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As you leave the first trimester behind, hopefully along with its less pleasant symptoms morning sickness, aversions to certain foods and smells, and extreme fatigue your body will start growing, and you will develop that beautiful baby bump that is so characteristic of pregnancy. All expectant mothers are different, and you may well be worrying if your belly is too big, or too small. All kinds of people, including total strangers, might be making comments about your body shape and speculating about your baby's gender, or whether you are having twins. At least, as your uterus grows, everyone knows that you are pregnant, and not just fat!

Before you get pregnant, most of the abdominal cavity is filled by the intestines. When you get pregnant, the uterus starts taking up more space and the position of your your internal organs shifts to accommodate your baby. While you may have a bloated or tender abdomen during the first trimester of pregnancy, your uterus is still tiny and tucked away in the pelvis at that stage. Most women will start "showing" at some point in the second trimester. Every woman "carries" differently. But whatever you look like on the outside, your baby will have reached the level of your belly button by the 20th week of your pregnancy. As your uterus grows, it will move up somewhat. Your bowels and bladder are likely to have less pressure concentrated onto them as the second trimester progresses, and you may feel more comfortable than before. If you palpate your abdomen, you can probably feel something protruding forward.

Your baby grows most rapidly during this time, and the way you look will change from week to week. Don't forget to take pictures so that you can keep track of the wonderful changes your body and baby are going through! If you want to look at other pregnancy signs and symptoms, please feel free to look at our full list!

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