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Pregnancy and Childbirth: The answers

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Visible Pregnancy signs


Size of the womb

The progressive change in the size of the uterus to accommodate pregnancy is one of the wonders of nature. The uterus increases in weight almost 25 to 30 times. From around 30-50g pre-conception, it grows to about 1000 g (1 kg) at term. While the capacity of the uterine cavity when not pregnant is about 4-5ml, this is increased almost a thousand-fold at term.


The tiny structure, smaller than a woman's fist, grows to accommodate a baby, placenta and fluid with a combined weight of anything up to 8 kg or even more (such as in twin pregnancy).


The visible pregnancy ‘bump’

To the outside world, there is no tell-tale abdominal bulge before 12 weeks of gestation. This is because, up until this point, the pregnancy is entirely within the pelvic cavity. An exception is in the case of twins or other forms of multiple pregnancy, where the bump may appear earlier.


Even in a singleton pregnancy, there may not be any visible distension before eighteen to twenty weeks, depending on the woman's build. After this mid-way stage, the abdomen actually distends and the increase in size is, in most cases, immediately apparent.


Size of the visible pregnancy bump

We have all witnessed the enormous difference of the sizes of pregnant abdomens.12 weeks bump Every individual woman appears to be different. A combination of factors is actually at play.


The size of the bulge will depend on the size of the contents of the uterus (twins will produce a bigger bulge at a comparable gestation) but this is not the only factor.


The state of the abdominal muscles and their ability to rein in the growing uterus is also important.


Another factor is the amount of fat deposited under the skin on the abdominal wall. This may be big enough to influence the outward impression of the size of the pregnant abdomen.


Contrary to popular belief, the apparent size of a pregnant abdomen is actually a poor guide to the size of the baby.





















Stretch Marks: Next Page

At 12 weeks, unless the woman is carrying more than one baby, the pregnancy bump should not be visible.