What is a full term belly like? — The Bump
3rd Trimester

What is a full term belly like?

May sound like an odd question! Im in my first trimester and I worry what a huge belly will be like. When I see full term women I can't believe how big they are! I have a history of claustrophobia and worry my belly will make me feel that way. Like it's something very restricting that is always there! I love for you full term mamas to describe what your bumps feel like for you. as I just can't imagine it! Thanks in advance :)

Re: What is a full term belly like?

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  • The belly growth is such a gradual, steady process that it didn't feel that crazy for me (I'll be at 40 weeks on Saturday). Don't get me wrong, I look and feel like I have a giant watermelon under my shirt at this point, but it wasn't that suddenly I woke up and felt huge and restricted at all. You become a little clumsy and bump into things occasionally, but I just laugh about it.

    ...It's the hemorrhoids, heartburn, and discharge (the lovely things no one tells you about beforehand) that make the third trimester more unpleasant, in my opinion. :)
  • I couldn't wait to start showing. It made me so happy to see my bump getting bigger. Now that I'm 33 weeks along, sometimes I feel huge and have some back pain, but then other days I don't feel that big at all. I still love it even though it is uncomfortable sometimes! More than thinking of it as a belly, I think of it as my growing baby and I couldn't be happier! One thing that has helped me is going ahead and investing in some cute maternity clothes. You don't have to go overboard, but having things that actually fit well will make you feel pretty and be more comfortable.

  • Thanks ladies! Love hearing everyone's experience and advice helps a lot. I love it's a baby but just that it's so surreal and odd for my body to do! Lol. Keep the stories coming all you big bumped mamas :)
  • *LrCg**LrCg* member
    You're going to hate this answer but all women's bodies are different.  I'm short and petite but for some reason never get huge (this is my 4th).  I'm due in @2 weeks and most people think I'm @ 7 months pregnant.  I've never had issues of not being able to touch toes, painting my toe nails, shaving, etc.  I will say that for me, its harder to get up and with chasing around a 1, 3 & 4 year old that can be a bit frustrating! 
    staceom[Deleted User]
  • I only started having size issues with my bump once he ran out of room. At that point, I could no longer lean over without feeling him laying against the entire front of my stomach. He just seemed to just grow so casually that I never noticed my bumb getting bigger.

    The only time I realized it was getting bigger was when my scrubs for work got tighter around my tummy.
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  • The hardest part for me is accidentally bumping into stuff.  My belly button stretched out (which is what freaks me out the most) and I often ram it against cabinets and stuff.  It's very tender and not used to that!  

    The belly happened very gradually.  I looked back at pictures from when I was around 20 weeks and thought I was big then...hahaha my idea of big then was so adorable and not realistic. :)  I was tiny compared to today!

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  • I didn't realize how big it had gotten until DH took a picture of me at 38 weeks. I was shocked that it was so huge. I wouldn't worry about it because it is so gradual you don't even notice.
  • This is my second pregnancy, and not only does every woman carry/show differently, but one pregnancy to the next has also been different for me. I never felt huge last time, although I'm sure I was. This time I felt huge starting around mo 7. And EVERYONE is commenting about it. I don't know if this one is just positioned differently, or what, but pants that I loved last time are sooooo uncomfortable this time because he's sitting so low. Everyone comments that I don't look prego from behind, but then I turn around and everyone feels sorry for me because I'm so HUGE! Sleeping at night is a pain. I literally have to sit up in order to flip sides. Rolling over is just not an option due to belly size & back/leg pain.
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  • It was such a gradual gain that I had a lot of time to get used to it. DH likes to laugh that every few weeks I'd walk past the mirror, rub my belly and ask "where did this come from?" I forget about it a lot of the time, until I go to do something that I can't such s cross my legs or roll over in bed. I found new ways to do things, you adapt. I have to push myself up with my arms in bed instead of using just by core muscles, I have to squat to pick something up vs bending over, gave up wearing socks because it was too much work etc. People make comments and that is the worst part, that and the weight difference so I find myself compensating with my back and end up in pain.

    Remember that everyone is different. My sister wore pre-pregnancy clothes through her entrée pregnancy, I have a friend who at term looked like I did at 25 weeks, I truly did get a lot bigger than both DH and I thought I would. But, leo know it will go away. You won't look 9 months pregnant for the rest of your life.
    BFP: July 2013 M/C August 5, 2013
    BFP: October 22, 2013 EDD: June 21, 2014
    Baby boy arrived June 23, 2014

    BFP: February 2016 EDD: October 17, 2016
  • Thanks ladies. Feels so comforting to know it is gradual and feels normal and not like something that feels weird or confining. I will enjoy it I'm sure! Feeling better after reading these great replies!
  • I'm very short and petite and I'm told I don't look pregnant from behind. I guess I go straight out. If you have a short torso, you'll feel baby up in your ribs more. It's super uncomfortable to sit or even lay down sometimes. I haven't felt claustrophobic yet, just a bit awkward and heavy. 

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    staceomaditigirlJanuary Bride
  • everyone carries differently, but if you want to *see* the bellies, i would hit up one of the birth month boards and check out their HDBD posts (hump day, bump day) to peek. 

    as for what they feel like, i find that the most uncomfortable stretch for me is 32-36wks before baby drops a bit. nighttime is hard, too, after you eat dinner and are just full of food and baby. small meals are KEY!! it shouldn't feel too confining for you-- good luck!
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  • Thanks girls :)
  • The baby does kind of squish up the organs and that can be uncomfortable, but then the baby drops and frees up some room. Then the baby puts on another couple pounds and squishes things up again but then you deliver the baby :)

    The discomforts vary, come & go. I'm sure you'll find your way to relieve them. For me, prenatal yoga really helped, baths, swimming, and eating small quantities. 
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  • So grateful to keep getting more feedback :) guess having the biggest change to my body ever makes me feel a tad out of control in a way I guess. Feeling so reassured reading feedback from women who are living this right now! :) then I know it's accurate and not selective memory haha
  • NADA-HNADA-H member
    I got terrified when I first found out I was pregnant because I was worried about all the changes that were going to happen to my body which I worked SO HARD on and was just enjoying it when I found out I was pregnant.

    I'm a FTM and I'm 36W2D, everyone tells me I look like I'm 27 weeks and that my belly is so small.

    I think mine looks small in comparison to other pregnant women but sometimes I feel huge and wonder how women with bigger bellies can survive having a huge belly to carry around.

    It all depends, every body's different and every pregnancy is different the same mother could carry differently every time.
    God Bless You my Little One
    Farida, our first child, born on the 19th of July 2014
    Farida, at 8 weeks
  • I don't want to scare you, but I did not have any history of claustrophobia and both pregnancies have brought it on. My OB said that the extra internal pressure from having your organs squeezed up can cause it, so I don't think belly size really has much bearing. Sleeping separately from H, letting him know I when I don't want to be close/touching, avoiding places like movie theaters and crowded buses, etc. has helped. 
  • @nursecramer‌ thanks for your honesty. I have heard of that before. So do you feel claustrophobic in your own skin? Or just it's triggered only by things like crowds or people too close in Your personal space? I feel that would be manageable. It would be concerning to me if it's the baby and belly that trigger it even if your in bed alone! you can't avoid if it makes you feel closed In. Thanks!
  • I only feel really panicked (like can't breathe, must get away ASAP) when other people or circumstances (elevator, small bathroom stall, etc.) to trigger it. It happens to a small degree sometimes when I'm by myself, but usually changing my position or (gently) trying to rearrange the baby's limbs helps. 
  • staceomstaceom member
    edited June 2014
    Yikes. Ya it's feeling like that in my own body I don't want to feel. But i will stay optimistic that it won't be a trigger and practise my deep breathing and affirmations in the meantime ;)
  • You've got a lot of good responses but as PPs said, every person is different.

    I'm tall and am told I carry "well." I have that basketball stomach. My skin never feels stretched and I don't get baby feet or legs in my ribs (long torso). Besides the basketball, I feel like my normal self. That could happen to you too! Good luck!

    P.S. On Wednesday you can go to the July 2014 board and see some practically full term bumps :)
    IVF #1- BFP- DD 4/8/2011
    FET #1- 3BB and 3B-B
    Beta #1 (4w0d)- 504
    Beta #2 (4w4d)- 4,577
    Beta #3 (6w0d)- 78,399 HB 115 bpm
    U/S #2 7w0d- HB 155 bpm

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  • I am not completely full-term yet (I am almost 33 weeks), but there are days when I can't figure out why strangers are staring at me. Then I realize, oh, right, it's the belly. 

    It's weird to say that I sometimes forget it's there. It's pretty big, don't get me wrong - I think I have just grown used to it. I really expected it to feel like more of a burden/hindrance than it is. I still feel like me.

    First-time mom, 35+, parenting after a loss (mmc Oct. 2012 @ 8 wks), ttc for a year after loss

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  • Thanks 2redtulips that is nice to hear :)
  • Your doc can actually give you *somewhat* of an idea as to where your belly will land but breaking out the tape measure.  Mine has been measuring me every time I go in, and we are tracking exactly as he thought.  It's been kind of nice to have a little of an idea as to how much I'll continue to grow!
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