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When Do You Start Showing in Pregnancy?

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.

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.


“1st Trimester Pregnancy: What to Expect.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Feb. 2020,

“Pregnancy and Your Stomach Muscles.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Aug. 2017,

“The Second Trimester.” The Second Trimester | Johns Hopkins Medicine,