Should I be showing at six weeks?

Q: I am six weeks pregnant with my third child. I look like I am 3 to 4 months pregnant. Why am I getting so big so fast? It's not fat—my stomach is just getting bigger. Am I showing quicker because it is my third or is it something else?

A: Women do tend to "show" earlier with subsequent pregnancies. I refer to this is "the stretch effect" with my patients...your muscles have been stretched from prior pregnancies and seem to relax more with the changes seen in early pregnancy. There is nothing wrong with this, and it does not happen to all women who have had more than one pregnancy. Every woman should have an exam or an ultrasound to help make sure that the gestational age of the fetus is accurate and size differences are not the result of incorrect dating of the conception.

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