Plus size pregnancy belly also known as B belly pregnancy is an occurrence common among plus-size pregnant women. The development of ‘baby bump’ is a major part of the pregnancy journey which every woman looks forward to.
Often, pregnant women see the bumps as a sign of health and a reminder that a new life is about to emerge.
The presence of the ‘bump’ in a pregnant woman is an indication that a baby is growing inside of you. While some women look forward to it, others just ignore and continue to experience the changes happening in their body. These changes usually make them self-conscious, and at times feel unattractive.
Therefore, if you have noticed something like a double belly pregnancy or having a feeling of a band across your belly – this could be a B belly pregnancy.
So, what is a B belly pregnancy?
B Belly In Pregnancy
B belly arises when there is a waistband in the middle of the stomach – making it divided between the top and the bottom. So, rather than having a single curve on the stomach, B belly stomachs come with two curves.
However, B belly pregnancy is often experienced by women that are plus size in nature. Besides, in plus size pregnancy belly, it takes a longer time for the baby bump to be seen.
Therefore, note that a B-shaped pregnant belly is neither harmful to the mother or the baby – but a major variation away from the popular shaped pregnancy belly.
B Bump Vs D Bump
The most common shape of a pregnant belly is a big curve. From which you can trace the letter D around the back and bump of one who is pregnant. The curve usually starts small and eventually grows to become big, almost taking over a woman’s body.
B bellies take the shape of the capital letter B rather than the usual curve. Plus size pregnant women tend to have the B belly during pregnancy but with time, the B belly turns out to be a D belly.
However, as the pregnancy reaches the stage of delivery, it becomes B – but some women maintain the B belly all through their pregnancy journey.
What Causes Plus Size Pregnancy Belly?
There is no one direct cause for B belly in pregnancy. However, factors such as weight, the structure of the bone, muscle, and height are all contributing factors to the way and manner a pregnancy bump is carried. B belly is most peculiar to women who are plus size.
That said, plus size pregnancy belly might arise as a result of any of the following factors;
1. Weight And Body Size
A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventive (CDC) highlights that a woman having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 indicates an obese pregnant belly while a BMI of 25 – 29.9 indicates overweight.
So, a woman who at the beginning of her pregnancy has more weight is more likely to have a B belly – though not a guarantee!
2. Prior Pregnancies
For some women, after their first pregnancy, the muscle of the stomach becomes loose and its shape expands more rapidly after getting pregnant again.
B belly therefore can occur, when the body has not fully returned to its shape before another pregnancy or when the next pregnancy is too close.
3. Original Belly Shape
Women whose weight is concentrated in their belly – as against the thighs or hips – before getting pregnant are susceptible to developing plus size pregnancy belly bump, even when it is their first time of getting pregnant.
Another factor that could cause a B shaped stomach in pregnancy is an apron belly – a situation where the lower area of the stomach hangs down.
4. Fascial Health
The fascia is the connective tissue under the skin and it determines the shape of the belly during pregnancy. However, the fascia could have been damaged – which could be through the eating of unbalanced diets, injured muscles, poor posture, dehydration, and stress.
Also, the fascia might have been affected by the structure of your stomach or prior pregnancies.
So, to get the best of fascia, ensure that during the pregnancy, you drink a lot of water, regular stretching, or you could do a bit of yoga.
5. Diastasis Recti
This is also capable of changing the looks of your stomach. Diastasis recti results from too much accumulation of inner-abdominal pressure. The abdomen size during pregnancy and the tissues become stretchy because of the baby.
Therefore, the belly stretches and as a result, the gap between the right and left stomach muscle widens. This is a common occurrence during pregnancy; however, it can correct itself for some women after delivery when the abdominal muscle regains back its strength.
Health Concerns Associated With Plus Size Pregnancy Belly
Having a B shaped tummy itself does not pose any health challenge to the woman; however, if one of the causes that resulted in the shape is weight – it may become a health issue to the woman.
So, those already with weight issues are at risk of experiencing the following;
- Stillbirth or miscarriage
- Regular backache during the pregnancy
- High blood pressure or Preeclampsia – damages organs such as kidneys and liver
- Gestational diabetes – oftentimes result in the use of cesarean section at delivery. However, it can be controlled by the use of special medications and specialized diets during pregnancy.
- Preterm delivery – this implies that pregnant women that are obese or have an overweight pregnant belly are at the risk of delivering too early. This can adversely affect a baby’s organs such as the brain, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and heart.
The baby becomes too big at birth which could pose some challenges at delivery.
Ideal Weight Gain For Plus Size Pregnancy
But here’s the kicker: it is advisable to watch and monitor weight gain during the period of pregnancy since there is additional risk associated with pregnancy when a mother is either underweight or overweight.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a report says overweight women should be monitored closely and not exceed between 15 to 25 pounds if she is carrying one baby. For obese women, weight gain should not exceed 11 to 20 pounds during pregnancy.
You could have it spread out like this – you should target not to exceed 2 to 4 pounds during the first trimester and after that, target not to exceed ½ pound weekly for the remaining periods.
Is It Normal To Have B Belly While Pregnant?
A B shaped pregnant belly is normal. It is a common occurrence so there is no cause for alarm. B bump comes in different shapes and sizes. B belly is a minor variation from the D belly pregnancy shape.
Will My B-Shaped Belly Be Changed To D-Shaped Belly During Pregnancy?
The belly takes the shape of a large curve during pregnancy – making it possible to trace out the letter D around the bump. It is usually small at inception but as the pregnancy progresses, it becomes bigger and obvious for everyone to see.
Plus size pregnant women are more likely to develop a plus size pregnancy belly during pregnancy. Interestingly, some women might be filled with excitement when they notice that their B shaped baby bump has transformed into a D-shaped belly – saying they are due for delivery.
However, the growth of the baby eventually results in a B-shaped bump until the time of delivery. Besides, there are cases of women that would never get to experience a D-shaped baby bump.
What Should I Do During Pregnancy To My B Belly
There should be no cause for alarm if you have a B belly at pregnancy. It is a normal occurrence.
However, the shape and size of your pregnancy changes as it progresses especially from the first trimester to the third trimester. It is noted that as the weight becomes evident, the B shape becomes less obvious or at times changes to D shape.
The use of Belly bands is advisable – because it can help smooth out the B belly plus size pregnancy bump. Also, the belly bands can be used to conceal the pregnancy. You could also combine the belly band with some plus size maternity clothing, and a plus-size baby-doll top.
Maternity leggings can also help to provide some fittings and support to the bump. Other maternity clothing can provide comfort and flatter the shape of the stomach.
You might also want to look out for other comfort and support plans to help address the issue of backache during pregnancy (though this should be based on the cause of the B belly).
How To Deal With Plus Size Pregnancy Belly Stigma
Regardless of your belly shape and size, there may be some emotional struggles associated with different belly shapes.
However, no matter your emotions, you can take comfort in the fact that sooner than expected, your baby would be in your arms. Also, know that pregnancy comes in different shapes and sizes, and your plus size pregnancy belly is there to support your little one.
Therefore, no matter what you are feeling, you are the best person to cheer yourself up during pregnancy. So, be happy while you wait for the arrival of your bundle of joy. Support from family members and friends would also help.
You do not need to get worked-up and agitated over your plus size pregnancy belly because it is normal and could be beautiful. Do not add this to the list of other things that pregnant women already worry about.
If your bump resembles letter B, do not fret because it could change as the pregnancy advances in size. However, if it doesn’t change, there is still nothing to be ashamed of nor worry about.
Therefore, you should feel free to discuss with your health practitioners if you suspect something out of the usual.
Remember, your B belly baby bump is just for a little season while your bundle of joy will be with you longer.
HAVE A SAFE DELIVERY!