The Big Downside of Having a Small Pregnant Belly

If you have at least one friend who has been pregnant or have been pregnant yourself, chances are that you have heard (or expressed) at least a few complaints about pregnancy. The bigger the belly grows the more likely you are to hear how it’s making daily life more difficult, how they cannot wait for the baby to be there already, or how annoying it is to hear constant comments that you look like you’re about to pop.

But how about those of us who have a small pregnant belly?

I’m neither a fitness enthusiast nor have I given up chocolate but, if you put me in a room with other women who are due in around the same time (think: birth class), I apparently tend to have the smallest belly around. For the record, with both pregnancies I have been well within the range of the recommended weight gain for my BMI. And both Birdy and (from what can be told from the ultrasounds) Bamm-Bamm are even a bit over average height, if on the light side.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly more upsides than downsides to having a small pregnant belly:

It can be nice to be able to hide the pregnancy for (almost) the entire first two trimesters if I want to.

It’s also pretty convenient that I don’t need to buy a maternity coat as I’m still able to close my normal one despite being in the 9th month of pregnancy.

Or, for that matter, that I can still wear my favorite sweatpants around the house.

Although I’m not immune to such common pregnancy ailments as back pains and heartburn, I’m lighter on my feet than I probably would be otherwise.

And, speaking of feet, I certainly have no problems seeing mine and lacing up my sneakers is not at all difficult.

All that said, there is one major downside to this small pregnant belly thing.

Care to guess what it might be?

My small pregnant belly
From a photo session a week before Birdy was born

The one thing that has really started to get to me throughout both pregnancies are the comments from people, particularly other women who are or have been pregnant, about the small size of my belly. Remarks about how I don’t even look pregnant, how tiny the belly is, or how it doesn’t look like I’m due in a certain amount of weeks or month(s) may be flattering but only up to a point.

After months of listening to comments such as these you eventually start wondering whether everything is okay with the pregnancy and whether the baby really is growing fine. As if there already weren’t enough things to obsess about during pregnancy!

I mean, if there’s a time of life when I’m likely, to use a Latvian saying, blow up an elephant from a fly, it’s when I’m expecting. And all those small belly comments, no matter how well intended they might be, are not at all helpful.

Fortunately, neither my OBGYN nor my midwife – the two people whose opinions actually matter – have made a single comment about my small pregnant belly.

So before you comment on the size of a pregnant belly remember that pregnancy comes in all shapes and sizes.

It’s actually pretty amazing how differently women’s bodies deal with growing a human being. As another blogger has so distinctly put it, pregnancy is not an invitation to comment on one’s body. And I’m sure that it’s something that all pregnant women would agree with, no matter how big or small their belly.

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