Is it normal that I don't look pregnant yet?
Yes, most likely. There isn't a specific time when moms-to-be are supposed to start showing, because it happens differently for different women.
As long as your healthcare provider says your baby is developing properly and your weight gain is on track, there's no cause for concern.
First-time moms often start showing later because their muscles haven't been stretched by a previous pregnancy. And women who are tall or have long torsos may have a smaller-looking bump, because they have more space for the baby to fill, lengthwise. Your baby's position in your uterus can also change your belly's appearance.
Your doctor or midwife will use various measurements — not your appearance — to make sure your baby's growth is on track. In your first trimester, she'll do a pelvic exam to assess the size of your growing uterus, or order an ultrasound to see how large your baby is.
Later, around 20 weeks, she'll measure your fundal height — the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus — to estimate your baby's size, growth rate, and position. If you haven't had one yet, an ultrasound will give even more information about how your baby's growing.
If you truly are measuring smaller than normal for your stage of pregnancy, your doctor or midwife will investigate to make sure everything's okay.
First-time moms usually start to notice a bump between 12 and 16 weeks. Most BabyCenter moms say they started looking pregnant between 12 and 18 weeks with their first baby, and anywhere from 6 to 18 weeks with their second and later babies.
It sometimes takes longer for plus-size women to look obviously pregnant. If this is the case, and you're bothered by it, get expert tips on letting people know you're gaining baby, not fat.
It can be nerve-racking when you've passed big pregnancy milestones and still don't have the big belly to fill out your maternity jeans.
Part of the problem is that pregnant women constantly hear comments, often contradictory, about how big or small they are, says ob-gyn Laurie Gregg of Sacramento, California.
"Patients never come in saying they think they're just the right size," says Gregg. "They always think they're too big or too small."
Despite what her pregnant patients are hearing, Gregg says most of the time they're just the size they should be.
I'm fascinated that society can't tell a pregnant woman she looks just right," says Gregg. "We need to tell women they're looking good."
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