Here's why moms like Chrissy Teigen look bigger, faster in their second pregnancies

Chrissy Teigen is extraordinary in so many ways, but when it comes to her second pregnancy, she’s in the same boat as many expectant moms of more than one. On Tuesday’s Tonight Show, she teased Jimmy Fallon by asking him to guess how far along she is with baby No. 2.

“Because everybody keeps touching my belly and saying, ‘Any day now,'” she said. After much hesitation, Fallon correctly guessed five months.

“I had to say it, because everyone thinks that I am due tomorrow,” Teigen said. “I’m like, ‘Nope, just second baby.’ ”

After carrying their first babies to term, it’s pretty common that mothers “pop” earlier, and their bumps look bigger overall.

“The abdominal muscles really take a beating with pregnancy,” Dr. Sherry A. Ross, a women’s health expert and author of she-ology, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. This doesn’t just impact the size of a woman’s belly but also the placement of her uterus, she explained. “As opposed to lifting it up in your belly, it leans much more forward. That can happen as early as 12 weeks, and you can look like you’re 16-20 weeks, when you’re really not.”

There are other factors at play as well, including the fact that some women haven’t had time after their previous pregnancy to get back in shape and are starting their new one at a higher weight.

Related: Cutest photos of Luna 

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Luna Legend, daughter of John Legend and Chrissy Teigen
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Luna Legend, daughter of John Legend and Chrissy Teigen
Look at these twin humans https://t.co/TX5xto0Gh2
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Even the most fit women experience something called diastasis recti during pregnancy, which is when the tissue that holds the abdominal muscles together at the midline separates. You can tell if you’ve had this during your pregnancy if when lying on your back or using your abs, you can see your belly change to a dome or cone-like shape. After pregnancy, the easiest way to test is to see if you can fit two or more fingers between your outer ab muscles. The condition makes your core weaker, your belly more distended, and can even lead to bowel discomfort.

“Just like with any other recurring injury, once you’ve had it, you can always more easily get it again,” pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert Sara Haley tells Yahoo.

What can women do to feel more comfortable in their second (and subsequent) pregnancies? For one, Haley recommends shaping up as much as possible before getting pregnant again. This isn’t just for the sake of appearance.

“If you aren’t strong during your pregnancy you’re putting yourself at risk for injury because your body isn’t able to do the things you need to do safely,” she says. Because of relaxin, the hormone that makes joints more flexible to prepare for labor, some pregnant women find their balance off, and this time around, they have to deal with that while taking care of another child. “We need strong legs to squat down and pick up our toddlers. We need strong backs for the same reason.”

During pregnancy, Ross says women should prioritize exercises that make them feel good. “We look to more exercises that help with your muscle tone, posture and mood,” she suggests, but cautioned against any exercises on the back after 16 weeks. “The uterus compresses the vessels going to the heart and it causes dizziness, nausea.”

Related: Chrissy's chic pregnancy style

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Chrissy Teigen's pregnancy style
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Chrissy Teigen's pregnancy style
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 03: Model Chrissy Teigen is seen on October 3, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 02: Chrissy Teigen attends the #REVOLVEawards at DREAM Hollywood on November 2, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Model Chrissy Teigen is seen on November 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Chrissy Teigen is seen at Il Buco Restaurant on November 7, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Chrissy Teigen and Freida Pinto attend the Forevermark Tribute event on November 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for Forevermark)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Chrissy Teigen attends the Forevermark Tribute event on November 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for Forevermark)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 09: Chrissy Teigen is seen at LAX on November 09, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by starzfly/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
CULVER CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Chrissy Teigen attends the 2017 Baby2Baby Gala at 3LABS on November 11, 2017 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Model Chrissy Teigen is seen on November 15, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Chrissy Teigen is seen at Los Angeles International Airport on November 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by starzfly/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 29: Model Chrissy Teigen attends the Smithsonian Magazine's 2017 American Ingenuity Awards at the National Portrait Gallery on November 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 07: Chrissy Teigen attends GQ and Dior Homme private dinner in celebration of The 2017 GQ Men Of The Year Party at Chateau Marmont on December 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for GQ)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: John Legend and wife Chrissy Teigen seen out and about in Manhattan on December 12, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: John Legend, Chrissy Teigen and their daughter Luna are seen leaving their hotel on December 12, 2017 in New York, New York. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are seen in Manhattan on December 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Chrissy Teigen seen leaving a hotel in Manhattan on December 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are seen in Manhattan on December 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JANUARY 06: Chrissy Teigen (L) and John Legend attend The Art Of Elysium's 11th Annual Celebration on January 6, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are seen on January 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, Californialifornia. (Photo by SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 18: Chrissy Teigen attends Lip Sync Battle Live: A Michael Jackson Celebration at Dolby Theatre on January 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Paramount Network)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18: Model Chrissy Teigen is seen on January 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Chrissy Teigen attends the 'Monster' Premiere during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 22, 2018 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: Model Chrissy Teigen attends the Clive Davis and Recording Academy Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Jay-Z on January 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: Tv personality Chrissy Teigen attends the Clive Davis and Recording Academy Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Jay-Z on January 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Chrissy Teigen is seen heading to 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' on January 30, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Chrissy Teigen departs the Today Show on January 31, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
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Haley acknowledges how hard it is for mothers to find time to leave the house for exercise, which is when those at-home video workouts (like the ones on her site) come in handy. And while expecting mothers can’t do their regular crunches and planks, she suggests trying to do planks while leaning on a chair or the wall.

“One of the things that are going to make a woman feel more comfortable is stretching,” Haley adds. If that relaxin is making you feel even bendier than normal, however, try not to stretch past what you’d be able to do when not pregnant.

Related: A look inside their former Hollywood home 

20 PHOTOS
Take a look inside Chrissy Teigen and John Legend's former Hollywood home
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Take a look inside Chrissy Teigen and John Legend's former Hollywood home
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Unfortunately, while trying to juggle motherhood and a healthy pregnancy, women will still face those unsolicited comments about the size of their bumps, their due dates, and whether they’re sure they’re not expecting twins.

“Your first thought is, ‘Are you effing kidding me?'” Ross jokes. “But what I always tell my patients is you really need to tell them, ‘When you say that to me it really hurts my feelings.’ … I don’t think people mean it with any malicious intent, but it’s certainly one of the most hurtful things someone can do is ask you when you’re due and you’re only 20 weeks.”

You could also go Teigen’s route and mess with people.

“One of my favorite things is getting really offended when people say, like down the red carpet at the Grammys, ‘So, congratulations!’ ” she told Fallon. “And I’m like, ‘Why?'”

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