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When Do You Start Getting a Baby Bump When Pregnant?

by Bridget Coila

Whether you're eager to show off your baby bump as soon as it possible or you're wondering how long you'll be able to fit into your favorite jeans before switching to maternity clothes, understanding when you are likely to start showing can help you schedule your public pregnancy announcement and plan your wardrobe strategy. While all women are different and start to show at different times, it can be useful to know when your baby will start affecting your physical appearance.

First Pregnancy Baby Bumps

For most first-time moms, a baby bump first develops sometime between 12 and 16 weeks of pregnancy, the early weeks of the second trimester, but others won't start to show until after the 20th week. The bump develops when the uterus enlarges enough to rise above the pubic bone where it can push out your abdomen and become an undeniable baby bump. Women who are taller tend to show later than shorter women do, and the speed at which you've gained weight during your pregnancy can also affect when you start to show. Stomach bloating early in pregnancy can sometimes be mistaken for a developing baby bump.

Shifted Organs Lead to Variation

Sometimes the direction your uterus is tilted can make a difference in the timing of your developing baby bump. A "retroverted" uterus, one that tilts to the back, hides your pregnancy longer, so if you have this kind of tilt, you might not notice a bump until a little later in your pregnancy. An "anteverted" uterus, one that tilts forward, might start pushing out on your belly a little earlier than 12 weeks, giving you a baby bump while you're still in your first trimester.

A Visible Second Pregnancy

Second pregnancies usually show earlier than first pregnancies. This occurs because the fascia in the abdomen have already been stretched during the first pregnancy and move aside more easily the second time around. Also, the uterus starts out larger than during the first pregnancy because of the stretching that has already occurred. As your bump develops further, you'll likely notice that you carry your baby lower during your second pregnancy, too.

Multiple Babies and Bigger Bumps

When you're carrying twins or triplets, your timeline for almost everything in your pregnancy gets pushed up a bit, including when you develop your baby bump. Two or more babies in your uterus require a lot more room than a singleton would, so a mom-to-be carrying multiples may start showing sometime during the first trimester.

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