Pregnant Belly by Month – What To Expect (With Pictures)

Despite the unique nature of each person’s pregnancy journey, there is a plethora of resources available that can assist in understanding the changes your body will undergo as you carry a growing baby.

Knowing what to expect each month can help you with expectations and prepare you for challenges you might face.

When does your stomach get bigger during pregnancy? While this varies for every person, the second trimester is when you will likely start to notice drastic growth in your belly. It all depends on your individual body structure, how many babies you are carrying, and your specific circumstances.

Every month of your pregnancy has something different to offer, so find out all you can so you can prepare.

Pregnant Belly Month by Month

Every pregnant belly is different, but there are some similarities in what happens during pregnancy each month.

Walk through each month with facts and pictures to determine what you will need for each phase.

First Month

At this early point of your pregnancy, you may not even know you are pregnant. Your belly size will likely not change at all because your uterus isn’t substantially larger.

You may experience some bloating due to hormone changes, and this may cause your belly to look slightly rounder. However, many women won’t even notice that slight change.

  • Baby Size: 6-7 millimeters, or about the size of a grain of rice
  • Uterus Size: Your uterus lining may be thickening, but your uterus is not noticeably larger than usual at this point.

Other Changes This Month

Expect fatigue to hit you hard the first month, even if you don’t know why yet. You may also have bloating and an increased need to pee.

Second Month

While you may have a bit of a bump develop during the second month of pregnancy, it’s not likely.

You will still be bloated, but the size of your belly may not have changed enough to signal to you or others that you’re pregnant. Plus, food aversions and nausea may be keeping you away from big meals.

  • Baby Size: Around 1 inch long and about ⅓ ounce in weight
  • Uterus Size: Between the size of an egg and the size of a small orange

Other Changes This Month

Even if you don’t look pregnant during the second month, you will probably start to feel pregnant.

Bloating, food aversions, and exhaustion will make appearances this month, and you may also find yourself extremely emotional due to hormone shifts.

Third Month

You likely know you’re pregnant now due to a positive pregnancy test or sonogram.

Your belly may also be larger, though it will still only be a slight bump in most cases. Without a shirt covering it, you may notice the roundness. 

  • Baby Size: ½ inch to 2 inches, only ½ ounce in weight
  • Uterus Size: Larger orange size

Other Changes This Month

Your stomach is not the only thing growing. By the third month, you will probably notice that your breasts are larger.

You are likely still very tired and possibly dealing with morning or all-day sickness the last month of your first trimester.

Fourth Month

At this point, you may still be able to conceal your pregnancy if you choose. However, you will likely be sporting a round bump that is visible to people who know to look. 

  • Baby Size: About 6 inches long and 6 ounces in weight
  • Uterus Size: Larger than an orange and smaller than a soccer ball

Other Changes This Month

You may have an increase in energy as you enter the second trimester, and that is a welcome change for most women.

Your breasts are likely still very tender, but you may finally get your appetite back in full force.

Fifth Month

By the fifth month of pregnancy, your belly is visible. Depending on your body type, muscle tone, and size, you may be carrying low or high.

Some women also just have a bump while others have weight evenly distributed. 

Baby Size: 5-10 inches, growing up to 1 pound in weight

Uterus Size: Larger than an orange and smaller than a soccer ball

Other Changes This Month

You may experience swollen feet, back pain, and brain fog as you make your way through the fifth month of pregnancy.

Sleeping may also get harder as you experience heartburn and discomfort due to your growing belly.

Sixth Month

Look down at this point in your pregnancy and expect to see a basketball-shaped belly.

Your stomach will get larger throughout each week of your sixth month, and you will feel those changes in the way you carry the weight. 

  • Baby Size: Around 12 inches long, 2-4 pounds
  • Uterus Size: Size of a soccer ball

Other Changes This Month

Braxton Hicks, or practice contractions, can occur during the sixth month, and you may be producing colostrum, your baby’s first milk.

Seventh Month

At this point, space may feel like it is getting tight. Your belly is definitely round and showing, and you may notice that it gets slightly larger this month.

However, you may also feel heavier without feeling much of an increase in the actual size of your baby belly.

  • Baby Size: Around 14 inches long, 3-5 pounds
  • Uterus Size: Approaching watermelon size but not there yet

Other Changes This Month

You may have back pain and trouble sleeping, or you may still be running on some of that energy from your second trimester. 

Eighth Month

Your belly probably looks about the same as it did in month seven — round, full, and heavy.

Some women are still carrying high at this point. Others have bellies that look as if they have dropped to prepare for birth. 

  • Baby Size: About 18 inches long, 5-7 pounds
  • Uterus Size: Approaching watermelon size but not there yet

Other Changes This Month

Hemorrhoids, leg cramps, and constant peeing greet many women as they enter the 8th month of pregnancy. You will also get to feel your baby move often.

Ninth Month

This is definitely the month where you will wonder how much bigger you can get.

While you may not notice leaps and bounds in your belly size, all of your baby’s movement will leave your belly full and possibly moving. 

  • Baby Size: Baby is 18-20 inches long, 7-9 pounds
  • Uterus Size: Size of a watermelon

Other Changes This Month

Expect contractions and labor at some point during this month.

How You Might Be Carrying

Every woman carries differently, but here are the most common ways.

Carrying Low

Carrying low means that your baby bump will ride lower instead of being pressed between your belly button and ribs. A woman who carries low can have a round or oval-shaped bump. 

Carrying High

I carried my first child very high. She was in a breech position and never dropped, so I had a round bump that felt like it was pushing up instead of going down.

You may carry high if your ab muscles are fairly tight. 

Carrying Wide

Women who feel like they are carrying wide may have a baby who is in a transverse position. This is not an ideal position for birth, but most babies flip out of it before the third trimester.

Some women also just carry wider, making it look like they are carrying the baby throughout their abdomen instead of just in one area with the bump.

Big Belly

My twin pregnancy belly was obviously much larger than my singleton pregnancy belly. You may also have a bigger belly if your child weighs more or if this isn’t your first pregnancy.

Your doctor will monitor your progress and the size of your child to ensure there is nothing to worry about during the pregnancy.

Small Belly

Since you aren’t technically supposed to eat for two when pregnant, women who only consume the 300-500 more calories that is recommended may find they have a small belly.

This is not cause for alarm as long as the doctor or midwife can verify that your baby is growing at the right rate. A smaller belly may lead to less back pain.

What Determines How You Carry a Baby?

Your muscle tone, body shape, and how many babies you are pregnant with all determine how you carry your baby.

Why Does My Pregnant Belly Look Smaller Some Days?

Your belly may look smaller some days because of your baby’s position. Amniotic fluid levels also change throughout pregnancy, so that can also affect the size of your belly.

It’s normal for the size to fluctuate, but always ask your doctor if you are concerned.

Belly After Birth

Right after you give birth, all that extra skin that stretched to accommodate your baby will just be there. However, it will tighten back up over time. Don’t rush the process or worry about a pre-baby belly. 

Final Thoughts

Your body, especially your belly, will undergo major changes when you are pregnant. Be proud of the growth since it’s evidence of the new life inside of you.