Just the other day after binging at an all-you-can-eat sushi joint, I could not help but be aware of the added strain the waistband of my yoga pants (I came prepared) had taken on.
My stomach had grown at least two or three inches.
My tee-shirt was taut.
During the stroll (waddle) to my ride in the parking lot, I couldn’t help but overhear a woman excitedly telling her overseas husband that yes, they were pregnant!
She’d take a picture and send it but, she said, you couldn’t even tell.
“When do you start showing in pregnancy?” she asked.
It can take a lot longer than a solid 2 hour sushi spree, lemme tell ya.
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You Don’t Know When You’ll Start To Show
You have just found out you’re pregnant and you want to share it to the world.
One of the best ways to do that: to have your round belly proudly leading your way.
But when does that round belly start to show?
Here’s the answer, and you’re not going to like it: it depends.
The Growth Of A Baby
Just to put things in perspective, let’s first take into account how big your bubs is while he’s in there.
- 4 weeks: A poppyseed
- 8 weeks: A cranberry bean
- 12 weeks: A passion fruit or lemon
- 16 weeks: A large avocado
- 20 weeks: A small artichoke
We’re stopping the list at week 20 (second trimester of pregnancy) since by then, most moms are showing.
[Read more: How Far Along Am I]
Keep in mind that there is a lot more in that uterus of yours than a baby that resembles the size of fruit.
Fruit relative size of the tiny human you are growing and all aside…
There are other factors which will affect just how soon that tummy of yours begins to swell:
- How Many Pregnancies You’ve Had
This one “factor” of when you start to show in pregnancy may not tell you exactly when, but you can be sure that when you start to show in your second, third or any following pregnancies that it will probably be sooner than the first.
In your first pregnancy, your cute widdle baby bump may not be apparent before you clear the 12 weeks or even the 16-week mark (some moms may hardly show at all until 20 weeks pregnant or heck… not show at all!).
With each pregnancy, because your uterus has already been stretched out and understands the game plan, you will start to show weeks sooner.
- How Old You Are
There are a lot of benefits to being an older mom: you’re usually more financially stable (got that health care!), you have a more grounded relationship, and you are a heck of a lot wiser.
As it turns out, you will probably also start to show your pregnancy sooner.
This isn’t always the case though.
The reason why younger women do not show as early is that they tend to have stronger stomach or abdominal muscles.
But if you’ve been hitting the gym hard and planking like crazy, your bump may still remain undetected for quite some time. You may not even have any pregnancy symptoms.
- Your Mother’s Genes
Want to know how to best determine when you will start to look to look preggers?
Ask your mom, your sister, your aunties or any other female relatives you have on your mother’s side.
This will probably give you a great idea of when your bump will finally put a good ol’ sushi bloat to shame.
If You Are Showing Super Early
If your belly is revealing that pregnancy sooner than expected, it could be due to a number of reasons such as:
- Bloating (a very common early pregnancy symptom)
- Constipation (yet another very common early pregnancy symptom)
- Water retention
- An increase in fat (yeah, it happens)
Another reason why you may be showing earlier is that you could be expecting multiples. Hooray!
image source: YouTheDaddy
If You Are Showing Super Late
We’ve all seen the news stories about women who “never knew they were pregnant” and delivered in some strange and obscure location or the stories where women knew they were pregnant and still never appeared to be so.
“Liars!” we hissed at our televisions and computer screens.
But the fact is, some women may not show as much as others.
The primary reason why women may not notice they are pregnant is that they already have a bit of extra weight (no shame, ladies). Because of this, it can take longer for your bump to become apparent.
Another reason is that a mom may have what is called a “retroverted uterus” (this means that your uterus has a backward tilt rather than a frontwards tilt).
This tilt usually corrects itself as the baby grows and does not affect how your baby grows, but it can delay the beloved baby bump which you will soon be swatting strangers’ hands away from.
Love Your Belly, No Matter What!
Whether you show at 8 weeks, 12 weeks or are barely getting comments at the 20-week mark (halfway, baby!) the most important thing is to:
- Ignore the weird and completely inappropriate/unwarranted comments offered by others. Most people mean well, but they do not think their comments through.
- Your baby is healthy as can be regardless of your tummy size.
- You’re creating life, mama. There is nothing greater than that.
Have a question about your belly or a story to share?
We want to hear it!
Post it in the comments below.