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When Do You Start Showing in Pregnancy?

When do pregnant women start showing? First, it's a matter of perception. You may feel like you're showing long before others notice. There are also a number of factors that influence when your baby bump becomes more noticeable, such as age, weight, and whether you've been pregnant before.

When do you start showing in pregnancy

Showing means something different to everyone who observes you. Since every woman is different, there’s no set time when moms-to-be start to show. 

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If you’re a first-time mom, a baby bump can start showing between 12 and 16 weeks. That's when many moms-to-be receive sympathetic glances or start getting questions from strangers. But you may start showing sooner if it’s not your first baby. If you feel you are showing too early, it's a good idea to learn more about the first trimester of pregnancy.

When do you start showing in pregnancy? If this is your first baby, the baby bump may appear during the second trimester, at 12–16 weeks. Those with a narrow body frame and little fat show sooner. For women who are curvy or plus size, the baby bump may be more pronounced late in the second trimester or in the third trimester.

A woman looking in the mirror at her baby bump

There are several factors that impact when your pregnancy becomes visible to the world. They include your weight, age, and the number of babies you carry.

The number of pregnancies

For those who've been pregnant, their baby belly can pop in the first trimester. Pregnancy tends to leave behind relaxed stomach muscles. Women who have already had a child often show in either the first or early second trimester. 

Your weight

Your size also dictates when your baby becomes noticeable. When does pregnancy show if you have extra weight around your tummy? You may not get much bigger in the first or early second trimester. However, as the pregnancy progresses, the bump will become more apparent.

Each woman has a unique torso length and carries weight a little differently. This also affects how your pregnant belly looks. If you have more body weight or have more weight around your midsection, you may notice that your belly has a B shape rather than the standard D shape. This is not a cause for concern. The B-belly is common for plus-size pregnancies. Many times, later in the pregnancy, your belly will assume the more common D shape. If you are worried about how you’re carrying the baby, ask your physician if there’s any cause for concern.

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Women of every body type and size become pregnant, so it makes sense there’s not just one belly shape for everyone. If you’re Googling images of pregnant women or standing in front of the mirror every day looking at your tummy, try to stop comparing yourself to others. 

Age

For moms who are no longer in their 20s, the baby bump can show earlier. When does a pregnancy start to show for older moms? Women who don't have strong stomach muscles often show their pregnancy earlier. This is more typical in older moms.

The shape of your uterus

The resting position of your uterus influences when you start to show. You may have a retroverted uterus that tilts towards your back. If so, you may show later. However, some women have an anteverted uterus that slants forward and may cause you to show much earlier.

Diastasis recti

Diastasis recti is the separation of the muscles along the abdominal midline. When you're pregnant, the growing uterus pushes against the abdominal muscles. Eventually, the two large bands of muscles meeting in the middle become separated. This is diastasis recti.

A bulge often appears where the muscles separate. This is perfectly normal. For women who have been pregnant before, diastasis recti is more likely. The same goes for those who've carried big babies or who are over 35 years old. 

Bloating

When you're pregnant, bloating is a common side effect of the changes taking place in your body. Bloating can exaggerate your baby bump and may increase as your pregnancy progresses.

With the added weight and pressure of the baby, other processes slow down, including digestion. This gives gas more time to build up and makes it harder to release it. You may find yourself burping and passing gas more often as a result. Bloating related to gas buildup increases later in pregnancy because the growing uterus places more and more pressure on the abdominal cavity.

Incorrect due date

If you think your baby bump isn't coming along or is too big, check with your doctor. You may have been given an incorrect due date early in the pregnancy. As the gestation period advances, ultrasounds and other methods are able to more accurately pinpoint the due date. 

A pregnant woman carrying twins or other multiples in her womb starts showing in the first trimester. With two babies and twice the fluids and placenta, the baby bump grows rapidly. Twin moms-to-be seem a few months further along in comparison with women carrying single babies. If you are pregnant with twins, your odds of carrying multiples in the future goes up. There are a number of other factors that increase your chances of getting pregnant with twins, including in vitro fertilization.

When do pregnant women start to show? Whether you start showing in the first or second trimester, your baby bump is likely to pop up in the third trimester as your due date approaches. As you watch your baby bump grow, you may find yourself doing more to stay fit and healthy to improve your baby's chances of a healthy and happy arrival into the world.

https://www.lamaze.org/Giving-Birth-with-Confidence/GBWC-Post/when-will-i-start-showing-in-pregnancy

https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/youre-pregnant-now-what/stages-pregnancy

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20047208

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/diastasis-recti/faq-20057825

https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/gas-during-pregnancy/

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