Last reviewed by Dr Philippa Kaye: March 2024


We had to do a bit of a double take when mum-to-be Laura, who's a member of our MadeForMums Community, shared these 2 bump snaps with us – as they were taken on the same day.

Laura from Dublin, who is 16 weeks pregnant with her 3rd child, is amazed (as are we!) how much bigger her bump gets from morning (pic above, left) to evening (pic above, right).

"In the morning, I have a regular-sized bump," she says. "But, by the evening, I feel I look like I'm about to deliver – it expands so much!"

And we know, from other mums-to-be in our MadeForMums Community that Laura's smaller-in-the-morning-larger-at-night pregnancy bump is not a one-off. Loads of others say they notice it, too – like Jane: "I'm only 8 weeks 3 days with my 2nd baby and I have a slight bump in morning. But, by bedtime, I look like I'm 4 or 5 months!"

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So, is it normal for your pregnancy bump to get bigger in the evening? And if so, why?

"Yes," says expert family GP Dr Philippa Kaye. "It's all about your abdominal muscles getting tired from holding the weight of your baby bump.

"As they get tired, they loosen and expand, letting your bump sit out further and appear bigger. Then, when you go to sleep those muscles get a chance to rest and recuperate, so by morning they're refreshed and ready to hold your baby in more tightly again.

"Quite how marked the daily small-to-large transformation is can depend on the number of pregnancies you have had, your build and your age. Basically, your abdominal muscles may loosen a lot more easily and noticeably if you're over 35 and/or you've carried several pregnancies already – or carried multiples.

"Your baby can move a lot, too, and this can sometimes change the shape of your bump.

"And non-pregnancy-related factors also come into play. Have you just eaten a meal? Are you gassy? Are you constipated? Do you need a wee? All of these can affect the size and shape of your bump, especially as your pregnancy progresses and there is less and less room for the rest of your organs."

Pics: Laura from our MadeForMums Community

About our expert Dr Philippa Kaye

Dr Philippa Kaye works as a GP in both NHS and private practice. She attended Downing College, Cambridge, then took medical studies at Guy's, King's and St Thomas's medical schools in London, training in paediatrics, gynaecology, care of the elderly, acute medicine, psychiatry and general practice. Dr Philippa has also written a number of books, including ones on child health, diabetes in childhood and adolescence. She is a mum of 3.

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Helen Brown
Helen BrownHead of Content Delivery

Helen is author of the classic advice book Parenting for Dummies and a mum of 3. Before joining MadeForMums, she was Head of Community at Mumsnet and also the Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby.