Eliana Rodriguez, 29, just gave birth to her second child, a son named Sebastian. Her pregnancy and her baby were healthy, but Rodriguez’s larger-than-average stomach drew wide eyes and unfiltered comments: “You are huge,” “You look like you’re having twins,” “You must be in so much pain” and “Have you checked if there’s another baby in there?”
While a big pregnancy bump can signal certain health problems, in other cases it’s perfectly natural and just the way a woman’s body grows.
“I carried big during my pregnancies; both my children weighed 8.3 pounds at birth,” Rodriguez said, adding that her newborn son measured 20.5 inches and her 3-year-old daughter Sofia was 19.5 inches at birth.
“I wondered why my belly was bigger than other women,” said Rodriguez, who owns a health-and-wellness company in Las Vegas, Nevada. “My doctors said it was normal because I am only 4’11 and have a shorter torso.”
“I was so excited that I wanted to share — we had been trying for a second baby and hoping for a boy and I am an open person,” she said.
In pregnancy, Rodriguez carried a lot of amniotic fluid, liquid inside the amniotic sac that protects the fetus while allowing it to move.
An excess is called “polyhydramnios,” which the Mayo Clinic says happens to one to two percent of pregnancies. Most cases aren’t serious, although it can cause preterm labor.
“They did check the amount of fluids and checked the baby’s size,” she said.
Fetal macrosomia (when babies weigh more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces at birth), maternal obesity or Diastasis recti (when abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy) from previous pregnancies can also make a patient appear a more advanced gestational age than they are. Luckily, Rodriguez experienced none of these complications.