Can You Suck in Your Stomach When Pregnant?

By Maria Wilcox •  Updated: 06/08/22 •  8 min read
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If you’ve recently become pregnant, it is understandable that you might be a little nervous about the changes your body will undergo. But can you suck in your stomach when pregnant? Will it do any harm to your baby? This is an interesting question definitely worthy of an in-depth answer. So, if you’re ready, let’s plunge into why you should (or shouldn’t) suck in your stomach when pregnant. 

Holding Stomach in While Pregnant

Holding your stomach in while pregnant probably won’t hurt you or your baby in the beginning. But it isn’t a good practice to continue on with.

In the early stages of pregnancy, you’ll be able to do most things that you normally could physically do. This includes sucking your stomach in. It isn’t until you are further along that your uterus grows large and firm, thereby disabling you from sucking in your stomach.

Sucking in your stomach in the early stages of pregnancy probably won’t affect you or your baby much. But that isn’t to say it’s best practice. Sucking in your stomach requires you to take more shallow breaths which can make it more difficult for you and your baby to get the amount of oxygen you both need. 

On top of that, it is a known fact that even when you aren’t pregnant, sucking in your stomach all of the time can lead to issues with your pelvic floor. Sucking in your stomach inadvertently puts pressure on your pelvic floor and therefore can weaken it. This is problematic because the pelvic floor is what allows you to control your urine, feces, and other bodily functions. By weakening it, you are putting yourself at risk for involuntary release of urine, pain during intercourse, and lower back pain, all of which are already often experienced by women postpartum

Don’t make the situation worse than it has to be! 

woman in black tank topholding her belly

Can Your Belly Be Soft When Pregnant?

Your stomach can absolutely be soft while you are pregnant. This is especially true when you are early in your pregnancy.

In early pregnancy, you will have very little difficulty sucking in your stomach and holding it this way because your uterus is still so small. Having said that, a few months, or maybe even weeks, down the road, you will likely find it increasingly more difficult to hold your stomach in as your uterus begins to make more room for your baby. 

Can You Hold Your Stomach in During Early Pregnancy?

During early pregnancy, you can hold your stomach in, but only for a little while until your uterus expands. After that, you won’t likely be able to suck in your stomach – nor should you have to!

Once you become pregnant, we encourage you to fixate on having a happy and healthy pregnancy that is free from worry concerning how your body might change. After all, you are growing a human being in there! Yes, your body will change but that’s because it’s supposed to. You can worry about shedding the postpartum baby weight after your baby is born! 

What Happens If I Squeeze My Stomach While Pregnant?

First things first – we don’t recommend that you, or anyone else, squeeze your stomach while pregnant. 

Will squeezing your stomach while pregnant cause injury to you or your baby? Well, that depends on how hard the squeeze was and how far along you were! 

Generally speaking, because your baby is so well cushioned within the strong walls of your uterus, your baby is unlikely to suffer damage from squeezing the stomach. Still, we wouldn’t recommend allowing your baby or toddler to jump on, hit, or squeeze your stomach because you still don’t want to take that risk. Therefore, it is best to keep your pregnant belly a hands-off zone when it comes to things like pushing or squeezing. 

Note: Sometimes, when laying on your back, your toddler or younger child might see this as an opportunity to jump on you (playfully, of course). To prevent this from happening, we recommend you sit upright when around children. In addition, laying on your back during pregnancy can cause complications with your inferior vena cava and decrease oxygen flow due to the heaviness of your uterus. This can leave you and your baby without enough oxygen which can lead to a whole host of negative outcomes. For these reasons, we strongly recommend staying off of your back, especially during mid-to-late pregnancy. 

Can You Squeeze a Pregnant Belly Like Fat?

Whether or not you can squeeze a pregnant belly like fat will depend on the person. For many people, the belly will become so taut that it will be very difficult to squeeze it in the same way you would squeeze a fat stomach. Having said that, every woman is different and has a different body type, and some women never even develop a traditional belly bump! The reason why could be attributed to a variety of factors that we don’t have time to mention here. Still, if you are wondering about the Pregnant Belly vs Fat Belly Difference, we can tell you, the two are usually dramatically different, though everyone’s body type is different! 

Can You Squeeze a Pregnant Belly Like Fat?

Can You Suck in a Baby Bump?

Once you’ve developed a full baby bump, it is very unlikely that you’ll be able to suck it in.

Baby bumps happen because the uterus grows large to house your new baby. With the baby and uterine muscles in the way, it will be near impossible to suck your stomach in. But, even if you could, it wouldn’t be recommended. Doing so would cause way too much stress on your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.

Instead, we recommend you simply embrace your pregnancy body and focus your mind on preparing for your new baby! 

How Can I Keep My Body in Shape During Pregnancy?

Keeping your body in shape during pregnancy happens much the same way it does when you aren’t pregnant.

However, you will need to be more careful. 

For instance, if you’ve never been active and you plan to begin working out during pregnancy, you must do so at a very slow pace and NOT over-exert yourself.

Many experts recommend that whatever level of fitness you started with during pregnancy should be maintained throughout your pregnancy (as long as you aren’t doing any risk-taking exercises that would put you and your baby at risk). 

If, however, your pregnancy has been flagged as “high-risk”, you will want to decrease physical activity and follow the advice of your doctor before getting back to the gym.

Other options for maintaining weight and staying in shape during pregnancy? Scrap the idea of “eating for two”. When pregnant, you should eat until you are full and be sure to reach for nutritious and satiating items rather than junk food (easier said than done!) Pair this with 30 minutes of activity (such as a brisk walk or a swim in the lake) and you’ve got the perfect combination to keep yourself healthy throughout the entirety of your pregnancy. 

A pregnant woman’s silhouette

Will weight gain happen? Yes! But most weight gain is good for the benefit of your child. Just be sure to avoid unnecessary extra calories when you can. Great snacks for pregnant women to nosh on to help stave hunger include:

  • Low Sugar Granola or “Nut” Bars
  • Eggs
  • Almond Butter or Peanut Butter
  • Oatmeal
  • Avocado Slices
  • Salted Nuts
  • Fruit
  • Hearty Salads Full of Fresh Veggies and Lean Meat
  • Whole Grains
  • Plain Yogurt (add fresh fruit and maybe a swirl of honey for subtle sweetness )

Can You Suck in Your Stomach When Pregnant? Maybe For a Little While…

Whether or not you choose to suck in your stomach while pregnant is up to you. But rest assured you won’t be able to do so for long! Even if you can, we strongly recommend you avoid doing so as this can weaken your pelvic floor, put unnecessary strain on your abdominal muscles, and cause you to become too focused on what you look like rather than the newborn babe you are growing on the inside.

Chin up, mama! You’ll have plenty of time to shed that weight once the process of pregnancy is over! Good luck!

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Maria Wilcox

Former instructor with an M.A. in Education turned grateful stay-at-home mama to one, I look to share helpful insights related to babies, toddlers, kids, and families for the benefit of real people just like you.

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