After you see that positive pregnancy test, the next question on your mind is probably “When am I going to start showing?” As you eagerly await that baby bump and browse for new clothes at the maternity store, you might not be sure when you’re actually going to get to debut them. Most women gain between 15 and 40 pounds during pregnancy, and your first few months will be filled with physical changes. In your eagerness to spot your burgeoning bump, though, you might begin to wonder if you’re starting to show or if you just ate too much chili. Here’s a look at when you can expect to start seeing things – and when others might notice, too!
Weeks 1-6: While you may see a positive pregnancy test by week four, don’t expect a bump this early in your first trimester. It’s possible you’ll even lose weight, especially if morning sickness makes an appearance. You may notice swelling or bloating in your abdomen at times, but this is normal as your body adjusts to an influx pregnancy hormones.
Weeks 7-12: Time to start checking the mirror! You might notice a little bump towards the end of your first trimester. Start searching for your favorite pregnancy-safe body butter or stretch mark lotion as your body undergoes more physical changes, but don’t discard your favorite top just yet. One study found that by 10 weeks, the women in the study had only gained about 1.4 pounds on average. You’ll likely still fit into all of your clothes, but dresses and shirts with tight midsections might start to be uncomfortable. Some women may not start to show until their second trimester, so don’t be concerned if your bump isn’t quite there yet.
Weeks 13-20: That baby bump is blossoming! If other people haven’t started noticing, don’t worry. Pretty soon you’ll be past that awful “Is she pregnant, or is she just chubby?” stage. Celebrate by finding a few comfortable maternity tops or modifying your favorite loose-fitting shirts. Stick to clothes that accommodate your bump and make you feel your best. At this point you may also notice increased weight gain. You’ll gain the most during these next ten weeks: an average of almost a pound a week!
Weeks 21-27: Your baby bump keeps growing as your body tries to keep up with that big baby. You may need to modify your pants with an elastic belly band at this point. There’s no doubt you’re pregnant now!
Weeks 28-40: Your full-on baby belly might mean you can’t see your toes, but luckily you’re in the home stretch. Comfy, stretchy clothes like your favorite pair of leggings or roomiest sweater are your best friends. You’ll still be gaining weight, but it won’t be quite at the rate you were adding on during the second half of your second trimester. Make yourself as comfortable as possible during these final weeks before you welcome your baby into the world.
Remember, every woman’s body is unique, and every pregnancy is different. This is a general outlook of your growing baby bump. Factors such as your BMI and metabolism can affect how and when you start to show. If your pregnancy growth doesn’t fall in line with these projections, don’t panic. Before your baby arrives, you’ll definitely notice a bump! If you’re concerned about your baby bump, the Baby+Company midwives are here to answer any questions you might have so you feel confident, beautiful, and empowered during your pregnancy.