All these women were blooming at six months. So... why is Kate's bump so tiny?








The Duchess' baby bump was quite pronounced in her short pastel coat that she teamed with a fawn hat

Still trim: The Duchess of Cambridge in her short pastel coat on Sunday


While her stylish mint-green Mulberry
coat, glittering earrings, cappuccino fascinator and those ubiquitous
nude heels gave fans of the Duchess of Cambridge plenty to admire when
she stepped out this week, it wasn’t just Kate’s outfit that drew
attention — it was her bump.


Or lack of it.

The much-anticipated royal baby is due in July, making the Duchess six months pregnant, but she is only just beginning to show.

The
pictures have prompted comparisons with other famous mums-to-be at the
same stage, including her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, Victoria
Beckham and actress Kate Hudson, all of whom were far larger than Kate.


According
to experts, Kate’s tiny bump is by no means a cause for concern, and
could be the result of anything from her slim, muscular physique to the
position of the baby in the womb.


Simon
Mehigan, consultant midwife at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, explains
that smaller bumps are common in first pregnancies and are more an
indicator of the woman’s body shape than anything about the baby itself.


‘It’s Kate’s first
baby, so she’s going to have good abdominal muscles, meaning everything
will be held in nice and tightly,’ he says.


‘It’s not unusual for women to not show very much during their first pregnancy.

‘But it can be a different story with
your second and third babies.


'No matter how many sit-ups you do, everything’s been stretched and it won’t go back to how it was.’






Strictly Come Dancing's Denise Van Outen on the catwalk

Pronounced: Strictly Come Dancing's Denise Van Outen on the catwalk




Holly Willoughby on the red carpet

Clearly showing: Holly Willoughby on the red carpet with her second child





Malcolm Dixon, obstetrician and
gynaecologist at Rochdale Infirmary, agrees. ‘If it’s a first baby, the
tummy muscles tend to be taut and strong, so the baby is held in
tightly. This is especially true of women who are sporty and do their
sit-ups, and we know that Kate’s an athletic soul.




 

‘She’s also quite a slender girl and
they tend to hold bumps well, too. If you’ve already got a bit of fat
around the stomach, a small baby bump might appear larger, whereas if
you’re slim there’s nothing to show except the baby. It makes no
difference to how big the baby will be when it arrives — it’s just how
it looks.’







Dannii Minogue at her Project D fashion launch

Big bump: Dannii Minogue at a fashion launch




Heidi Klum out and about in New York

Maternity wear: Heidi Klum out and about in New York





Sometimes, however, the position in which the baby is lying can affect how a bump appears.
Mr
Dixon says: ‘If the baby has its back at the front, its arms and legs
are tucked away, making it appear neater, whereas if the back is lying
next to the mother’s back, its arms and legs will be sticking out.


‘It’s something I have seen in my clinics.’






Kate Hudson had a huge baby bump despite her tiny frame

Body shape: Kate Hudson had a huge baby bump despite her tiny frame




Minnie Driver in a tight black dress at a premiere

Flaunting it: Minnie Driver in a tight black dress at a premiere





The Duchess’s severe morning
sickness, which saw her admitted to hospital in December, will not have
had any bearing on the weight of her baby, says Mr Mehigan.


‘With
hyperemesis gravidarum [the condition Kate suffered] a baby will still
grow normally, because it will take all the goodness it needs. The
mother will feel rotten, but the baby should be perfectly healthy.’ 


At
5ft 10in, the Duchess’s height, with her perfect posture, may also
explain her subtle pregnancy bump. ‘Tall women, especially those with a
longer body, tend not to look so big when pregnant because the baby’s
not crammed into a small space,’ says Gail Johnson, professional adviser
at the Royal College Of Midwives.


‘And if you stand nice and straight and upright, you tend to pull in your stomach muscles.’






Jools Oliver in Primrose Hill

Heavy: Jools Oliver wearing a comfy striped dress out in Primrose Hill




Sophie Ellis-Bextor at the Elle Style Awards last year

Curvaceous: Sophie Ellis-Bextor at the Elle Style Awards last year





While there’s no evidence that genes
play a role in how big your bump is, Ms Johnson says some women may find
they follow a similar pattern to their mother, because they have a
similar body shape and lifestyle.


‘However,
that doesn’t necessarily mean that if you’re tall it will be a more
comfortable pregnancy — if the baby is more tightly packed in, it may be
pushing on your bladder.’


The
right dress can fix a multitude of figure issues. Kate’s carefully
chosen maternity wardrobe has no doubt flattered her changing shape —
and she’s been helped by the chilly weather we’ve had. ‘As Kate’s
pregnancy began during the winter months, she’s been concealed in
beautiful tailored coats, so it’s not surprising we haven’t noticed a
bump,’ says Michelle Lee, founder and director of Keungzai, a fashion
label specialising in maternity wear.







Kim Kardashian in Los Angeles this month

Famous curves: Kim Kardashian in Los Angeles this month




Myleene Klass had a very pronounced bump with her second child

Petite: Myleene Klass had a very pronounced bump with her second child





‘Some women like to wear more
figure-hugging clothes when pregnant, but Kate’s maintained her style,
which has always been chic and classic.’


The
one thing on which all midwives agree is that no two bumps are the
same, and you can tell very little about a pregnancy just by looking.


‘The pregnancy will follow a set  pattern that is normal and right for the woman and her baby,’ says midwife Gail Johnson.



Princess Diana in March 1982

Expecting William: Princess Diana in March 1982


‘It might be that there’ll be a
growth spurt and she’ll start to show very quickly towards the end, but
some women never do and it’s just the way it is. It’s not about catching
up.’


Obstetrician
Malcolm Dixon agrees: ‘Being petite allows you to get away with having a
less big bump, but you can’t predict anything from looking. It’s an
inexact science — you need to do something like an ultrasound or feel
the bump with your hands.’


He
adds that the fact Kate’s hyperemesis meant she was forced to announce
her pregnancy to the public before she had reached the three-month stage
means we have known about it for longer and so may feel like she should
look bigger than she is.


And what about the folklore that the size and shape of the bump can predict the gender of the baby?
‘Utter
nonsense,’ says Gail Johnson. The evidence bears this out. A U.S. study
of 104 pregnant women in the journal Birth found that the shape and
size of the mothers’ stomachs were not related to the gender of their
baby.


To the researchers’ surprise, a far more accurate predictor were the mother’s dreams and intuition about the babies’ sex.

So while Kate might have already dreamed of her Prince or Princess, the rest of us will just have to wait and see.




  1. 2013/04/23(火) 11:34:26|
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