Pregnancy week by week

Pregnancy week by week

Pregnancy is a beautiful feeling but as a process it has its ups and downs. There are a lot changes that happen to a woman; physical and emotional, during the course of nine months. During pregnancy, along with the growth and development of the baby, a pregnant woman also experiences some unexpected situations such as mood swings, body changes and fetal development issues. For women, who do not know what to expect; and lack information about a normal pregnancy, it can be a frightening experience. Knowledge really is power, and the more knowledge you have, the less stress you will take while pregnant. Knowledge about your each week of pregnancy will allow you to track the changes that occur in your body as well as track your baby’s development. Pregnancy period is divided into 3 stages- first trimester; from week 1 to week 12, second trimester; from week 13 to week 27 and third trimester; from week 28 to week 40.

First Trimester

You are considered pregnant even before you conceive. The first day of your pregnancy, begins on the first day of your last menstrual period. Physicians calculate your expected delivery date by adding 40 weeks to the first day of your last period. This is the 1st week of your pregnancy, when your body is preparing for ovulation which releases a new egg, the beginnings of your baby. Now is the time to start developing healthy ‘pregnancy habits’ which include proper diet, rest, exercise, and taking prenatal vitamins as advised by the doctor.

By the 2nd week, your egg will be fertilized by the sperm and the gender of the baby is determined. In the 3rd week, the fertilized egg will move to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. It is highly recommended that you take an adequate amount of folic acid supplements to decrease the chance of neural tube defects. In the 4th week, your baby is in the embryonic stage. At this point of time, the groundwork for the nervous system and hair, gastrointestinal tract, and skeleton and muscles, is laid. Now you shall start experiencing the typical signs of pregnancy including frequent urination, fatigue, morning sickness and breast pain.

By the 5th week, the average length of your baby is 1.5-2.5 mm. The heart of the baby begins beating by now; the nervous and cardiovascular system and brain begin to develop. For you, mood swings and sore breasts are typical during this week. In the 6th week, the baby’s size is 4-6 mm and heartbeats are now visible through an ultrasound. Your baby starts to develop facial features and has a distinguishable body and head. Vomiting, nausea, frequent urination and aching breasts are typical in this week. In the 7th week, the size of the baby is between 7-9 mm. Your baby’s hands, arms and legs are developing now. The umbilical cord which is the connection between you and your baby will be completely formed by the end of this week. The most significant change to your body, this week, will be in the cervix. You may also notice breakouts on your face due to the change in the hormone levels. To prevent complications such as pre-eclampsia and hypertension, a steady intake of calcium is vital from this week onwards.

By the 8th week, the size of the baby is about 0.63 inches. You are now 2 months’ pregnant. It is important to set up a prenatal visit with your doctor, this week. At the prenatal visit, your doctor will confirm your pregnancy and conduct tests to check you and your baby’s health. In the 9th week, your baby’s size will be 0.90 inches. The baby will start moving away from contact. You may find yourself more tired than before and your breasts may also feel heavier and fuller. 10th week means the start of your baby’s fetal period. The average size of the baby is 1.06-1.38 inches. The baby will start breathing and its head size will be half of its total body length. This week, your abdomen may start to pooch out. By the end of 11th and 12th week, your baby is 2.5-3.5 inches long. Your baby’s heart will begin to pump several quarts of blood daily. You may either develop ‘pregnant glow ‘or dark patches on your face.

Second Trimester

This is the time when you will start to feel pregnant. By the 13th week, your placenta will develop to provide your baby with nutrients and oxygen. Your baby now is 2.5 to 3 inches long; it will be able to put a thumb in its mouth. The face of the baby will look more human now. You may notice stretch marks from your expanding breasts and tummy. Take good care of your body by taking rest and eating a nutritious diet. By the end of 14th and 15th week, the baby is 4 inches long, and there has been a significant growth and development in the baby. Your abdomen will be bigger in size by now. During 16th to 18th week, you will start to feel your baby’s movement. You will also be tested by the doctor to determine the health of the baby. Your baby is 5.59 inches long by now. 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd week will witness significant growth in the size of your tummy and your baby. Your baby’s senses will develop now and you will notice its kicking and turning. As the baby continues to gain weight, you will also become heavier. Week 23rd to 27th week, will be a crucial period and you will be advised by the doctor to undergo a few tests to check the health and development of your baby. By the end of 27th week, the baby will look like what it will be at birth.

Third Trimester

Your body will continue to put on weight until the 36th or 37th week. In the initial weeks of the 3rd trimester, you will be frequently visiting your doctor. The movement of the baby will also increase in this period. By the end of the 31st week, the baby is 16.25 inches long. The baby’s organs will start functioning. Your breasts will start producing colostrum, which is also called pre-milk. During 32nd to 36th week, your baby has developed fully; and sleeps and wakens up like it would do after birth. Cramps and contractions become more frequent as you are about to enter the labor period. During 37th to 39th week, your body will complete its preparation for delivery. Your baby will be in a head-down position by now. Utilize this time to pre-plan for an emergency; inquire from your doctor about what should be done if your water breaks. Here comes the 40th week, after weeks of preparation! Your baby is ready to be born! A baby born at week 40 is about 20 inches long. If you do not deliver in week 40, do not worry because 95% of women do not deliver on their estimated due dates. If the risk of birth is too high, the doctor might perform a caesarean section delivery. After birth, the mucus will be suctioned out of your baby’s mouth and you will hear your baby’s first cry.

Pregnancy is a miraculous and wonderful experience. Your journey through pregnancy has come to an end and your journey with your new born will now begin. Meet the little bundle of joy with open arms. Happy cuddling!

Doctor Vista Healthcare Resource

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