Size of Your Belly During Pregnancy

Sometimes it seems for pregnant women that their belly is growing before their eyes, or, on the contrary, it’s almost unnoticeable. Let’s read experts comments on this question.

– Which factors sizes of belly during pregnancy depend on?

– Height of belly, i.e. height of uterus normally corresponds to the term of pregnancy. For example, on 32nd week of pregnancy it should be 32-33 cm. And volume of belly depends on a woman’s individual peculiarities. Sometimes anatomic structure affects it: miniature women with slim pelvis have bigger belly, than tall women with full thighs have. But most of all growth of belly is connected with pregnant woman’s general weight gaining. This is the factor which a woman should always pay attention to.

– Which weight gaining is considered to be normal?

– Every woman has her own individual norm. It depends on index of body mass, which can be calculated according to a special formula. Divide weight in kg on height in square meters. Normal index is from 19,8 to 25,9. If you’re expecting twins, add at least 2,3-4,6 kg to this figures.

Majority of women gain 40% of weight during the first half of pregnancy, 60% – during the second. If a woman had normal weight before pregnancy, then in the first term she may gain 1,5-2 kg, during the second – 0,5 kg a week, and for the whole 9th month – no more than 0,5-1 kg. Weight should be increased evenly and little by little. Normal baby’s development depends on this.

– What are the dangers of overweight?

– If a woman gained too much weight, both she and fetus may experience troubles. Excessive weight gaining – is one of the symptoms of late toxicosis, unhealthy state of a pregnant woman. Late toxicosis may lead to development of miscarriage threat. Under such circumstances, a woman begins feeling pains in waist and lower part of belly. In extremely serious cases premature delivery or premature placenta exfoliation may take place.

Moreover, overweight makes muscles work difficult. It also leads to edemas on feet, front abdominal wall, hands. Back and calf-leg muscles begin aching, blood circulation in legs’ veins is gets broken, varicose disease becomes more intense. Pregnant woman gets tired more often and strong, becomes irritable. As for fetus, late toxicosis may cause chronic anoxaemia and even pre-natal death. Very full women’s risk of such complications is higher.

– What can cause extremely quick weight gaining during pregnancy?

– Sometimes those who like eating well gain weight quickly. However, moderation in eating still does not guarantee normal weight. Too much liquid may accumulate in some women’s organisms – for example, when kidneys work not well enough. So, if a pregnant woman gains weight too quickly, she should check quantity of liquid she drinks and evolves for day-and-night. Healthy woman evolves more liquid, than she drinks. And accumulation of liquid in organism leads to overweight. Then not only external organs, but also internal become swollen. Placentas’ edemas are especially dangerous: they break normal fetus development.

– How can a pregnant woman get rid of edemas?

– While visiting maternity welfare centre, she should pay careful attention to recommendations concerning regimen of nutrition, which a doctor will give to her. As a rule, doctors advice all pregnant women to limit salt, piquant, fried and fat products consumption. The matter is that these products contribute to liquid accumulation in organism and lead to edemas. Once in 10 days it is recommended to arrange fasting days. Of course, this does not mean a pregnant woman should go without food. Hunger is categorically contra-indicated to a future mother. During fasting days a pregnant woman should restrict herself with certain products, for example, apples, cotton cheese, kefir, meat in strictly determined quantities. Moreover, she should observe confinement to bed – this improves liquid excretion out of organism. Diuretic herbs also help a lot. However, she should not restrict quantity of liquid drunken suddenly. She should drink no less than 1,2-1,5 liters per day-and-night.

– It turns out that it’s rather simple to struggle with edemas?

– Unfortunately, not always. Weight gaining depends on kidneys’ work in many aspects. Thus, for example, weight is gained quickly if a woman has chronic urolithiasis, chronic pyelonephritis. Sometimes pyelonephritis appears already during pregnancy. As hormonal background is changing during this period. Organism begins producing more of a hormone, contributing to urinary tracts dilation. And various infections come to kidneys through these open gates. That’s why all pregnant women should pass bacteriological test of vagina’s excretions, control urine analyses constantly.

– What if a pregnant woman has too big fetus and this explains her overweight?

– Such thing happens sometimes. But this may testify of another problem. Very often women suffering from diabetes have big fetus. If a woman herself was born being big, then she needs to check sugar content in blood and urine, as diabetes can proceed also in latent form. Sometimes diabetes appears already during pregnancy. Again because of hormonal background change. Such pregnant women are in a risk group – even if heightened sugar content was shown only on one of several tests. By the way, overweight during pregnancy often force obstetricians to use Cesarean section.

– On which terms sudden weight gaining is specially unwanted?

– Excess weight gaining is especially dangerous in the second half of pregnancy, to be more exact, since 20th week. And the earlier such complications happen, the more difficult confinement a woman will have.

That’s why we recommend women to take care of their weight, take arterial pressure on both hands and urine tests. If a woman has late toxicosis, as a rule, her blood pressure increases and albumen appears in urine. If all 3 symptoms are found – edemas, heightened blood pressure and albumen in urine – a woman is urgently hospitalized.

– Probably my question will surprise you. Is it possible to “adjust” a size of fetus somehow?

– I think, yes. Balanced nutrition, including products, rich in animal and vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, is necessary for this. A woman should take vitamin preparations for sure. Of course, these are copy-book truths, but a woman observes these rules not always, for this or that reason.

– Apparently, size of belly depends also on quantity of amniotic fluids? Does liquid a woman drinks influence them?

– No. Reasons of excess of amniotic fluids are quite other: diabetes, anomalies of fetus development, Rhesus-conflict, infectious complications. If a woman has little amniotic fluids, this quite often means she will give birth to a post-mature baby.

– Probably, too small belly is better, than too big?

– No, I would not say that. Insufficient weight gaining often leads to defect of fetus development, giving birth to a very small baby, premature birth, and sometimes even to death of a new-born. Pregnant women should strive for “golden middle”.

By the way, American scientists noticed that women with optimistic view on life give birth to babies of small weight less often. Experts explain that optimist women take care of their health better: do exercising regularly and eat well.

– Is there a straight dependence between a pregnant woman’s emotional state and excess kilograms?

– Probably, there is. You know, being under stress situation, some women begin eating any food they see and emptying fridge. Here goes excess weight. And, on the contrary, other women just cannot eat at all in stress situation. That’s why it’s so important for close people and future mother herself to take care of her stable, calm emotional mood.

Approximate allocation of weight gained during pregnancy

Baby 3,5 kg

Placenta 0,675 kg

Amniotic fluid 0,8 kg

Increased uterus 0,9 kg

Breasts 0,45 kg

Volume of mother’s blood 1,5 kg

Intracellular fluid of mother 1,4 kg

Adipose cellulose of mother 3,25 kg


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