When will I start to show? Early Pregnancy

iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Woman touching her belly during early stage of pregnancy.
iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz
When do you go from looking like you gained a few pounds to clearly pregnant? See what a doctor and moms say.

It Depends

"A lot depends upon body build, and baseline weight. Most women show earlier in repeat pregnancies -- often within the first trimester -- and can hide things longer in a first pregnancy. This is the result of the fact that the abdominal muscles have already been stretched out, so they're not as taut. They sort of 'let the uterus hang out' earlier." -- Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale University, New Haven, CT

You Might Show Earlier the Second Time

"The uterus doesn't change in size or grow faster the second time around, but what is different is that your rectus abdominal muscles have been stretched out from your last pregnancy. In a woman's first pregnancy the rectus muscles are tighter and can hold the growing uterus better, thus causing you to show earlier. Each time after, the muscles are weaker and do not hold the uterus in as well. This is why you tend to show faster." -- Yvonne Bohn, MD, OB/GYN at Providence Saint John's Health Center, Santa Monica, CA

Body Type Can Play a Role

"I'm a 'big' girl -- always had a tummy on me. So I didn't really show until I was six to seven months pregnant with my first baby. This time, I'm 12 weeks and still not 'showing' but wearing bigger shirts and dresses for comfort."

Bloating May Happen

"With my first I didn't tell anyone I was pregnant until they started noticing -- around 20 weeks. With my second pregnancy, I got so bloated around eight weeks and 'looked' pregnant, but of course the baby was still too small to be causing a bump. I'm 16 weeks now and the bloating is much better and I'm finally starting to get the real baby belly!"

Baby's Position Can Factor In

"With my daughter and son, I didn't show until after 20 weeks. This time, I showed around 15 weeks because she is really high. I have a feeling I'm going to be huge!"

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.