Pregnancy can be stressful, and often comes with many questions about your body and baby. While some pregnancy tips and tricks have been around for thousands of years, knowledge about pregnancy is constantly changing and improving. New pregnancy fads and suggestions seem to appear daily. The latest pregnancy craze? Belly pumping.
Can you suck in a baby bump? It is possible ‘suck in’ your baby bump through a technique called the Belly Pump which is most often promoted through the Bloom Method. This method set of workouts designed specifically for pregnancy fitness and is considered healthy and safe. The Belly Pump works by contracting the abdominal and raising the pelvic floor muscles.
Because it’s an exercise that causes such a dramatic visual change, many women wonder if belly pumping is safe. Keep reading to hear expert opinions on belly pumping, learn how the exercise works, and see some incredible videos of the exercise.
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Is it possible to suck or pull in a baby bump?
One of the biggest visual symbols of pregnancy is the baby bump – that cute little (or not-so-little) bump that results from the growing baby. When you’re pregnant, it’s gratifying to see your baby bump get bigger, knowing that it means your little one is growing right along with your waistline.
But an ever-increasing waistline is less fun when your favorite pair of jeans just won’t fit anymore, or when you can’t bend over to put on your socks in the morning. If you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ve probably had the errant wish that you could suck in your baby bump for just a few seconds so that you could finally put on those socks.
Although it isn’t possible to make your baby bump disappear entirely when you’re pregnant, a new exercise can make it look like you’re sucking your baby bump in. This exercise is called belly pumping and is a technique developed by the Bloom Method to help strengthen a pregnant woman’s core muscles.
Watching the belly pump exercise is absolutely astounding. Read a little further to see some cool videos!
Is it bad to hold your stomach in while pregnant?
Even though belly pumping looks like it might be dangerous for the baby, it’s actually very safe if done using the correct technique. A pregnant woman who is belly pumping isn’t sucking in her stomach or the baby; instead, she’s synchronizing her breathing and core muscle movements to help lift up through her diaphragm and pelvic floor. According to personal trainer Brooke Cates, the creator of the Bloom Method, belly pumping is kind of like a woman “using her muscles to hug her baby.”
Gynecologists, when shown footage of women using the exercise, agree that belly pumping shouldn’t be dangerous for most pregnant mothers. The key is to make sure you’re doing the exercise correctly.
There are plenty of how-to videos explaining the proper technique for belly pumping, including the video below:
If you’d like to hear a gynecologist’s full thoughts on the exercise, check out the video below:
As always, be sure to check with your doctor before trying anything new. And be aware of your unique situation; every pregnancy is different.
Can you tuck in your stomach when pregnant?
Belly pumping is a great exercise, but it’s certainly not meant to restrict the baby bump for long periods of time.
So, is it okay to compress or ‘tuck in’ your stomach when you’re pregnant? Most of the time, the answer is yes. No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, your baby is protected by amniotic fluid and the muscles of your uterus. Because of that protection, certain amounts of compression are safe for your baby.
Shapewear, leggings, and other tight pants won’t hurt your baby, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Most pregnant women, however, don’t find it very comfortable to wear tight clothing while pregnant. Even though tucking in your baby bump isn’t hurting the baby, it might hurt you! If you’re hating the look of your baby bump, here are some things to try that might be a bit more comfortable:
- Check out the maternity aisle: Maternity clothing is made to feel comfortable and look good. And this isn’t your mother’s pregnancy… it’s definitely possible to find fashionable maternity outfits that fit your style!
- Make your clothes work for you: Especially in the early months of pregnancy, it can be hard to deal with your growing baby bump. If your favorite jeans are getting just a little snug around the waist, break out the hair ties! This trick can extend the life of your regular pants for months, and can help you feel more like your old self.
- The art of deception: If you’re trying to hide your belly bump from family, friends, or coworkers, here are some optical illusion tricks you can use to look a lot less pregnant!
Reasons you might want to use your stomach muscles while pregnant
When you’re pregnant, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. But, in general, it’s actually good practice to exercise regularly during pregnancy! Here are some reasons to focus on carefully exercising your stomach and abdominal muscles while pregnant:
- Diastasis Recti: When your abdominal muscles separate, you develop a condition called diastasis recti. This condition is very common during and after pregnancy. Luckily, using pregnancy-safe exercises such as belly pumping can help you strengthen your core and prevent diastasis recti from occurring.
- Quality of Life: Exercise can actually help improve your experience during your pregnancy. It can help reduce backaches, improve your sleep, gain the right amount of weight, and even boost your energy levels!
- Shorter Labor: Just as it’s easier to run a marathon if you’ve been training for one, labor is easier (not easy, but easier!) if you’ve given your muscles practice. Even moderate exercise during pregnancy has been linked to shorter labor.
When do you get a baby bump?
In general, many women begin to notice their baby bump around the 11-14 week mark of their pregnancy. Each baby bump is different, though, and many factors go into what your bump looks like and when it first begins to show. Weight, body fat levels, age, fitness, muscle density, previous births, and genetics all influence the development of your baby bump.
If you’re ever concerned about the size of your bump, talk with your doctor! They’ll check to make sure everything is fine, and help reassure you that whether your bump is big or small, early or late, your baby is developing as they should be.
Can your belly be soft when pregnant?
The firmness of your belly varies while you’re pregnant. If you carefully feel around your stomach, you may be able to feel your uterus, especially the later you get into your pregnancy. If you have more abdominal fat, your belly might feel soft when you’re pregnant, just because you have more layers between you and your baby.
Usually, the later you get in your pregnancy, the firmer your baby bump will feel.
Is it OK to push on stomach while pregnant?
Although you’ll want to be careful, it is okay to push on your stomach while pregnant. In fact, you’ll find that your doctor will likely push on your stomach at most of your prenatal visits as a way to check on the position and activity of your baby. Within your womb, your baby is cushioned by amniotic fluid and protected by the muscles of your uterus.
Gentle pushing shouldn’t hurt the baby, but punches, hard jabs, or kicks can be dangerous, especially later in your pregnancy where there is less fluid to cushion the baby.
Pushing gently on your stomach can actually be one of the first games you play with your baby. In the last trimester, you can respond to your baby’s kicks by gently rubbing or pushing on your stomach. Your baby might kick back!