A huge pregnant belly is not always a standard and as a rule is a sign of pathology. A sphere-shaped belly is often a symptom of hydramnios, infectious diseases, high blood sugar level, abnormal fetal position, or a multiple pregnancy. Only doing additional tests can shed light on the situation: prove or refute this or that hypothesis. That’s why if you’ve noticed your belly is rapidly increasing in size, don’t make hasty decisions based on self-analysis – it’s better to consult a doctor first.
Huge pregnant belly: the causes
The developing embryo, the increasing volume of the amniotic fluid, the growing uterus – all these aspects affect the size of your belly. Since the 20th week of pregnancy, your gynecologist measures the circumference of your pregnant belly and the uterine fundus according to a schedule. These measurements help them understand how fast the fetal development is going on. If your belly is too big or too small compared to the norm, it can be a sign telling of a possible pathology of some kind. In this case, a thorough medical examination is required. So, what does a huge pregnant belly tell us about and what are the causes of the too big abdomen during pregnancy?
Medical experts say that a huge pregnant belly can be a consequence of the following factors of influence:
- Abnormal fetal position;
- The presence of infectious diseases;
- Abnormally formed placenta;
- A multiple pregnancy;
- Large fetus;
- Hereditary predisposition;
- The certain body build of the mother;
- Excess weight gain, a metabolic disorder.
Hydramnios is one of the most widespread causes of a huge pregnant belly. The abdominal circumference, in this case, often reaches 40-47 inches at the navel level; there are stretch marks on the future mother’s skin, and sometimes you can even hear gurgling sounds from the inside. The excess amount of the amniotic fluid can lead to a number of unhappy outcomes: a spontaneous abortion, premature birth, late toxemia, gastrointestinal tract and CNS defects in the baby. We should mention that the increased amount of amniotic fluid is a key factor among those affecting the formation of a huge pregnant belly.
Because of hydramnios, there is a few times more space inside of the womb than there should be, which can result in a wrong fetal position (for instance, breech presentation), a huge pregnant belly. In order to eliminate the possibility of lethal outcome for the mother/her child, medical experts resort to surgical intervention in such situations.
The presence of infectious diseases in the female body or placental maldevelopment contributes to the abnormal maturation of the uterus. Due to this, the woman can have a too small or, to the contrary, huge pregnant belly.
Another aspect which can affect the formation of a huge pregnant belly is metabolic disturbance (sometimes it occurs due to high blood sugar). Pregnant women quickly gain a lot of weight, and a large fetus is developing. Weight gain can also be a consequence of edema, that’s why future mothers should minimize the consumption of water during the night, avoid salty foods, and too much salt in general. Uncontrolled eating, unbalanced diet, and laziness during pregnancy lead to the too fast weight gain and the formation of a huge pregnant belly. Remember: it’s harder for a physically unprepared woman to give birth!
A multiple pregnancy
Most often a huge pregnant belly forms during a multiple pregnancy. Around the 28th week, the volume of the belly reaches its antenatal size, growing during weeks 30-32 to its greatest extent.
The root of the problem “too large pregnant belly when the term is still small” can lie in the genetic predisposition of the future mother to it, her body constitution, and anatomy: petite women, as a rule, have huge pregnant bellies – far bigger ones than the future moms with wider bone structure.
Not a firstborn
There is an opinion that the belly is larger during the second and third pregnancies than during the first one, and the fetus is bigger as well. We can’t absolutely agree to that. Each pregnancy is unique and goes on according to its own schedule. But often the opinion is true, and every time the woman gets pregnant her belly becomes a bit bigger than during the last gestation period, the baby being born bigger too.
A huge pregnant belly during the second pregnancy can also be explained by the fact that the uterine and abdominal muscles are weakened after childbirth of the first little one and are now giving in under the fetal weight. That makes your belly look flabby and large.
Huge pregnant belly during early terms
The majority of the future moms can’t wait for their bellies to swell so that they could see for themselves – they are indeed pregnant. It’s well-known that you usually start showing in pregnancy by the time of the 20th week (a bit earlier if this baby isn’t your first). But there are cases when the belly, and the woman’s weight with it, start to grow since the earliest terms. During the first trimester, the circumference of the abdomen is as big as that of a five-months-pregnant woman. Is it normal to have such a huge pregnant belly at the time, and what are the causes of a “large-sized pregnancy” when it’s still too early?
Medical experts believe that each pregnancy is unique and the reaction of the female body to the changes, hormonal adjustments is completely individual. Some women have rounded belly early in pregnancy, some women have a quite flat abdomen until the very time of childbirth.
Some women are sure that pregnancy means “eating for two” so that the baby would be born strong and healthy. That’s why, seeing two lines on the test, they are in a hurry to celebrate this news by eating an ice-cream. But such an attitude is leading to a quick weight gain of the mother (no the unborn child!) The expectant moms should remember that their “interesting condition” is not a reason for uncontrollable eating. You need to keep to a healthy and balanced pregnancy diet: your gynecologist and – if necessary – a nutritionist will help to organize a nice eating schedule.