Your Belly During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Your belly during pregnancy will go through a lot of changes. To help you prepare for them, we'll answer some common questions.
Your Belly During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

Last update: 08 June, 2022

When women become pregnant, it’s normal for their bellies to change. Your tummy growing will announce to the rest of the world that you’re pregnant, without you having to say a single word. The shape of your belly might depend on if you’ve already had children, your height, and your weight. In today’s article, we’ll tell you all about your belly during pregnancy.

All of these factors will influence how your belly will grow. Also, you’ll almost always notice the change first without clothes on. And, your partner will notice before anyone else does. 

To make sure we answer everything you need to know, we’re going to share everything about your belly during pregnancy. This information will help you better understand the growth process of your precious tummy. 

A woman smiling with her pregnant friend.

When will I start to notice my belly during pregnancy?

Your belly will be especially noticeable from the fifth month of gestation onwards. That’s when the fundus of the uterus reaches navel level. However, the truth is that it will depend a lot on the mother. You may notice your belly during pregnancy sooner or later depending on the following factors:

  • Your age: The older you are, the more distended your belly will be. Therefore, you’ll show sooner.
  • The number of previous pregnancies: If you’ve already had children, the transverse rectus muscles of the abdomen walls (those that go from the ribs to the linea alba) have given way. As a result, you’ll show earlier.
  • Type of pelvis: If you have a thin or narrow pelvis, your belly during pregnancy may show earlier on.
  • Your weight: If you had a few extra pounds before you got pregnant, your belly will take longer to show. That’s because the extra pounds will hide the pregnancy at first.

What does the shape of my belly during pregnancy mean?

Your belly can take on different shapes during pregnancy:

  • Pointing out
  • Low
  • High
  • Rounded

The shape of your belly during pregnancy doesn’t have a lot of meaning. It simply has to do with the baby’s body type and position. Some women will have the same shaped belly each pregnancy, while others will vary with each baby. 

What happens to my belly button during pregnancy?

Your belly button will change during pregnancy. Sometimes, it will pop out a bit, while, in other cases, it will cave in and lay flat.

Also, if yours starts to pop out and you don’t like how it looks, you can pull your waistband over it. However, your belly button may hurt, so that isn’t always an option. Covering it with a waistband could help or make it worse, so do what works best for you.

Will I get stretch marks?

Almost anyone can get stretch marks. Some women will find that their skin is just more susceptible to stretch marks. 

Ask yourself: Did you get stretch marks during puberty? You’re more likely to have stretch marks if you gain weight quickly, have previously had stretch marks, if your family members have had them, and if you have poor nutrition.

When will I need to buy maternity clothes?

Maternity clothes are another thing that will depend on multiple factors. For example, if you already wear baggier clothes, and you don’t mind them getting a little tighter, you can go longer without having to buy maternity clothes. 

A woman smiling at her pregnant belly.

There are also some items you can buy that will help you expand your current wardrobe if you can’t button up your pants. However, in general, most moms-to-be will need to wear maternity clothes around 16-20 weeks of pregnancy. 

Commemorate your belly during pregnancy

If you’re like most women, your belly during pregnancy may surprise you. And, if you want to, there are things you can do to commemorate it. The two most popular options are abdominal casts or masks and taking pictures of your belly. This is especially popular in the last weeks of pregnancy.

Both options are fairly easy to carry out, but abdominal casts are more of a snapshot in time, as you’ll be able to save them. In addition, many women choose to paint their bellies artistically and take pictures of them to create a nice memory. 


Now that you have all this information, it will be easier to understand the changes your belly will undergo during pregnancy. Of course, we also encourage you to learn about what will happen to the rest of your body and how your baby will develop week by week.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.