Pregnant women can’t catch a break regarding comments about their pregnant belly or baby bump.
Old wives’ tales about babies’ gender in regards to carrying low or high are things that other people can’t seem to keep to themselves.
It doesn’t matter if this is your first pregnancy or your second or third pregnancy, the comments about your baby’s sex when you’re carrying baby low never seem to end, and it gets old fast.
Then there are the issues women carrying lower than their pregnant counterparts have to deal with that are exclusive to women who carry low.
From a baby bump that doesn’t fit into maternity clothes to the need to constantly urinate, sore abdominal muscles, and not being able to stand for long periods of time, low pregnant bellies go through some drama.
In this article, we’ll talk about your pregnant belly and what it means when you’re carrying low.
We’ll mention old wives’ tales and pregnancy hormones and what other issues may arise for moms-to-be who carry low as the pregnancy progresses.
Carrying baby low
Pregnancy myths go back further than anyone can really seem to remember. Everyone who has heard these old wives tales heard them from someone else, who heard them from someone else.
If it’s your first pregnancy, you may fall for a few of them, and sometimes, they end up being true.
However, to be clear, even broken clocks are right twice a day! Sometimes coincidences happen.
When it comes to your baby’s gender, pregnancy myths are full of lore—carrying high means a girl, while women who carry low are pregnant with boys.
Women who get acne or greasy hair during pregnancy are pregnant with girls because she’s “stealing her mother’s beauty.”
If any of this sounds like it’s straight out of a fairy tale, you’re not wrong. It’s as made up and inaccurate as any tall tale.
High bump vs. low bump pregnancy
If it’s not true that you can tell the gender of a baby by whether you carry low or high, then why are some babies carried lower than others?
Unfortunately, we need an ironclad answer. But there is actual medical speculation.
1. More common in subsequent pregnancies
Many women who have had children before carry lower with each subsequent pregnancy. This is because the ligaments and muscles in the abdominal wall have stretched enough to accommodate your growing uterus.
Because of this, you may need more support around your lower belly in a second pregnancy.
2. Lightening or baby drops
Your baby’s position changes as you get close to your due date. Baby goes from being higher up in the uterus to dropping down into the birth canal in preparation for delivery.
If you have carried low throughout your pregnancy, you may not notice much when your baby drops into position.
3. Your height
Taller women have more room to accommodate a baby in the uterus. On the other hand, shorter women have less room, to begin with, in their middle, so their baby bump tends to grow low and wide.
How you carry your baby and what it means
When it comes to how you carry your baby during pregnancy, you can throw the myths right out the window when looking for meaning.
We’ve briefly discussed why a woman may carry a baby a bit low when pregnant, but there are other ways to carry a baby during pregnancy. Just like some women carry higher than others, some carry small, some carry big, and there might just be meaning to it.
The following may be why your pregnant belly looks a certain way.
1. Carrying small
It can mean a few things if you don’t have much of a belly to show during your pregnancy. If you have tight abs, it may prevent you from growing outward very much during pregnancy, which is nothing to be concerned about.
A strong abdominal wall is never a bad thing, per se.
You may show little if you’re tall, especially if your height is in your upper body or torso. It simply means that your baby has more space to be stretched out.
Sometimes, there’s cause for concern, but it’s not common.
In some cases, a small bump can mean that you have low amounts of amniotic fluid. As long as you are keeping your prenatal appointments and being honest with your doctor when you’re asked questions, your doctor must catch, diagnose, and keep this issue monitored so that you can progress with your pregnancy safely.
This issue is most common in women who have passed their due date by two weeks or more and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with a woman’s body shape or the size of her abdomen.
2. Carrying big
This can also have to do with perception regarding your build and size.
If you are very petite or built with a small frame, a pregnant belly will look oversized, even if it’s just average.
If you’ve had babies before this pregnancy, you may seem bigger earlier because your abdominal muscles have learned what they need to do and are a bit weaker than they used to be.
In some uncommon cases, there can be cause for concern if you have a large bump.
In these cases, there is excess amniotic fluid, but a doctor will likely catch it and keep an eye on it so that there is no real risk to your baby.
Benefits of carrying low during pregnancy
If you are expecting and carrying low, you may wonder what its upside can be.
People tend to tell a woman what sex they think the baby will be based upon it (almost always predicted to be a boy rather than a girl), your weight is carried oddly, your maternity clothes may not fit correctly, and you have to pee constantly.
It’s a lot to put up with for a soon-to-be mom.
So what might the benefits be? Well, to find them, we have to think positively.
But rest assured, there are benefits to be found.
1. Less trouble breathing
When your womb is low, it puts less pressure on your lungs, and your organs have more room and are less compressed.
This means that you won’t have as much trouble breathing after walking up a flight of stairs, moving around and getting exercise, or, let’s be honest, getting up from bed to go to the bathroom for the eighth time in a night.
2. Maternity clothes may not work, so you can wear regular clothes
Mothers will be the first to tell you that choosing and buying maternity clothing can be expensive and challenging.
A mom who is carrying low may not get any belly coverage from traditional maternity clothes, so you may be able to avoid the cost and the stress of buying a new wardrobe and wearing sweatpants and long dresses.
3. Support bands fit better
Doctors often recommend that mothers who spend a lot of time on their feet or work through their pregnancies wear a support band or belly band.
While you can make them work for just about any weight and build of the mom, they fit best on a mom who carries low.
4. Less work during labor
Childbirth is a complicated process. During labor, your baby will move down into the birth canal and out of your body.
If you are carrying high, labor may last longer than it will for a mom carrying lower because there’s less for the baby to do and a shorter distance to travel.
Don’t worry, and don’t buy into myths
Your womb, where it’s positioned, and how high or low it is are most likely perfectly fine and have nothing to do with the sex of your baby.
Your weight, shape, and level of amniotic fluid have more to do with the way you’re carrying than the odds that it means you’re having a boy or a girl.
You can always talk to your doctor if you have any concerns, but a woman who carries a bit lower than others typically has nothing to worry about.
It doesn’t mean you will birth a boy. It just means you’re a woman whose womb is a bit lower than someone else’s.