When Do You Start Showing?

If you've just found out you're pregnant, congratulations! Alternatively, you might have known for some time and may be curious about when your pregnancy will be apparent to the rest of the world, too. No matter where you are in your journey, you might be wondering “when will I start showing?” Although we can't tell you exactly when a baby bump typically starts to show (every mom-to-be is unique, after all), we can describe some of the factors at play.

When Do You Typically Start Showing During Pregnancy?

The time at which pregnancy starts to show is different for each pregnant woman. It could be that between about week 13 and week 16 of your pregnancy, you may notice your jeans starting to get a bit snug. This can occur as your uterus starts to grow and reach upward, beyond the pelvis.

Then, somewhere around the 20-week mark, your healthcare provider will start to measure your fundal height, which is the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your belly button. Around this point, you might begin to see significant belly growth, if you haven't already. How exciting!

You know your body better than anyone, so when you do start showing, you'll be the first to know! If you're at all concerned about the size of your belly, chat with your healthcare provider.

Reasons Your Baby Bump May Start to Show Sooner

Although you might just have to be patient as you eagerly wait for your bump to appear, there are a few situations in which you might start showing sooner than other pregnant women.

  • In very early pregnancy, a surge in pregnancy hormones can lead to a variety of symptoms, one of which is bloating. This puffiness can seem like the start of a small baby bump but it's obviously not quite the same thing. At this early stage (say, around eight weeks of pregnancy), the uterus and your baby are still very small, and any growth in your waistline can be chalked up to hormones or some slight early pregnancy weight gain.
  • Twin pregnancy. If you're pregnant with twins or multiples, the time when you start showing might come a little earlier. You'll likely be gaining weight more quickly than if you were pregnant with a single baby, so your waistline may thicken a little sooner.
  • Second pregnancy. Although there's no one-size-fits-all as to when you might start showing, if this is your second pregnancy you might start showing sooner. This is just one way your second pregnancy can be different from your first. Why do you start showing sooner during a second pregnancy? Your abdominal muscles will have stretched during your first pregnancy and may not have entirely gone back to their original position, so this time your bump might protrude earlier.

What to Do When You’re Ready to Reveal Your Bump

When you decide to reveal your exciting news is entirely up to you. It could be that you're ready to let people know well before your bump is visible. Or you might want to wait until your bump makes your pregnancy a little more obvious.

Some moms-to-be can't wait to spread the word as soon as their pregnancy is confirmed. Others wait until they've made it to the second trimester, when the chance of miscarriage is much lower. And then there are those who prefer to go with the flow and see how they feel.

When you decide to share the news will also depend on who you're telling. For example, you might want to share the news with your partner right away, but wait much longer to reveal your pregnancy to your coworkers.

When the time is right, enjoy sharing your great news. Although there are tons of ways to celebrate and announce your pregnancy, here are two fun, easy ideas to help get you started:

  • Send specially designed Pregnancy Announcement Cards. Our printable announcement cards help you spread the word with friends and family in style.
  • Snap pics for social media. Our Bump to Baby Pregnancy Milestone Cards help you capture the progress of your pregnancy each month, so you and your nearest and dearest can watch that bump blossom.

What to Do When You’re Not Quite Ready to Share Your News

If you'd rather keep things under wraps for the time being, that's OK, too. One strategy is to stick to loose-fitting clothes until you're ready to reveal your changing shape. Maternity clothes might be more comfortable as your pregnancy progresses, but keep in mind that some styles are actually designed to help accentuate your belly, which you may not be ready for at this time.

Although your pregnancy might not have started to show yet, you may be dealing with some early pregnancy symptoms that you'd rather your whole office didn't know about. For example, if morning sickness strikes, try keeping crackers and ginger tea at your desk to help settle your stomach when nausea hits.


  • Will I start showing as early as eight weeks?

Because those pregnancy hormones are working overtime at this point, any increase in belly size that you see or feel might simply be bloating, which is a common symptom of early pregnancy. As your uterus starts to expand in a few weeks’ time, you may notice that you’re starting to show.

  • When should I start wearing maternity clothes?

When (and if) you start to wear maternity clothes is entirely up to you. As your belly grows and your pregnancy starts to show, your regular clothes may become tight, and you might like to switch to maternity wear or simply just choose the looser tops and pants you already have in your wardrobe.

Consider investing in a few good maternity bras, because your belly isn’t the only part of you that’s growing! Some shops can provide you with a professional fitting. Look for bras that have

  • wide straps
  • full-coverage cups
  • extra hooks to grow with you.

There's no clear-cut answer when it comes to when you'll start showing because every pregnant woman's body shape and pregnancy is unique. Try not to compare your experience with others' or even to an earlier pregnancy. Sooner or later your bump will start to show, and it will be exciting to see how your body changes as your pregnancy progresses.

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