When Do You Start To Look Pregnant?

When you first get pregnant, everything looks pretty normal from the outside.

Your baby is so very tiny, your belly looks like it did before you were pregnant.

Some women do notice their clothes get tight fairly quickly.

But this isn’t due to the size of the baby.

Those tight pants are more likely due to early pregnancy bloating – thanks to those all important pregnancy hormones.

When Do You Start To Look Pregnant?

Unfortunately, it takes some time for the uterus and baby to grow big enough to have a nice, round belly we associate with being pregnant.

So you will have to be patient while you wait to look properly pregnant.

Every woman and every pregnancy is different.

There are various factors which make a difference to how quickly a belly will show.

For example, how many times you’ve been pregnant before, muscle tone, if you have a retroverted uterus, and other things.

But generally speaking, in the first trimester, it’s really hard to notice the difference between your normal belly or a few extra kilos!

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I remember when I hit the 13 week mark during my first pregnancy, I had a big meltdown!

None of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit any more, nor did any maternity wear. I just felt podgy.

I didn’t have the beautiful round belly – it just looked like I had a squishier belly.

I had to go shopping for some ‘in-between’ pants that were a size or two up.

Think elasticated, stretchy waistbands which could accomodate my bloated tummy.

These were much more comfortable and didn’t cut off my circulation when sitting down.

Plenty of women in that in-between stage will opt for stretchy leggings.

Or even maternity bands which can be used on your regular pants, leaving your button and zipper open.

When Does Your Belly Pop Out?

For most women, their bellies tend to pop at around the four and a half month mark (18 weeks) onwards, and their belly is quite noticeable by 5 months.

If it’s your first pregnancy, it will very likely take you longer to show than subsequent pregnancies.

Some first time mothers say that they didn’t really start to show or get noticed as being pregnant until well into the 20-28 week point.

The second trimester is a great one – usually morning sickness has reduced or disappeared, you have much more energy and feel better… and you have a cute little belly to show for it.

It’s a great time to enjoy being pregnant.

Find out when BellyBelly Forum members felt that they looked pregnant in our discussion here.

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Kelly Winder

Kelly Winder is the Content Director at BellyBelly, a writer, doula (trained in 2005), and a mother of three awesome children. She's passionate about informing and educating parents and parents-to-be about all things pregnancy, birth and parenting... especially about all the things she wishes she knew before she had her firstborn. Kelly is also passionate about travel, tea, travel, and animal rights and welfare. And travel.

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Comments 51

  1. Jess says:

    I am 13 weeks with my first child and have an absolutely huge belly. I look at least 5-6 months. I am in maternity wear already and there is no hiding it from anyone at work. I have quite a small build and was very toned from being a gym addict before the pregnancy. I’ve only gained 5lbs, so its not fat, and the rest of me is basically the same size apart from a slightly larger butt and thighs. I can only guess its excess water or gas (although doesnt go up and down depending on time of day). It’s weird and a bit disconcerting.

  2. Harms says:

    Hey just feel relief of all the stories above^ I am 18 and this may be my first pregnancy I missed a month of my menscrycle my belly button feels really hard an I can pop it in and out , this has never happend before , I feel nausea , I have food aversion, though when I come to think of it I could feel as if I’m going to vomit it up , I also have lower back aches I’m experience spotting really really light spotting its not normal to my period its differ , I don’t have the cramps that’s how iknow its not my period , but it got a little tiny bit heavy is this normal in pregnancy or ????? it feels really weird also its only a little bit and it has gone dark brown after a while ? I have sharp pains now and then as well as mild cramping and lower back pains , I can eat more then usual , and looks like my uterus has grown upwards , and my boobs are so sensitive an sore , my nose is really runny , and I have head aches times to time ,I also did HPT , they were negative though I could see a faint line , then has disappeared,
    please somebody who has experienced the same can help? Really need good advice

    • Lena says:

      Hey, I’m 26! I’m 2 months pregnant. When i found out i was pregnant i took a pregnancy test. The lines was very light you could barely see it. I decided to go to a clinic where I live because they do free pregnancy test and you could walk in at anytime. The test I did with them came out negative. So i was like oh well im not. A couple days later, I started feeling really bad. So I went to hospital to get check. So the doctor came back in said you are pregnant, and she wanted to draw blood to see how far along I was. She did that..my HCG levels was at 25. So I was very early in my pregnancy. .i was like 3weeks pregnancy…so it is possible you could be pregnant with negative result..

  3. Josphinechuks says:

    Hi, am 23yrs and am constantly going to toilet, often having headache, tender breast, tiredness swollen feet, word taste and excess saliva and adding weight, could I be pregnant? If yes I don’t really want it to show am getting married soon. Pls help

  4. Heidi Stevens says:

    Hello, i was just wondering if i could possibly be pregnant… I haven’t had a period in about 2 1/2-3 weeks, but about a week n a half ago i bleed for only two days and also have felt nauseous for like a week or so and my belly bloats really bad..

  5. lola says:

    If i have headaches boobs and nipples are sore and back pains i took a test came back as negative and i thought maybe i took the test to early going to test again tomorrow but today i started bleeding it was heavy at first but now is very light. Can that mean i can be pregnant. I get nauseated are nausea but i never really purk i dont know anyone have any opinions.if you do please share.

  6. Karen Leigh says:

    I have not had my period in 12 days now have all kinds of symtoms like nauseous , bloating boobs sore lower back pain it will be my second kid ! But first kid didn’t go well. I believe I am pregnant but the home test says negative ! Crave all kinds things more then normal !

  7. WorriedLittleLady says:

    Okay it is July 31st and my last period was June 6th when I used the period calculator (to calculate your next period) I was suppose to get my period on July 4th . I haven’t gone to the doctor yet because on my last visit she told me to wait until the 6th of August to see if my period comes….. I am 26 (will be 27 on October 5th), The guy I’m with agreed that we would take the pregnancy test together if that were to happen. I’ve been having period symptoms, cramping, lower back pains, sore boobies and nausea (I get nauseous when I’m on my period, I know crazy right) I feel like the only thing that is different is I’ve been more moody and tired lately. Honestly I am extremely scared and it isn’t an ideal situation (I wanted to be married before I had a child ) if I am not pregnant what could this be ??

  8. Jess says:

    How many weeks were you when you knew? I’m only 6 days late for my period, but my partner keeps telling me I’m pregnant. Mood swings, lashing out, feeling tired, however I have only vomited once. So should I wait to so a test or will it be late enough to tell?

  9. Jazemen says:

    I’m 12 weeks pregnant and I had no pregnancy symptoms at all no morning sicknesses or anything.i had a brownish spot on the 10 weeks,I called my doctor and I have done ultra sound and everything was ok the little one was wiggling and the midwife said I have nothing to worry about

  10. Kayla says:

    Don’t be too worried. I spotted the first 2 months. And every time after sex in the first trimester. If you start cramping or could fill a pad with blood go to the hospital. And don’t use tampons to soak up any blood.

  11. Ines says:

    I’m 26 years old, in my second pregnancy 10 weeks. I found out when I was like 4 weeks pregnant, and I don’t know why but I am freaking out more about this baby than the first. I had a few ultrasounds because I was having crampings and theasy time they saw the baby and checked my HCG levels everything was find, baby even had a heart beat showing already. But for some reason cause my nausea has become less persistent and I am not showing much, I just feel thicker and wider, and it makes me feel like the baby is not growing how it should. I have an appt in a few days and I can’t wait to go and mKe sure all is fine. I’m just so nervous. And scared. Is it normal not showing unless is afternoon and or night? During the morning and when I lay down I am totally flat.

  12. Ann says:

    Do you have family to help? You sound pregnant to me girlfriend! Please take care of yourself & that little baby…stay pure (chemically) and look for folic acid, iron, B Vitamins and good multi vitamin on top of all that. God bless you girl and your little girl or boy to be! Ann s

  13. Maria says:

    Am 28 years old and about 6weeks pregnant with my second baby. However, this pregnancy is different because with my first I was not eating and eventually I gave birth to a baby boy with a little low weight. But now am eating all the and can’t go for an hr without food. Am afraid I will get too fat and my baby will be overweight. Is there any advise you can offer me?

  14. tarryn says:

    Hi I am 3 weeks pregnant and have started to spot. I am a little worried could this be normal or should I go to the doctor?

    • Connie says:

      Of all the pregnancy symptoms, bleeding and spotting is the most scary to experience. Thankfully, spotting is usually nothing to worry about. At around 8-10 days after ovulation — just before you would normally get your period — you may notice light spotting, which is caused from the implantation of the embryo into your uterus lining. The spotting is usually pinkish in colour and not red like a normal period.

  15. Zandile says:

    HI, I am Zandile, 22 years old and I am 6 months pregnant and its my first baby but my tummy is not that big as it have to be, is it normal? I can’t even sleep at night, always tired when I wake up, is that good for the baby?

  16. leekah says:

    I am 21 it’s my first time,
    Its been 8 weeks and 4 days I’ve gone to two different lab running d test with blood sample and they gave me two different results (positive & negative), so I decided to run d urine test myself and it was the same result with the second one (negative). but am having a swollen belly and within me I just feel am pregnant. Pls what do I do am confused

  17. Becca says:

    Im 22 years old and think im pregnant.. I have been having cold like symptoms (runny, stuffy nose and sore throat) entire body aches and sore lower back going on 2 weeks. this week i had my period but a lot lighter than normal 1 pad for a whole day and no clots but still 6 days( i normally have a super heavy period with bad clots for 3 days, changing an overnight pad every 1-2 hours or so, and then the last 4 days are manageable, 1-3 pads a day) even if this was a normal period i know a lot of early pregnancy symptoms are similar to pms but i normally have no symptoms leading up to my period just the first three days of my period have very sore breast and excuciating cramps in my lower back and stomach and i eat everything in sight especially sweets. I have also been super bloated and not really eating because food doesnt taste good, especially food i normally love. I have been feeling queasy especially the thought or smell of food and when i do eat something it makes my stomach feel even more queasy…… before i got my “period” i took a test and it was neg but i will be taking another test in the morning and i hope that it is positive 🙂

    • Becca says:

      oh and to add to it.. I have been highly emotional… getting really upset and crying over pretty much nothing,,,, i dont get moody during pms.. over all have just felt off for about two weeks and not my usuall pms self

  18. Jo says:

    I’m just about 6 weeks pregnant and iv been taking pregnancy test often and they are all positive, but I took a test tonight and it was still positive but the line was very very faint why is that should the line not be getting darker the further on I’m getting? Am a bit worried incase there’s something wrong

    • Blanca says:

      There is nothing wrong. No need to keep taking pregnancy test if all of them are saying you are pregnant. A pregnancy test cannot determine that something Is wrong with your baby. Now you need to make an appointment with the Doctor and start taking prenatal vitamins.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Hi I need some help please… i’m 21 years old i think i may be pregnant but i don’t know for sure… i did 4 test and says negative… but my breast are really sore i get pimples and didn’t have it before or have problems before with that… i get nausea but dont vomting… i had my period but this month it was really light and its was only for 3 days usually its for 5 to 6 days long..

    Thank You Jennifer

  20. Fran says:

    Hi I had the same thing. The first two I took I thought they were defective because the line that is suppose to appear was only halfway so I took the other test (2 pack) that one only had the first line that was faint but not the second after a few hours I looked and nothing had changed so I figured not enough urine and what the heck I should use the same ones and try again. Well they came back positive that time still a little weird looking. So a week later I went to get another two pack of the first response my husband is determined it’s the brand I used and they came back negative. Waited two more weeks still no period in now two months late and went to buy another two of the first response and the first one comes back a bright positive. The first two pack was a Walmart brand it was very strange but needless to say I’m on my 4th child and not sure if at 11 weeks I would be showing my clothes fit the same and I’m in the middle of transferring stores right now at my job so not wanting to let one store know. Hope this helps but it took me 5 tests this time around and before it was 1 then I confirmed with my morning urine.

  21. Diamond says:

    Hi, my last menstrual was 9/3/15 it last a normal 4 days.my cycle is 24days apart. On the 23rd I noticed a light pink and yellowish discharge. Then on the 25th I noticed the dame this went on untill the 28th.then on the 28th I noticed a brownish blood like I had to use a pad butIit didnt soak it.it lasted untill oct 1st my original period day.im bloated, hungry a lot, tired all the time.Could I be pregnant?

  22. tiffany says:

    I’m 10 weeks pregnant . I found out really early I’d say at exactly 4weeks. I had period symptoms such as cramps back aches beast tenderness gas and bloating. I’d say the gas was the worst part. Most of those symptoms went away around 8 weeks. I had no spotting and I have no morning sickness thank God. Everyone is different and because I’m 5’2 and like 99 lbs well I’m 102 now lol you will probably not show for a looong time myself included. But bloating does make me look 3 to 4 months as I am hearing 3 months. Some days my stomach is flat it’s all about what you eat that may cause bloating. I can’t wait until I get my baby bump!

  23. amber says:

    I’m 18years old and think that I may be pregnant and that 2months …I don’t got much signs but I do got cravings ,back pain and cramps and that’s all. I had my periods for 3days after not having it like for a month …do you think that its posible that I’m pregnant

  24. Nik says:

    This can be very normal up to 12 weeks. As it’s old blood coming away. Try not to worry about it. I had it with 2 of mine x

  25. robins says:

    My wife age 29 and she is pregnancy now 16 week completed but continued vomiting and nausea so now very Len and her stomach also look like very small he feeling why its not big .what to do .

  26. appreciative says:


  27. lona says:

    jay .i have a similar problem as You and what really suprises me is that i went to the clinic nd they told me that am not preg so last week i decided to go to another clinic i took the pregnant test it had 1thick line and a line that was dim .the Doctor said she dont know what to tell me .i must come on September so Iam scared dont know what to do

  28. hailey says:

    Hey the lucky part about the pregnancy is that my older sister just had a baby boy so I’m kinda going through the same thing my baby is nine weeks I am 19 and this Nov it will be my 1st anniversary with handsome husband we are thankful that we have a baby on the way God has blessed us and I hope that it go’s smoothy because my mom and my sister both had a misscarege on there first baby but I know that God will keep this baby safe

  29. Nour says:

    I am 26 years old, 19 weeks pregnant (baby#3) but I don’t even look pregnant, my family and husband start to ask me if I am really pregnant, I still wearring my cloths , no symptoms after morning sickness goes away, now I feel better and free to not look pregnant ( my third year as a pregnant, my girls are 2 years , 9 months) I think it could be because weight loss and position of the baby inside, beside I am active all the time and I eat healthy as possible as I can.

    • Megan says:

      I didn’t look pregnant until 36 weeks. Even then I only looked like I was 20 weeks. I went into labour in my size 10 jeans, I suppose everyone is different 🙂 x

  30. LOLITA says:

    Kella, my advice would be for you to visit the doctor. hope you did. I recently found out that I too am pregnant with my first. The pregnancy is pretty early, about 4 weeks. I didn’t have any pains, just felt tingling in breasts from week three and a bit of nausea. not sure if such pain you felt would be considered normal during pregnancy.

  31. Jay says:

    Okay so this is my first time that I might be pregnant. I went to the doctors to take a urine test and it came back a no so I haw to go back and get a blood test because my period is no 27 days late and I have alot of symptoms but I’m very indenial about being pregnant. My lower back always hurts when I lay on my side and my tummy at the bottom got alittle bigger and I feel really bloated but the bottom of my stomach is mushy and hard at the same time….. I don’t know if I am but I’m really young so can you give me so tips on what to do and how to be more comfortable…. Like Im also really gassy an I always have to go pee… It’s just terrible

    • Blanca says:

      You need to go to the dr and asked to be checked for Ovarian cancer as it has the same symptoms as early pregnancy. Not trying to scare you but do not let this go and forget about it.

    • Susan says:

      I went to the doctors 3-4 weeks in a row to check up because I had all the symptoms aswell as being late for my period. Finally the test came back positive, & I was already 7 weeks. It’s not what we were expecting nor what we wanted right now but to be honest, it is such a blessing and I cannot wait. Don’t be discouraged, take it on – if you are pregnant! If you’re not, I hope you get well soon 🙂

    • Nareemah says:

      Hi Jay

      I am pregnant with my 3rd but it is the first time I just knew I was pregnant I did several pregnancy test which came back negative and even the one at the doctors came back negative but a week later I tested at home again and it showed positive. I am now 22 weeks pregnant, sometimes your HCG Levels are not strong enough even though you get all the symptoms. Good luck

      • Mz.B says:

        Hi, how long did you wait before you took the last test from your missed period? I’m 2 months late as of today but the test I took last month was negative. I had my first pregnancy end in a miscarriage in June (didn’t know I was pregnant) I had been trying since I was 20 (10 yrs) & thought I couldn’t get pregnant but the miscarriage gave me hope but I dont wanna get my hopes up

  32. kella says:

    Hi I just found out im pregnant for the first time an about 6 weeks along an im having terrible pain in the lower belly. It comes an goes it is not constant but it is so bad I drop down in tears an cant move any suggestions on what an how to deal with this would be great , considering my insirance will take forever to go through an I cant get to an obgyn right away.thanks

    • mrs Ruth says:

      Pls go for scan. It will show what exactly is wrong with u. Do this quickly. It’s well with u ma.

    • Y says:

      Hi Kella.
      I also found out about my pregnancy around 4-5 weeks towards the end of June this year. I missed my period, but still experienced what I thought was the normal period pains/cramps before and way after the date I should have started (up to 7 weeks I think). It was just a little piercing than the normal pains I’d experience. They would come and go every now and then and my visits to the doctors (2 times) didn’t raise much concerns, as long as there was no bleeding involved. My understanding is that it was the implantation process. I’m just worried about the “drop down in tears and can’t move” part. I hope all is well though. All the best with you pregnancy

  33. CJ says:

    I’m 37 and pregnant with my first. When is the due date? I am 5 months pregnant and not showing so it depends on how you carry.

    • Jharmilla says:

      OK, so I’m just a little freaked out! Does anyone know anything about and or any women who have gotten pregnant while being on the birth control pill ? I would be five months and just all of a sudden showing. I’m extremely fit and have no other physical weight gain, except maybe a bit more butt then usual. And my stomach was and has always been very toned and tight. Envious toned and tight! Except all of a sudden for the past few days. I actually had lost a lot of weight because especially last month I was so tired that I couldn’t get out of bed and so nauseous I wasn’t eating a thing. I would seriously go all day without anything. The only weird thing that happened to me was that one day about a month ago as well is that I woke up with an extremely heavy period that lasted about a week. With the pill I take I can get pms and menstral symptoms but I don’t ever get an actual bleeding type of period; so this and that would make it very hard to know for sure.

      • Anne says:

        Hey, am in your shoe currently. were you expecting? I think I might be 11weeks. Missed my periods but this month I bled for 2days and it looked brownish. I get so tired with back pains, mood swings but my boobs still look same

  34. Emma Park says:

    hi i could do with some help, i have just found out i am expecting my 4th child and i am 37. Am i too old? Also i am getting married on the 25th july this year and i am so worried about fitting into my wedding dress, i feel like cancelling the whole thing at the minute. I was so looking forward to it but now i am not!!!

    • crystal says:

      Your post is do identical to me. I’m 25 pregnant with my 3rd and also getting married july 25th of this year. I was scared to and thought about canceling but I didnt. Hopefully you didn’t either . We must be close in due dates to.

    • Davida says:

      I’m two years late lol but how did the wedding go for you or did you cancel??