Updated: 2019, Feb 7

Baby Bumps – Can They Determine Baby’s Gender?

Baby Bumps – Can They Determine Baby’s Gender?

Baby bumps is a term called to describe protrusion of a pregnant woman’s belly, when it becomes first noticeable. Bumps can come in different shapes and sizes. Mothers often compare their bumps, but there is nothing that proves that one bump can be same as another. A common misconception is that a large bump usually means a big baby. There are various factors that determine the shape and size of mother’s bump. First time mothers tend to have neat bump, as their stomach muscles are still tight. Once pregnant with second or third baby, the bump becomes more spread. Other factors include the amount of fluid inside mother’s belly, stature, posture, and weight.

Causes for Baby Bumps

Due to the uterine and abdominal muscles stretching, baby bumps start to show on mother’s belly. Bumps show sooner at mothers who have already given birth. The uterus expands above the public bone, which is not the case before. Other causes for baby bumps are bloating, constipation and gas.

When Does The Baby Bump Start to Show?

With first time mothers, baby bumps start to show around week 12 of their pregnancy, or just as they enter their second trimester. This is the time when the baby rises out of the pelvis. However, this is not a rule. Some mothers get baby bumps sooner, some get them later. Also, some mothers try to disguise their bump. And it is not only the belly that is changing, mother’s breasts also grow and are a sign of change.

What Does High and Low Baby Bump Mean

Whether the mother carries the baby high or low depends on her abdominal muscles. Some believe that high baby bump means mothers are in good physical shape, especially their abdominal muscles. When women have already had a baby before, their next baby bump is usually lower. This is due to the fact that their muscles have already been stretched, and they are weaker. Lack of fitness activity also causes mothers to carry low. Taller women have narrower baby bumps, while shorter women have wider bumps.

Carrying high means that the bump is high on the woman’s abdomen, just under her breasts. In the opposite situation, carrying low means the baby is close to the pelvis.

How to Determine Whether the Size of Bump is Right?

A common misconception when it comes to bump size is that the larger the bump, the heavier/bigger the baby. During week 20, physicians measure mother’s fundal weight (the distance between public bone and the top of the uterus). Doctors measure this ratio at every visit starting from week 20. At week 20, the distance should be around 20 centimeters. If it is bigger or smaller than for 3 centimeters, physicians follow up the test with an ultrasound to check baby’s size. The distance grows by one centimeter each week until childbirth. Another way to check size is abdominal palpation.

If the size of the baby is smaller or larger than recommended, it is a sign for inaccurate date. The ultrasound helps determine the true age of the baby and the due date of delivery.

Determine the Shape: Is It Right or Not?

Mothers believe in many things when it comes to bump shape. One of the myths is that the shape of the bump can determine whether the baby is a boy or a girl. For example, if they carry high and wide, mothers think they have boy. According to that logic, low and out in front is a sign for female baby. Instead of worrying about the connection between the bump and the baby, mothers should focus on the actual shape. Some concerns include that the baby might be head down or face down in the uterus. Mother’s bump looks very different when the baby is lying sideways, and it changes position accordingly to the baby.

Shape is generally linked to the type of the body. For example, short torso doesn’t provide much room for the uterus to grow, so it gets wider. Taller women, or those with longer torso, have more room, and the uterus grows narrow.

Bump Size and Stretch Marks

During pregnancy, stretch marks may occur on the abdomen, breasts, thighs, buttocks and hips. Stretch marks are caused by the increased hormones due to pregnancy, and stretching of the tissues under the skin. They are in no way connected or linked with baby bump. Stretch marks are red during pregnancy, and diminish after childbirth. There is not much mothers can do to prevent stretch marks, as they are common and appear in 8 out of 10 pregnancies. The best way to make the marks less noticeable is to moisturize, but even that doesn’t help a lot. Most importantly, while mothers enjoy comparing baby bumps and stretch marks with one another, it is worth noting that every pregnancy is different and unique. They can compare for fun, but try not to totally buy into the myths.


Peony C Echavez

Peony is a registered nurse and former Director of Nursing services for a large nursing facility. She has written web content for a lar

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