Extended belly, also known as abdominal distension, is a medical condition which occurs when things like gas or fluid accumulate in the abdomen. It is not a disease or sickness but rather a symptom. People with extended belly often complain about feeling “bloated” or “full” or “gassy”. There are several possible causes for extended belly. This feeling is sometimes accompanied by pain, discomfort, shortness of breath and/or nausea.

“Why do I look pregnant” examines seven possible reasons for extended belly, the root cause of each, and suggested remedies.

8 Possible Causes for Why Do I Look Pregnant


Undigested Carbs

For some people, digesting certain carbohydrates is not just a natural process. These specific carbs are referred to as Fermentable, Oligo, Di, Monosaccharides and Polyols (FODMAPS).

What foods are form the FODMAPS group? Some fruits and vegetables, fructose, artificial sweeteners, inulin fiber, wheat and dairy are main culprits. These remain undigested because they are harder to break down during digestion.

Recent studies have shown that 70% of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) sufferers have issues with indigested FODMAPS foods and should avoid these in their diet, choosing instead, foods not a part of the FODMAPS group. Taking a probiotic to achieve a healthy balance of gut bacteria is critical is also recommended as an aid to efficient digestion.


Celiac’s Disease

Those with Celiac’s disease experience bloating if they ingest foods containing gluten. If you suspect you may have Celiac’s disease see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis via an allergist.

Those with Celiac’s disease or who suspect they have issues with digesting gluten should avoid foods containing gluten.


Weight in the Stomach Area

If you overeat and/or tend to carry excess fat on your abdominal area it will result in that tummy bulging appearance which leads you to ask yourself: why do I look pregnant?

There are several remedies for this cause:

  • Avoid overeating.

  • Stop the urge to clean off your plate.

  • Eat more slowly.

  • Stop eating when you are no longer hungry.

  • Serve yourself smaller portions and do not help yourself to seconds.

  • Eat off a smaller plate.

  • Drink a tall glass of water a half hour before eating.

  • Concentrate on eating and take time to enjoy the flavors.

  • Don’t eat and watch TV or eat and read.

  • Focus on eating fruits and vegetables and decrease your carbohydrate intake.

  • Avoid fried foods.

Try not to eat out often and when you do order lite entrees like salads, grilled fish or boneless skinless chicken breast.



Infrequent bowel movements result in backed up systems. This condition often leaves the sufferer asking herself: Why do I look pregnant?

To avoid constipation, try these dietary changes:

  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. They contain soluble fiber.

  • Add bran and other whole grains to your diet.

  • Drink cranberry juice, prune juice and lemon in unsweetened ice tea.

  • Start each day with a large mug of hot water containing a slice of lemon.

  • Drink at least 64 ounces of clean, pure water each day.

  • Move your body briskly at least thirty minutes each day: Go for a walk or run. Swim, bike, roller blade, play tennis…Get that body in motion.



Think of hormones—no matter how old or young you are—as terrorists working within your body. They mess up your system.

Things like IUD’s and birth control pills often result in bloating and weight gain around the waist that leaves you wondering: why do I look pregnant?

If you feel like asking yourself: Why do I look pregnant? This could be a hormonal imbalance.

See your doctor to have this checked out.


Diastasis Recti

Diastasis recti is basically a bulging stomach which inspected in a side view in your mirror leaves you asking yourself: why do I look pregnant?

Potential solutions for diastasis recti include a regimen of corrective exercises. These are specifically designed to pull in those abdominal muscles. Good exercises for tightening those abdominal muscles include:

  • Belly dancing. Sign up for a class and have fun while you tighten those abdominal muscles!

  • Get out the hula hoop and practice half an hour a day.

  • Trace a Triangle: In the pushup position, contract stomach muscles. Reach out one hand 45 degrees as far as possible. Repeat with the other hand. Continue alternating directions

  • Assume a creeping posture. Start with your flat back. Slowly tilt your head down. Arch your back. Contracting those abdominal muscles towards your back bone. Hold this position counting, “One Mississippi, two Mississippi…to 5 Mississippi. Then release muscles and go back to creeping position. Do 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

  • A study by Touro College concluded that a “quadruped position” such as creeping babies would adopt produced the most effective results for correcting diastasis recti. To assume this position, support yourself on both arms and both legs as if you were creeping. Begin with your back flat, face down. Slowly tilt your head down while arching your back. In this position, contract abdominal muscles. Hold the position for five seconds. Release. Return to the starting position and repeat ten times.

  • In extreme cases, surgery to correct extended belly may be necessary.

Also check out the suggestions by checking the video below.

Consult a physiotherapist or certified personal trainer for an exercise regimen that is just right for you.


Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids will make you look pregnant and have you asking: why do I look pregnant? Uterine fibroids are benign but can have uncomfortable symptoms.

Uterine fibroids are often accompanied by lower back pain. They are particularly prevalent in women of child bearing age and older.

Symptoms include:

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding.

  • Painful periods.

  • Frequent urination.

  • Pain during sex.

  • Bleeding between periods.

  • Feeling full in the lower abdomen.

If you suspect you have uterine fibroids, see your doctor and ask for a referral to a gynecologist.



Abdominal bloating comes with an uncomfortable feeling of fullness and a visibly distended appearance that has you asking: why do I look pregnant?

It can be accompanied by belching, burping, tummy rumbling, flatulence and/or pain.

Avoid swallowing air

Swallowing air will cause bloating so try to avoid swallowing air by avoiding talking while you eat. Sit upright. Don’t slump. Avoid fizzy drinks. Avoid gum chewing.

Try not to swallow too much air. Don’t talk and eat at the same time, sit down to eat (sitting upright and not slumped over), reduce the amount of fizzy drinks you consume, stop chewing gum and chew with your mouth closed so that you’re not taking in excess air.

Get rid of food intolerance

Under three conditions where food intolerance can result in bloating:

  • The bowel does not empty right.

  • Gas is trapped by food.

  • Food cause the production of too much gas.

The main causes are gluten and dairy products. The best way is to avoid eating them. Try to write down your receipts everyday noting what food or drinks troubles you most. But do it under the instruction of your GP.


You can alleviate symptoms using such over-the-counter medications as: Antispasmodics, Probiotics, and Rifaximin.

Natural remedies

Natural remedies for bloating include: ginger, chamomile, fennel, basil, caraway, cinnamon, cumin, garlic, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen. Experiment to see which one(s) is/are best for your condition.


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