Pregnancy Tummy Growth Chart - Week by Week

Pregnancy Belly Growth Chart – Week by Week

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sanjana Sainani (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
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Congratulations dear momma-to-be! This is a precious time in your life and you must be super excited to welcome your little one! You probably want to know every little detail about your baby. Your body will undergo a lot of changes during pregnancy, and when you reach the second trimester of your pregnancy, you will start noticing significant changes in your belly. Your belly will start growing, and it’s the one time that you won’t obsess about your weight or your growing belly. We’re pretty sure you’re even checking the way your belly grows with each passing week. It’s true that every pregnant belly is different and beautiful! Pregnancy bellies come in different shapes and sizes. But you must also be curious about whether the belly you have is ideal and if everything is fine with your baby’s growth. However, you should know how much belly growth is actually good. The following article will provide you with information about the same.

When Will Your Belly Start to Show During Pregnancy?

It is actually difficult to understand when your belly will start to show. Most first-time mothers are known to start showing anywhere between 16 and 20 weeks. For others, the belly bump isn’t noticeable till they reach the later part of the second trimester. For women who have been pregnant before, their bellies may start showing right in the first trimester itself.

Does Belly Size Really Matter During Pregnancy?

If you are pregnant, a lot of your friends and relatives would want to share their experiences with you. They will have their set of opinions regarding the weight, belly size, etc and they’ll share the information as per their experience, but the truth is, the size of the belly does not matter during pregnancy. As long as you are not overweight or obese during pregnancy, there is nothing to worry. The size of your belly should not be a concern to you. Don’t miss your doctor’s appointments and get the tests done at regular intervals – your doctor will keep you updated!

Can Your Belly Size Accurately Indicate Your Stage of Pregnancy?

Your belly size cannot accurately indicate the stage of your pregnancy. Whether your belly is small or big, you cannot exactly determine the stage of your pregnancy. All women have a different journey of their pregnancies.  If your friend’s bump was big enough in the 6th month of her pregnancy, that does not mean your belly will also be of the same size in the 6th month of your pregnancy. If you have a small belly bump by that time and your doctor assures you that your pregnancy is progressing fine, you need not stress yourself!

Can Your Belly Size Reveal the Gender of Your Unborn Baby?

As per an old wives’ tale, the way a woman carries her baby can determine whether it’s a boy or girl. If it’s a boy, you will carry your baby low and the belly will be out in front. If it’s a girl, her weight will be more spread out in your waist and you will carry her high-up. But as mentioned, this is just an old wives’ tale – it is not backed by science!

How you carry your baby during pregnancy cannot determine the sex of your baby. How you carry your baby will depend on how toned your abdominal muscles were before you got pregnant.

Why the Size of Your Bump Will Not Be Equal to Your Baby’s Size

No matter how big or small your belly size is during pregnancy, it won’t be equal to the size of the baby. The following factors will determine the size of your belly (and it won’t be equal to your baby’s size, at least not always).

1. Your Height

If you are tall and have a long abdomen, then your belly probably won’t grow outwards and the size of your bump will appear smaller. Your long abdomen will make more space for your baby to grow. Your baby will have a lot of space to grow. As a result, your baby will grow upwards rather than outwards. On the other hand, if you are on the shorter side, there will be less space between your hip and the lowest ribs for your uterus to grow upwards; hence it will push outwards. And your bump will appear bigger!

2. Your Baby’s Position

Your baby will move around a lot in your womb during pregnancy and you must be aware of that if you are in the later stages of your pregnancy. The activities of your baby in the uterus may change his position to an extent. Usually, by the end of the pregnancy, the baby should be in a head-down position, but due to the baby’s activities, the position may change. A change in your baby’s position could change your belly size.

Baby in the womb

3. A Lack of Internal Space

As your uterus will expand with your baby, certain other organs of your body like the placenta and the intestines will compromise with their individual positions. As your uterus will grow, your uterus may be pushed behind it. This may make your belly appear bigger or similar to the size of the baby. And, in case the intestines may find a place near the uterus’ edges, the belly may look bulged out from the sides as well.

4. Your First Pregnancy

If you are having a baby for the first time, your body will grow bigger for the first time. This means that you will have stiff muscles that will make your uterus compact. Also, the muscles of your stomach that were not stretched will stretch now. Hence, your baby bump will look compact or smaller than what is expected.

5. Earlier Pregnancies

Abdominal muscles are generally stiff in the first pregnancy. If you are pregnant for the second time, then your abdominal muscles must be comfortable and would stretch easily to ensure that there would be enough space for your baby to grow. In this case, your bump may look bigger even before its time. However, this does not imply that your baby’s size will be bigger. It would indicate that your belly is flexible enough to expand.

6. The Amount of Amniotic Fluid

The amniotic fluid surrounding the baby during pregnancy can fluctuate. Too much and too less of amniotic fluid could pose a problem for your baby. In the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, a woman’s body produces amniotic fluid, after that the baby becomes developed enough to secrete the fluid from the lungs. Thus, the amount of this amniotic fluid in the belly could also influence the belly size.

7. Your Baby’s Size

Genetics will play a major role in defining your baby’s size. If you and your husband are tall, your baby will have similar traits. Also, the birth order could define your baby’s weight. The first baby would not be that big in size as compared to the second one. Your nutrition will also determine your baby’s weight. If you don’t get enough nutrition, your baby may grow less and vice versa.

Size Chart to Explain Belly Growth During Pregnancy

Excited about the new bundle of joy entering your life? Here’s a size chart to help you understand your baby’s growth during the different stages of your pregnancy. Find out what your belly will look like as your baby grows and how you will feel.

Pregnancy Week Belly Size
Week 1Week 4
  • Ovulation takes place.
  • Fertilisation of the egg by the sperm.
  • No noticeable difference in the belly as the baby is about 2mm long during this time.
Week 4- Week 8
  • The baby grows to an inch, but there is unlikely to be any major difference.
  • You may experience some tightness in your belly.
Week 8- Week 12
  • The baby would be about 2.5-3 inches long. You may see an incremental increase in your waist and your pants may get tighter.
Week 12- Week 18
  • Your baby will be about 5 inches by now.
  • Your bump will be noticeable, and this is the ideal time to spread the good news.
Week 18- Week 22
  • Your baby will be 7 inches by now.
  • Your bump may attract the attention of friends and relatives who may inquire about your pregnancy status.
Week 22-Week 26
  • There will be rapid growth during this time, and your baby will reach up to 15 inches.
  • Your belly size will increase significantly.
Week 26- Week 30
  • The growth of your baby will be stable and he will be about 18 inches now.
  • The increase in the size of the belly will depend on the growth of your baby.
Week 30-Week 32
  • While the baby is still growing, the growth will be tapered.
  • Your belly may not have increased as such but would definitely look as if it is popping out.
Week 32-Week 36
  • Your baby will be approximately 19-22 inches.
  • This is the largest that your belly will ever grow during pregnancy. It will feel crowded but you won’t put on too much weight from now.
  • It will appear large and curvy.


Common Concerns About Bellies During Pregnancy

Pregnant women may have certain concerns about their bellies during pregnancy which are as follows:

1. Small Belly

Pregnant Women with small bellies may often feel that they’re carrying a small baby. However, it all depends on genetics. It could be a matter of concern if the amniotic fluid levels are low. This can be detected through an ultrasound.

2. Large Belly

If your belly grows very fast, it could be due to multiple factors, like a previous pregnancy. It’s a matter of concern if the amniotic fluid levels are high, which can be detected through ultrasounds.

3. Low Belly

A low belly would make it seem like your due date is nearing faster than expected. However, while it may cause lower back pain and pain in the pelvic region, it’s not a matter of concern.

4. High Belly

A pregnancy belly usually means you have strong abdominal muscles and good muscle tone. It’s considered normal unless specified by your doctor.

5. Wide Belly

This could mean that your baby may be in a transverse position or a side-to-side position. It could be an issue if your baby doesn’t turn head down closer to the due date. Sometimes, if the woman is overweight, a wide belly isn’t a cause for concern.

Creative Ways to Celebrate Your Pregnancy Belly

Pregnancy is a time to celebrate, so why not have fun and flaunt that belly bump with these ideas!

1. Belly Painting

Belly painting is a cute way to use the belly as a canvas. You can paint whatever you like. Something cute, something funny, something abstract, and the list goes on!

2. Photoshoot

Pregnancy photoshoots are all the rage now! This is a perfect occasion to flaunt those classy gowns or pose according to different themes. It’s nice to look back at these beautiful memories.


1. Why Do I Have a Large Belly During Pregnancy?

You may have a large belly because of various reasons like swelling, which is a common problem during pregnancy. You may also have a large tummy if you were overweight or obese before getting pregnant. However, sometimes it could indicate gestational diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy, your baby may receive too much sugar, which would make him bigger than he normally would. This could also lead to excess amniotic fluid in your body, which again could increase your belly size.

Now you know everything there is to know about belly size and baby growth during pregnancy. Refer to the chart above to track down the changes in your belly. However, keep in mind that the values given above are for reference – they may not strictly imply to you.

Also Read: Your Belly Button While Pregnant

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Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.