When you are pregnant or even just trying to conceive, it is natural to have a lot of questions concerning what you should expect. It is normal to wonder what is happening inside of you and what changes your body will go through. Our month-by-month pregnant belly guide is an excellent tool to understand how your pregnancy will develop over time, both in terms of fetal development and what your belly will look like. It is important to remember that every baby develops differently and pregnant bellies can vary too, especially depending on the number of babies.
Month-by-Month Pregnant Belly Pictures
1. Month One
Fetal development: The first month is one of the busiest months of pregnancy and it starts with conception and fertilization and then implantation. During ovulation most of the time the egg will be fertilized within two days and the cell will begin to divide and be classified as a zygote. During fertilization every physical attribute of your baby will be determined. Usually implantation occurs 7 to 10 days after fertilization. At the end of the first month the yolk sac, umbilical cord and amniotic sac will have started forming and the baby will be about 2 millimeters long.
Belly shape: In most cases, there aren’t any visible changes to the belly during the first month.
2. Month Two
Fetal development: During month two your fetus’s development will continue with major organs as well as the legs, arms, neural tube and heart beginning to form. At week six, the heart can be seen on ultrasound. It is also during this time that the placenta, eyes, mouth, ears and bones start forming. Although they can still be webbed, the fingers and toes can also appear. The same is true of cranial nerves and brains as well as the baby’s sex organs. At the end of the month the baby is about 1 to 2 grams and 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch.
Belly shape: The baby bump will be just starting to appear at this stage and it will still be barely noticeable.
3. Month Three
Fetal development: An ultrasound at this point shows arm and leg movement. The heart as well as other major organs are mostly developed by the end of the month at the beginning, the heart beat is easier to detect. It is still hard to tell whether the baby is a boy or girl but the sex organs keep developing as well as the head, limbs and trunk. The baby starts to look like a baby and will be 3 to 4 inches long and weight about 1 ounce.
Belly shape: Although it will still be slight, the baby bump becomes more pronounced. The belly will simply curve out slightly on the bottom.
4. Month Four
Fetal development: Some babies become active at this point so you may start feeling movement. The fourth month is also when the baby’s teeth and hair start forming and the same is true of the digestive system. At this point, he has his intestines as well as first stool (meconium). At the end of the month you can tell the baby’s gender and he will be about 5 to 8 ounces and 5 to 6 inches.
Belly shape: The pregnant belly continues to become more pronounced and the roundness starts extending upward.
5. Month Five
Fetal development: During month five your baby will develop lanugo, a fine hair that covers his body and his eyebrows and lashes are developing. Now he will have developed his footprints and fingerprints and will start to swallow and suck. He will also start developing vernix (a white covering) for skin protection. Your baby might be able to hear as his ears are developed. At the end of the month he will be ¾ to a pound and 7 to 8 inches.
Belly shape: This is the stage of pregnancy where people can look at you and be sure that you are pregnant. In most cases the belly will still be a gentle curve but it can vary from person to person.
6. Month Six
Fetal development: During month six, your baby will start to develop his immune system and create antibodies. He will also have a startle reflex and hand grip reflex. The lungs are starting to develop and the baby starts to look even more like he will at birth. At the end of month six he will be between 9 and 10 inches and 1.5 to 2.25 pounds.
Belly shape: The roundness of the pregnant belly during this stage begins to become a bit more pronounced and curve outward much more in the lower middle portion.
7. Month Seven
Fetal development: At seven months the baby can cry and open his eyes. He will also be active and may get hiccups. He will have more body fat and fully developed bones. He will reach about 11 inches and weigh 3 to 3.5 pounds.
Belly shape: This is one you will usually see the stereotypical pregnant belly that curves strongly outward.
8. Month Eight
Fetal development: The baby continues to grow and develop and will sleep most of the time. Despite being tight on space, he will still be active. He should reach about 5 to 6 pounds and 13 inches in length.
Belly shape: The general shape of the belly is the same as in month seven but the curve is even more pronounced.
9. Month Nine
Fetal development: Your baby will rest a lot during this time to prepare for birth but still be active. He should have his head downward and the usual range is 7 to 8 pounds and 19 to 21 inches.
Belly shape: This is the final stage in pregnancy so you should expect your belly to be the largest it will be with an extreme curve.