People always say that no two pregnancies are the same, and this includes the same woman being pregnant for the first time versus the second time. A lot of times people say that your second pregnancy will show sooner than your first one, which begs the question, does showing early happen in your second pregnancy, and is your baby bump bigger?
During your second pregnancy, it is likely that you will show earlier because your abdominal muscles are stretched out from your first pregnancy. Other reasons for showing early might be abdominal bloating, uterus shape, or inaccurate due date. Showing early is normal and not a cause of concern as long as you are having regular medical checkups.
Read along as we discuss how soon your bump will show in your second pregnancy and the difference in the first 16 weeks.
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Is it normal to show earlier with a second pregnancy?
Being pregnant brings so many emotions and changes in your body, this includes showing a baby bump as your baby grows inside your tummy. A lot of expectant moms can be caught by surprise when their baby bump shows sooner in the second pregnancy, sometimes weeks earlier compared to their first pregnancy.
If you are one of the ones who feel this way, don’t be dismayed because this is a natural occurrence and happens to a number of women who are pregnant with their second child. This doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you or your baby.
It is not uncommon for women to show their baby bump earlier in the second pregnancy compared to their first pregnancy. Part of the reason why this happens is that during the first pregnancy, the abdominal muscles become stretched and loose which makes your baby bump more prominent during your second pregnancy.
Healthline states that the number of pregnancies that you have had can directly affect how early you are showing. In your first pregnancy, it is common to not show until the second trimester between 12 to 16 weeks. If your weight is on the lighter side, you might start showing at the 12-week mark and if you have more weight, you will start showing at the 16-week mark.
Here are other reasons why you are showing early:
- Abdominal Bloating – One of the plausible reasons for having a baby bump early can be attributed to abdominal bloating. When you are pregnant, your body produces more hormones which can lead to fluid retention and bloating.
- Diastasis Recti – This occurs when the mid-abdominal muscles separate and have space in between. When this happens, it creates a bulge that can be mistaken as a more prominent baby bump. This usually corrects on its own after the first pregnancy but studies show that one-third of women will continue to have this condition one year after giving birth. This condition can lead to leaking pee, prolapse, and back pain. If you feel like you have this condition, it is best to consult your doctor and seek advice.
- Uterus Shape – Another factor that can contribute to you showing a bump early in the shape of your uterus. If your uterus is tilted towards the back, it might take a while for you to show as opposed to if your uterus is more tilted towards the front which would lead you to show your bump sooner.
- Inaccurate due date – Another reason why you are showing early might be due to an incorrect calculation of your due date. It is important to realize that a due date is an estimate of when your baby will come out. If you feel like your bump is growing faster, you should talk to your doctor to possibly recalculate your due date.
Other reasons why you might be showing sooner during your second pregnancy can also be attributed to carrying multiple babies and the timeframe between your first and second pregnancy. If your first and second pregnancies are close together, you will show sooner in your second pregnancy.
Regardless of the reason why you are showing earlier, it should not be a matter of concern because it is completely normal. As long as you are getting appropriate care and getting regular check-ups, showing early should not be a cause of concern.
Do you show bigger during a second pregnancy?
A common misconception when pregnant women are showing bigger is that the baby is also bigger.
The truth is, no matter how big your bump is, it does not correlate with your baby’s size.
Having a bigger bump during your second pregnancy is a normal occurrence and should not be a cause of concern as long as you are having regular checkups with your doctor.
How early do you start showing with a second pregnancy?
You will show earlier during your second pregnancy compared to your first one.
This is normal especially since your abdominal muscles are stretched from the first pregnancy.
Showing early is not a cause of concern and is seen as normal, as long as you are seeing your doctor for regular checkups. It is also important to remember that every pregnancy is different.
Second pregnancy – showing at 5 weeks
Some women don’t even know they’re pregnant at this point because they will only start noticing that they missed their period during this time and take a pregnancy test.
It is possible that during your second pregnancy, your bump will be prominent compared to your first one and you might start showing during this time.
In the 5th week, your baby is starting to look like a fetus and the heart and circulatory system are developing. The baby’s development will be at a dizzying speed, although will remain small like an orange seed.
Second pregnancy – showing at 6 weeks
If this is not your first pregnancy, chances are you will start showing a bump during the 6th week.
The more pregnancies you’ve had in the past, the earlier your bump will show. Pregnant women have stated that during their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th pregnancy, they start showing earlier each time.
In the 6th week of pregnancy, your baby’s brain and spinal cord will develop from the neural tube. The baby’s heart and other organs will start to form. The baby’s features will also start to develop, with cheeks, chin, and jaw starting to form. The baby’s size during the 6th week is about the size of a sweet pea.
Second pregnancy – showing at 7 weeks
In your 7th week of pregnancy, you will be seeing a more prominent bump that might be confused with bloating or a bit of both.
Because of the hormones that your body produces during pregnancy which can lead to water retention, bloating is common and can contribute to your protruding belly during this time.
During your 7th week of pregnancy, your baby will be the same size as a blueberry. When it comes to development, your baby’s brain cells will form rapidly during this time as well as the baby’s arms and legs. The baby’s kidneys will also start developing during this week.
Second pregnancy – showing at 8 weeks
During the 8th week of pregnancy, your belly will be more pronounced during your second pregnancy and might be harder to hide from people especially if you have not made the announcement. If you are not ready to tell people yet, you can wear loose clothes that can hide your belly.
Women who went through a c-section during their first delivery mentioned that they show sooner and look more pregnant during the 8th-week mark compared to the first pregnancy.
Your baby will be the size of a raspberry at 8 weeks. If you have a close-up look on your baby at this time, you will notice that your baby is starting to develop baby-like features. Your baby will still have webbed feet and hands, but the tiny fingers and toes are starting to differentiate.
Second pregnancy – showing at 9 weeks
In the 9th week, you might need to bust out your maternity clothes because your normal clothes might not fit and this is completely normal.
This is a change compared to your first pregnancy when you didn’t even have to get into maternity clothes until well into the second trimester. Don’t feel bad when your clothes don’t fit, this is normal and part of the process as long as you are gaining the recommended weight.
Your baby at 9 weeks will be the size of a medium green olive, still small but rapidly developing. Your baby will start developing tiny muscles and the baby’s heartbeat is getting stronger every day. The “tail” which is part of the spinal cord will start disappearing.
Second pregnancy – showing at 10 weeks
At 10 weeks, it is normal that you will look more “pregnant” and have a more prominent belly bump in your second pregnancy.
It is hard to stop comparing your first pregnancy versus your second pregnancy and because of all your hormones, it is normal to feel bad that you are looking more pregnant. Rest assured, showing early is normal and should not be a cause of concern.
During the 10th week, your baby has now graduated from being an embryo to a fetus. Your baby’s tooth buds will start developing under the gumline even if it won’t appear until the baby’s 6-month mark. Your baby will be the size of a prune and the bones will start developing with small indentations in the legs that form into ankles and knees.
Second pregnancy – showing at 11 weeks
Compared to your first pregnancy when you didn’t even show in the first trimester, it will be harder to keep the secret during your second pregnancy because your belly will be more prominent especially in the 11th-week mark.
There is no “normal” growth rate for your belly and showing early can be attributed to your abdominal muscles stretching during your first pregnancy.
In the 11th week of pregnancy, your babe will be the size of a strawberry and will start developing distinct human characteristics like fingers and toes. Your baby’s ear will start developing and fingernails and toenails will start developing during this week.
Second pregnancy – showing at 12 weeks
If your body type is on the petite side, you will have a more prominent belly during the 12th week especially if this is your second pregnancy. If you have a larger frame, you might not notice the belly bump right away but it will show more in your second pregnancy in comparison to the first one.
During the 12th week of pregnancy, your baby’s body systems and organs are now fully formed and the baby’s size will be similar to that of a lime. Your baby’s digestive system is now starting to work and the bone marrow is busy making the white blood cells that help combat infections.
Second pregnancy – showing at 13 weeks
Some pregnant women will say that they look like they’re already six months pregnant during the 13th week.
It is normal and should not be a cause of concern especially if you are healthy and under your doctor’s care.
In the 13th week of pregnancy, your baby will be the size of a lemon. During this time, your baby’s intestines and vocal cords are developing. Your baby’s head will now be half the size of the crown to rump length and his body will soon catch up.
Second pregnancy – showing at 14 weeks
After your first pregnancy, your uterus is already stretched from your first pregnancy and you will show sooner even before the 14-week mark. Your uterus will stretch faster after the first pregnancy which will make your bump more noticeable.
In the 14th week of pregnancy, your baby will be the size of a navel orange and still growing a lot. Your baby is moving a lot more in your tummy and you might feel movements more often especially if this is your second pregnancy. Your baby’s hair will start to fill in and can be sprouting hair and eyebrows will fill in during this time.
Second pregnancy – showing at 15 weeks
It is unavoidable to compare your first pregnancy versus your second pregnancy but really, there is no comparison because no two pregnancies are the same.
You will show sooner and earlier in your second pregnancy compared to your first because your body knows exactly what to do this time around.
During the 15th week of pregnancy, your baby’s development is more centered on practicing for the outside world. Your baby will be breathing, sucking, and swallowing which are the skills needed to survive outside your womb. At this time, your baby will be the size of a pear.
Second pregnancy – showing at 16 week
During the 16th week of your second pregnancy, you will show a bump that is more noticeable and harder to hide.
If you haven’t announced your pregnancy yet, this might be a good time if you are comfortable with it, because you will be showing a more prominent baby bump. Showing earlier during your second pregnancy is normal because several of your muscles and uterus are already stretched from the first pregnancy.
In the 4th month of pregnancy or 16 weeks, your baby’s backbone and back muscles are strengthening and your baby will now start doing frowns and eye squints. In the 16th week mark, your baby will start developing their hearing which will fully develop in week 18. In this time, your baby will be the size of an apple.
By the way, I’ve put together a MEGA resource on the most common differences between the first and second pregnancy along with frequently asked questions! Check it out!