When will my pregnancy start to show

Even at 12 weeks of pregnancy, any “bump” you start to see in your abdomen is really just your bowels that used to be in your pelvis, now being pushed up higher in your belly. “Showing” starts as your abdomen looks fuller and you find yourself needing to unbutton your pants by the end of the day. From there, a distinctly uterus-shaped bump will appear in another few weeks or so.

When Do Pregnant Women Start Showing?

Pregnant women typically start showing within a few months, but it could take longer. You may notice the bump sooner than others because you’re watching for changes.

When Will You Look Pregnant?

You may not start showing in your first trimester because your body is going through changes during this time. Your baby is still forming inside of you. While you may feel different, your body may not look different.

Typically, your bump becomes noticeable during your second trimester. Between 16-20 weeks, your body will start showing your baby’s growth. For some women, their bump may not be noticeable until the end of the second trimester and even into the third trimester.

The second trimester starts in the fourth month. During this month you’ll be able to feel your baby start to move around in little flutters. Your body may start to look different. Others may start to notice differences in your appearance. Pregnancy signs become more prevalent.

Why Do Some Pregnant Women Show Early?

Pregnant women’s baby bumps typically start showing in the second trimester. But if this is your second baby, you may show sooner. Your second pregnancy may be very different from your first. In addition to showing earlier, you may feel your baby moving sooner and have a shorter labor.

Americans see their primary care doctors less often than they did a decade ago. Adults under 65 made nearly 25% fewer visits to primary care providers in 2016 than they did in 2018, according to National Public Radio. In the same time period, the number of adults who went at least a year without visiting a primary care provider increased from 38% to 46%.

Your body has already been through pregnancy and childbirth, so it knows what to expect and can adjust accordingly. The reason you could show earlier with your second baby is due to stretched abdominal muscles. You also know what to look for in your next pregnancy, so you might notice your baby bump sooner.

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Other women might show early because of their age. Older women and women who have been pregnant before can show as early as the first trimester. Also, women who don’t have strong core muscles may show earlier because their muscles are relaxed. Their stomach adapts more easily to looking pregnant.

Why Do Some Pregnant Women Show Late?

Women who are overweight or obese may not show a solid rounded belly until the third trimester. If you have a higher body weight and are classified as a B belly, this means your bump is not as pronounced. A B belly could take until the third trimester to turn into a D belly.

When to Be Concerned

There may be different reasons as to why your bump hasn’t appeared yet. However, if you are still not showing in your third trimester, you should talk to your doctor. This also goes for any time you have concerns about yourself or your baby. Your doctor will be able to determine what is best for you and your child.

If you are small, this could be the reason your bump hasn’t appeared. Your doctor periodically monitors your baby’s gestational weight in your uterus. Your baby’s gestational weight will be taken again once they’re born. Complications for your baby related to low gestational weight can include difficulty regulating body temperature, low blood pressure, low oxygen levels, and breathing problems.

High blood pressure can be a risk for pregnant women. Your baby may be at risk for being small for their gestational age. Being small for their gestational age may keep your belly from becoming noticeable. High blood pressure can also lead to other problems like preterm delivery and infant death. You can get help before, during, and after your pregnancy to treat high blood pressure.

If you are overweight or obese, your belly may not appear rounded or shaped. Being overweight can make your baby’s gestational weight high for their age. Other risks include gestational diabetes mellitus, miscarriage, preeclampsia, and emergency cesarean surgery. You’ll want to talk with your doctor about healthy and safe practices during pregnancy.

Show Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Pregnancy Complications.”

Hunterdon Healthcare: “Pregnancy Fourth Month.”

John Hopkins Medicine: “The First Trimester.”

Lamaze International: “When Will I Start Showing in Pregnancy?”

Mayo Clinic: “I’m pregnant with my second child. Can I expect any differences in my second pregnancy?”

Obstetric Medicine: “Obesity in pregnancy: risks and management.”

Stanford Children’s Health: “Small for Gestational Age.”

When will my pregnancy start to show?

If it’s your first pregnancy, or even if it isn’t, you may be wondering when your bloated belly will turn into a baby bump, and your pregnancy will start to show. The short answer: It can be different for everyone, for a number of reasons.

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When do you start showing in pregnancy?

First-time moms usually start showing sometime between 12 and 18 weeks. In a BabyCenter poll, most women expecting their first child said they started to show between 12 and 18 weeks, very closely followed by those who said that their bump emerged between 18 and 24 weeks.

Every woman and every baby bump is different, and there isn’t an exact time when you’ll start “showing,” which is what happens when your growing uterus begins to expand above the pubic bone. This usually starts when you’re around 12 weeks pregnant; before then, the uterus remains within the pelvis and isn’t usually visible.

Even at 12 weeks of pregnancy, any “bump” you start to see in your abdomen is really just your bowels that used to be in your pelvis, now being pushed up higher in your belly. “Showing” starts as your abdomen looks fuller and you find yourself needing to unbutton your pants by the end of the day. From there, a distinctly uterus-shaped bump will appear in another few weeks or so.

Several factors play a part in how and when you start showing:

  • Your body shape and size. Shorter women may start showing earlier than tall women, and thinner women may see a distinct baby bump before plus-size women do.
  • Your core muscles. Women with weak core muscles may start showing earlier than those with a stronger core.
  • The position of your uterus.
  • Whether not this is your first pregnancy. Moms who’ve already been pregnant often start showing with their second pregnancy sooner, since their uterine and abdominal muscles have been stretched from an earlier pregnancy.

Sometimes, you might think you’re already showing early on in the first trimester, but it’s more than likely just pregnancy bloating, a swelling that can make your pants fit tighter. Bloating is one of the early signs of pregnancy, along with gas and constipation.

Should I be worried if I haven’t started showing yet?

If you haven’t started showing and feel like you don’t look pregnant yet, don’t fret. There are a number of completely normal factors that may be contributing to how pregnant you look. Showing late doesn’t automatically mean that your baby is too small. In the second trimester, your ob-gyn or midwife will start monitoring your fundal height to track your baby’s growth, and if there’s any reason for concern, they’ll do an ultrasound to check on the progress. Babies who are smaller than expected for their gestational age will get frequent monitoring to make sure they’re doing well.