After nine months of excitement, royal baby watch is now in full swing after Kate Middleton was admitted to hospital in labour.
The Duchess of Cambridge's third pregnancy has caused speculation around everything from the baby’s gender, to it's name, and the exact hour it will make its first appearance, but curiously, her bump also drew quite a bit of attention.
Why, you ask? Well, it seems to be noticeably larger than it was during both her pregnancies with Prince George and Prince Charlotte, and it's definitely not because she's carrying twins.
Former midwife and Clinical Director at the Women’s Health Clinic Aly Dilks, says this change in the body is common if the woman is pregnant for the third time.
“Essentially, each pregnancy will have its own differences and similarities but we do expect ladies to have bigger babies the more children they have,” Dilks told the Daily Mail.
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It happens because the body knows what to do to make space for the baby and ensure it is properly nourished in the womb, according to Dilks. When it comes down to it, her changing body is due to muscle memory.
“During your first pregnancy the body uses hormones to make changes to accommodate the baby,” explained Dilks.
“As your rib cage widens and your uterus expands, it can take time to establish a real ‘bump’.
“By the second pregnancy, the rib cage has already widened giving the uterus plenty of time to expand and baby to ‘pop’ more quickly.
“In subsequent pregnancies the body has a sense of muscle memory, so patients often report digging out their maternity jeans almost as soon as the test turns positive.”
Another contributing factor to the Duchess’ different form could come down to how the placenta is resting this time around.
“The location of the placenta can change with each pregnancy as the egg can attach anywhere within the womb,” explained Dilks.
“It might be that previously Kate had an anterior placenta - where the baby faces towards the woman’s back - and this time she is having a posterior placenta, where the baby faces outwards and has a bit more room.”
When it comes to changes in the body, it’s not just the stomach that changes. Dilks says it’s common for women going through their second or third pregnancy to have larger breasts," she said.
“Our bodies really are miraculous, so regardless of whether or not you have breastfed previously your breasts will still prepare to feed again… Mothers who have breastfed before report that they usually experience earlier leakage simply because their breasts know what they’re doing.".
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