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Can You Suck in Your Stomach When Pregnant?

Once pregnant, your belly grows fast. Medical experts agree you can suck in your stomach while pregnant, but it should be for short periods only.

Let’s explore how to safely suck in your belly and take the next step to a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby.

Can I Suck in My Baby Bump?

It’s possible to suck in your baby bump in the earlier months of pregnancy. Yet, it becomes more challenging once the fetus reaches a specific size. 

Women may want to hold their bellies in for some of these reasons:

  • Prevent stretch marks
  • Ease Birth
  • Build Muscle
  • Negative Body Image

The desire to stay and look healthy during pregnancy is admirable. But you want to be safe. Speaking with your doctor about any exercise and concern is essential.

What Happens to the Body When You Suck in Your Stomach?

Sucking in your belly from time to time is harmless. But too much of it can lead to the following health problems:

  • Breathing issues: Your diaphragm may pull up instead of down. This causes less space for your lungs to breathe.
  • Neck and back pain: Sucking in affects the muscles in your abdomen, neck, shoulder, and back. It can lead to pain or injury.
  • Weakened pelvic floor: Bringing your belly in causes weakness in the pelvic muscles. That can cause urinary incontinence. 

If you have concerns about your body or feelings, consider speaking to your doctor today.

Does Pressing on the Stomach Harm the Fetus?

Wearing clothes tighter or lightly bumping your belly doesn’t harm the baby. But, any type of abdominal trauma, like a car accident, is much more likely to affect them. 

Prevent Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are common in pregnancy. As your skin stretches with the growing belly, scars can form. Recent research found up to 90% of pregnant females incur stretch marks.

The Bloom Method is an exercise program that may positively affect one’s pregnancy. For example, one “belly pump” exercise involves women expanding and contracting their bellies. 

The fitness studio boasts exercises like these that might help prevent stretch marks. But there needs to be more research proving it works. 

Instead, evidence shows lotions and gels are excellent at preventing stretch marks. 

Ease Birth

Labor and delivery are often unpredictable. The healthiest mom can experience complications with pregnancy and childbirth. One of the best things you can do is eat a healthy diet, exercise, and regularly visit your OB/GYN or Midwife. 

The Bloom Method studio boasts belly pump exercises may help ease childbirth. But there is no credible evidence supporting their claim. 

Build Muscle

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends exercise for pregnancy health. Pregnant women should exercise at least 150 minutes per week. The level should be moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. Activity at this level includes:

  • Brisk walking
  • Light swimming
  • Yoga and Pilates
  • Low-impact aerobics

But, we need more research on how much abdominal exercise is necessary.

Experts typically caution against heavy-weight training while pregnant. The CDC warns prolonged heavy lifting may lead to miscarriage or premature birth. It’s because your hormones change in pregnancy impacting your ligaments and joints. 

Yet, a 2022 study of athletes contradicts this opinion. It found that weight training didn’t impact the pregnancy or the baby’s health. Again, you and your doctor should discuss your weight training routine to decide what is best. 

Negative Body Image

Your belly will inevitably grow bigger and you can expect some weight gain. Other body changes may include:

  • Bloating
  • Breasts may become larger and more tender.
  • Nipples and belly buttons can stick out more.
  • Brown patches on the face
  • Feet and ankle swelling

A healthy body image comes from feeling comfortable in your body. But, pregnant women sometimes experience negative thoughts and feelings as their bodies change. This may make you want to hide your growing belly by sucking in your stomach.

Holding onto these negative feelings isn’t healthy for your pregnancy or mental wellness. Research shows a link between depression and high body image dissatisfaction. Also, too much stress and worry may lead to the following:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Poor nutrition
  • High blood pressure

These effects can negatively impact you and your growing baby.

How to Improve Self-Esteem

There’s a way you can work to love and accept your pregnant body. But first, know that pregnancy doesn’t last forever. It’s best to focus on you and your baby as much as possible.

Other tips that may help include:

  • Talk to someone. Let your partner, family, loved one, or doctor know how you feel so they can help support you.
  • Get active. Walking a few times a week is a great way to clear your mind and restore focus to your health.
  • Focus on the growing baby. Try to block everything out except how amazing your body is working to grow your new baby. 
  • Practice self-care. Book a massage appointment and try on some cute maternity clothes. 

Stephanie Wright

Stephanie Wright is a registered nurse and dedicated writer. She writes articles about various health and wellness topics, including mental health, women’s health, and parenting. As a nurse, Stephanie has seen firsthand how mental illness can affect a person’s health and well-being and is passionate about educating others. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Communication Studies from the University of Louisville. She keeps up with the latest health research as an active healthcare professional.

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