Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience in a woman’s life and a part of being pregnant is the baby bump. You may have seen a lot of celebrities doing photoshoots of their baby bump and it looks glorious. It might make you wonder when you can start flaunting a bump of your own.
On the other hand, you may be worried that you are not ready to look pregnant or the bump will change your look.
If you are someone who’s not yet ready to share the news with the world out there, it’ll come as a relief to know that your pregnancy doesn’t start to show shortly after. It takes some time to reveal the fact that you are pregnant, and it can vary from person to person because each pregnancy is different.
So, when do you usually start showing in pregnancy?
Usually, if it’s the first pregnancy and your body weight is around thin to average, you should start showing between 12 to 16 weeks. But, it’s still too early for the bump to actually be from the baby. At this time, the foetus is usually only about 4 inches long, so the bump is from the expanding uterus.
For the bump to arise from the actual baby, it usually takes longer than that and it varies vastly from person to person.
Are there any factors that affect when you will be showing?
Even though 12 to 16 weeks is the general time frame, a lot of factors come into play to determine when you will start showing pregnancy.
- Which number pregnancy you are at - If it happens to be your first pregnancy, you generally start showing around the beginning of your second trimester. But, if you have been pregnant before, you may start to show as early as the first trimester before 12 weeks.
- If you are pregnant with twins - If you are pregnant with twins or carry more babies, your uterus needs to expand more in order to fit a higher number of babies. In that case, you may start to show as early as 6 weeks.
- Your body weight - Size plays a major role in determining the time you will start to show as well as the shape of your baby bump. If you are someone who has very little fat around your tummy area, you will show much earlier in pregnancy, around the first trimester. If you are on the heavier side, you may not start to show until late in the second trimester or even your third. Also, with lower body fat, you tend to have the generally portrayed D-shape of the belly. But, in plus size or heavier women, it is very common to have a B-shaped belly which only takes on the shape of a full D much later. Either way, it’s completely normal, but if you still have concerns about your pregnancy, it’s advisable to speak to a doctor for proper guidance.
- Your age - People who don’t have strong stomach muscles have a tendency to start showing earlier. This is generally true for people who are older and pregnant in their 30s or beyond that. For younger people, it usually takes some time to start showing since they have stronger abdominal muscles.
- If you are bloating - Bloating is a common symptom of pregnancy and can accentuate your baby bump to quite an extent. In fact, it starts around the first trimester and increases as your pregnancy progresses. Further, gas buildup occurs more as the uterus pushes on the abdominal cavity, causing more bloating. If these start to happen early on, you can count on having a baby bump quite early in the pregnancy.
The shape of your uterus - The shape of your uterus when it is resting can determine if you will show early or late in the pregnancy. If your uterus is tilted back (retroverted uterus), you will take some time to start showing and if your uterus is tilted towards the front (anteverted uterus), then you will start showing earlier.
Should you be worried if you are not showing when you think you should be?
Every woman is different and there isn’t a cookie-cutter mould to determine exactly when and how much should a woman be showing. There are some women who carry babies that are smaller in size, though healthy and they never show that much.
The experience is different for each woman. If you are concerned that you are not showing as much as you should, reach out to your doctor and see if anything is indeed wrong. But know that how much and when you start to show rarely has anything to do with whether or not you have a healthy pregnancy or not.