Why Does My Pregnant Belly Look Smaller Some Days -7 Reasons

why does my pregnant belly look smaller some days

One of the many beautiful things about a woman’s pregnancy journey is the lovely bump! It’s amazing how a woman’s body stretches and makes space for a tiny human inside – it’s truly a miracle. A growing bump is amazing to see for any mom as it is a sign of life growing inside. But the baby bump can also be very confusing at times. Many moms-to-be will notice changes in their baby bump throughout their pregnancy and sometimes even on the same day! This can be confusing and scary especially if you are a first-time mom. But it is nothing to worry about as it is very common.

Pregnancy can be a beautiful phase but it is also the time when women are constantly worried about the growth and health of their baby. But here are 7 perfectly normal and common reasons why your bump might look smaller or bigger on some days.

  1. Less Bloating
  2. Stronger Abdominal Muscles
  3. Position of the Baby
  4. Empty Stomach
  5. Second or Third Pregnancy
  6. Amount of Amniotic Fluid
  7. Size of Your Baby

Let’s dig into this a little deeper and understand why your pregnant belly may look smaller and why, in most instances, there is no reason to be concerned.

Is It Normal For Baby Bump To Be Smaller Some Days?

Every pregnant woman would agree with us when we say that the moment you start showing, people have an opinion about everything. During those nine months, everyone you meet will especially have something to say about how small or big the bump looks! But remember only you know what is happening to your body, so don’t let those comments bother you.

But if you are worried about why my pregnant belly looks smaller some days, then don’t worry! It is absolutely normal. As we mentioned above there are multiple reasons why your baby bump might look smaller some days or even smaller in the morning but bigger by night.

If you are a first-time mom, then we are sure you would be worried that something is wrong. But that’s not the case. The size of your belly shouldn’t bother you, there are plenty of reasons why this happens and sometimes it is not even related to pregnancy but just how your body functions.

Some are seven reasons why your baby bump looks smaller on some days.

  1. Bloating
    When you are pregnant, your body tends to hold more water than usual. Also, the hunger pangs hit you every now and then, and sometimes you will end up eating more than your stomach can handle. This often leads to bloating and swelling in pregnant women.
    But when you sleep, your body gets to rest and since you are not eating when you are sleeping, your bloating also reduces. This might make your baby bump look smaller in the morning as compared to what it was at night.
  2. Tight Abdominal Muscles
    Pregnancy makes your body go through a ton of changes and one of them is stretching your stomach muscles to accommodate the growing baby. Usually, your stomach muscles are tight and toned but as your pregnancy advances, they stretch and expand.
    If you have had a long tiring day, then your abdominal muscles will relax, making your baby bump look bigger. But after a good night’s sleep or enough rest, your body and abdominal muscles will tighten up again to hold your growing baby snuggly. This might make the bump look smaller.
  3. Position of the Baby
    Babies love exploring and moving around the uterus. This is because, by the time you reach the end of your second trimester, they are very responsive to external stimuli. Light, sound, or even any kind of pain will make them change position frequently and move around the uterus to find a comfortable position.
    This moving around and taking up different positions will affect the size of your baby bump, making it smaller or bigger on some days and that’s completely normal.
    Also, if you are nearing your due date and wake up with a smaller bump, then it might be because your baby has ‘dropped’ into your pelvis. The baby moves itself into the head-down position and lowers down into the pelvis as it prepares for birth.
    Once your baby drops, your belly appears smaller simply because the baby has moved lower down in your body creating more space on top of your stomach.
  4. Empty Stomach
    If you skipped meals because of a busy schedule or when you wake up in the morning, your baby bump will look smaller. That’s because your stomach is empty.
    Remember that while obviously, your baby bump is all about the baby and the uterus, your body still has other organs around there. So, if you haven’t eaten all day your bump might look smaller and as you eat and drink through the day, it will appear bigger or the size it was before.
  5. First Pregnancy
    If this is your first pregnancy, then the chances are your bump might look smaller than women who have been pregnant before. This is because your stomach muscles have not been stretched before, unlike a woman in her second or third pregnancy. Your muscles are tight and will hold your baby more snuggly and high, making the pregnancy bump and belly size look smaller.
    Women who have had previous pregnancies start showing earlier and have a bigger bump because of their already stretched stomach muscles.
  6. Amount of Amniotic Fluid
    During the beginning of the pregnancy (until the first 2o weeks), the amniotic fluid is created by your own body but as the pregnancy progresses, your baby will also produce amniotic fluid through urine output and lung secretions.
    But the amniotic fluid sometimes tends to fluctuate – in fact, it can fluctuate every hour and obviously throughout the pregnancy and this might make the bump look smaller sometimes. However, one thing to remember is that too much or too less of amniotic fluid can be a cause of concern and you should consult your doctor immediately.
  7. Baby Size
    The size of the baby also plays a role in the size of your pregnancy bump. Genetics plays a part here and if you and your partner are tall, then your baby will also inherit those genes making your bump look bigger.
    However, if you and your partner are average-sized then your baby will also be around the same weight range and your bump might not be too big. But all of these things don’t really matter as long as you have a healthy pregnancy and the baby has a healthy weight. And remember not all babies are the same, every pregnancy and every baby is different.

Why Is My Pregnant Belly Sometimes Hard And Sometimes Soft?

Pregnant bellies are like one magical mystery! There is so much going on inside that every hour you might feel different or look different.

Depending on your body type, the baby’s position, and uterus, your baby bump might feel hard or soft. It might feel really soft at times and then become hard again in a matter of hours but there are multiple reasons why this happens and it is usually nothing to be worried about.

When the uterus grows especially towards the end of the second trimester, the growing belly starts tightening up. As your womb expands and reaches the pelvic bone and the belly bone, your belly might become hard.

Even bloating and nausea can cause your stomach to harden and once the feeling of nausea settles or the bloating goes down, you will notice that your pregnant belly is soft again,

One more reason why your baby bump might harden sometimes is round ligament pain. Most women experience round ligament pain, which happens when the ligament surrounds the stomach and the uterus stretches. This pain causes the stomach to tighten and become hard. But as the pain subsides, your pregnant belly will also loosen and become soft.

Why Does My Pregnant Belly Get Hard at Night?

During the end of the second trimester and once you are in the third trimester, you might experience Braxton-Hick contractions – these contractions can cause mild discomfort and make your pregnancy belly tight and hard.

Popularly known as false contractions or even practice contractions, Braxton-Hicks prepares your uterus for what is coming ahead. These contractions don’t dilate the cervix and cause discomfort but they don’t mean you are going into labor. However, they do make your pregnant belly hard and once the discomfort eases, you will notice that your baby bump has gone back to being soft the next morning.

When Does Baby Bump Grow The Most?

When Does Baby Bump Grow The Most

When the baby bump finally starts showing, it is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. Any woman who has been pregnant will tell you how amazing it feels when that first tiny bump starts showing and how exciting it is!

If you have always been more petite, then the bump will start showing early around 12 weeks or so but if you are slightly on the healthier side, then your belly bump may be noticeable only after 16 weeks.

First-time mothers usually see the most noticeable expansion of their baby bump between 12-16 weeks. But it is between weeks 21 to 24 that the growth of the baby bumps grows fastest. Through the second trimester, you will notice the baby bump growing quickly week by week.

The baby gets bigger towards the end – from around 2 pounds at the end of the second trimester to around 6 to 9 pounds in the third trimester. This is the time that your baby develops and grows rapidly, taking up a whole lot of space in your stomach and causing some mild discomfort. But through this discomfort, you will be amazed by how beautiful your pregnant belly bump is looking!

Love and Show Off That Baby Bump

Pregnant women usually have a dozen things on their minds at the same time and one of them is usually constantly touching and checking their baby bump to make sure everything is okay.

The anxiety and stress are understandable, you are holding on to a tiny human and doing your best to take care of them and keep them comfortable inside you. That can be overwhelming sometimes. However, babies are stronger and smarter than we give them credit for, yes, even inside your womb. They will make themselves comfortable by turning and moving around that pregnant belly of yours and no matter what the size of your belly is, they will create space for themselves.

Your body is stronger than you think and it is built to fit this tiny human so if your baby bump feels smaller on some days, then it is totally normal. As we mentioned, there are multiple reasons why your baby bump can look smaller, previous pregnancy, bloating, swelling, large abdominal muscles, and others. What matters is the baby’s size, as long as your baby is growing and is healthy, everything is fine. A small, big, or different-sized pregnancy bump is all part of this beautiful journey. 

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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