Find out what dictates the shape of your pregnancy bump...
Carrying your bump low or high is some indication of the state of your abdominal muscles. When a woman carries high it means her abdominal muscles are in good shape.
If mums have stretched muscles from age or previous pregnancies they may carry the baby low.
Taller mums-to-be usually have narrower pregnant bellies and shorter women have wider ones.
The linea negra – the vertical dark line running up the belly from the pubic bone – is caused by pregnancy hormones. It is usually more obvious on women with darker skin; it will fade away after giving birth.
Tummy buttons may get popped outwards when the belly is stretched during pregnancy, but they should go back in afterwards.
From around 20 weeks your doctor will measure the fundal height (the distance from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus) at every prenatal visit.
The measurement will be recorded on the chart in your maternity record and should follow the curve on the graph already printed on your chart. If it appears that your baby may be too small or two large for your dates you will probably be offered a scan.
As a general guide your fundal height in centimetres should roughly equal the number of weeks of pregnancy, so if you are 22 weeks your fundal height should be between 20 to 24 centimetres.
Nobody would ever dream of walking up to someone and feeling their tummy and yet pregnant women can have people – even complete strangers – doing just that.
So, if you don’t like it, how do you deal with unwanted tummy touching? Don’t hesitate to say if you don’t want to be touched. You can say it politely: “I’d rather you didn’t” or make a joke of it: “Can I rub yours?”
Or you could just say: “Please don’t touch, baby’s just settled down after a kicking phase”, or try rubbing the person back (if they have a pot belly they won’t like that).
Alternatively, you could simply turn away if they reach out to touch, cross your arms in a protective stance or simply remove their hands and put them on their own belly!