What Happens to Existing Belly Fat When Pregnant?

The existing belly fat pulled out evenly around the baby growing area. It happens when you’re in the 2nd trimester of your pregnancy. 

At this point, in weeks 12-16, the baby may start to grow, and your uterus will be broadened. 

That is why the belly fat will be distributed evenly and give you a natural-looking pregnant belly. Yet, you should be concerned about your BMI and gaining weight during pregnancy.

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What happens to your existing belly fat when you are pregnant?

Your belly fat usually stretches out equally and is distributed on your belly in your 2nd trimester.

Every pregnant woman goes through various changes during their pregnancy time. These changes happen due to the increase high hCG level in their body.

At that time, various questions naturally come to their mind, and they become worried and anxious even though it is their first or fifth-time pregnancy. 

In that case, if they are size 12 or plus size and have a lot of fat around their belly, they may want to know what happens to their existing belly fat when pregnant.

So here we have unveiled the mystery of your existing belly fat or weight during your pregnancy.

Belly fat during 1st trimester:

Your 1st trimester from starting up to week 12. At that time, your uterus has not broadened in your pelvic area. 

10 weeks pregnant belly picture
10 weeks belly picture

So your belly doesn’t appear in your 1st or 2nd weeks. At that point, your existing belly fat be visible from 8 to 10 weeks. 

In this trimester, you may experience morning sickness or appetite loss. So, you may not gain more weight but lose during this time.

Belly fat during 2nd trimester:

Now it’s the time to get back your appetite and chances for getting some extra weight during the 2nd trimester(starting from week 12). 

Generally, you may attain between 10 to 15 pounds of excess weight but try to achieve not more than 15 pounds.

During the 2nd trimester, your uterus starts to broaden in your pelvic area. Your unchanging belly fat will begin to circulate as well. That will give you a natural and classic look of a pregnant belly.  

Belly fat during 3rd trimester:

It’s the perfect time to get a pregnant belly. Your distributed existing belly fat gives you the overall perfect looks during 3rd trimester(week 27). It is also the time to get pregnant belly though you are overweight or obese.

belly fat picture at 3rd trimester
B belly picture at 3rd trimester

During this 3rd trimester, you must monitor your weight. You shouldn’t gain more than one pound of weight or fat a week. Among these, ½ pounds should be for your growing baby’s weight, and the rest is for yours per week.

Can belly fat affect my pregnancy?

A little belly fat may not affect your pregnancy. It will just evenly accommodate your growing baby around your tummy. 

But your preexisting excessive belly fat or being overweight can badly affect your pregnancy. It can be worse for you and your baby’s health. 

  • It may lead to other diseases like preeclampsia, hypertension, gestational diabetes, or fetal diseases.
  • It may cause your miscarriage or birth defeat of your infant.
  • As you are overweight, you can’t deliver a baby normally. It becomes complicated, and you may need to take a c-section delivery.
  • It may lead to premature birth, stillbirth, or infection.

For all these reasons, you must be careful with achieving so much weight. It will be better to try to lose your extra weight or belly fat before your pregnancy. 

But If the expectant has not so much weight before their pregnancy, there is no need to worry.

One thing you should remember, your tummy won’t be big overnight. It will slowly grow, and your existing belly fat will be circulated equally. Then it gives you a proper and natural-looking pregnant belly.

normal pregnant belly without extra fat

Whereas, if they were obese before pregnancy and have a lot of fat around their tummy, they must take advice from their doctor. 

That can help you to stay safe, and your baby may also stay safe. After pregnancy, you should also be careful so that you can ignore so much weight.

How Much Weight or Belly Fat Can You Gain Safely?

Though being overweight or having a lot of belly fat is harmful to your pregnancy, you need to have some fat or weight as your need to keep yourself healthy. It is normal to gain some extra weight during pregnancy. 

But now your question may be how much weight you can gain safely while you’re pregnant. For this, you can contact your midwife or doctor. 

They will check everything according to your BMI. Then inform you how much weight or fat you should gain during your pregnancy. 

But here, I will also include some guidelines depending on different BMI to gain weight safely during pregnancy.

How Much Belly Fat Should You Have Before Getting Pregnant?

From CDC as well as through deep research on the internet, we get the following information. 

It may help you to get a clear idea of how much belly fat or weight you should have before or during your pregnancy. 

  • If your BMI is less than 18.5, it seems you are underweight. It means you can obtain 28-40 pounds during your pregnancy to keep a healthy BMI and body fat or weight. You should gain 50-62 pounds if you have twins.
  • If your BMI is between 18.5-24.9, it indicates your normal weight. So you can gain 25-35 pounds. You should gain 37-54 pounds for your twins.
  • Your BMI of 25.0-29.9 means you are overweight. It seems you need 15-25 pounds for a single baby and 31-50 pounds for a twin baby.
  • When your BMI is equal to or greater than 30.0, you need 11-20 pounds weight. You need 25-42 pounds if you are carrying twins.

However, If you are overweight or obese, you should try to lose weight before getting pregnant. It will help you stay fit, safe, and healthy. Even it erases the chances of becoming obese later on.

Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines:

Now we add the guidelines and simple calculation for weight distribution on an average-sized expectant woman below. These are:

  • Baby: 7 – 7.5 pounds
  • Breasts: 2 pounds
  • amniotic liquid: 2 pounds  
  • body fluids: 4 pounds 
  • Blood: 4 pounds
  • Protein, fat, vitamin, and other nutrients: 7 pounds
  • Uterus: 2 pounds
  • Placenta: 1.5 pounds

When Will People Know I’m Pregnant, If I’m Overweight?

When you are in the 1st trimester( start to 12 weeks) of your pregnancy, the uterus can’t expand more to give you the pregnant belly shape. So at that time, no one can’t noticed your pregnancy.

On the other hand, during the 2nd trimester(12-16 weeks), your baby is starting to grow well. You may gain between 10 and 15 pounds of excess fat or weight during this 2nd trimester.

fat pregnant belly picture 12 weeks
2nd trimester pregnant belly picture

At that time, your uterus stretches beyond the pelvic area. So Your belly fat will start to distribute equally over your growing baby’s.

It brings the traditional round and natural looks of a pregnant belly and begins to appear.

But if you have pre-existing belly fat or weight, the baby bump may take longer to be noticeable. The common example would be plus size or size 12 women.

Early pregnant belly vs fat belly:

Is there any difference between a fat belly vs pregnant belly? The answer is yes. Though it is difficult to find the difference between a fat belly and an early pregnant belly, they have some key differences. Such as:

  • A fat belly is soft, squishy, and fleshy. But the pregnant belly is tight and a little bit harder so the pregnant belly does not feel squishy
  • A fat belly is like a layer of tires on the area of the belly. Yet a pregnant belly is firm and round like a bowl.
  • A pregnant belly is flexible, whereas a fat belly isn’t flexible.
  • An early Pregnant belly may often feel warm when you touch it, but a fat belly is not like that.

Why Should Overweight Pregnant Women See a Doctor?

So far, we know that being overweight during pregnancy can badly affect a pregnant woman and her child. 

So if you have a lot of belly fat and are overweight, you should see your midwife quickly. This is because your doctor may check your condition with your needs depending on your BMI. 

You may need to take an ultrasound to find some issues. Obese or b shaped belly women face a lot more problems with their ovulation. So, you should come to know how to get rid of b-belly during pregnancy.

In that case, your doctor may test your gestational diabetes, urine test, or blood test according to your health issues. 

How to monitor my weight and existing belly fat during pregnancy?

You may take the regular measurement and recording of your food amount on a scale. So you can monitor your weight, diet, and BMI. 

You can use your mobile weight calculator to monitor your weight or weight measurement BMI calculator. It will help you to know whether you’re overweight, obese, or healthy.

You can also discuss your doctor to help you. They may inform you how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy. 

You shouldn’t retain excessive fat. So with the help of your doctor, make a plan to keep your weight within the limit during pregnancy.

Can You Lose Belly Fat During Pregnancy?

No. It won’t be a good idea to try to lose belly fat during pregnancy. But you can try to reduce the fat before trying to get pregnant. It will be the best idea for you and your child. 

But if you are obese and overweight or you have a lot of belly fat during pregnancy, you can try to reduce them. It may be helpful for you and your unborn baby. 

But obviously, you need to take advice from your doctor before taking any step to losing pregnancy belly fat. You can also eat healthy foods and do exercise to lose weight.

Yet, if you have a moderate weight before your pregnancy, you don’t need to try losing abdominal fat.

Pregnancy Safety Tips For Overweight Women

It is must necessary to keep yourself fit and healthy during your pregnancy. But if you are overweight, you also need to take more care of yourself. 

Anyway, you can follow these bellowing tips to keep your pregnancy safe.

It is suggested that you need sleep at least 7 hours at night. It will be helpful for you and your baby’s development.

It also needs to take prenatal vitamins regularly during pregnancy. Your doctor may prescribe it for you. You must ensure to get vitamins, folic acid, and calcium. 

However, you can eat broccoli, beans, and spinach to get folic acid. Then you can eat milk and spinach for calcium.

A balanced diet is also needed to gain all vitamins and nutrients. So you can keep an eye on your regular diet. You can eat vegetables, fish, fresh fruits, and whole grains to get proper nutrients.

Overstress is harmful to your pregnancy. Though it is tough to keep totally stress-free, you should try your best to keep yourself stress-free. It will improve your baby’s birth outcomes. 

So try as much as possible to keep your tension level in review. For this, you should be involved with your loved one. 

To keep your metabolism powered high, you should keep yourself hydrated. You can drink more water or liquid food.

To keep fit and maintain your weight, you can stay active. You can do exercise such as walking, jogging, yoga, etc. Yet you should consult with your doctor before performing any exercise.

Is it normal to gain belly fat during pregnancy?

Yes, it is obviously normal to gain some belly fat during pregnancy. Naturally, the baby grows slowly with some weight in the womb, and the uterus broadens. 
During this time, you may gain extra weight according to your BMI. 

Where does belly fat go when you are pregnant?

During pregnancy, your belly fat distributes evenly over your growing child in your womb. It mainly happens during your 2nd trimester of pregnancy. 
Then it gives you a traditional and natural-looking pregnant belly.

Does belly fat move up when pregnant?

Yes, belly fat moves up when you are pregnant. Naturally, your baby slowly grows in your womb, and your belly begins to spread.
Most of your fat and weight are moved up and stored during the early weeks of pregnancy. However, some fats are stored behind during the 14-28 weeks of your pregnancy.
Contrary, from 29-40 weeks, your body stocks nearly no fat.

Where does my belly fat go when pregnant?

When you are in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, your belly fat starts to spread evenly on your belly. Your uterus gets stretched out, and you can notice this change.
Yet if you have existing belly fat, it will be better to try to erase tummy fat before your pregnancy. Not to try to lose your fat during pregnancy.

Why am I getting so fat during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, you may retain some extra weight and fat naturally. That is because your baby grows with its own weight in your body. 
Even due to the stored breast milk, uterus weight, and blood, your body fat may be increased. For this reason, you may get so fat when you are expectant.


When pregnant women are overweight and carrying a lot of belly fat, their worries have leaps no bound. They are worried about their belly fat and how to dress. But don’t need to worry about the existing belly fat.

In your 2nd trimester, your existing belly fat will be circulated and distributed equally on your tummy. It gives you a traditional and natural-looking expectant belly.

But if you are obese or overweight, you must keep an eye on gaining weight during pregnancy. So you can take advice from your doctor. 

They can help you to keep fit depending on your BMI.

But it will be best to try your existing belly fat before pregnancy.

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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