby. To belly pump, follow your breath. Start with an inhale to expand the belly, and as you exhale, this activates your pelvic floor and abdominal muscle. The key to belly pumping is to keep breathing slowly throughout the exercise. It helps keep those core muscle movements going and reduces stiff pelvic joints as well.

Is Belly Pumping Safe for the Baby?

If you see a video of the belly pumping exercise, you might think that it looks very stressful and strenuous for the baby. However, this exercise is specifically meant for pregnant women and is completely safe when done correctly. Gynecologists assure that belly pumping is completely safe for the mother and the baby when done correctly.

Many online tutorials can show you how to perform this exercise correctly. You can also get in touch with a certified instructor to help you perform the belly pumping exercise during your pregnancy. Because of its recent popularity, you can easily find several videos and articles from healthcare practitioners stating their opinions about this exercise. In fact, many gynecologists say that Belly Pumping can also help avoid post-delivery complications like diastasis recti.

However, what you need to remember before starting with any exercise or regime is that every pregnancy is different. So, consult your doctor before you start any rigorous exercise to make sure it is safe for both you and the baby.

Is it Bad to Hold in Your Stomach When Pregnant?

While sucking in your stomach for short intervals of time does not harm the baby or the mother, it is best to avoid doing it until absolutely necessary.

When you become pregnant, your body also prepares to protect and grow your unborn baby. The abdominal muscles become tough and tight. You would need to put a lot of pressure to suck in your belly, and this puts quite a bit of stress on your abdomen’s core muscles.

If you are sucking in your stomach frequently, or for long intervals, it could weaken the core muscles that are very important when giving birth. It could also cause unnecessary back pain and pelvic floor muscle issues.

One more thing to remember is to avoid pulling your stomach in towards the end of the pregnancy. Your stomach will be hard and tight with the growing uterus, and putting more pressure can cause discomfort and complications.

Can Your Belly Be Soft When Pregnant?

Can Your Belly Be Soft When Pregnant

When you are pregnant, your belly grows gradually to make space for the growing baby inside. However, the size, shape, and growth of the bump vary with every woman. Some women start showing early, while many women don’t show until late in their second trimester.

Usually, every woman associates pregnancy with a hard, round belly. However, this does vary from woman to woman. If you think your belly is soft, then it’s okay and nothing to be concerned about. Every woman carries differently, so never compare your bump.

Women with a higher fat percentage usually have a softer belly for a long time. That’s simply because there is more room for the baby to grow. As this room gets smaller, the belly becomes tighter. If it is your second or third pregnancy, the stomach muscles are already loose, your bump might start showing and become hard earlier. 

Many factors contribute to the shape and tightness of the bump:

  1. Baby Position
  2. Mom’s body type
  3. Uterus Shape
  4. Amount of Amniotic Fluid
  5. Number of Babies
  6. Previous Pregnancies

In fact, throughout the day, you might notice that your bump changes from soft to hard. That’s because pregnant women usually have gas. The growing baby can affect the digestive system. The bump may look smaller and feel soft in the morning, but as the day progresses and you eat, it might grow bigger and feel harder. That’s also because the relaxed abdominal muscles start to loosen through the day.

So, if you feel that your baby bump is soft, then it is nothing to worry about. Every bump is special and different.

Comfortable Alternatives to Sucking in Baby Bumps?

Every woman, no matter how comfortable she is with her body, wonders if she will ever go back to her normal pre-pregnancy weight post-birth. That’s where the thought of sucking in the bump usually comes in. But here are a few things you can do to hide that bump a little while keeping you comfortable.

  1. Maternity Clothes
    While a lot of moms-to-be believe that it is a waste of money, it is best to invest in a few good maternity clothes that will make you feel comfortable. Modern maternity clothes are fashionable and helpful in hiding your baby bump.
  2. Layers and more layers
    Layering adds an added element to your style and can really make the bump look smaller. So, grab those jackets, cardigans, blazers, or even an oversized shirt!
  3. Accessorize
    Wondering how accessories can help hide the bump? Wearing chunky hoops or a statement necklace can take people’s attention from the bump to your fashion statement.
  4. Wear Loose Dresses
    Those breezy maxi dresses or tunic dresses can be your best friend for the next few months. They are comfortable and cozy, and will do a great job of hiding your baby bump.
  5. Pregnancy Yoga
    This one we can vouch for. Yoga specifically meant for pregnant women can help strengthen those muscles and keep you healthy throughout the pregnancy. Combine that with a healthy balanced diet and you are all set for the 9 months and beyond!
  6. Purchase a Pregnancy Support Belt
    These are just amazing. Search the internet and go for the one that provides good durable support. These belts support the stomach and lower back muscles while helping you strengthen them. They can even make the baby bump look smaller. A support belt is also perfect for wrapping your stomach to get back in shape post-delivery. Just make sure you don’t wear it all the time.

Every Baby Bump Is Perfect

Every baby bump is different and perfect in its own way. If you wish to suck in your stomach for any reason, remember that it is absolutely fine when done in short intervals of time.

You are growing a human inside and doing an amazing job at that, so just remember to breathe and do what makes you feel comfortable. 

Stephanie Edenburgh

I'm Steph, a mom to 3 beautiful children and lover all things having to do with my family and being a mom. I've learned a lot raising my own children and working in education and healthcare roles throughout my career. Living in beautiful Southern California I enjoy documenting and writing about all of the hard work us mom's do on a daily basis.

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