Obsessing about how your bump compares to your antenatal classmates or the latest A-lister is completely normal – and manageable
While it’s perfectly normal to compare your bump size to pretty much every pregnant woman you meet, the fact is there’s no one size fits all. Your bump size and shape – not to mention the rest of your pregnancy body – is pretty unique to you. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t love it…
Having a small bump
It might feel like an eternity waiting for your bump to show, but you’re unlikely to notice anything until at least 12 weeks.
‘If you’re fit, your abdominal muscles will be tight, which may make your bump look even smaller than it really is,’ says Professor Ellis Downes, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Portland Hospital. ‘The good news is, for the majority of women, it’s unlikely your baby is too small.’
Your midwife will always let you know if she’s worried about your bump size. For most women, 20 weeks is when they suddenly look down and realise it’s harder to see their feet, so hang on in there.
Your bump is massive!
If you’re regularly describing yourself as a ‘beached whale’, be reassured. ‘You’ll be as big as you need to be,’ says Amanda. ‘Midwives measure the length of your bump from the top of your uterus to the tip of the pubic bone.
The measurement in centimetres should correspond with the number of weeks of your pregnancy.’ So at 20 weeks it should be roughly 20cm. If your bump is 3cm larger, or smaller, you’re within normal limits. And if your midwife’s happy, so should you be.
You’ve got a dark line on your bump
It may look like you’ve been attacked by a felt tip, but that dark vertical line down the middle of your tummy is the linea nigra. ‘It can be up to 1cm wide and stretch from just above your pubic bone up to your belly button,’ says Amanda.
It appears in the second trimester, is hormonal, often more visible on dark skin, and usually disappears a few weeks after delivery.
You may also notice another kind of dark line – hair. Again, this is normal and will go after the birth. If you’re bothered by it, just trim with nail scissors.
Coping with stretchmarks
You can get these anywhere from your bump to your boobs, as a result of all the dramatic stretching your skin’s going through. Prevention is better than cure so get into the habit of massaging in a stretchmark oil, lotion or cream. Bio-Oil consistently rates highly among our testers as one of the best.