Meghan Markle looked absolutely glowing as she visited a women’s charity this week and avid bump watchers were given a little hint about her potential due date.
Donning a form-fitting black dress from Hatch and a tan coat by Oscar de la Renta, fans couldn’t help but notice that the Duchess’ belly button seemed to have popped.
Since the announcement that she and husband Prince Harry are expecting a baby this year, all eyes have been on the royal tummy.
While pregnancy brings a lot of changes to your body, the turning of your belly button from an innie to an outie is one of the most fascinating transformations.
What’s more it’s a quirk that can tell you quite a lot about the pregnancy.
For a start, the appearance of a protruding belly button is one of the many things that will let Meghan know that her baby is growing, developing and using up the spare space in her body.
Your innie suddenly becomes an outie is because your growing uterus is putting pressure on your abdomen, which often causes your belly button to ‘pop’ out.
So when is this change likely to occur?
According to Liz Halliday, deputy head of midwifery at Private Midwives, although no two pregnancies are the same, many women notice their button popping in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
“This is a very normal occurrence but is not experienced by all women or in every pregnancy,” she says.
Which would coincide with reports that the Duchess is due to give birth in the next few months.
According to Milli Hill, expert at The Baby Show and author of The Positive Birth Book, however, it is difficult to predict a baby’s due date based entirely by the popping of the belly button.
“Every pregnancy and every woman’s body is different, so we can’t really make judgements about how many weeks pregnant a person may be due to their belly button ‘popping’, in fact, some women’s won’t pop at all!” she says.
“If it does, it will do so when your uterus is high and full enough to be pressing on your naval from the inside and stretching the skin around it, usually about half way through the pregnancy,” she adds.
Although suddenly having an outie may sound like a dramatic change, it’s unlikely Meghan has experienced any serious side effects since hers popped although some women do report that their navel becomes somewhat irritated or sore.
“For some women, their belly button may be sensitive or become irritated by their clothes,” Liz explains. “In those circumstances, placing a plaster or a small gauze dressing over the area might provide some comfort.”
Milli also suggests pregnant women moisturise the skin of their belly to help them feel more comfortable as they stretch.
“For most women, the main concern is that they feel their protruding belly button may be unsightly,” Liz adds. “Again, a plaster can be applied to smooth over the belly button when wearing tight clothes if they feel it necessary.
So if the Duchess does want to hide her protruding navel, a humble plaster should do the trick.
“If the protrusion is large or uncomfortable, talk to your health care provider to make sure everything is normal,” Liz adds.
And Meghan shouldn’t worry about having an outie forever (no offence outie owners) as according to Liz most women will see their navels return to normal once the baby arrives.
“Once the baby is born, the pressure is decreased, and the belly button will return to a pre-pregnancy state,” Liz adds.
Got a story tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or sign up to our daily newsletter here.