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When Does Pregnancy Start to Show

Pregnancy jitters are a normal phenomenon for every first-time mother. The second the pregnancy test turns positive, you will experience a feeling of excitement and apprehension. And it’s only natural for you to feel this way.

The thought of the multiple changes your body will experience in these nine months can overwhelm you, especially the thought of a life growing inside you. You will receive lots of advice from well-wishers, some of which may confuse or worry you.

You don’t need to worry about the comments or numerous suggestions coming your way. Just like your five fingers are not the same, neither is any person, your pregnancy, or the size of your baby bump.

The multiple hormonal changes in your body can impact the size of your baby bump. Generally, your pregnancy should begin to show by the third trimester; however, several other factors also impact your pregnancy.

If you’re curious to know when your pregnancy will begin to show or worried that you haven’t begun to show yet, this article shall resolve all your inhibitions.

What Does the Phrase “When Does Pregnancy Begin to Show” Mean?

What Does the Phrase When Does Pregnancy Begin to Show Mean

The phrase “Pregnancy begins to show” implies when the abdomen starts looking fuller, and your regular pair of jeans begins to feel tight. If you find it difficult to close your button, a Uterus-shaped bump begins to show. In simple terms, it means when will you start looking pregnant. Your baby bump grows in every trimester. A normal pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, and the size of your bump changes in every trimester. No pregnancy is similar; hence, some women may begin to show in their first trimester, while other women may not show until the end of their second trimester. There are several factors that we have discussed below that impact the visibility of your pregnancy.

When Does the Baby Bump Begin to Show?

What Does the Phrase When Does Pregnancy Begin to Show Mean

In some women, pregnancy begins to show in the earlier stage of their first trimester, while in others, pregnancy might not show until the end of the second trimester. Your pregnancy will begin to show as per the changes in your body, and it’s different for all women. Generally, the pregnancy begins to show anytime between 12-18 months. In other cases, the bump begins to show anytime between 18-24 months.

What Are the Factors that Affect the Baby Bump?

What Are the Factors that Affect the Baby Bump

Your inhibition over when your pregnancy will begin to show depends on multiple factors. Factors like age, height, gestational age, hormonal changes, etc., are some points that determine the visibility of your baby bump. Some women start showing earlier, while others may begin to show later. The size of the bump differs in every trimester.

We have discussed these factors in detail below for your reference. They are as follows:

1. Age of the Fetus

The age of the fetus is the Gestational age that impacts the size of the bump. The fetal age is generally two weeks less than the gestational age. During the first trimester, the baby is the size of a raspberry and grows with the passing months. You can determine the age of your fetus with the help of an ultrasound, which is performed at earlier stages of pregnancy by your doctor. The ultrasound determines the exact age of the fetus, which reflects the size of your bump.

2. Lifestyle

Lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise also impact the size of the baby bump. A healthy lifestyle leads to a more toned body, which further leads to a toned body. Pregnancy begins to show earlier in women who have a toned-slim figure, while women who are overweight begin to show their pregnancy in the later stage of their pregnancy.

3. Shape of the Uterus

The shape of your uterus can affect when your pregnancy will begin to show. If the uterus tilts towards the front, the baby bump may show earlier, but if the uterus tilts backward, your pregnancy will show after 12 months.

4. Number of Pregnancies

First-time mothers may begin to show their pregnancy bump mostly in their second trimester compared to second-time mothers who begin to show their pregnancy in the first trimester itself. The reason is that when women get pregnant for the first time, their uterine and abdominal muscles are tight as they have not been stretched before, which is not the case in a woman who’s already been pregnant before.

5. Body Type

Body type refers to your height and weight. Tall women may not look pregnant until the end of their second trimester. Tall women have sufficient womb space due to their height. Shorter women don’t have enough womb space; hence, their wombs may push towards the front rather than being pushed upwards. Overweight women might not look pregnant until the last trimester as their wombs may have sufficient space for the baby. Petite and short women, on the other hand, might get the bulge in their first trimester itself because of the scarcity of space in the womb.

6. Diastasis Recti

Some women may suffer from a condition, “Diastasis Recti,” during their pregnancy or postpartum. The Rectus Abdominis muscles, commonly known as the six-pack muscles, separate during pregnancy from being stretched. The result is that the belly sticks out or bulges months or years postpartum. It can happen during pregnancy. Hence, women misunderstand Diastasis Recti to be their baby bump.

7. Weight

Women with small waistlines begin to show the baby bump earlier, while overweight women don’t show their baby bumps so soon. Some women may put on weight during pregnancy, and there is a possibility for body fat to look like a baby bump.

8. Baby’s Position

Babies change their positions in the womb. The baby’s movement can affect the shape and size of the baby. By the end of the third trimester, the baby is usually in a head-down position. As the baby changes positions and moves from one side to another, the belly tends to grow out and show more prominently. Hence, the baby’s position also impacts how soon your pregnancy begins to show.

9. Amniotic Fluid

If the Amniotic Fluid is beyond 1 liter in your body, it can add to the appearance of the baby bump. Excess Amniotic Fluid can cause grave danger to the pregnant woman and may require medical attention.

10. Muscle Tone

A woman’s core muscles are vital in factors like posture and balance. It affects how soon your pregnancy is likely to show. A woman with strong abdominal muscles is more likely to show a smaller baby bump compared to a woman with weaker abdominal muscles. 

11. Height

Tall women have more womb space, further giving the baby more growing space. The womb grows upwards rather than pushing outwards, which makes your bump look small. Shorter women have less womb space; hence, the bump shows outwards, hence it begins to show earlier and bigger.

12. Incorrect Due-Date

There is a possibility for an error in determining the delivery date. Hence, if there has been a mistake in reflecting how far you are along, your pregnancy may become visible before the second trimester. You need to schedule an ultrasound with your doctor to determine how many weeks pregnant you are.

What Will Your Pregnancy Look Like in The Third Trimester?

What Will Your Pregnancy Look Like in The Third Trimester

The appearance of your baby bump changes in every trimester. Your pregnancy won’t begin to show until the second trimester. With every passing week, your baby is developing and growing in your womb. As the baby grows, so does the size of your baby bump. By the end of the third trimester, you should have a round, bulging belly.

There are several factors which we have explained in this article. Weight gain can also impact the appearance of your baby bump.

Women carrying twins may begin to show by the end of the first trimester, while women carrying multiples may begin to show the baby bulge within 6 weeks itself. Many times, first-time mothers misunderstand their bloated stomachs to be their baby bump. Increased hormones lead to fluid being retained by the body, which can lead to bloating.

Remember, every woman’s body type is different, and hence, you should not worry if your baby bump has not begun to show by your first trimester itself. The appearance of your pregnancy is hugely impacted by how you take care of your body.

Can the Size of Your Baby Bump Determine the Size of Your Baby?

No! The size of your baby bump cannot determine the size of your baby. It’s a myth that people have passed on for centuries that if your bump is small, the baby will be small. A woman’s height and weight play a major factor in that case. Hence, you don’t need to pay heed to such myths and worry about the health of your baby. You should get tests done regularly, along with ultrasounds, as your gynecologist schedules.


To summarize this article for you in a small context, every pregnancy is different, even in the case of one person.

Your pregnancy may not necessarily begin to show at the same time as your friends or relatives. It depends on several factors like your height, health, weight, genes, etc., which we have listed in the article.

The size of your baby bump does not determine the size of your baby or the health of your baby. If this is your first pregnancy, you will obviously be nervous, especially because of the free advice you receive from others.

You need not worry if your first trimester is almost over and your belly hasn’t begun to show yet. Just relax and enjoy every trimester of your pregnancy.

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Emily Davis
Emily Davis

A Richmond native, Emily Davis combined her love for her city with her passion for parenting to create As a mother of two, Emily understands the joys and challenges of parenthood and established the site to connect, support, and inspire local families. When she's not sharing valuable parenting tips, Emily is exploring Richmond with her children or diving into her hobby of photography.

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