If a lady is pregnant, for her can this be said?

She had a baby in her stomach.

Or is it necessary to use the word womb or uterus?


7 Answers 7


Stomach is used specifically to describe a place where food is digested, so it's not very useful for a baby. I'd use belly as a generic term instead:

She has a baby in her belly

Womb and uterus would also be okay, but these words are more "medical".

  • 3
    As other answers and comments point out, it's a bit more subtle than that - stomach is used to refer to the abdomen in general, just not in this particular context.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 7:59

The stomach is a digestive organ and is totally different from the uterus. Women do not carry babies in their stomachs unless they are cannibals (eating babies). When women are pregnant, they carry a child in their womb or uterus.

You will, however, regularly hear people say that a woman's belly grows when they are pregnant, or that there is a baby "in their belly". And the word "belly" is sometimes used in a manner that is synonymous with "stomach", while at other times it refers to the external area of the body outside of the stomach. But "stomach" is generally used to refer specifically to the internal digestive organ, and it would sound a bit strange to say that a woman "has a baby in her stomach" ... although you'd still be clearly understood by almost any English speaker.

  • 36
    "A baby in her tummy" could also work. It maybe sounds a little childish. But the word "tummy" is apparently derived from "stomach" Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 8:36
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    @Wilson: Interesting point that it derives from stomach, but its current usage is as a synonym of "belly", regardless of what it may have meant in the past.
    – Flater
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 11:37
  • 9
    At least in my experience with English (mid-Atlantic US), "tummy" is used for several things by and for children ages 1 - 6 (or so). A sick child may have something wrong with their "tummy", which could indicate any part of the digestive system, and mothers are said to carry babies in their "tummy". Basically any interior part of an abdomen might be called a "tummy" when talking with a child. Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 14:20
  • 2
    While this answer is correct in a strict sense, I think Pete Kirkham's answer better captures the colloquial use of the word stomach. As the links in that answer show, "stomach", like "belly" and "tummy" is used generically to refer to the abdomen.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 22:22
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    @IMSoP stomach in these cases refers to the external appearance of the abdomen, not of something inside the abdomen. This is not like belly. You can crawl on your stomach, pat your stomach, rest your hands on your stomach, have a flat stomach, but it is odd to say you have something in your stomach unless you mean the digestive organ.
    – De Novo
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 6:32

Informally, 'stomach' (and the informal form of the word 'tummy') can refer to the abdomen as a whole - when someone is said to have a 'flat stomach', 'hard stomach' or 'distended stomach' then it takes the wider meaning. Examples talking about 'stomach' in pregnancy can be found 'Generally, you expect a hard stomach when you’re pregnant. ' or 'Of course your stomach won't go back to pre-pregnancy size right away'

But generally you wouldn't use this meaning with 'in the stomach' as, while it would be understood, it could be ambiguous:

Cartoon of child asking about a baby in stomach

Cartoon source

  • I'd recommend editing your answer to put the key part at the top: no, you generally wouldn't say, of a pregnant women, she has a baby in her stomach. The fact that stomach can refer to, generally, the exterior of the abdomen, or the general outward appearance of the abdomen is a useful comment, but the answer to the question (no) is buried a bit.
    – De Novo
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 6:12

It depends on whether you are speaking to an adult (who has a larger, more precise vocabulary) or a young child (whose vocabulary is limited and when accuracy does not matter as much). Most speakers would use "pregnant", unless the other person doesn't know the word.

  1. "She is pregnant." The most accurate and shortest way to say it, and the most common expression between adults.

  2. "She has a baby in her abdomen." Uses the proper scientific term, but rarely used.

  3. "She has a baby in her belly." Occasionally said to both adults and children.

  4. "She has a baby in her tummy." Much more likely to be said to or by a child than an adult.

  5. "She has a baby in her stomach." Anatomically wrong, but still very commonly said to or by a child, often because they already know the word "stomach". Such a child would probably also know "tummy" or "belly", so it's not clear why this expression continues to be used.

  • "Such a child would probably also know "tummy" or "belly", so it's not clear why this expression continues to be used." - "tummy" is just a shortened form of "stomach", so it seems perfectly reasonable for them to be used interchangeably. "Tummy" is no more or less correct, and the distinction between that and "belly" is vague at best.
    – IMSoP
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 7:55
  • “Abdomen” is not the proper scientific term, “womb” is... a baby growing in your abdomen is abnormal dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2579097/…
    – ColleenV
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 19:42
  • @ColleenV: Because the uterus is itself inside the abdomen, it is correct that the baby is "in" the abdomen. As my answer indicates, "pregnant" is most commonly used. An ectopic pregnancy is called just that.
    – DrSheldon
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 0:37
  • Did you read the article I linked? My womb or uterus is in my pelvic area; my stomach is in my abdomen.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 1:59

If your goal is to speak like a native speaker, then you would say "she is pregnant" or "she is expecting (a baby.)" You would not say "a baby in her stomach" as that is wrong enough to sound odd because it is the right area but the wrong organ. You likewise would not have to say "a baby in her uterus" because that is the natural location for a baby and anything else would be so unusual and even outlandish that it just wouldn't come up except in a medical context.

The words belly and tummy are colloquial terms that people use for the area on the front of the body between the hips and chest. Belly is commonly used by adults and tummy by children or adults speaking to children.

You could say "baby in her belly" but that is kind of crude and not used in formal speech or even polite company. However, it is perfectly acceptable to say "a baby in her tummy" when speaking to children.

  • Ah, clarity brings relief. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 21, 2019 at 14:54

Stomach or gaster is a part of digestive system, not of reproductive system.

If woman had successful fertilization, we would use the term "pregnant".

The "baby in ones belly" would be in use when there are visible signs of pregnancy, let's say after 16 weeks of being pregnant.

  • 1
    I recently found out that there used to be a stigma around the word "pregnant", and that the Queen will not use that word, even though practically the rest of the English speaking world have no problem with the word "pregnant".
    – CJ Dennis
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 9:27
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    @CJDennis I suspect a significant proportion of the 60,000 or so 92-year-old women in the UK would tend to use euphemisms for "pregnant" as well - the Queen may not be unique in this.
    – alephzero
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 10:38
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    @CJDennis - I'd suggest that the Queen in question may have been Victoria.
    – Magoo
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 15:32
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    @Magoo no, HRH Elizabeth II mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/… Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 16:35

Personally, I don't think many people refer to any part of the body when talking about a pregnant person, you could say:

  • 'expecting'
  • 'carrying' or 'carrying a baby'
  • 'pregnant'
  • 'with child'
  • 'up the duff'

Although the last one should be reserved for your friends only, remember expectant women can be touchy about everything

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