11:15 pm - 04/22/2007

what does a pregnant belly look like?

While browsing some pictures of pregnant women online, I came across women with 5-week bellies who looked quite obviously pregnant - there was a clear jut across the pelvic area. But I've always heard that you don't looked obviously pregnant until 5 months. In your personal experience, what did your belly look like early in the pregnancy stages?

I also ask because I'm worried about pregnancy, and I recently have gained some weight. I can't tell if the bulge on my stomach is due to a baby or to fat - or, to muscle, since I have also been working out. I have a little bulge in the area of my belly button, but I know your uterus is below your belly button. I'm pretty sure I'm not pregnant, but the fat(?) is confusing me. Haha.
macabre 23rd-Apr-2007 03:24 am (UTC)
In the early weeks of pregnancy, the uterus is too low to be showing. What you see is bloating.

I didn't start showing until around 20 weeks when I was pregnant.
arianna 23rd-Apr-2007 03:50 am (UTC)
In the early weeks of pregnancy, the uterus is too low to be showing. What you see is bloating.

I agree. That early the uterus isn't even out of the pelvis. Generally anything before 13 weeks is not baby, just bloating.
ikielove 23rd-Apr-2007 03:25 am (UTC)
Each pregnancy is different. I know women who looked pregnant at three months. I've also known women who didn't show until after the 6th month
box_of_rocks 23rd-Apr-2007 07:50 am (UTC)
Exactly. I read the lj of a girl who looked as pregnant at 13 weeks, as my friend looks at 24 weeks. Some women seem to show rather early, some are small until around month 7 where practically overnight they "pop", some women are in between the two, and some women (generally women who already have lots of abdominal fat) don't show very much at all.
lozoodle 23rd-Apr-2007 03:26 am (UTC)
Usually people don't show until quite a few months into a pregnancy, and usually at 5 weeks it's just bloating.
I've never been pregnant myself so I can't say though a close friend of mine was pregnant with twins and began to show SLIGHTLY at about 12 weeks, but she was a bigger girl already.
If you are worried just do a test :)
cdsdralion 23rd-Apr-2007 03:28 am (UTC)
I've never been pregnant, but I've known many women who have been pregnant and each one was different. My cousin who is about to pop any day now, had a very round belly at 4 months.
nicolesvoice 23rd-Apr-2007 03:34 am (UTC)
I know many women who have been pregnant, and each one of them has begun to show differently and at different times. Obviously if you have reason to be worried you are pregnant, getting a test is the best way to find out for sure.

Other things to think about to explain the gain are if you have changed anything in your lifestyle or diet recently. Have you recently started the pill? Are you close to having your period or could you be ovulating? As those can cause bloating. My body is very sensitive to certain foods especially sodium and that will make me bloat everywhere.
starzysky 23rd-Apr-2007 03:37 am (UTC)
Well, if you're at the point where you're gaining weight from pregnancy, you're also at the point where you could test and have it come up positive.

But women do tend to gain fat right around/below the belly button. It kind of looks like early pregnancy bellies... a few months ago I had gained lik 5 lb and my boyfriend was cuddling me and said, "You're going to look hot when you're pregnant" whiiiiiiiiiiich really pissed me off b/c I knew it was just fat & he was basically saying I looked pregnant. Sigh. Needless to say I lost that weight ASAP.
morganmac 23rd-Apr-2007 04:04 am (UTC)
Looking at your belly is not a smart way to tell if you're pregnant. Get a pregnancy test. Knowledge is power.

Not to scare you or anything but I knew a girl who appeared to be pregnant but it turned out she had a benign tumor in her abdomen. So if you think you're belly is looking abnormal see a doctor as well.
my_pandoras_box 23rd-Apr-2007 04:07 am (UTC)
I didn't really start showing until late in my 6th month. everyone is different, though
kaelstra 23rd-Apr-2007 04:45 am (UTC)
At five weeks, I'd say it's next to impossible you are seeing an actual 'pregnant' belly. That's only a month and a week along! The baby is still really, really tiny at that point, and the uterus hasn't even expanded any at that point!

I agree with the others; what you saw in those pics was probably just bloating, which is totally normal. Even though I agree every pregnancy is different, I do think the odds of ANY woman showing at 5 weeks is pretty much impossible.

That said, I didn't start actually showing until I was about 6 months along, and I'm very slight of frame and small to boot.
storychick 23rd-Apr-2007 05:04 am (UTC)
It depends a lot on how many pregnancies you've had. My first, I didnt need maternity pants until 12 weeks (which even still is pretty early, I carry all out front). My second, it was more like 9 weeks, and with my last I started wearing them at 6 weeks. :( I looked pregnant enough that time around that I started having strangers ask me when I was due at 8 weeks. I'm 5'3" and started the pregnancies at 120, 110, and 130 lb, fwiw.

I agree, though, especially with your first, that at 5 weeks the baby is only about 3 weeks grown and incredibly tiny, and even a health care provider might not yet be able to tell from palpating your belly.
lotus82 23rd-Apr-2007 08:36 am (UTC)
As far as my knowledge goes, each woman starts showing at a different time. It has to do with the way her body's built - and obviously, if you're carrying twins, you start showing earlier. Usually small, thin women show earlier than tall, large ones.
venomgurl 23rd-Apr-2007 11:09 am (UTC)
in my first pregnancy i did start showing til i hit about 4 months and it was just a lil pooch...it just popped out right before the 6th month. Every pregnancy i had after that by the 3rd month i was showing greatly.
jennifer0246 23rd-Apr-2007 11:36 am (UTC)
If you're concerned about pregnancy, I recommend taking a pregnancy test. 5 weeks pregnant is really only 3-weeks post ovulation, about 2-weeks post implantation, so there's no way anyone would show at that point.

Working in an OB office, typically small women start to show around 16 weeks; most women look at least a little pregnant by 20-24 weeks.
archangelbeth 23rd-Apr-2007 02:19 pm (UTC)
What everyone else is saying -- if you're worried, get a pregnancy test.

(Other symptoms of pregnancy, after about a month, include running about a degree hotter than usual -- i.e., a degree of "fever." It's not just tummification.)
sarahcb1208 23rd-Apr-2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
I showed early with my daughter, but my stomach area was concave (of no choice of my own). I showed later with my son, even though he was much bigger, because I had kept (had to fight to keep it) some of the weight from my daughter :)
sunlightdaze 23rd-Apr-2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
I'm 11 weeks pregnant, and the only physical change that my body is going through is that my breasts have got bigger. My belly is exactly the same as it was 12 weeks ago.
With my first child, I didn't show at all (didn't know either, but that's another story).
If you are concerned about pregnancy, the best thing to do would be to take a test.
majellen 23rd-Apr-2007 10:09 pm (UTC)
I agree with everyone who has said to take a test. You can even find them at dollar stores sometimes.

I'm 24 weeks pregnant and I show some. At 5 weeks, we'd just found out...and I was seeing a fertility specialist!

The baby/uterus doesn't reach your belly button until you hit around 20 weeks. So chances are, even if you are pregnant, it's bloating, not baby.
littlemissalien 24th-Apr-2007 04:03 am (UTC)
I'm expecting my first. I didn't find out until 5 weeks and I had a little bloating, but nothing that rang any alarm bells - I thought I was getting my period! I didn't start wearing maternity trousers until around 16 weeks, and even then it was because my regular jeans felt a little tight (but not unwearable). I still wear non-maternity tops mostly.

I didn't start showing properly until around 24 weeks, and had people tentitively ask if I was expecting (they were frightened I'd just got fat!), but no outright "OMG! When are you due?!" type questions.

I'm 30 weeks now and have suddenly "popped" in the last couple of weeks. I did a photoshoot on Sunday and was amazed by the size of my belly in the pics. FWIW, I've only put on 11lbs, so it's all baby and all very recent - I don't feel like it's my body when I catch sight of myself in mirrors and stuff.
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