by Marshaneil Soumi D’ Rozario | 2 JULY 2018
A lot of conjecture surrounding the size of the baby bump during pregnancy is based on old wives' tales instead of scientific research. Pregnancy is a difficult phase and irrational myths about it can cause stress in pregnant women. Dr. Aruna Kalra, Gynaecologist and Obstetrics Surgeon, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, shares valuable facts to bust these myths.
1. How often do you need to answer to speculations regarding baby bump size?
“Many first-time mothers are concerned about their baby bump size. Comparisons are made with other pregnant friends and patients in clinical OPD areas. Bigger bump size of others make them feel inadequate in terms of providing best nutrition for their unborn.”
2. Is it true that a bigger baby bump ensures a healthy baby?
“Baby bump size depends on maternal height, weight, ethnicity, any co-morbidities like diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension, cardiac or kidney disease, and position of baby, parity of pregnant female etc. Bigger bump may not always be due to bigger baby, it can be caused by twins or polyhydramnios. Small bump can be due to hypertension or constitutional small baby.”
3. Do you agree that a smaller baby bump enables easy child birth?
“Smaller baby does not ensure easy vaginal birth. Proportions of baby head and maternal pelvis, degree of flexion of foetal head, types of maternal pelvis (gynaecoid, android), diabetic baby with shoulder fat (causing shoulder dystocia) are the factors affecting vaginal birth. Good maternal height is mostly in favour of vaginal birth.”
4. Can the size of the baby bump tell the gender of the child?
“This is not scientific. Gender of child has no bearing on baby bump size.”
5. Is it true that women with bigger baby bumps are asked not to exercise as it can risk the life of their child?
“Pregnant woman should be limber, mobile and active. Continue yoga and walk to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension. Woman who consume increased amount of liquor might be at risk of premature rupture of membranes and leaking. Consult your doctor to know more about your pregnancy and whether you should be allowed exercise or advised complete bed rest.”
6. Can you share a few facts about the baby bump size?
“It is mostly ignorance about the science behind bigger or smaller size of bump.
First time mothers have taut abdominal wall muscles, keeping baby contained towards maternal spine and giving it an impression of small size. Short pregnant ladies might show a bigger bump. Baby in transverse position has a little flattened front with fuller sides. And the amount of water around the baby, affected by diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, kidney or cardiac diseases, is responsible for size of baby bump.”
7. What is your advice to young mothers who believe in these myths?
“A tiny life growing inside you is affected by your emotional and physical state. And it is our duty to provide it healthy environment inside to grow optimally. A healthy balanced diet and good blood circulation by exercise will ensure a healthy baby whether big or small. So please try to be stress free regarding size of baby bump. Let your doctor take care of your pregnancy and associated morbidities if any. And you relax by eating well and following exercise or yoga.”
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