Difference Between Bloating and Pregnancy Bump

Nowadays, it’s common to see women posting about their swollen bellies. How do you know the difference between bloating and pregnancy bump?

Tricky, right?

Well if it’s your first pregnancy then bloating can bring chills because you don’t know what to make of it or how to differentiate it.

what does bloating feel like

First-time mothers are the most worried lot here because they have no prior pregnancy experience. No worries, we are going to talk elaborately about pregnancy and bloat.

When we are done you will never be confused again.

One silver lining is that bloating goes away after some time, but a baby bump or pregnancy remains during the day or night. Moreover, you will experience some common discomforts during pregnancy.

Bloating vs early baby bump – what’s the difference?

You can experience bloating after eating and the belly swells. However, when you wake up in the morning and you feel hungry, the bloat is not there and your tummy is flat which means you are not pregnant.

Alternatively, if your tummy is still swollen and you don’t know if you are having a baby, there is a great test. You can do it to be sure. 

Lie on the floor or bed face down on your tummy and if your tummy squishes down,  then you have bloat and are not pregnant. 

However, if you feel like you are on top of a tennis ball then definitely it’s a baby bump. 

Take a pregnancy test to be sure. It will test positive. Later you can try rolling on your tummy and feel the baby bump.

It always feels like lying on a small hardball. You can do this on your bed.

Expect it to be uncomfortable at first but subsequent actions will be better and you will feel the baby bump.

First-time mothers are always eager to feel their baby bump and this is one way to feel your pregnancy. 

Alternatively, push your tummy with your fingers, if it feels squishy like a stress ball then it’s bloating.

However, if your belly feels hard when you push like a hardball, then it’s a pregnancy.

Of course, there are the morning sickness signs which go away after a while.

Bloated belly vs Pregnant belly

If you are a first time mother, then it is may be confusing to identify the differences between a bloated tummy and a pregnant tummy. Here are some differences between them:

A bloated tummy is often caused by overeating, eating too fast, eating certain foods, or drinking carbonated beverages. These can cause your stomach to swell and feel uncomfortable.

Symptoms can include gas, abdominal cramping, and a feeling of fullness. Generally, a bloated tummy will go away on its own in a few hours.


Whoever said pregnancy was all fun and games, lied!

The changes in body temp overnight so mom feels hot and she is struggling to sleep. Others signs are:

  • Dehydration
  • constant tummy pains
  • Nausea and headaches
  • Drooling
  • Extra saliva
  • fatigue
  • sore nipples
  • Anxiety
  • Constant urge to pee
  • having to eat something every 2 – 4 hrs to avoid nausea
  • the mood swings and emotionalism
  • Neck and back pain, and finally bloating!

But you can reduce bloated tummy by following a good diet like eating sea moss while pregnancy.

Additionally I recommend:

Prune juice, spinach, pears and plenty of water

Yogurt eggs and grapes help me

On the other hand, a pregnant tummy is caused by the baby growing inside the uterus. It is usually felt around the middle of the second trimester and will look like a rounded bump.

It is may be accompanied by symptoms such as fatigue, tender breasts, and morning sickness.

A pregnant tummy will continue to grow throughout the duration of the pregnancy.

31 weeks pregnant tummy picture
A pregnant tummy at 31 weeks of pregnancy

It is important to recognize the differences between a bloated tummy and a pregnant tummy to ensure that you are getting the proper care.

Is It Bloat Or a Baby Bump?

Bloat is simply extra fluid in the body. This can be due to anything from overeating to hormones.

Keep it in mind that hCG rise during pregnancy day by day and week by week up to 49%.

Rauchfuss LK, Ainsworth AJ, Shenoy CC. Abnormal rate of human chorionic gonadotropin rise: a case series of patients with viable intrauterine pregnancies after embryo transfer. F S Rep. 2021 Feb 11;2(1):129-132. doi: 10.1016/j.xfre.2020.11.006. PMID: 34223284; PMCID: PMC8244357.

Pregnancy itself can cause bloating, as well as other hormonal changes in the body. Bloating can also make your stomach feel hard and uncomfortable. However, it is not usually painful.

12 weeks pregnant bump or bloating

A baby bump, on the other hand, is when your uterus starts to grow and expand to make room for your growing baby. This usually happens around 12 weeks into pregnancy. Your stomach may start to protrude more and you may notice your clothes fitting tighter around your waistline.

Pregnancy Bloating feelings week by week
Pregnancy Bloating feelings week by week

Unlike bloat, a baby bump is usually accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, fatigue and breast tenderness.

They will be able to perform an ultrasound scan to check if you are indeed carrying a baby or not. In most cases though, it should be pretty obvious!

However, At 12 weeks pregnant you will feel the baby bump much better.

As the baby bump grows from 15 weeks onwards you may feel uncomfortable rolling in your stomach.

If you have extra weight on you, you will feel the baby bump at later stages of the pregnancy like 17 or 18 weeks.

11 weeks pregnant bump or bloating

At 11 weeks pregnant, you may start to feel like your tummy is bloating. This is normal and caused by the increased amount of blood and fluid in your body. The extra weight may also make you feel uncomfortable and cause back pain.

11 weeks pregnant bump or bloating
11 weeks pregnant tummy picture

To help ease the discomfort, try wearing loose, comfortable clothing and avoiding constrictive waistbands. You can also sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs for support.

I like U-shaped pillow better than the C shaped (I’ve had both).

With the C shape You have to untuck your leg from underneath every time you want to roll over, where as the U- shaped pillow still supports both front and back but your legs can be free.

It’s also very soft and comfortable! Not too high on the head either.

After applying all the tips above, If the bloating persists or is accompanied by other symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting, contact your healthcare provider.

What Should My Stomach Feel Like at 11 Weeks Pregnant?

Assuming you are referring to stomach discomfort, it is normal to experience some bloating and gas at 11 weeks pregnant. However, if you are experiencing sharp pain, cramping, or other severe symptoms, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider right away.

Why Do I Look Pregnant at 11 Weeks?

It’s not uncommon to look pregnant at 11 weeks, even if you’re not. There are a number of reasons why this can happen. Weight gain is one common reason.

As your body prepares for pregnancy, you may start to retain water and put on a few extra pounds. This can make your stomach look larger than usual. Another reason is that the position of your baby in the womb can cause your belly to protrude.

If your baby is lying horizontally (known as a transverse lie), it can give the illusion of a bigger bump.

Finally, how you carry yourself can also affect how pregnant you look. If you’re carrying around extra weight in your front, it will naturally make your stomach appear larger than it actually is.

Should My Stomach Be Hard at 11 Weeks Pregnant?

If you’re 11 weeks pregnant, it’s normal for your stomach to feel hard. This is because your uterus is growing and expanding to accommodate your developing baby. As your pregnancy progresses, you may notice that your stomach feels harder when you stand up or when you touch it.

This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. However, if you notice that your stomach is hard all the time or if it starts to look swollen, call your doctor right away as this could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.

10 Weeks Pregnant bump Or Bloating

This is a common question for women who are 10 weeks pregnant. Many women wonder if they are showing or just bloated. The answer can depend on a few factors.

10 weeks pregnant tummy picture
10 weeks pregnant tummy picture

If there has been an increase of 3-5 inches (7-13 cm), this could be indicative of bloating or early pregnancy belly growth.

Another way to check is by doing a finger test.

This involves placing your index and middle finger just above the pubic bone and pressing down gently.

If you can feel any bulging or fullness in the lower abdomen, this could also indicate bloating or early pregnancy growth. Of course, the best way to know for sure is through an ultrasound.

This will give you definitive answer as to whether or not baby is growing as expected and if there is any extra fluid in the womb (which can cause bloating).

However, ultrasounds aren’t always necessary – many women go on to have healthy pregnancies without ever having one4 ! So overall, don’t worry too much if you think you might be showing or bloated at 10 weeks pregnant – it could just be normal! But if it concerns you or doesn’t seem right, definitely speak with your healthcare provider for reassurance.

Bloating vs pregnancy bump: Am I bloated or pregnant

As your pregnancy progresses, you may notice that your belly seems to be getting bigger. But is this just bloating or is it your baby bump? Bloating during pregnancy is common and can be caused by a number of things, including hormones, constipation and gas.

If you’re noticing a consistent increase in the size of your abdomen, it’s likely that your baby bump is starting to show. Baby bumps come in all shapes and sizes – there’s no one right way for them to look. So if you feel like yours is growing, chances are it is!

Certain body adjustments are going to take place You’re hormones are gonna go up and down.

How does a baby bump or pregnancy bump feel like?

Apart from the noticeable bump, a mother can feel the pregnancy in their body. You are the only one who can feel the growing baby inside you.

The uterus is pushing all your stuff aside which changes all the squishing. The changes come even before your uterus pushes its way past the pubic bone. 

A pregnant woman feels the growing uterus because of the tightness of stretching tendons. Also, you feel the fullness in the lower belly just like you do a day before your menstrual period.  

For instance, you feel like your belly is suddenly huge like b-belly even though it doesn’t look like that on the outside.

Also, when you wake up in the morning to pee, you feel your uterus because the bladder is so full that it’s pushing the uterus upwards. Slender ladies feel it better.

Taking a home pregnancy test can sometimes give false negatives if you do it in early pregnancy. 

However, the doctor can confirm by giving you a urine or blood test. Also, a doctor can do an ultrasound exam to confirm your pregnancy.

How does pregnant bloating feel like?

what does bloating feel like
bloating appearance
  • You are not ugly you’re just having a baby.
  • Of course you’re going to gain weight,
  • Of course you’re gonna eat a lot.
  • Of course you’re body is going to stretch.
  • Of course you’re tummy is going to expand.
  • Ofcourse! You’re bringing life into the world!

If you are se*xually active and you start experiencing bloating then pregnancy is a possibility. If you regularly track your menstrual cycle, you will notice a missed period which further explains the pregnancy suspicion.

When you suck in, the belly goes in. It means you have a bloated belly.

How does diet affects bloating during pregnancy?

If you have gained weight recently, you may be more likely to appear bloated.

On the other hand, if you were overweight to begin with, you may not show as much. Your diet can also affect how bloated you look.

For example, if you eat a lot of salty foods, you may retain water and appear more bloated than usual.

An important thing to consider: you are not drinking salt water as drinking salt water kill your unborn baby.

If you are concerned that you may be showing early, there are a few things you can do to check. First, measure your waistline at the navel before pregnancy and compare it to your current measurement.

If you are plus size women, you may need to think of loosing a few pounds to become a size 12. So, you can put on nice dresses, the article I have written on-how to dress at size 12.

sizze 12
How Many Pounds To Lose To Become Size 12

If you want to relieve bloating during pregnancy, first you should come to know the causes of bloating.

What are the Causes of bloating during pregnancy

Let’s talk about some of the causes of bloating which you may need to think about.

bloating vs pregnancy bump

Menstrual cycle:

Bloating is a common symptom during menstruation. Some women experience floating during their menses while others experience premenstrual bloating.

It’s attributed to the changing estrogen and progesterone levels during menstruation.

Eating certain foods and drinks:

Eating certain vegetables like cauliflower, cabbages, or brussels sprouts causes bloating. Some unhealthy food make it even more worse like Slim-jim.

Also, folds like beans, and dairy products. Drinking carbonated drinks and beverages like soda increases bloating. 

Carbon dioxide gas is a causative agent. Chewing gum and using a straw to drink beverages too can make your stomach bloat.

When you eat food quickly, gas is trapped in your stomach as you swallow air.

Irritable bowel syndrome:

Bloating is a symptom of this condition as well as other symptoms like diarrhea and stomach cramps.

Ovarian cysts:

It’s a solid sac growing in the ovaries and forms cysts during the menstrual cycle. It causes bloating and pain in the lower abdomen.

Should I be worried about bloating?

Not really. It can be a sign of pregnancy which is good news right?
Go ahead and take a pregnancy test to ascertain whether you are pregnant or not before dismissing the bloating.
However, see a doctor if the bloat persists for several days.
You can treat bloating at home by eating your food slowly and drinking plenty of water. Also, avoid chewing gums. Eat fiber-rich foods to avoid constipation.
You can eat organic healthy foods as natural medicine without giving you any side-effects!

Why bloating happen in pregnancy?

Bloating is very common in early pregnancy. It also can happen before you miss your first period. How so? 
During the early stages of pregnancy,  the progesterone hormone increases to ready the uterus.
In addition, the hormone slows digestion and in the process traps gas in your intestines. It’s what is responsible for abdominal bloating. 
You will feel full in your stomach and may experience abdominal distension.
However, pregnancy makes a woman experience bloating because it’s part of the pregnancy symptom.
It’s the reason doctors advise taking a pregnancy test to be sure. 

Final thoughts

Bloating is a common symptom of pregnancy that shouldn’t alarm you.

It’s easy to confuse bloating with pregnancy and get false hopes which is why you should use the bloating test.

Rolling on your stomach in your bed or on the floor allows you to know whether your belly is bloated or you have a baby bump.

Now that you have all the tabs information you need about difference between bloating and pregnancy bump, enjoy your day. Feel free to leave a comment.

Sarah, a health writer and editor since 2014, is an adoring wife and dedicated mother to 2 daughters and 1 son. As the creator of Babies Plannet, she combines her extensive expertise with her maternal dedication to provide essential care and safety advice for infants, nurturing their well-being and happiness. Her writing explores topics like fitness, pregnancy, and women's healthy lifestyles.

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