Why Does My Pregnant Belly Look Smaller in the Morning?

Your belly that seems to shrink every morning is a normal course in pregnancy, and there are many reasons why. For once, your baby does not always stay in the same position and shift place while you sleep. Also, by the time you wake up, your tummy was likely empty after the filling dinner last night. Your core muscles also get tighter after the night’s rest. As the day wears on, you eat and get active to loosen up, making the bump appear bigger.

The second pregnancy onwards also generally appears bigger than your first. That’s because the core abdominal muscle stretched out when you had your first baby.

After several pregnancies, it has already overextended. The more stretched the core muscle, the likelier the pregnancy will appear bigger at night, but smaller in the morning.

Causes of a smaller pregnant belly in the morning

From the first time you realize your baby bump, you are probably on the lookout for all its unfolding.

As your body struggles to deal with pregnancy, you will also track all the physical changes you will go through.

So when something seems off, you may become anxious – such as the moment you wake up, and your baby seems to shrink from inside your womb.

But moms, the scenario is pretty common, and here are some of the reasons why you should not panic.

Bloating

A recently pregnant woman is bloated after heavy eating.

When you are pregnant, your body is holding more water than normal. Pregnancy hunger is also something you cannot set aside, so you will likely eat more food as much as you can.

As a result, most women endure bloating and swelling throughout the day. You will also notice and literally feel that your tummy is fuller and bigger. After a restful night, such bloating and swelling eases up.

And because you do not eat while sleeping, your stomach is also empty in the morning. This is when you will discover your pregnancy belly feeling smaller than it was last night.

Movement of the baby

Babies will assume a variety of positions while in the uterus. Did you know that by the 7th month, the fetus would move in response to stimuli?

They are highly sensitive to light, sound, or pain during this time and would shift into a position comfortable for them.

These positions affect the size of your belly. Thus, there will be days when you wake up to a small pregnant belly.

Tight stomach muscles

A recently pregnant woman is checking her tummy after doing light workout at the gym.

Pregnancy stretches the muscles in the tummy since the fetus rests on them. After a long tiring day of activity, it will relax during the night.

It will give you an impression of a bigger pregnancy. But soon after you rest, the muscles in your body will tighten up again.

So it’s normal for it to appear smaller as your abdominal muscle readies itself for another day of holding your baby.

Carrying consecutive pregnancies

First-time pregnancies are relatively smaller compared to subsequent ones. After having the first, the core muscles in your abdomen already stretched themselves and may not become firm again.

Carrying your succeeding babies will result in a bigger pregnancy throughout the day. But after lying down for a night’s rest, it will shrink the extra bump for a smaller and more defined pregnant belly.

FAQs

When should I worry about my small pregnancy belly?

A pregnancy tummy that is consistently the same size throughout the day is concerning. If you notice that it does not grow any bigger, you should also call your doctor. Your baby may have growth problems inside your womb.

Why am I not showing any bump?

If this is your first pregnancy, the baby bump will show up only around the third trimester. Succeeding pregnancies will manifest themselves earlier because of the already-stretched abdominal muscle. 

Takeaway

The size of your pregnancy belly changes for different practical reasons. It is a normal appearance, and thus, should not cause any worries.

It’s not also a one size fits all pregnancy, quite literally. Some moms may appear to have bigger or smaller bumps regardless of the baby’s gestational age.

Ann Marie is a licensed nurse in the Philippines. She experienced handling and assisting deliveries of newborns into the world. She also trained in labor rooms and pediatric wards while in nursing school - helping soon-to-be mothers and little kids in the process. Though not a mother by nature but a mother by heart, Ann Marie loves to take care of her younger cousins as well as nephews and nieces during her free time.

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