I'm expecting my first baby and am 17 weeks pregnant. I was wondering when I'll start to show more?
If you are 17 weeks pregnant, your uterus is about the size of a large cantaloupe. Some women have plenty of room in their pelvic bones and strong abdominal muscles which hold the uterus tightly within the abdomen. This makes it harder to notice that you are already quite pregnant.
Women who are very obese (overweight) may not show that they’re pregnant for months. Other women who are shorter or have smaller body frames will have less room to accommodate their growing baby, and the uterus will protrude outward at an earlier date.
Women with weaker stomach muscles (and that includes ANYONE who has already had a baby!) will not be able to hide their pregnancy for long. Some women begin to bulge as early as 12 weeks! This is because the stomach muscles have stretched from their prior pregnancies and often separate in the midline, making it easier for the uterus to protrude.
The only way to really assess the size of your uterus is to be examined by an experienced clinician while you are lying down. Sometimes an ultrasound may be necessary to determine the uterine size, especially in women who are overweight.
By 20 weeks your uterus should have reached the level of your belly-button. At this point, you’ll probably find that your clothes have become much tighter and that you are beginning to show.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.