Why Is My Belly Soft During Pregnancy

Why Is My Belly Soft During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, the last thing on your mind is having a flat and toned tummy. You are preoccupied with more important things like your growing baby and keeping yourself healthy during this time. If you are expecting it for the first time, you may not be able to fathom why or how your belly gets all soft when there’s no fat there. However, once you get through with your first pregnancy, you’ll start understanding why it happens. There are various reasons why your belly feels soft during pregnancy–some of them being natural and some induced by external factors. Let us take a look at the main reasons why your belly feels soft during pregnancy:

Why Is My Belly Soft During Pregnancy?

There are several reasons why your belly may feel soft during pregnancy. One of the most common reasons is the increased hormone levels that are produced during pregnancy. Hormone levels can increase up to 50 times higher than normal, causing various changes in the body. One of the main changes is an increase in water retention, which causes your belly to become soft and swollen. Another reason your belly may feel soft is due to the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby. This fluid is usually 5–8 gallons and causes your body to become bloated and swollen. Another change that pregnant women experience is an increase in blood volume, which increases coloration in the cheeks and face. Other symptoms of pregnancy can include nausea and vomiting, which can also make your belly feel soft.

Hormones Responsible for the Softness

1. Relaxin

The hormone responsible for making your body soft during pregnancy is relaxin. Relaxin is released by the placenta and helps in relaxing and loosening all the ligaments in your body to make room for the baby. It also makes your joints more flexible so that you can easily adjust to the changes happening in your body during pregnancy.

2. Amniotic Fluid

During pregnancy, amniotic fluid accumulates around your baby, and this fluid, due to its nature, makes all parts of your body soft like jelly.

3. Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are a very common occurrence during pregnancy, especially when you gain weight at a rapid pace. These stretch marks are caused by skin stretching rapidly under the pressure of excess weight gain and they are usually very soft to the touch and feel like sandpaper. They appear on various parts of your body like the belly, thighs, breasts, etc., depending on where you put on weight rapidly during pregnancy.

4. Your Skin Becomes Tender

Your skin becomes very tender during pregnancy as your body starts producing more and more estrogen, which causes your skin to become soft and supple.

5. Hormonal Imbalance

If you are suffering from hormonal imbalance, you may feel that your belly is soft, especially if the imbalance is caused due to low progesterone levels.

6. Your Belly Has No Fat

You may be surprised to know that your belly has no fat at all and it feels soft mainly because of the muscles beneath it getting stretched due to weight gain or a hormonal imbalance like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

7. You Are Constipated!

When you are pregnant, one of the most common problems that you will face is constipation. It is a common problem faced by most pregnant women due to the hormonal changes taking place in their bodies. And one of the most common symptoms of constipation is havingness of the skin is what you are used to.

Muscles Relaxing During Pregnancy

1. Water Retention

When your body retains more water, especially during the later stages of pregnancy, your belly will turn soft because of excess water retention.

2. Constipation

If you are constipated, it is very common to feel a soft and squishy tummy throughout your pregnancy because the stool in your gut and colon is hard and dry instead of soft and moist.

3. Pregnancy Aches

Another reason why your belly feels soft during pregnancy is that the muscles in your abdomen and womb get stretched beyond their capacity due to regular aches and pains associated with childbirth, which makes them feel soft like jelly when touched or pressed upon.

4. Baby’s Weight on Your Belly

Your baby’s weight on your belly also makes it feel very soft in the later stages of pregnancy when he/she starts putting on weight rapidly.

5. Intrauterine Growth Restriction

Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a condition where the baby’s growth is restricted inside the uterus due to poor blood flow or poor nutrition. The baby may be small for gestational age, making the mother’s belly appear soft and swollen.

6. Varicose Veins

Pregnancy causes the blood vessels in your legs to dilate, which causes them to become swollen and look like varicose veins. These veins are very tender to the touch and make you feel like your belly is soft when you touch it.

7. Swelling in Other Parts of Your Body

When you are pregnant, all parts of your body swell up due to hormonal changes and fluid accumulation in various parts of your body including your belly, if you are not eating properly or are working too hard.

8. Pregnancy Pillow

The most obvious reason why your belly feels soft is because of the pregnancy pillow you use to support your growing belly. These pillows make your body feel very comfortable and relaxed, which makes it feel like jelly.

9. Having a Baby in Utero

All the weight that you gain during pregnancy goes into the baby’s development, so your belly will get soft and tender with all that extra weight on it. This is one of the main reasons why women feel their bellies getting soft even when they are not pregnant but are trying to conceive a baby.

Water Retention During Pregnancy

1. Skin Changes

When your skin gets stretched under the pressure of pregnancy, it goes through several changes that lead to a soft belly.

2. Increased Blood Flow

As pregnancy progresses, the blood flow to your body increases due to the increased demand for nutrients in your baby’s bloodstream. This leads to an increase in water retention in all parts of your body and particularly around the belly area where all these nutrients are stored, leading to a soft belly during pregnancy.

3. Weight Gain During Pregnancy

If you gain weight rapidly during pregnancy, you may also notice that this weight gain makes your belly feel very soft as well as stretch marks on various parts of your body like thighs or breasts appear with or without warning signs like spotting or bleeding while you are pregnant!

4. Belly Fat

If you have a lot of belly fat, you may feel that your belly is soft during pregnancy as your body is trying to get rid of it. You may even start losing weight due to this reason, so it’s best to consult your doctor if you feel that your belly is getting softer.

5. Because You Are Expecting

Your body becomes soft and tender because you are expecting a baby and all the changes happening in your body are causing an unusual amount of stress on it which results in the softening of your skin and muscles.

6. Because You Are Pregnant

You may say that you don’t have any reason for feeling like your belly is soft when there’s no fat there but this happens because when pregnant, you put on weight at a very rapid pace, which results in excess abdominal fat, especially around the belly button area.

Excessive Fat Gain is the Cause

1. Genetics

If you are of a certain genetic background, then chances are that you will have a soft belly. You may suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) during pregnancy and this will also contribute to your belly being soft.

2. Pregnancy Stretches All Body Parts

As your baby grows, it will start stretching out all the ligaments and muscles in your body, resulting in some parts of your body feeling soft like jelly or sandpaper.

3. The Baby Develops Inside You

Your baby develops inside you for nine months so it is natural for the baby to cause changes in the way you feel during pregnancy–especially if it is an early pregnancy where the baby hasn’t developed much yet, causing everything to be very soft and stretchy!

5. Pregnancy Weight Gain

As you gain weight during pregnancy, you don’t just feel a little puffy around your tummy but also feel some extra softness there due to excess fat accumulation. To avoid this happening, make sure that you are eating healthy and exercising regularly so that you can lose those extra pounds before getting pregnant again.

5. Weight Gain

If you gain weight at a rapid pace during pregnancy, it may cause your belly to become soft and tender because of the rapid expansion of the amniotic fluid.

6. Pregnancy Edema

Pregnancy edema is another reason why your belly feels soft during pregnancy. Pregnancy edema occurs when the liquid inside your body swells due to hormonal changes in your body or because of the extra pressure on your blood vessels as a result of increased weight gain during pregnancy. This condition can also be caused by other factors like infection, high blood pressure, and high weight gain too fast for that matter, etc.

7. Cervical Edema

Cervical edema occurs when there is an excessive amount of fluid inside really after a few days of your menstrual period. This is because of the hormonal imbalance that can lead to a lower production of estrogen, which is responsible for softening the skin.

8. Excess Fat

If you have an extra ounce or two in your tummy, it will start feeling even softer as your body tries to make room for it by making the skin stretchy and loose.


During your pregnancy, you might notice that your belly is soft. This is perfectly normal, and there are several reasons why it happens. Your growing uterus, muscles relaxing, water retention, and excessive fat gain are the main reasons why your belly is soft during pregnancy. Apart from the reasons mentioned above, other factors also lead to softness in your abdomen. These are hormonal changes and sleeping position during pregnancy. If your belly is soft, don’t fret. This is completely normal and will go away after you deliver your baby.

Frances Umstead

Frances Umstead is a health & fitness writer with a passion for helping others reach their fitness goals. She has been featured in magazines and online publications such as Shape, Self, Huffington Post, and more. When she's not sweating it out at the gym or writing about health & fitness, Frances can be found reading a good book or spending time with her husband and pup.

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