Growing Pregnant Belly Week By Week

40 weeks pregnant

(Scroll down for pictures of pregnancy.)

The pregnant belly is a mystery (well not for your gynecologist, but still), it’s where the miracle of life starts (really that would be the fallopian tube but let’s not get into details now), it’s where we’ve all spent 9 months (some much shorter!) before we came to this world. No wonder it attracts so much attention. Even the suspicion that a girl might be hiding a little treasure in there is a great source of gossip.

A more than usual puffy belly, going to the bathroom more often, bigger breasts, getting tired more easily and – God forbid – morning sickness will draw attention even if you want to keep your secret to yourself. But still, these not need to be linked to pregnancy but one thing surely is – your expanding belly! At some point it will become obvious to the world around that you are, in fact, expecting.

“At some point” however is not a very clear explanation! We want to know when that will happen for us, either because we want to keep things quiet at work (or school!), or because we want to get on that plane without attracting too much attention, or because we want to plan our bump shopping adventure. But there is no fixed point at which a girl starts showing, like there’s no fixed date when a girl gets her menstrual period or finally sees her breasts growing (mine actually just popped out! Kidding!).

This is why we compare. So for your enjoyment or horror (depending on where you’re standing) I present you my weekly pregnancy pictures in the slideshow below.

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If you take a look at me in my pregnancy week 13 (in the first picture), which is pretty much the end of the first trimester, you will see how flat my “bump” is, but don’t be fooled by the looks, the ultrasound showed pretty quickly just how alive and kicking the little one is!

Once I saw the baby jumping up and down I was dying to know whether it was a he or a she and since the doctors wouldn’t even attempt to find out what I was carrying until week 20, of course I grabbed the 50 dollar gender prediction test with great enthusiasm to find out it was a boy!

Once I new I was having a jumping little fellow, or a growing football player as all would say, I couldn’t wait to feel his first kick, which I believe I felt in week 18. I was relaxing on the couch in the evening and I felt a faint little punch but I was just so excited! I knew he was moving because I saw him on the ultrasound but now I could actually feel him! Now I know that was only the warm-up to what is now a regular kick-box training against the walls of my belly.

In week 23 I still wasn’t attracting any attention and when I went for my ultrasound appointment (I was traveling so the doctor didn’t know me), the nurse was surprised that I was pregnant! That visit was actually quite a turn of events. I didn’t quite understand when the doctor said: “Can you see the hamburger?”. What he was communicating was that we were having a girl! A girl!!! We were quite shocked! Thank God we hadn’t started baby shopping just yet! But at that point I made my first baby shopping list and got moving. I think I have most of the items by now.

In week 25 I could still fit into my skinny jeans, as in week 26 (beginning of the third trimester) and week 27 (when the baby’s eyes open). But that was it. Week 28 was when I hit the skinny jeans limit. Still, the shop assistants failed to notice that I was pregnant when I was clothes shopping and nobody ever offered me a seat. But I felt fit and fabulous and did gain the weight recommended by my favorite pregnancy book Pregnancy Day By Day.

Week 30 was the first time a stranger noticed I was pregnant. I was waiting in line to get a gelato and a little girl whispered to her friend: “look! There’s a pregnant lady!”. Since people started noticing, I thought it was a good idea to pack my bag for the hospital.

I gained 11 kg from the beginning of my pregnancy to week 29 after which I lost 2kg by week 32! But if you look at the pictures you can see the bump growing – it was however still the smallest one in my prenatal class. Week 32 was the most painful one in terms of the delightful phenomenon of vomit. I would regularly throw up once or twice a day – it must have been the baby and the food fighting for space with baby winning every time! Fortunately in week 33 I found out about the magical anti-vomit properties of apples and week 34 went totally vomit free!

Week 35 was full of baby’s hiccups, she was even hiccuping during the weekly photo shoot 🙂 And instead of kicks I rather felt her whole body wriggling around 🙂 By this time I also did a lot of preparation for childbirth.

At the end of week 36 I already started feeling my baby descend. I started feeling my first (painless) contractions in week 37Week 38 was the most challenging in terms of fatigue. I felt great in week 39 thanks to some homeopathic remedies I took. Week 40 was a fun time – and I got a really cool photo shoot. I reached 40 weeks and baby girl is still in mama’s belly!

I went into labor on a full moon and baby Mia was born on August 3rd 2012. One week after giving birth I already lost 7 kg out of the 10 kg I gained during my pregnancy!

And now I’m a mom! If you liked this article, you might enjoy my new picture book, which you can start reading to your little one when she’s still in your belly (that’s how I started).

Would you like to hear about other moms’ experiences? I have just the thing for you! Get “Bumptabulous” – a book, in which 20 laugh-out-loud-funny moms (myself included) describe their pregnancies, revealing the secretly-guarded details of their conceptions, the great and gross about pregnancy, the truth about childbirth and how their life changed once their little womb-hijacker finally came out.


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Categories: Pregnancy Belly, Pregnancy Week by Week

Author:Alinka Rutkowska

Alinka is a best-selling and award-winning Children's Author.


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22 Comments on “Growing Pregnant Belly Week By Week”

  1. May 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    hi Alinka,

    Amazing to see how your belly grows slowly but steady!! I started showing earlier…but I’m a tiny little person so the baby had no place else to go! And I read that the better your tummy muscels the later you show… so you should be proud!! 🙂 I get people who are shocked when I say i’m 6 months pregnant (meaning they think I have a tiny belly) and then there are others who say ‘it’s not gonna be to long anymore is it?’

    Enjoy your beautiful belly!

    Monia x

    • May 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

      Haha! Thanks for the compliment Monia 🙂 Before getting pregnant I used to do abdominals like crazy! As we observe, bellies come in all shapes and sizes and people’s perception of what’s big and what’s small also varies…I’m so excited we both will be mamas soon!!! Xoxo.

  2. May 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Wow! I’m amazed by how tiny you are! In my

  3. May 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Wow! I can’t believe how tiny your bump is, lucky lady! With my first baby, I more or less looked like I put on some weight until 7 months, with no obviously visible belly. I was able to conceal my pregnancy until then at work — and at 7 months — finally revealed my pregnancy. I tend to “show” later. By my third pregnancy though, I showed a lot earlier (darn you, stomach muscles). Good luck with the remainder of your pregnancy and happy birthing!

  4. Anonymous
    June 2, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    Wow! Congrats, you look amazing!!! I looked and felt like a buffalo at 20 weeks!!! Unfortunately never thought of documenting. Love the presentation and your blog! Keep it up!

  5. June 2, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Thank you so much mama at Three Wild Things! It must be all the abdominals I was doing before getting pregnant! 🙂 This is my first, things might change with the next 😉

  6. June 22, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    You’ve been very diligent taking your belly shots every week and it makes such a great slide show! I hope being so small doesn’t worry you – I only gained 7 kg in my second pregnancy and the baby was just fine and normal size (and i remember being very worried when everyone was commenting how small I was). I can sympathise about the sickness, too. I must try that apple fix of yours.

  7. June 22, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Hi Tat, thank you! It’s a lot fun documenting the belly 🙂 It’s great to know that you were also small and yet the baby was just fine. My doctor said my little girl “will not be a giant” but that should make the whole birthing process easier – I can’t wait! (And I’ll definitely write about it!)

  8. Anonymous
    July 31, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    Hi there, I’m due next week too and nobody noticed I was pregnant until around 7 months and I still get comments saying I can’t possibly be about to give birth yet!! I love having a ‘tidy’ bump and know that I have a healthy baby boy ready to meet us soon!! Good luck to you and great pics!!

  9. July 31, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Hi there, I’m due next week too and nobody noticed I was pregnant until around 7 months and I still get comments saying I can’t possibly be about to give birth yet!! I love having a ‘tidy’ bump and know that I have a healthy baby boy ready to meet us soon!! Good luck to you and great pics!!

    • July 31, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

      Isn’t that amusing? 🙂 Good luck to you Catherine and please share some pics of your baby boy when he’s here 🙂

  10. August 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Full moon today and have had a few twinges this afternoon…who knows?? 🙂

  11. August 2, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    Me too… 😉

  12. celeste
    July 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    I was really worried about my belly still being so small but after reading about Alinka and how she looked at 13w/4d I felt quite at ease with my belly! I am 12w/3d. I hope the size of my belly doesn’t effect the babies size?!

    Thanks,it was very reassuring reading about Alinka’s experience.

    • July 3, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

      Ciao Celeste! I’m glad my story is reassuring 🙂 The size of your belly doesn’t affect your baby’s size. Anyway your doctor will keep on eye on it! I think, the lighter – the better! 🙂 Have a delightful pregnancy! Alinka

  13. stephanie
    October 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    I’m 21 years old, this is my first time pregnancy. I’m scared. Last time I went to the doctor babys heartbeat was 163 I’m not due till april 5th 2014, I’m a size 16 and I don’t have a baby bump, my fiance says I have one but how come I don’t see it???? Really need some advice or something???

    • sydni22
      October 6, 2013 at 12:50 am #

      This is my first pregnancy 13 weeks..already showing a gud bit! Im im due april 13th..jus cant wait to find out wat im havin:)

      • October 9, 2013 at 9:19 am #

        Hi Sydni! How exciting! Have you already spread the news?

    • October 9, 2013 at 9:18 am #

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for dropping by! It looks like you’re doing just fine! I’m sure your ob-gyn has everything under control 🙂 Don’t worry about your bump being hardly visible! I had to wait 7 months for mine! Please stop by again with an update on how things are progressing. Thank you!

  14. ann
    November 26, 2013 at 3:55 am #

    Alinka How tall are you?

  15. Becky
    December 12, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

    Am twenty five weeks now and ppl dont still know am pregnant it so very funny, sometime i wonder why its like that:D

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