Get to know your pregnant belly ‒ your baby bump by week, different types of pregnancy belly shapes, what a baby bump feels like…
Sporting a small pregnant belly?
A huge pregnant belly?
Carrying high or carrying low?
Guess what! We’re here to tell you… drum roll… that’s absolutely, completely, and totally normal.
Think of your pregnant belly as the vehicle to bring your little one(s) into the world.
Imagine if all vehicles were the same? That would make for very boring bumps on the road.
Our bodies are all magnificently different ‒ and that’s something to embrace.
So, in case you need to hear this: you have full permission to love your pregnant belly unconditionally.
And one of the best ways to show your love is to get to know your baby bump and the universe inside it.
Time to delve into pregnant belly shapes, sizes, and sensations.
In this article: 📝
- Types of pregnancy belly shapes and sizes
- What week does a pregnant belly show?
- When should I expect my baby bump?
- When does the line on a pregnant belly appear?
- How does a pregnant belly feel?
- What shape does your belly go in early pregnancy?
- Why am I showing so early?
- Can I press my belly to feel the baby?
- How do I know if it’s a baby bump?
- Why is one side of belly bigger during early pregnancy?
- Can you pull your tummy in when pregnant?
- What is a chorionic bump?
- How do I tell people not to touch my pregnant belly?
Types of pregnancy belly shapes and sizes
Not surprisingly, your build, muscle tone, and bone structure all play a part in how your pregnancy belly is going to bump.
(Again, remember the part about not having to bow down to any sort of idea of a “normal” pregnant belly?)
Some things that might affect whether you have a big pregnant belly or small:
- Your height and weight
- Your bone structure
- Your past pregnancies
- Your muscle tone at the time of pregnancy.
Babies often do tricks by emerging gargantuan out of smaller bumps, and vice-versa.
So, don’t stress if you feel like you have a small pregnant belly or “massive” pregnant belly than those around you who are at a similar point in pregnancy.
When it comes to your little passenger, the size of your pregnant belly often has more to do with their positioning than their size.
And if you’re feeling all sorts of things about your own weight gain right now ‒ again, normal, normal, normal.
We’re conditioned to feel things about expanding bodies and this doesn’t magically disappear when our bods set to work growing a baby.
So let us tell you this, mama: you look amazing.
What does a pregnant belly button look like?
Some other mamas-to-be noticed their pregnant belly button didn’t so much ‘pop out’ as… stretch flat, looking like a mini dimple on their baby bump.
Carrying high vs low
When it comes to a high bump vs low bump, pregnancy isn’t all that cut-and-dry.
Generally speaking, taller women carry high and smaller women carry lower.
And carrying high can also have something to do with muscle tone ‒ greater tone meaning a higher baby bump.
A higher baby bump can look smaller as well, usually sticking out less.
B-shaped pregnant belly
What about a B-shaped pregnancy belly?
Sometimes, your baby bump looks almost like it’s two bumps in one - like a capital “B”.
There are still studies being done to determine why some women have B-shaped pregnancy bellies, but some common factors could be muscle tone, body shape, and whether you’ve had any previous pregnancies.
What is the biggest pregnant belly?
There are a few contenders for World’s Biggest Pregnancy Belly ‒ all mamas of multiples!
One of the biggest pregnancy bellies was Bobbi McCaughey, who measured an impressive 55 inches around when she was pregnant with septuplets in 1997.
What week does a pregnant belly show?
While there is no fixed rule for pregnant bellies month by month, there are some rough guidelines that can give you some sort of map for your future baby bump.
Here’s a loose guide:
First-trimester pregnancy belly
At this point in your pregnancy, your baby bump is a little shy.
Chances are, you won’t see much of it at all until the end of this chapter.
If you have a lot of muscle tone in your abdominal region, your pregnancy belly might be even more timid.
So if you’re asking, Is it possible to be pregnant without a baby bump?
The answer is yes, at this stage, but with a caveat.
If you don’t start gaining weight down the line, it could cause complications, so keep your healthcare practitioner in the loop.
One super weird thing?
In the first trimester, your pregnant belly may arrive and disappear like it’s playing a game with you.
One day, bump. Next day, flat. This is, um, good ol’ gas.
Often with some constipation thrown in. What fun.
It may also be the cause of that low belly pain when pregnant.
1-month pregnant belly
Your one-month pregnant belly won’t really look like much of a baby bump ‒ after all, baby’s just about 0.2mm big ‒ pretty teeny!
What about a 6 weeks pregnant belly? Baby’s still under a centimeter big ‒ about half a centimeter, to be exact ‒ so don’t expect to see a baby bump just yet.
Although baby’s doubled in size in the past week (now at a whopping 1 centimeter big!), if you’re wondering what a 7 weeks pregnant belly looks like, it’s basically the same as your non-pregnant belly.
2-month pregnant belly
At 8 weeks pregnant (which is about 2 months pregnant), you might be feeling a bit bigger, mainly due to bloating and the fact that your uterus is expanding to fit your rapidly growing baby ‒ not quite a baby bump.
Now for a 9-week pregnant belly ‒ you may well be showing at this point, even if it is just a little. After all, baby’s about 2 centimeters (an inch) big by now!
3 months pregnant belly
At 3 months pregnant, you might be showing signs of a baby bump, but if you don’t, that’s nothing to worry about.
As we said before, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to a pregnancy belly.
Second-trimester pregnancy belly
Okay! Now that pregnant belly is getting a little more adventurous about bursting onto the scene ‒ welcome to the second trimester.
Your uterus is expanding and it wants to tell the world about it.
This is the time to do that obligatory baby bump pic to share in your Bump Buddy group on Peanut.
Heads up: you may experience some pains in the second and third trimesters.
These are likely due to growing pains as the ligaments stretch to make more room for baby-to-be.
This is also the time when it feels like everybody is out to touch your baby bump.
Remember: consent operates as it always should. If you don’t want anyone to touch your pregnant belly, you have every right to tell them not to.
You don’t owe it to anyone to become an exhibition entitled, how does a pregnant belly feel?
You might also find that your growing bump is invading on your sleep at this time.
Hello, pregnancy insomnia!
Something our Peaut moms-to-be find can help is investing in a pregnancy pillow.
Not sure which one to get? The Sleepybelly one is a top pick ‒ its unique design means your bump, back, and hips get the support they need so you can snooze in peace.
Plus, it comes recommended by midwives, doulas, and osteopaths, so you know you’re in good hands.
4 months pregnant belly
Wow ‒ you’ve come a long way, baby!
If you can see a bit of a 4 months pregnant belly, there’s a good reason ‒ your baby’s about the same size as an avocado by now!
5 months pregnant belly
Baby’s getting even bigger, so a 5-month pregnant belly is totally natural ‒ after all, baby’s about the same length as a banana.
Your actual 5 months pregnant belly size depends on your body type before pregnancy, but most mamas can expect to see a bit of a baby bump.
Third-trimester pregnancy belly
You’re in full swing now, expect to see your third-trimester pregnancy belly growing ‒ by the minute, it seems!
Your bump has pretty much decided on its shape by now and is just growing from there.
This might mean you’re carrying high or low, and/or wide.
Remember: there is no wrong way for your body to do this.
Your bump looks great!
6 months pregnant belly
Baby’s now about a foot long, weighing around 1.3 pounds, so showing a pregnancy belly at 6 months is a given.
By this point, you might notice that your pregnancy belly button has popped out from an innie to an outie.
7 months pregnant belly
That baby just keeps on growing! Now they’re about the size of a head of cabbage, so if you feel like your 7 months pregnant belly is big, that’s because it is.
And it’s beautiful.
And now’s the time to start preparing for baby, too, so get shopping!
8 months pregnant belly
They’re part of your badge of honor as a mama.
9 months pregnant belly
This is peak pregnancy belly!
More a pumpkin.
When should I expect my baby bump?
Generally speaking, most mamas on Peanut notice their pregnancy belly appearing in their second trimester or the end of their first trimester.
It also depends on your body type pre-pregnancy ‒ if you’re slim, a baby bump may be more noticeable earlier than if you’re curvy.
When does the line on a pregnant belly appear?
If you’ve noticed a dark vertical line appear on your baby bump, that’s not aliens trying to make contact.
It’s supposed to be there!
Like many things pregnancy, it’s the result of hormones.
Their target in this arena? Your skin.
You may have also noticed hyperpigmentation in other parts of your body, like on your cheeks and around your eyes.
The linea nigra typically runs from your belly button to your groin area, like some kind of map for your baby when they want to get out. It gets darker as you get closer to your due date.
It’s somewhat of a badge of honor. Wear it with pride!
Not sure what a linea nigra will look like on your body type or skin tone? We’ve got you covered:
How does a pregnant belly feel?
What does it feel like to have a pregnancy belly? Well, it depends on how far along you are and your body shape.
At full-term, a pregnancy belly feels like you’re carrying something that weighs about 4 pounds.
What does a pregnancy belly feel like to the touch? Again, it depends on a few different factors.
If you’re wondering why is my pregnant belly sometimes hard and sometimes soft?, it’s usually due to your body habitus, amount of subcutaneous fat, fetal position, and fetal size that can impact how hard or soft your belly feels.
And, of course, they can feel heavier the later you get on in your pregnancy ‒ but if you want some relief from the bump, how about a pregnancy support belt, like the popular Lola&Lykke one?
Our Peanut moms-to-be reckon it works wonders!
Are pregnant stomachs hard or soft in early pregnancy?
Typically, in the first trimester, you won’t be able to see your pregnancy belly, but it might feel different to you.
Some of our mamas on Peanut have described their early pregnancy belly as feeling like you’re bloated after a big meal ‒ a little soft and a little bigger than usual.
What shape does your belly go in early pregnancy?
In early pregnancy, your baby bump might not look like much ‒ or really change shape at all.
You might notice it looking slightly softer than usual, but apart from that, the shape of your early pregnancy belly is much the same as your non-pregnant belly.
Which part of the belly grows first when pregnant?
The first part of your pregnancy belly that you’ll notice will likely be just about your pubic bone ‒ it tends to get hard at about 10 weeks as your uterus starts to expand for your new houseguest.
Why am I showing so early?
There are a few reasons why your baby bump is more visible than expected:
- You could be expecting twins (or triplets, quadruplets…)
- This might not be your first pregnancy
- It might not be a baby bump ‒ boating and water retention can make you look bigger than usual
If you’re concerned about your pregnancy belly at all, have a chat with your doctor.
Can I press my belly to feel the baby?
Probably not. The best way to feel baby is to wait for the quickening and any other kicks or movements when baby’s big enough.
After all, if you were sleeping, you wouldn’t like to be poked, either!
How do I know if it’s a baby bump?
It’s not unheard of to be in your second trimester and not know you’re pregnant.
Just as it’s possible to think you see a baby bump when you’re not pregnant.
The best way to tell? Take a pregnancy test.
Why is one side of belly bigger during early pregnancy?
If you’ve noticed your early pregnancy belly is a little bigger on one side than the other, it’s not likely to be baby just yet.
You won’t see baby shifting sides until your second and third trimester ‒ usually when you’ve been sleeping on your side.
If your pregnancy belly is bigger on one side in your first trimester, it’s likely to be either your uterus moving to accommodate baby, or water retention and bloating.
Can you pull your tummy in when pregnant?
If you’re in your first trimester and only just starting to show, you might be able to ‘suck in’ your baby bump, but the bigger you get, the less effective that will be!
What is a chorionic bump?
In a nutshell, a chorionic bump is a bulge in the choriodecidual surface of the gestational sac.
But there’s a lot more to it than that, which we explore in this article.
How do I tell people not to touch my pregnant belly?
Ugh. One of the worst parts of having a baby bump is the unsolicited touching.
It’s not okay to touch someone without their permission.
If you’re looking for ways to stop people from touching your pregnancy belly, here are a few handy phrases or actions our mamas from Peanut have tried and tested:
- If you see someone making a beeline towards you with that ‘bump-touching’ look in their eyes, move to a place they can’t see you.
- If someone’s hand is outstretched towards your pregnancy belly, gently bat their hand away, saying “No, thank you”.
- “It might just be the hormones, but I’d rather you didn’t touch my bump, thanks.”
- “My skin is really sensitive at the moment, so please don’t touch my bump.”
- “I’m not comfortable with people touching my bump, thanks.”
- Mention to the person that you’re not keen on people touching your pregnancy belly before they get a chance to.
- Take a step back and give a little smile and shake your head.
We love the now-famous quote by Glenn Marla, “There’s no wrong way to have a body”, gets into the corners of so many aspects of womanhood ‒ and your baby bump is certainly one of them.
Embrace the stretch marks! They’re a medal.
Love the growth ‒ no matter how big or small.
It’s a sign that your world is expanding, just like your beautiful pregnancy belly.