The belly in pregnancy will be seen sooner or later, depending on several factors: let’s see what happens to the “big belly” during the 9 months. Are you pregnant and can’t wait for a nice baby bump ? Or, on the contrary, do you hope that pregnancy is visible to the rest of the world as late as possible? But when do you see and change your belly during pregnancy? Let’s start by saying that there are no certain rules and that the growth of the belly during pregnancy depends on many factors, such as the physical structure of the future mother (tall and strong or low and small, for example) and her muscle tone (a trained abdomen “Mask” better the pregnancy), the position and the dimensions of the placenta, the amount of amniotic fluid and the movements and the position of the child. Let us dispel the myth that a small belly corresponds to a small child, just as it is not necessarily a case that an immediately visible belly is synonymous with excess weight for the mother.
IF IT IS THE FIRST PREGNANCY THE BELLY IS SEEN LATER
The situation also changes depending on whether the expectant mom is or is not a first child . Usually, in fact, at the first gestation the pregnant belly can be seen later, often only after the first trimester . In women who have already had children, on the other hand, the abdominal tissues and the uterus tend to deform more rapidly, so it is possible that the belly is already visible in the second or third month of pregnancy. Obviously, in twin pregnancies it is easy for the belly to be more evident or to be visible earlier than on average in single gestations.
WHEN YOU SEE YOUR BELLY IN PREGNANCY
Women in their first pregnancy usually have to wait for the fourth or even the fifth month for the belly to be really visible, even though at this stage of pregnancy they may not yet have the typical rounded and tense shape that everyone connects to a “big belly” . Also towards the fourth month , a darker line could also appear, vertically crossing the belly: it is the so-called linea alba or nigra, one of the transformations that takes place in the woman’s body during gestation, due to hormonal causes and destined to remain visible until the birth and in the months immediately following.
THE BELLY IN PREGNANCY AFTER THE FOURTH MONTH
Starting from the fifth or sixth month, usually, the pregnant belly becomes visible and recognizable even if the future mother is dressed: not only do you notice the abdominal roundness, but you also understand that it is unequivocally due to an incoming baby . At this stage of pregnancy, the belly tends to be quite “tall” and to develop vertically, towards the chest. This can cause a slight sense of oppression at the level of the chest, with difficulty in taking deep breaths, breathlessness etc.
WHEN DOES THE BELLY “EXPLODE” DURING PREGNANCY?
The seventh month corresponds for many to a real “explosion” of the belly during pregnancy, which now tends to grow even outward (many expectant women notice that even their navel protrudes out when the belly becomes large). In addition to shortness of breath, at this stage the posture tends to change to allow the body to better balance weight gain : this is the reason for the typical gait of pregnant women, with their feet slightly wider than the pelvis. Some of the classic disorders related to increased belly weight, such as back pain, can also occur .
BELLY IN PREGNANCY: THE LAST MONTHS
In the last two months of pregnancy, even if the baby grows and the volume of the uterus continues to increase, it is more difficult to notice a further significant swelling of the belly. Rather, in the last weeks of pregnancy, you may notice a lowering of the bump due to the fact that the fetus begins to position itself to be born. Usually, in this period, future mothers can breathe deeply again, even if they may experience hemorrhoids in addition to back pain, due to the increased pressure exerted by the uterus on the sciatic nerve or on the last stretches of the intestine. Moreover, in the last two months of pregnancy, the first “false” contractions may appear, the contractions of Braxton-Hicks. With Braxton-sicks contractions the belly becomes tense and lasts for a few seconds, during which you may feel discomfort. It is useful to take a deep breath and try to relax: the real contractions are different and are distinguished because, besides being painful, they are regular over time and intensify more and more.
PREGNANCY AND TWIN BIRTH: WHAT CHANGES (AND HOW TO PREPARE)
The twin pregnancies are rather rare eventuality, but their percentage increases, for example, in the case of fertility therapies. But what changes in a twin birth compared to a single birth? And what do you need to know to better prepare to welcome two or more twins?
TWIN PREGNANCY: WHAT CHANGES
Not everyone knows that twins are not necessarily “identical”, at least from a physical point of view: twins can in fact be monozygotic or heterozygous . The monozygotic twins form from the same egg cell, which splits after being fertilized by the sperm. The heterozygous twins, on the other hand, are formed from two different egg cells fertilized by two different spermatozoa, and, although resembling each other, they are not “identical” as the monozygotic twins appear. Spontaneous twin pregnancy (without resorting to assisted reproduction techniques) is rare: almost 1% of cases and in most cases twins are heterozygous. The presence in the family of other twin pregnancies is also influenced by the probability of having twins . For those expecting two (or, rarely, three children) the gestation is different from the single one for different reasons: the future mother may have symptoms rather strong right away, the belly is seen before and also the birth, in most cases, is anticipated (usually occurs, spontaneously or by medical choice, before the 37th week ).
HOW TWIN BIRTH WORKS
As anticipated, the twin birth occurs usually earlier than a single birth. A multiple pregnancy, in fact, often ends prematurely, either spontaneously or by choice of doctors. On the one hand, in fact, the uterus may be able to sustain such an important expansion until the physiological end of pregnancy, on the other there is a greater risk that, as the weeks go by, the placenta fails to support adequately the growth of two (or more) fetuses. This is why, if a single pregnancy is considered to be completed between 37 and 42 weeks, it is unlikely that a twin geritol pregnancy will last more than 37 weeks . As a rule, this does not entail serious risks for children, because it is a mild prematurity , which may or may not require a stay in neonatal intensive care but which, in most cases, is resolved without consequences.
TWIN BIRTH: VAGINAL OR CESAREAN?
As for the type of birth, it is no longer as obvious as it used to be to have a caesarean section . This is certainly a more probable event than single pregnancies, but it is possible to face a twin birth also vaginally. If both twins are in a cephalic position (ie upside down) it is probable that there is a natural birth, which is the recommended solution even if the first twin to be born is cephalic and the second is instead upside down, ie in breech position . If both children are breeches, or if the first to be born is with their feet in front, a cesarean section will be used instead, as in the case in which one or both twins are in a transverse position. Other conditions that lead to caesarean section are the same that apply to a single birth, such as placenta previa , fetal distress or some pathological conditions affecting the mother.
HOW A TWIN BIRTH TAKES PLACE
The travail of a twin pregnancy is in all similar to that of a single gestation, with initially mild and irregular contractions and then gradually more intense and frequent. The breaking of the water can happen or not, and it is necessary to go with urgency to the hospital if the liquid appears of dark or greenish color (exactly as it happens for who expects a child only). The twin birth does not constitute in itself a contraindication for the use of epidural anesthesia . The expulsive phase could be “simpler” than a single birth, because the size of twins at birth tend to be lower than that of single pregnancies. The secondment , or the expulsion of the (or of) the placenta and of the membranes, usually takes place at once, after the birth of both twins, but in biovular pregnancies it is also possible that each placenta is expelled after the birth of each newborn.
BREASTFEED AFTER A TWIN BIRTH
Speaking of birth weight, it is normal for twins to be a little smaller than for babies born from single pregnancies, weighing about 2.5 kg . It is not rare that, precisely because of these inferior dimensions or because of the early termination of pregnancy, babies born from a twin birth are kept in an incubator for a few days. Breastfeeding the twins is possible, either exclusively or in association with artificial milk. Even in the case of a twin birth, it is important to attach newborns to the breast as soon as possible, and continue to do so on request.