7 Factors That Determine When You’ll Start Showing in Your Pregnancy

Some clues on when you'll first start to notice your bump.

when do you start showing when pregnant

When will I start showing? It’s one of the first things many moms-to-be wonder after learning they are pregnant.

Maybe you want to show off that baby bump, prepare for buying maternity clothes, or you may want to keep your exciting news a secret for a bit longer. Either way, it is a question we are all eager to know the answer to!

Unfortunately there is no definite time when your bump will appear.

Everyone is different and thus every pregnancy is different. However, there are a few different factors that can effect when you will start showing.

Check out the points below for a better idea of when that belly might pop!

Factor 1: Are you a first-time mom?

According to BabyCenter, many first time moms will begin developing a baby bump between 12 and 16 weeks.

Those who have been pregnant before may start showing sooner, as their uterus and abdominal muscles are already stretched from previous pregnancies. Dr. Adam Shoman says second-time moms often start showing about a month earlier than they did with their first pregnancy.

Factor 2: Body type can play a role.

As explained by FitPregnancy, thinner women often show earlier, at around 12-15 weeks.

Those carrying a bit more weight may not show until later into their second trimester. Having very defined abdominal muscles may also lead to showing later.

A smaller frame leads to your bump being more noticeable, whereas extra weight or a defined stomach can hide your bump longer.

Factor 3: Your age can also influence it.

BabyCentre mentions that your age may come into play as well. Younger moms typically start showing later into their pregnancy than older moms do. This is because younger women typically have tighter, stronger stomach muscles for their baby bump to hide behind.

Factor 4: Your female relatives can give you a clue.

Has your mom mentioned when she started showing when she was pregnant with you?

Do you have a sister who has been pregnant too? Ask them or any other female relatives when their bumps appeared, as you may start popping around the same time in your pregnancy as they did in theirs.

Factor 5: Expecting multiples?

Are you expecting twins? If so, it is likely that you will start showing sooner, as your uterus is expanding more to fit multiple babies!

Factor 6: Uterus positioning.

The position that your uterus rests in may also come into play.

Having a retroverted uterus, meaning your uterus is tilted towards the back, may cause you to show later. An anteverted uterus is tilted forward and thus may lead to showing earlier on.

Factor 7: Gas, bloating & constipation.

Have you been feeling extra bloated, gassy, or constipated? These symptoms may expand your belly earlier than expected, which can sometimes be confused with an emerging baby bump.

Being gassier and more bloated than usual during pregnancy is normal. BabyCenter explains that this is due to an increase in progesterone, “a hormone that relaxes smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your gastrointestinal tract.”

Incorrect due dates?

If you still feel like your bump progression is way off, double check to make sure that you have been given the correct conception date and due date.

If your due date has been miscalculated, you may think you are showing too soon or not showing enough. Your doctor should be able to tell you if you are on the right track.

Which of the above factors apply to you?

Take those that are relevant into consideration when figuring out when you may start showing, such as your body type or if this is your first pregnancy.

It is important to always remember that everyone is different, and every pregnancy is different!

Even if you have been pregnant before, your second pregnancy may be different than your first. Your friend may start showing in their first trimester, yet your belly might not make an appearance until your third trimester- and that’s okay!

Starting to show later than expected does not mean that your baby is too small.

If you were really hoping for an exact time to expect to start showing, you can at least probably bet on the second trimester.

According to WebMD, most women will typically start showing at some point during their second trimester. During this trimester your baby is growing rapidly, your organs are shifting and your weight gain usually increases to about 1-2 pounds per week.

As always, if you have any concerns or feel that you are showing too early or too late, talk to your doctor!

Last but not least, be patient! Your entire body is changing and you are growing a tiny human inside of you. Soon enough your belly will be big and round, and you can proudly show off that baby bump!

Fun tip: Take a belly photo every week!

You may not feel like you are showing at all, or you may feel huge! Taking a weekly belly photo allows you to look back and see when you really started showing, as well as the ability to watch your body change as your baby grows inside of you.

The WebMD Pregnancy app (free for iPhone) is a great app to use for this. They have a section just for a Baby Belly Slideshow where you can save weekly pictures. This app also has a variety of other features, such as baby’s week by week development, what body changes you can expect each week, questions to ask at your doctors visits, etc.

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