Having a baby bump is the long-awaited part of pregnancy. You suffered through the morning sickness and endless fatigue, but you’re ready to have something to show for the hard work. You might wonder when do you start showing for your first, second, or further pregnancies.
The answer is – it differs for everyone and every pregnancy. All women are different, and you’ll likely show at different times than other mothers. You might even show differently for each pregnancy. It’s not abnormal to show sooner with your second than your third.
When you start to show shouldn’t be a cause of stress, but it can be frustrating. It feels nice to have a baby bump to show off, and I felt like it showed people why I felt so miserable at times.
If you’re wondering what it looks like when you have multiple pregnancies or when you might show with your first baby, here is what you need to know.
When Will I Start Showing?
On average, a woman will develop a small baby bump between 12-16 weeks pregnant, but it might only be noticeable to you. Showing before or after this time frame is reasonable as well.
It’s easy to confuse a baby bump with bloating, but bloating comes and goes. If you feel like you have a small baby bump, but it goes away by the next day, your body is bloating. Don’t feel bad; that bloating will go away and be replaced by a baby bump that won’t leave until several months.
Several factors determine when you’ll start showing with each baby. Your pregnancies are unique and different, and all of my baby bumps showed up at different times than my previous ones. I had no rhyme or reason!
Here are some of the factors that will cause a difference in your baby bump appearance.
- Fitness Level
- Uterus Position
- Baby’s Position
- Multiples or Not
- Any Previous Pregnancies
- Any Previous Abdominal Surgeries
My height made a difference for me. I’m 5’11,” and my weight distribution is different. The doctor always told me that my babies had a lot of space to spread out considering the size of my torso, so I wasn’t as large, typically, as someone shorter than me.
Here’s how women with shorter torso feel like during pregnancy.
Fitness levels make a huge difference! I don’t exercise much, but my friend who does never developed a large baby bump. Part of that was because her abdominal muscles are much stronger than mine.
Age matters as well. Young mothers show later than middle-aged mothers; this provided true for me as well.
Everyone knows that carrying multiples will change how quickly your baby bump develops. When carrying more than one fetus, your uterus will extend above your pubic bone by 12 weeks or sooner. Your belly pops faster with multiples, and it’s typically rounder and larger in general.
In fact, some multiples will begin to show as early as six weeks – that’s a considerable difference compared with the 12-16 weeks average of a singleton pregnancy. Your uterus needs to stretch more than it would with one baby.
When Will I Show If I’m Overweight?
Plus-size pregnancy is different, and you might be worried that you will look larger rather than looking pregnant. Unfortunately, some women never develop an apparent pregnant belly or have a B-belly, which isn’t the large D-belly that most women expect during pregnancy.
If you’re plus-size and preparing for a C-section, here is what you must know!
No matter if you show or not, your fundal height should be at your belly button around 20 weeks. Some overweight women show sooner than others if it’s all in their belly region.
When Did I Show with My Second, Third, and Fourth Pregnancies?
All of my pregnancies were different, making it frustrating and hard to figure out when I would show for each one. It’s normal for it to take time in your first pregnancy to develop a bump; mine wasn’t noticeable to others until closer to 20 weeks. While I knew I had a baby bump before then, others didn’t notice.
In my second and third pregnancies, my bump appeared much faster. By the time that I was 12 weeks in my third pregnancy, I had a clear and noticeable bump. I looked solidly pregnant by the time I was 16 weeks; there was no mistaking it.
My fourth was different.
While my bump appeared around 14 weeks, it grew much slower than my previous two pregnancies. By the end, I was the biggest I had ever been, but it took longer to get to that point than the other ones.
When I compare my four pregnancies, my first baby bump’s growth was the slowest of all, and I was the youngest then. I had my first child at 20 years old, and my belly was never large. I delivered my fourth baby when I was 29, and I grew slow (but not as slow), but by the end, I was huge!
Age plays a factor.
Another thing that could have potentially made a difference was that my second and third pregnancies were for boys. My first and fourth children are girls, and my baby bumps developed slower. However, that’s not a scientific fact – just a simple observation I had!
Why Do You Show Earlier With Each Pregnancy?
Everyone always wonders why you show earlier with future pregnancies than your first one. It has to do with your abdominal muscles.
Your abdominal muscles, even if you don’t work out or are overweight, are stronger during your first pregnancy than your next ones. It takes time for them to stretch out and accommodate your growing baby bump.
By the time you have your future babies, your uterus and abdominal muscles are ready; they know what they’re doing. Essentially, your body is already prepped and prepared for whatever is coming its way for this next pregnancy.
Believe it or not, your uterus will never shrink back down to its original size. It will always be slightly larger after you have your first baby, so it has a jump start to begin growing the next baby. In some cases, you can show up to one month earlier for your next pregnancy, thanks to this headstart.
Being Patient is Hard
Every woman is different, so when you show with your first, second, third, and fourth pregnancies will vary greatly. Remember that not showing until later or showing earlier than average doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your pregnancy. Some women have the smallest bellies until the end, and others pop out like watermelons instantly. Your baby bump time is coming close!
Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.
I’m passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I’ve faced it over the last ten years. Read more about Linda here.