Baby bump progression: When do you start showing in pregnancy?

You may be wondering when you will 'pop' and have a visible bump.
Written by
Marni Dixit
Reviewed by
Last updated on
June 3, 2024
min read
When Do You Start Showing in Pregnancy? | Kin Fertility
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Pregnancy can be both an exciting and nerve-racking time. Unless you've experienced it before, your body is changing in ways you didn't know possible, and you now have a baby bump to contend with.

If you've recently fallen pregnant, you may be wondering when you will 'pop' and have a visible bump. This can vary significantly between women, so let's look at the factors that may influence how soon you begin showing in pregnancy.

When do pregnant women usually start showing in pregnancy?

Typically, pregnant women start showing within a few months, however, this may take longer. You may also notice changes in your body well before others, as you're likely watching your body much closer than anyone else. 

Often, women will feel very different before they start to look different. This is due to the many changes that occur in your body in the first trimester [1]. Remember to take it easy on yourself, you're growing a person, after all!

Women will usually start to show around the 16 to 20-week mark. However, not every woman will experience pregnancy in the same way and may not start showing until the end of the second trimester or even in the third trimester. 

It's not just your belly that will be growing. Your breasts will also begin to gradually increase in size during this time. Your skin may also be changing due to hormonal changes during pregnancy.

How does the number of pregnancies you've had affect when your baby bump starts showing?

A second pregnancy can feel different to your previous pregnancy, and you may even have other symptoms the second time around.

For example, when it comes to your bump, you might find that it becomes bigger sooner than the first pregnancy. This is because your uterus and stomach muscles have been stretched in this way before. 

You may also feel the baby moving and kicking earlier than you did in your first pregnancy, though this is likely more so because you can more easily recognise the movements. You may also feel more exhausted if you also have to look after your first child while pregnant.

What factors influence when your baby bump starts showing?

Several factors will influence when you start to show. These include:

Body type

Women with a narrow body frame and little body fat tend to show sooner than those with curvier frames. There's no one size or shape for a baby bump, but if you're concerned about the size or any extra weight, it's best to speak with your doctor.

Number of pregnancies

If you've been pregnant before, you might start to show sooner the second time than you did with your first baby, thanks to your relaxed stomach muscles.


If you're in your 30s or older, you may find that your baby bump shows earlier. You may also show earlier if you have weaker stomach muscles, which is more typical in older women.

Uterus shape

Where the uterus sits can determine when a baby bump will be more visible. You may show later if you have a retroverted uterus that tilts towards the back, or you may show earlier if you have an anteverted uterus that slants forward.

Diastasis recti

Diastasis recti is the separation of abdominal muscles. When you are pregnant, the uterus begins to push against the abdominal muscles, causing them to separate.

You may notice a slight bulge where the muscles have separated, which is normal. If you've had a baby before, diastasis recti is more common.


Bloating is very common in pregnancy and can exaggerate the size of the growing belly. Our body needs to stay hydrated and healthy at the best of times and this also aids in reducing bloating.

Kin's Electrolyte Powder is packed with ingredients that work together to keep you hydrated, healthy and energised.

Electrolytes and vitamin C are essential for keeping your water levels up and for providing essential nutrients to support your body’s mineral and fluid balance.

Carrying multiples

If you are carrying twins or more than 2 babies, you will likely start showing sooner in the pregnancy, and your bump will continue to grow more quickly than women with single babies.

Why do some people start showing earlier?

One of the most common reasons you may start showing earlier than you'd expect to is bloating.

During pregnancy, your body retains more water thanks to an increase in hormones. So what may appear to be your baby bump could actually be bloating. Try to drink plenty of water, eat enough fibre, and eat smaller meals to help with the bloat.

As mentioned above, the way your uterus sits may also change how soon you begin showing.

Why is my belly so big at 6 weeks pregnant?

You may think your belly is growing fast simply because you can notice every change in your body. At 6 weeks, you're unlikely to be able to see much of a bump just yet [2].

Bloating and cramping may be the reason behind this feeling, but it may also be due to stress. Try implementing some mindfulness and meditation to manage anxiety.  

Can you start showing at 8 weeks?

You may start showing at 8 weeks, but if you're not, that's also normal [1]. When you're at 8 weeks, your uterus is still expanding, but it will likely take a little while to start showing. At this point, your baby is about the size of a raspberry.

In the first 8 weeks, you will likely put on around 0.5 to 2kg, however, if you suffer from morning sickness, this may not occur [3].

You may not even start measuring your growing bump until the second trimester, so don't worry too much about its size at this stage in the pregnancy.

What should baby bump progression look like?

Baby bump progression will vary from person to person. However, in general, your baby will likely be about the size of a lemon at 12 weeks, and you may start to notice your bump as the uterus grows.

At 16 weeks, your baby may be about the size of an avocado. By 20, it will be similar in size to a banana, and at 24 weeks, it's similar to a rockmelon.

When you reach 28 weeks, your baby is the size of an eggplant; by the 35th week, it's the size of a pineapple. As your due date approaches, your baby will be about the size of a watermelon. You will also have a lot of fluid and extra fat to nourish the baby, so your bump may look quite big at this point.

Throughout your pregnancy, you want to take good care of yourself and implement some self-care rituals into your day. Taking prenatal vitamins is one of the best ways to help you meet nutritional needs during pre-conception and pregnancy.

Kin's Prenatal Vitamins have been formulated to include 12 highly bioavailable ingredients to help you meet those nutritional needs. The inclusion of methylated folate means that anyone can use it, even if you have trouble absorbing folic acid.

Unlike many traditional vitamins, Kin's Prenatal Vitamins also include low-constipation iron for blood health, omega-3 for brain growth and choline for brain function — so you get all the good stuff and none of the nasty side effects. 

What if you're not showing but feel like you should be?

If you're pregnant and not showing, it may be that the foetus is positioned in a way that is causing your body to appear the same as it was pre-pregnancy. It could also be that the way your body weight is distributed, you can't see a prominent baby bump, even though you may expect to.

But remember, there's no specific time that a mum-to-be is meant to start showing. Every woman is different in how they show, and it doesn't necessarily mean anything bad if you aren't showing as much as you thought you would. 

If you're worried, it's best to speak with your OB-GYN. 

Image credit: Getty Images

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