Some expectant mothers look forward to growing a bump. They’re so excited about their news they’d like to show it out. Others would rather keep it quiet when the chance of loss is lower until the second trimester. Your growing belly becomes your own personal billboard, shouting your news without you having to say a word. There is no set time for mothers to start showing a pregnant belly because each woman is different. When do most women who are pregnant begin to show?
If you are a first time mom, you can start developing a baby bump at any time between 12 to 16 weeks. But if it’s not your first baby, you might start showing up earlier. This is because you may already have stretched the muscles in your uterus (womb) and belly from your last pregnancy.
Your uterus is a pear shape in the early days of pregnancy. It gradually rounds over the first 12 weeks until it is about the size of a grapefruit. That’s when you can start forming your bump. Your bump’s early growth is caused only in part by your growing baby. Your baby is an embryo before 11 weeks. The baby still does not need a lot of room. Instead, you might just feel a little bigger around the middle as your uterus grows to support your little baby. Your uterus will stretch at 16 weeks of pregnancy to fit your growing baby. That’s when you can really start showing your bump.
When you start to look pregnant, your age can affect you. Older mothers often begin to show earlier than young mothers. This is because younger women are more likely to have stronger muscles in the stomach that may disguise their bumps. Your genes can affect when you start to look pregnant, too. Ask your relatives on the side of your mother when they started to show their bumps. This can give you some insight as to when your bump will appear. Your size can also play a part in when you will start to look pregnant. If you carry some extra weight around your tummy, in the early stages of pregnancy your bump may be hidden. But you’ll soon notice a growing bump as your baby grows up. If your belly grows sooner than expected, it might be because of your body laying down fat for your baby, water retention, bloating from wind, constipation, a common in pregnancy. Another possibility is that you may be carrying multiples.
Try not to worry if you show up later than expected. You may have an uterus retroverted. This means your uterus is tilting more to the back than to the front. Approximately 15% of women have a retroverted uterus. This will not affect the growth of your baby. Usually, the backward tilt is corrected as your expanding uterus moves out of your pelvis and into your abdomen.
Your baby’s health, in most cases, has no bearing on your baby’s bump size. If there’s any reason to worry about your bump’s size, your doctor will arrange an ultrasound scan to make sure you’ve got the right due date.