When we envision pregnancy, we all imagine a cute, round bump.
The development of this baby bump is what some women look forward to. It is a pretty reminder of the new life that is emerging in you.
However, when you talk with women who have been pregnant, they will tell you that bumps come in all shapes and sizes.
No matter what size you are going into pregnancy, your baby bump may or may not be different from the person who was the same size as you.
What if that bump looks as if you are having two pregnancies?
Should you be concerned?
Keep reading this article to have an insight into the term “B Bellies” and some facts relating to it.
A B Belly is a belly that appears to have a crease or waistband in the middle.
This divides the belly into two sections, much like the capital letter B.
Some people also refer to the B belly as a double pregnancy belly.
The important thing to note is that the pregnancy breasts are not the upper part of the letter B.
If that would have been the case, almost every woman would be having a B Belly pregnancy.
A B Belly differs from the more common D belly.
A D-belly doesn’t have a division in between and is perfectly round when looked at from the sides.
Although there is no specific cause known for a B Belly, its occurrence is more common in people who are overweight.
However, that doesn’t mean a B Belly cannot occur in healthy women.
Women of different shapes and sizes have reported having a B Belly and most of the time, their weight had little to do with it.
This is because so many factors such as height, weight, muscle, and bone structure, all combine to impact your bump.
A B Belly during pregnancy may be impacted by:
Fascial health is a fancy way of saying that connective tissue beneath may be responsible for your B belly.
Your fascia may be damaged due to dehydration, poor posture, stress, injured muscle, or prior pregnancies.
It can also be that it is just the way your fascia is shaped!
To make sure that your fascia is in the best possible shape, it is advised to do some regular stretching and drink plenty of water.
Your Body Size And Weight:
According to health professionals, women with a BMI in the range of 25 to 29 are overweight, and the ones in the range of 30 and above are obese.
Women who are overweight at the beginning of pregnancy are more prone towards experiencing a B Belly.
However, this is not guaranteed as body shape also has an active role to play!
After their first pregnancy, many women find their stomach muscles to feel much looser and flabby.
Their shape also expands much faster when they get pregnant again.
The loosening of these muscles can lead to B Belly pregnancies, especially if the pregnancies are close together or your body did not return to its pre-pregnancy shape before getting pregnant again.
Your Usual Belly Shape:
Women who enter pregnancy with an apron belly or carry their weight in their belly, as opposed to carrying it in their thighs or hips are more likely to develop a B belly. Even if it’s their first pregnancy!
Diastasis Recti means the stretching of your abdominal muscles, so much so, that there is a gap between them.
It results from the accumulation of inner abdominal pressure.
The abdominal size and the tissues enlarge and stretch out during pregnancy.
This results in the gap between the right side and left side of the stomach to enlarge which eventually results in a B belly.
For every woman, the disappearance of their B Belly varies.
The amount of time it takes for a B belly to heal depends on the amount of ab separation.
From the first to the third trimester, all bellies develop in different shapes and sizes.
As the pregnancy progresses the weight shifts and gets adjusted, and the B shape becomes less obvious.
If you are lucky, it can even get transformed into a D-shaped belly.
To get rid of the B belly, you will need to perform gentle movements, which engage your abdominal muscles.
Before starting any exercise, make sure to consult a fitness professional, so that they can devise a plan for you that is perfectly safe.
During the postpartum period, you should avoid lifting anything heavy, and roll onto your side when getting out of bed or sitting up.
Use your arms to push yourself up and skip activities that push your abdomen outwards, like crunches and sit-ups.
Some people also use binding devices to hold their bellies in.
Although this won’t help heal the B belly, it is still a good reminder of keeping a good posture.
Surgery is also done in the cases of extreme hernia or if the woman wants a tummy tuck surgery.
A B belly itself does not raise a dangerous signal for your doctor.
However, if weight is the issue causing the B belly, then your doctor may want to discuss some additional health concerns.
Those who are overweight, have a high risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, miscarriage and stillbirth, and back pain.
Apart from health concerns, there are also emotional concerns that accompany B belly.
No matter what you are feeling, you can always take comfort in the fact that whatever you are feeling is completely normal and justified.
You should understand that every body is different, and your body is doing its best to support you and your little one.
Most people don’t notice signs of B Bellies until they are postpartum.
You can have B Bellies during pregnancy, but it gets harder to distinguish them as your abdomen is stretched.
Some common signs of B Bellies during pregnancy are:
- A visible bulge that is just above or below the belly button
- Difficulty in walking or performing everyday tasks
- Pain in hips
- Lower back pain
- Poor posture
- Leakage of urine when you sneeze or cough
- Feeling weak in your abdomen.
It can be a little challenging to find clothes that will hide the B belly, as it is visible under any slim-fitted dress or shirt.
One way to hide B bellies is to wear belly bands.
Belly bands smooth out the bump and also help conceal the pregnancy if you want.
You can also wear belly bands with plus-size baby doll tops and maternity dresses.
Wearing dresses that are flowy beneath the bust area is a good way to hide that baby bump.
Maternity leggings can also help provide some support to the B Belly.
However, you should always remember that having a B belly is very normal and you shouldn’t add that to your list of worries.
How To Deal With B-Belly Pregnancy Stigma?
Regardless of what belly shape and size you have, there may be some emotional struggles that are attached to each size and shape of the bump.
However, no matter what you may be feeling, you can always take comfort in the fact that sooner or later the baby will be in your arms.
Also, know that pregnancy comes in all shapes and sizes, and your plus-size belly is there to provide support for your child.
Talking to your family and friends about your feelings and having their support, will also help you to feel better.
Is B-shaped Belly Common?
Having this shape of the belly is more common if you are already overweight and have a larger stomach.
If you have a “muffin-top” regularly, you may get a B Belly pregnancy bump.
There are a lot of plus-size women in the world, so you are not alone with this kind of belly.
This is just a different variation of normal!
Can You Have A B Belly Even If You Are Not Plus-Sized?
Absolutely yes! Although it is more common if you are overweight or plus-sized.
Remember, it also has to do with fascial health.
If your fascia is distorted, you can have a B-shaped belly instead of the normal D-shaped belly.
Can Diet or Exercise Change Pregnant Belly Shape?
Typically, no, it won’t change the shape of the belly.
While exercise is recommended during pregnancy, an extreme diet is not.
If you do lose weight, it will lead to a belly overhang, which makes you more likely to have a B Belly.
Can A B Belly Turn Into A D Belly?
Some women do claim that their B gradually turns into a D as it gets larger.
However, most women will never have a full D belly.
If you have a B belly, it is more likely to stay.
Now, that doesn’t mean it will be as prominent as it was at the start.
Around 30-31 weeks your belly may start to get rounder, making your B Belly a little less prominent.