pregnant woman having a small baby bump

After knowing about the pregnancy, the most exciting and awaited time for the expecting couple is to see the baby bump. Females expecting a baby  are most curious to know “When will I look pregnant?” If you ask a doctor about the baby bump, most doctors say that there is no certainty on when the baby bump starts showing. Basically, it varies from female to female, depending on various factors. (Also Read: How does pregnancy change the female? )


When will my baby bump show in the first pregnancy?

pregnant female touching her small baby belly in early pregnancy

It might sound surprising, but the number of pregnancies a female has had can affect how early her baby bump starts showing. Typically, in case it’s your first pregnancy, you will start noticing your baby bump in the second trimester, between weeks 12 to 16.  

When will your Baby Bump Start Showing?

 The baby bump is visible early in some females and little later in others. In some females, the bump is not clearly visible even when they are well into their second trimester. 

Ideally, the baby bump starts showing after crossing the 12th week. The expanding uterus and growth beyond the pelvic girdle during pregnancy makes the belly grow during pregnancy. The amniotic fluid (protective liquid in the amniotic sac) also increases around this phase, which makes the belly look larger. 

When will my baby bump show in the show if I’m having twins?

If a female is expecting twins or multiples, she can possibly notice her baby bump before the end of her first trimester. In the case of twins or multiples, the female’s uterus needs to grow larger to accommodate more than just one baby. So the female might notice her baby bump as early as week 6 of pregnancy.

When will my baby bump show in the second pregnancy?

If you have been pregnant before, do not be surprised if you see your baby bump earlier. After one or more previous pregnancies, it is not uncommon to develop a baby bump in the first trimester only. 

A previous pregnancy can potentially stretch the female’s stomach muscles, and at times, the muscles may not return to their original size. Because of this change, the female’s baby bump might be visible early.

9 Factors that determine when your baby bump will start showing

There are various factors that determine when your baby bump will start showing and the pregnancy will become visible to others around. Below are given the 9 such factors that affect the visibility of the baby bump- 

1. Expecting Mother’s Age

The age of the mother-to-be is one of the biggest factors to determine the appearance of the baby bump. First-time mothers start to show the baby bump around 12- 16 weeks. 


2. Pregnant with Twins or Triplets 


A pregnant woman with twins or triplets will obviously have symptoms related to pregnancy earlier than normal. In the case of twins (or being pregnant with more than 1 baby), more space is required in the womb to accommodate multiple babies than just one baby. Thus, if the mother-to-be is expecting multiple babies, she will start showing the baby bump commonly in the first trimester itself.

3. Expecting Mother’s Body Weight

pregnant women sitting on a couch

If the pregnant female is overweight or has extra flabs (or fat)  around her abdomen, the baby bump may be visible a few weeks later as compared to a female of normal weight. Fat or flabs around the belly can hide the bump. However, the bump will become visible around 18 weeks of the gestation period, when the baby starts growing bigger. (Also Read: Pregnancy Diet Chart- What to eat during pregnancy? )


4. Mother’s Physique

fat pregnant woman

The physique of the pregnant female also has an influence on determining when the baby bump will be prominent and visible. A tall and well-built female generally starts showing the bump 3–4 weeks as later than the usual, compared to a female who is short and thin. (Also Read: Itchiness During Pregnancy? Here Are A Few Tips For Would-be Mothers )

 5. Previous Pregnancies

pregnant woman and her son on a bed

During the first pregnancy, the belly bump may show up a little bit later. For the next pregnancies, the bump may be visible early. It is so because the fascia (a band made of fibrous tissues) is already stretched in the previous pregnancy (or pregnancies). As a result, the fascia will be more elastic in later pregnancies. The uterus also becomes larger, after already being stretched during the first pregnancy. So, the bump is visible more and early in later pregnancies. 

6. Genetic Factors

pregnant woman with an old woman

If the pregnant female has a family history of women relatives whose baby-bump showed early (or later) during their pregnancy, she may also have the same pattern. The female, in such cases, may have the baby bump visible earlier or later than the normal times. 

7. Uterus Positioning

ultrasound of a baby

In females having a retroverted uterus (the case in which the uterus is inclined towards the rear of the hip), the baby bump may appear later, as compared to women with a normal uterus. Similarly, in females with an anteverted uterus (the case in which the uterus is inclined forward), the bump may be visible earlier, even in the first trimester.

8. Unborn Baby’s size

pregnant woman

Generally, the size of the unborn baby directly influences the visibility of early or late baby bump. If the baby is small (or smaller than the normal)  in size, the bump may be visible much later than in normal pregnancies. Similarly, if the size of the unborn baby is big, the bump generally shows up early.

9. Type of clothing the female wears 

pregnant woman in a tight dress

During pregnancy, wearing tight-fitted clothes, especially surrounding the belly area, can make the bump more obvious. On the other hand, the baby bump may not be noticed easily in pregnant females who wear loose-fitting clothes. 

Wrongly interpreted”early baby belly”  

A bloated stomach is common during pregnancy. Bloating or gas due to constipation can cause a bloated stomach, which makes it look like an early baby belly. The gas may cause the belly to expand, which can be wrongly interpreted as a bump. 

Additionally, some females may experience water retention in their lower belly, hands, legs, and face. This can also make the belly look big and make it look like an early baby bump. Do not mix up such bloating with your baby belly. 

Final Words 

pregnant woman at doctor

Whether the pregnancy is showing or not, it is not a major thing to worry about. Until there are other troubling symptoms, it is not much of a cause for concern. Sooner or later, your baby bump will be visible to all. It is important for the mom-to-be to eat healthily, get good sleep, stay relaxed and avoid stress as much as possible. In order to give birth to a healthy baby, the mother needs to take care of all her physical and mental needs.  Stay calm, happy and healthy during your pregnancy to have a healthy baby in your lap soon. 

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