When Do You Start Showing Pregnancy

It’s also possible that you simply have a smaller baby, although still healthy. If you have any concerns, though, speak with your doctor.

When Does Your Baby Bump Start to Show?

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You’re expecting — and you couldn’t be more excited. Your symptoms are impossible to ignore — especially the morning sickness — but you may have questions about when your pregnancy status will become obvious to everyone else.

The good news if you’re not quite ready to announce your pregnancy to the world is that it’ll be a while before you start showing — but you might not have as much time as you think. Every body is different, and so is every pregnancy.

Let’s take a closer look at the bump timeline and factors that can contribute to when you’ll notice a growing belly in pregnancy.

It might come as a surprise, but the number of pregnancies you’ve had can affect how early you start showing.

Typically, though, you won’t have a baby bump in your first trimester — especially if it’s your first pregnancy. You’ll likely notice the first signs of a bump early in the second trimester, between weeks 12 and 16.

You might start showing closer to 12 weeks if you are a person of lower weight with a smaller midsection, and closer to 16 weeks if you’re a person with more weight.

If you’ve been pregnant before, don’t be surprised if you start showing earlier. Actually, it’s not uncommon to develop a baby bump in the first trimester after your first pregnancy.

A previous pregnancy can stretch your stomach muscles, and sometimes, these muscles don’t return to their original size. Because of this change, a baby bump might appear earlier.

If you’re expecting twins or higher-order multiples, you could also possibly start to show before the end of your first trimester. Your uterus must grow larger to accommodate more than one baby. So whereas someone expecting a singleton may not show until after 3 or 4 months, you might show as early as 6 weeks.

Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your second pregnancy, you may feel that you’re showing much sooner than other people you know. Maybe you’re putting on weight around 6 to 8 weeks — which in your mind is quite early.

One plausible explanation for an early bump, though, could be abdominal bloating. An increase in hormones can cause your body to retain fluid. So what you believe to be all baby bump may actually be a bloated stomach. Drinking plenty of water, eating more fiber, and eating smaller meals might curb bloating.

Also, the shape of your uterus affects how soon you start showing. If your uterus tilts toward your back, it could take longer to show during those early months of pregnancy. And if your uterus tilts towards the front, you may show much earlier.

Diastasis recti is another possible explanation for showing early. This is when the mid-abdominal muscles separate and create a bulge. This bulge can give the appearance of an early baby bump.

Keep in mind that body weight also determines when a baby bump appears. Someone with a smaller waistline will likely show sooner.

And finally, you may appear to show early if you received an incorrect due date. If you’re concerned that you’re getting too much of a bump too fast, talk with your doctor. You might be further along in your pregnancy than you realize.

Baby bump progression also varies from person to person. As a general timeline, though, your baby will be about the size of a lemon at 12 weeks. Your uterus gets bigger to accommodate, so you’ll start to notice a small bump, although it may not be evident to others.

As you approach week 16, your baby might be as big as an avocado. And by weeks 20 (banana) and 24 (cantaloupe), you’ll likely notice real changes.

Once you enter your third trimester at 28 weeks, your baby will be the size of an eggplant, and the size of a pineapple at week 35. When your due date approaches, your baby can be as big as a watermelon! Keeping in mind that your body is also holding amniotic fluid and extra fat needed to nourish baby, by this point you’ll likely have a very full-looking belly.

Are you ready to show off your baby bump — or do you want to hide it a little longer? Either way, here are a few tips and tricks to adjust to your changing body.

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Hiding the bump

You might start showing well before you’re ready to make an announcement. To keep your special news a secret longer, you best bet at this point is to wear loose-fitting clothes, especially dresses, blouses, and shirts that don’t hug your belly.

You can also wear jackets or sweaters when around people. The thickness of the material can help conceal a growing bump.

Dealing with the awkward in-between stage

As your baby bump grows, you may hit an awkward stage. And if you’re at that stage where you don’t fit maternity pants yet, but your regular pants don’t fit either, use a ponytail holder or rubber band at the button and loop closure to give yourself a little more room in your pants.

Here’s what to do: Leave the top button of your pants (or jeans) unhooked. Loop one end of the ponytail holder around the button, and then feed the other end through the hole on the other side of the pants.

After pulling the other end through the hole, loop it around the button too. This way, you can comfortably wear your regular pants for at least a few more weeks. Just wear a long shirt to conceal the fact that you didn’t button your pants.

Another option is to leave your pants unbuttoned and place a belly band around the waistband.

As you get bigger, sleeping and bending over can become uncomfortable, too. When bending over, grab hold of a chair or table to support yourself, and then squat with your knees. This makes it easier to pick up items, and you avoid falling backwards.

If sleeping becomes a problem, try sleeping on your side with a pregnancy pillow. These pillows are soft and curved shape, and can help relieve pain and support a growing bump.

Feeling body positive about a growing bump

As excited as you are, a growing baby bump might also make you feel self-conscious. Here are a few tips to boost your confidence:

  • Don’t weigh yourself. If you’re self-conscious about your weight, constantly weighing yourself can make you feel worse. Fight the urge to get on the scale. If you’re tempted, get rid of it. Regular weigh-ins at your OB-GYN’s office will inform your doctor all’s on track — and you don’t have to know the number, if you don’t want to!
  • Don’t neglect maternity fashion. Let’s be honest: We often feel good when we look good. So rather than settle on a maternity style consisting of old baggy jeans and old, worn out T-shirts, treat yourself to some chic, yet affordable maternity clothes. Embrace your baby bump and your inner fashionista.
  • Get your hair and makeup done. Along with embracing maternity fashion, you might feel better with a little pampering. Treat yourself and your beautiful pregnancy hair (which often becomes thicker during this time) to a professional styling and show off that pregnancy glow!
  • Believe others when they say you’re beautiful. These aren’t pity compliments. So even if you don’t feel the prettiest, believe those who say otherwise.
  • Exercise.Working out isn’t only an energy booster and a bloat blaster — it can also release endorphins, which are feel-good hormones. This can improve your mental outlook, increase your confidence, and help you feel better about your changing body. (Not to mention, appropriate exercise is healthy for you and baby during pregnancy.)

Be aware that at some point during your pregnancy, others might touch your belly without an invitation, including strangers.

You might not take issue with family touching your growing baby bump. But to discourage others, hold a large purse or a jacket directly in front of your stomach. With your stomach covered, they might be less inclined to reach for it.

Or if you suspect that someone is about to touch your belly, discreetly step back a few feet, or turn your body away from them. If this doesn’t work, there’s nothing wrong with being honest and saying you’re uncomfortable being touched.

Even though every woman is different, you might have concerns if you’re not showing yet. Understandably, you want to have a healthy baby and pregnancy. But showing a little later doesn’t typically indicate a problem.

It’s also possible that you simply have a smaller baby, although still healthy. If you have any concerns, though, speak with your doctor.

Going from no baby bump to a large belly can be exciting, but a bit awkward at times. The important thing to remember is that everyone starts to show at different times. Bumps can develop later with a first pregnancy, and earlier with a second pregnancy or if you’re expecting twins.

If you have any concerns about bump progression, see your doctor. And enjoy your changing body — as many parents will tell you, this is a special time that in hindsight, goes by so fast.

For more pregnancy guidance and weekly tips tailored to your due date, sign up for our I’m Expecting newsletter.

Last medically reviewed on January 13, 2020

When Do You Start Showing in Pregnancy?

When do pregnant women start showing? First, it’s a matter of perception. The person who is pregnant may feel like they’re showing long before others notice. There are also a number of factors that influence when the baby bump becomes more noticeable, such as age, weight, and whether the person has been pregnant before.

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Reviewed by
Dr. Iryna Ilyich
Obstetrician and gynecologist, medical advisor, Flo Health Inc., Lithuania
Updated November 22 2021


  • When do you start showing when pregnant?
  • Factors that can affect when the baby bump shows
  • When do you start showing with twins?

When do you start showing when pregnant?

Showing means something different to everyone. Since every person is different, there’s no set time when someone who’s pregnant starts to show.

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For first-time parents, a baby bump can start showing between 12 and 16 weeks. But others may start showing sooner if it’s not their first baby. Learning more about the first trimester of pregnancy can explain what’s happening in the early stages of pregnancy that may or may not be affecting the baby bump.

So, when will you show?

When do you start showing in pregnancy? For first-time pregnancies, the baby bump may appear during the second trimester, at 12–16 weeks. Those with a narrow body frame and little fat tend to show sooner. For people who are curvy or heavier, 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

Factors that can affect when the baby bump shows

There are several factors that impact when a pregnancy becomes visible to the world. They include weight, age, and the number of babies being carried.

The number of pregnancies

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


Size also plays a role in when the pregnancy becomes noticeable. When does pregnancy show if there’s extra weight around the tummy? The belly may not get much bigger in the first or early second trimester. However, as the pregnancy progresses, the bump will become more apparent.

Each person has a unique torso length and carries weight a little differently. This also affects how the pregnant belly looks. Those with more body weight in general or specifically around the midsection may notice that their 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, the belly will assume the more common D shape. If you are worried about how you’re carrying the baby, ask your health care provider if there’s any cause for concern.

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


For parents in their 30s or older, the baby bump can show earlier. When does a pregnancy start to show for older parents? Those who don’t have strong stomach muscles often show their pregnancy earlier. This is more typical in older people.

The shape of the uterus

The resting position of the uterus influences when a pregnancy becomes noticeable. People with a retroverted uterus (one that tilts toward the back) may show later. However, some people have an anteverted uterus (slants forward) and may show much earlier.

Diastasis recti

Diastasis recti is the separation of the muscles along the abdominal midline. During pregnancy, 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 people 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 is a common side effect of the changes taking place in the body during pregnancy. Bloating can exaggerate the baby bump and may increase as the 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. Burping and passing gas more frequently are often 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

In some cases, the predicted due date could be wrong. As the gestation period advances, ultrasounds and other methods are able to more accurately pinpoint the due date.

Other issues

In rare cases, more serious issues can cause a baby bump that is unusually large or small. If you have any concerns regarding the size of the baby bump, it’s always better to consult a health care provider to rule out any complications.

When do you start showing with twins?

If someone is carrying twins or other multiples, they typically start showing in the first trimester. With two babies, the baby bump grows rapidly. Those carrying twins may seem a few months further along than those carrying single babies. The likelihood of conceiving twins is usually genetically predetermined. If someone is pregnant with twins, their odds of carrying multiples in the future goes up. There are a number of other factors that increase the chances of getting pregnant with twins, including in vitro fertilization.

When do pregnant women start to show? Some people start showing in the first or second trimester. Regardless of when they started showing, the baby bump is likely to pop up in the third trimester as the due date approaches. As the baby bump grows, it’s important to stay fit and healthy during pregnancy and get ready for the baby’s arrival into the world.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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