When Does Pregnancy Start To Show – Chance Before 12 Weeks?

when does pregnancy start to show

The first pregnancy is always exciting for the mom-to-be. One thing that makes this entire experience more special is when the baby bump starts showing. While it is different for every woman, it is highly unlikely that the baby bump will start to show earlier than 12 weeks.

Usually, a baby bump shows up between 12 to 18 weeks. For some women, it can also happen between 18 to 24 weeks. Week 16 to 20 is when pregnant women start showing a pregnant belly. For women in their second pregnancy, the baby bump grows faster, and they can see it sooner. First-time moms have to wait a little longer than those who have had more than one baby.

Why Do Some Pregnant Women Show Early?

Baby bumps often appear between week 13 and week 28. You might start showing sooner if you have given birth before, though. It’s possible that your second pregnancy won’t be like your first one at all. You might sense your baby moving and start showing sooner and have a shorter labor.

Because your body has already experienced pregnancy and labor, it is aware of what to expect and how to prepare. Stretched abdominal muscles may have contributed to your ability to become pregnant with your second child. You may detect your baby bump earlier now that you are aware of the signs to look for. Other ladies may show up early due to age. Women who are older or who have previously given birth may begin to show in the first trimester. Women with a weak core may also show sooner since their muscles are looser. Their tummy adjusts to look pregnant faster.

Why Do Some Pregnant Women Show Late?

It may take until the third trimester for women who are already overweight or obese to develop a substantial, rounded belly. If you are categorized as having a B belly and are heavier, your bump will not be as noticeable. It could take up until the third trimester for a B belly to transform into a D belly.

So, When Will I Show? 

If this is your first pregnancy, you probably will not see any changes in your belly during the first trimester. You might notice some signs of a pregnant belly during the second trimester, between weeks 12 and 16. Also, if you are a shorter woman with a lower weight, this can make the bump appear sooner. If this isn’t your first time getting pregnant, you can even start showing earlier than you were expecting. Actually, after your first pregnancy, a baby bump starts to show during the first trimester.

Your abdominal muscles may be stretched by a previous pregnancy, and in some cases, they may not go back to their normal size. As a result, the baby bulge can show up earlier. It is also possible that you start showing way earlier in your first trimester if you’re carrying twins or multiples.

To carry more than one baby, your uterus must expand. Therefore, you might show as soon as six weeks, as opposed to someone carrying a single child who might not show until well after three or four months. Twin pregnancies can be ahead of single pregnancies by a couple of months. Twins are typically genetically predisposed. Twin pregnancies increase a woman’s likelihood of conceiving twins in the future. In vitro fertilization is one of a number of additional factors that raise the likelihood of becoming pregnant with twins.

The Baby Bump Progression

The baby bump progression differs from one pregnant woman to another. But on average, at 12 weeks, your child will be roughly the size of a lemon. You’ll start to detect a tiny bump as your uterus grows to make room, even if others might not be able to see it.

Your baby will be about as big as an avocado as you near week 16. And you’ll probably observe noticeable changes by weeks 20 to 24.

The baby will grow around as big as an eggplant when you start the third trimester and soon will be as big as a pineapple at the 35-week mark. Your baby may reach the size of a watermelon as your due date draws near. By this time, you’ll probably seem pretty full because your body is also storing extra fat needed to sustain the baby and amniotic fluid.

Belly Size During the First Trimester

You will probably start feeling changes in your body from the very first trimester. However, your stomach will probably still won’t show changes at that point. Your unborn child is no bigger than a vanilla seed at three weeks gestation.

By week 13, the last week of your trimester, your baby should be approximately the size of a lemon and weigh around 3 ounces. Many women begin to notice their bellies appear a little changed at this point, but they haven’t quite hit the bump area. Instead, you might merely notice that your stomach protrudes a little bit more than usual as if you just ate a massive lunch.

Know that every woman is different. Just because someone started showing their bump earlier or later, doesn’t mean you will too. You will show when it’s the right time. 

Belly Size During the Second Trimester

Things are definitely beginning to pick up steam now in terms of size. During week 14, you might well be able to sense the top of the uterus if you gently touch between the front of your pubic bone and lower belly – an indication of the impending bump even though it isn’t yet very noticeable.

Furthermore, by week 20, your uterus will have expanded to the point where it is pushing your stomach forward and presenting you almost certainly a small bump. Usually, if you have an innie belly, it will start to protrude just when the rest of your stomach does. After you give birth, it should return to its original shape, although it will be stretchier.

Naturally, all of those changes to the size and form of your tummy are indications that your baby is developing rapidly. The baby is about the diameter of a navel orange at week 14, but by week 27, when the second trimester ends, it has grown to roughly the diameter of a cabbage and is weighing around 1 to 2 pounds.

Belly Size During the Third Trimester

During the last drive, your baby rapidly gains weight, and your tummy gets from huge to rather enormous. Your tummy will most likely have gotten so big by the beginning of your third trimester that you can barely see your legs or toes while you’re standing up.

Your belly will be growing the entire time, and between weeks 34 and 35, your baby will have reached a size equivalent to about a 5-pound sack of flour. You could feel like you can’t really get any larger at this point because your chambers are undoubtedly becoming crowded. But you probably will! Between 35 and 40 weeks, the majority of newborns gain somewhere from 1 to a few more pounds.

Factors that Can Affect the Baby Bump

The timing of a pregnancy show depends on a number of circumstances. Weight, height, and ages are among them.

The Number of Births

Those who have previously given birth may have a first-trimester belly pop. It’s common for abdominal muscles to become relaxed after pregnancy. People who have already given birth frequently begin to show in the first trimester or the first part of the second trimester.


Size has an impact on when a pregnancy is detectable. If there is excess weight around the stomach, when does pregnancy show? In the beginning or first part of the second trimester, the belly may not grow significantly. However, the bump will grow more noticeable as the pregnancy goes on.

Every person carries excess fat a little bit differently due to their individual torso length. This influences how the pregnant tummy appears as well. People who are heavier than average or who are heavier in the middle may discover that their bellies are shaped more like a B than like a D. This is hardly a reason for alarm. For pregnant women of plus size, the B-belly is common. Towards the end of pregnancy, the belly frequently takes on the more typical D shape. Ask your doctor whether there is a reason to be concerned if you are anxious about how you are carrying the baby.

It makes sense that there isn’t one belly form that fits all body types and sizes.


The baby bump may appear early for parents who are in their early 30s or older. People with weak abdominal muscles frequently manifest their pregnancy early so this will be more common in older people.

How the Uterus is Shaped

The uterus’s resting posture affects whether a pregnancy is detectable. People whose uteruses are retroverted (tilted toward the back) may appear later. However, some persons may show considerably sooner due to an anteverted uterus (which slants forward).

Diastasis Recti

The displacement of the muscles anywhere along the midline of the abdomen is known as diastasis recti. The abdominal muscles are pressed against during pregnancy by the expanding uterus. The two broad bands of muscles that connect in the middle ultimately separate. This is recti diastasis.

Where the muscles split, there is frequently a protrusion. It’s absolutely normal for this to happen, so do not panic. This condition goes by the name of ‘diastasis recti’, and mostly develops in those women who have previously given birth.  Similarly, women who have had large babies or are older than 35 also experience the same thing.


Bloating is a prevalent side effect of the bodily changes which will happen when you get pregnant. Bloating can make the baby bump appear larger and may get worse as the pregnancy goes on.

Digestion slows down as a result of the baby’s additional weight and strain. Gas builds up more slowly. This makes it harder to release it. The effect is typically more frequent burping and releasing of gas. Later in pregnancy, bloating brought on by gas buildup gets worse as the uterus grows and exerts more force on the abdominal cavity.

Inaccurate Due Date

The anticipated due date could occasionally be off. The accuracy of ultrasounds and other procedures to determine the due date increases as the gestational period lengthens.

When Should I Be Concerned?

Your bump might not have shown up yet for a variety of reasons. But it is recommended to consult your doctor if you continue not showing in the third trimester. What is beneficial for you and your child can be decided by your doctor.

If you are petite, this could explain why your bump hasn’t developed. The gestational weight of your unborn child in your uterus is periodically checked by your doctor. Once your child is born, their gestational weight will be measured once more. Low gestational weight might cause complications for your unborn child, such as difficulty controlling core temperature, low blood pressure, low oxygen, and breathing issues.

Pregnant women can also easily develop high BP. The chance of your child being undersized for gestational age increases. Your baby’s belly might not be evident because they are small for fetal growth. In addition to these issues, high blood pressure can cause premature birth and infant mortality. To address high blood pressure, you can seek assistance before, all through, and after your pregnancy.

Your belly might not look round or shaped if you are overweight or obese. Your baby’s gestational weight may be very high for its age if you are overweight. Preeclampsia, stillbirth, gestational diabetes mellitus, and emergency cesarean surgery are additional concerns. You should discuss safe and healthy behaviors throughout pregnancy with your doctor.

Don’t Worry About the Size

The early stages of pregnancy are the most exciting, especially for new moms. The first signs of pregnancy are also an exciting feeling, but remember that every woman is different. A lot of factors weigh into whether or not you will show up earlier or later.

You only need to ensure that you stay up to date with your check-ups. Take care of your diet, and in case you are worried about anything, don’t be afraid to call your doctor and arrange an additional check-up. As your delivery date approaches, you will notice the anticipation; you might also get worried, but know that it is all completely normal. Just take a deep breath and know that everything will be alright.

Stephanie Edenburgh

I'm Steph, a mom to 3 beautiful children and lover all things having to do with my family and being a mom. I've learned a lot raising my own children and working in education and healthcare roles throughout my career. Living in beautiful Southern California I enjoy documenting and writing about all of the hard work us mom's do on a daily basis.

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