Now you’re pregnant, you might be eagerly wondering when your bump will start showing, especially if the happy news has now been shared with family and friends and you’re no longer worried about having to potentially hide any signs of your baby.

And while the likes of morning sickness isn’t a particularly nice side effect of pregnancy, your growing bump is an exciting process to watch and a physical sign your little baby is cooking away nicely in your tummy. If you’re wondering when you can expect your bump to start showing, we spoke to midwife Louise Broadbridge from Let’s Talk Birth and Baby to find out more…

When do you start showing with a first pregnancy?

“The appearance of your baby bump can be an exciting part of pregnancy as it gives justification to the last weeks of maybe feeling a little ropey,” says Louise. “However, every woman is different and will see these changes take place at different times. In first pregnancies, your bump may be a little slower to the party and can be expected between 12 and 16 weeks.”

When do you start to show with a second pregnancy?

It may surprise you to learn that when you’ve already had a baby, you could see your bump sooner than the first-time round. “It is possible you may notice a little bump sooner than in your first pregnancy. This is generally due to the muscles and ligaments having expanded once before and is nothing to worry about,” reassures Louise.

When do you start to show in a pregnancy with twins?

If you’re pregnant with more than one baby, you can expect to see that baby bump of yours sooner rather than later. “It is likely that, as your uterus is having to expand more to accommodate your babies, that you show before the end of your first trimester. All part and parcel of hosting a little party in there!” says Louise.

Why do some people show earlier?

It’s easy to compare your bump to other women who are due around the same time as you but there could be plenty of reasons for this so try not to get bogged down by it. “Every woman is different and so it makes sense that all bumps are not created the same! Women with very strong abdominal muscles may not see a bump until later on in pregnancy due to the uterus being held closer to the body,” explains Louise. Equally second and subsequent pregnancies can show sooner as the muscles have already stretched before.”

The size you were pre-pregnancy can have an impact of when you start to show too as if you carry extra weight around your stomach, this may mean your bump is hidden in the early stages of your pregnancy. It’s worth checking in with female family members who have had babies too as genes can also play a part in when you start to look pregnant too. Ask the female relatives on your mum’s side about when their baby bumps appeared as this could give you some indication of when you can expect to see yours too.

What if you’re not showing and feel like you should be?

“Try not to worry if your bump isn’t showing yet. The position of your uterus can make it easy for your bump to be hidden away and in just the same way can make it easy for it to be seen earlier,” reassures Louise. “It is only later in the second trimester that the growth of your bump will be monitored.” Try to be patient but if you’re fretting, speak to your midwife. Remember they will already be monitoring your bump at your appointments and will act accordingly.

Baby bump progression

Baby bump progression is different for every mum-to-be but as a general rule, your baby will be roughly two inches – which is about the size of a small plum when you are 12 weeks pregnant. As you hit week 16, she or he will be the size of an avocado and as you approach week 24, you’ll be able to really notice the difference as your baby will be almost a foot long now, your baby is about the same length as an ear of corn. And as that due date approaches, your baby could end up being as big as a watermelon!

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Having worked for Mother&Baby magazine for four years where she wrote news and product pages, features and  interviewed celebrities such as Paloma Faith, Fearne Cotton and Alex Jones, Emily now works as Digital Writer for Mother&Baby online.

A fondness for travel, chocolate and her sausage dog Luna, in her spare time. Emily also runs the lifestyle blog, Musings & More.