After finding out you’re pregnant, a big question on your mind might be, When will I start showing? The short answer is that it depends.
Pregnancy isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, and some people start showing earlier than others. That said, the average size of a fetus during each stage of development can provide some clues about when you might see a bump.
When do most people start showing?
Most pregnant folks begin to show between 12 and 16 weeks. However, some start showing earlier, and others may not have a noticeable bump until 20 weeks or later. Factors like your starting weight, whether you’ve had children before, and whether you’re carrying multiples can affect how soon you show.
By the end of the first month of pregnancy, fetuses are about a quarter-inch long — or roughly the size of a grain of rice. At the end of the second month, they quadruple in size. At this point, your baby is only about an inch long. On its own, this isn’t enough for a noticeable bump.
However, throughout the first trimester, as the uterus expands and the placenta develops, you might see hints of a growing belly. By the end of the third month (and first trimester), your baby will be around 4 inches long and weigh about an ounce.
If you aren’t showing after 12 weeks, you’ll probably start noticing a bump heading into the second trimester. At 16 weeks, babies are 6 inches long and weigh 4 ounces on average. By week 20 (the halfway mark), they’re roughly 10 inches long and weigh somewhere between a half-pound to a pound. More than likely, you’ll be showing at this point.
Should I be concerned if I’m not showing?
When your experience with pregnancy differs from others, it can be hard to know what’s “normal” and what’s a cause for concern. Generally, a hidden baby bump before 20 weeks isn’t out of the ordinary. People start showing at different times, and showing later doesn’t usually imply anything is wrong.
By 20 weeks, you’ll probably start having more frequent visits with your healthcare provider. They’ll check for a heartbeat at these appointments and let you know if anything’s amiss. Those who aren’t showing by the end of the second trimester (week 26) or into the third could be at risk for having a baby with a low birth weight. However, this will also be monitored with an ultrasound by your healthcare provider.
Whether you show earlier, later, or in line with the average, remember everyone and every baby are different, which means all bumps are unique.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- Thorpe, E. When do you start showing in pregnancy? Mother & Baby. Web. https://www.motherandbaby.co.uk/pregnancy/when-do-you-start-showing-in-pregnancy
- Cleveland Clinic. Fetal Development: Stages of Growth. Cleveland Clinic Health Library. 2020. Web. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7247-fetal-development-stages-of-growth
- Johns Hopkins Health. The First Trimester. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Web. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-first-trimester
- Rochester Medical Center Health Encyclopedia. Low Birth Weight. Web. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=90&contentid=p02382