Pregnancy can be an exciting, confusing and emotional time in your life. Discover the changes that are happening to your body as well as the growth steps of your baby. You'll also get a few tips to help your pregnancy go a little smoother.
First Trimester: 0-13 Weeks
Getting Things Ready
A lot is happening now, but you can’t see it with the naked eye. This is when your body is ovulating and your uterus is getting ready to possibly conceive by the thickening of the uterine wall and releasing an unfertilized egg.
The Big Moment
Here is the big moment. This is the week where ovulation and implantation can occur. When the one single sperm meets the egg, there you have it…conception. At conception, the fetus’s eye color, hair color, gender and more have already been determined.
Right now, the fetus is actually called an embryo and some major things are happening. The embryo’s brain, spinal cord, heart, and gastrointestinal tract are all being developed.
Time to Take a Pregnancy Test
It’s now time to take a pregnancy test. Most women discover their pregnancies between weeks 4-7. Pregnancy symptoms may start to develop such as a missed period or breast tenderness. Since ovulation times are different for every woman, it’s important that you take a free, medical-grade pregnancy test and receive a free ultrasound so we can determine exactly how far along you are.
Your embryo is experiencing some major growth here. The beginning stages of the nervous system, skin, nails, hair, mammary glands, sweat glands and enamel for teeth begin to develop. Also, the foundations of the heart, lungs, skeletal system, liver and much more are being created. Even arms and legs begin to develop this week.
Heartbeat! Morning Sickness 🙁
Your embryo’s heartbeat is steady and the eyes and ears are forming but some women begin experiencing morning sickness this week.
More Symptoms Appear
You may begin to experience more pregnancy symptoms by week 6. Heartburn, some slight cramping, and light bleeding are super normal this week. Your breasts may still be pretty tender and you might even notice that they make look a little bit darker than normal.
Essential Organs, Eye Lids, Hair Follicles
You may still be experiencing morning sickness and maybe some possible weight gain. It’s also possible to have lost a couple of pounds due to morning sickness. You might be experiencing some mood swings and cravings too.
Your embryo is now developing a tongue, hair follicles, and eyelids. Every essential organ that a human being needs to survive has already been forming at this point.
Baby Is About The Size Of A Grapefruit
It’s a good time to either begin or continue your prenatal care during week 8. Continue with healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Before you were pregnant, your uterus was the size of a fist. By week 8, it’s the size of a grapefruit!
Your embryo now contains every body part that an adult has but they are not fully developed. The facial features begin to become more defined, and their muscles are even able to contract.
Clothes Feeling Snug
You may not look pregnant on the outside, but you may begin to feel pretty bloated and your pants may start to feel snug. Some of the pregnancy symptoms may have disappeared and others surfaced.
Now called a fetus, it is ready for some pretty major weight gain. The fetus can also start sucking its thumb this week.
Baby Starts Kicking
Your newly pregnant body is still experiencing pregnancy symptoms, but you may have developed some good coping strategies on how to alleviate those.
The fetus’s kidneys, liver, brain, and lungs are now functioning. Plus, fetuses start to kick their newly developed legs this week.
May Start Showing
Your body is continually changing along with the ever-changing fetus. Many women notice hair and fingernail growth during this time in pregnancy. However, not all women will show their pregnancies at this point. Some may notice a small bump while it may not be noticeable with others.
Your fetus is very active at this point. The skeleton is beginning to harden and your fetus’ head is almost half of its entire length.
Fetus's Kidneys Develop
You are almost out of your first trimester at this point. Your ever-growing uterus is expanding. Depending on if this is your first pregnancy or not, you may already be needing maternity clothes.
Your fetus is continually growing as well. Its kidneys can now secrete urine and the facial features become more recognizable.
Fetus Develops Fingerprints
You might notice some stretch marks here and there as your body is meeting the needs of the growing fetus.
Your fetus now has its very own fingerprints.
Second Trimester: 14-27 Weeks
Fetus Can Make Facial Expressions
Your early pregnancy symptoms may start to subside a little bit and you might start feeling more like yourself again. Your breasts are preparing for lactation and may have become swollen and tender.
Because of your fetus’s developing brain, it can now make facial expressions with its facial muscles. Its liver and spleen have also begun to develop more.
Continue Prenatal Visits + Weight Gain
Most women will have gained 5 pounds by this point. Don’t worry if you’ve gained more or less. Continued prenatal visits are good to ensure you have a healthy weight gain and that the fetus is developing appropriately.
You can actually see your fetus's skeleton on an x-ray if it were taken this week.
You may be experiencing that "pregnancy glow" due to the increased blood volume and overactive oil glands.
Your fetus's circulatory and urinary systems are beginning to function now, along with some other body systems.
Fetus Begins to Develop Hearing
Most women see a noticeable baby bump by now. Your other internal organs begin to make room for your growing uterus.
Your fetus’s hearing is beginning to develop.
Bring Out The Maternity Clothes!
Your growing fetus needs some extra room. You may also notice some dizziness as well. This is due to possible low blood pressure caused by your cardiovascular system being affected by the pregnancy.
Your fetus's genitals are beginning to form externally now. It is typically possible to distinguish whether it's a male or female on ultrasound by this point.
Fetus Develops Hair
Due to the growing fetus, you may experience round ligament pain. This is very normal and happens when your ligaments have to stretch to compensate for the growing fetus.
As other parts of the fetus's development continue, hair is beginning to grow on the fetus's head.
You made it halfway through your pregnancy! Yay! Typical weight gain at this point is between 8-10 lbs.
Your fetus is beginning to produce meconium (which then becomes the big first diaper change after birth).
Digestive System Develops
Most women really enjoy this time in pregnancy. You are over the first trimester and you’re belly is not too big to keep you from doing most things. You may be able to feel the fetus move at this point. Continue a healthy diet and light exercise. Enjoy this time!
Your fetus is now swallowing amniotic fluid and the digestive system is continuing to develop.
Rest Your Legs And Feet!
You may notice some swelling in your feet or legs at the end of the day. If so, just take some breaks during the day to give your feet a rest.
Frequent Restroom Visits
The fetus is totally laying on your bladder. You may notice you have to use the bathroom more often.
Your fetus is beginning to gain weight rapidly and looks more and more like a newborn baby.
Stretch Marks Develop - Fetus's Brain Developing Quickly
With the continued growth of your fetus, you might begin to feel itchy as your skin stretches. Stretch marks are very normal. Feel free to apply lotion to help ease the itchiness.
Your fetus’s brain is developing quickly. It is also beginning to develop taste buds during this time.
Boy Or Girl?
Right now, the uterus is about the size of a soccer ball.
Your fetus’ gender should be distinguishable with ultrasound by now (or even before).
Lungs Developing And Responds to Sounds
Most women at this time have gained between 16-22 lbs. Continue with a healthy diet and regular prenatal visits to ensure you are experiencing a healthy pregnancy.
Your fetus’s lungs are continuing to develop and it is actually able to respond to sound.
Fetus Can Open Eyes & Hiccup
You should be feeling your fetus kicking and moving around all the time. You may also be feeling movements like hiccups too. Keep track of the movements because a sharp decrease or no movement could be a sign of potential distress on the fetus. If you have any questions, contact your doctor.
Your fetus may be able to open its eyes at this point and now has a regular sleep and wake cycle. Let’s just hope it’s the same as yours!
Third Trimester: 28-40 Weeks
You're In The Home Stretch!
Now the fetus is taking up more space and your organs have to adjust. You may notice some constipation or some leg cramps.
Your fetus is continuing to gain weight and has eyelashes and eyebrows.
Brain Growth Continues - Stay Healthy!
The average weight gain at this point is between 19-25 lbs. Prenatal massage is a good way to relax overextended muscles and ligament pain.
The fetus is experiencing some pretty amazing brain development. Make sure to continue to eat foods that are high in folic acid and other vitamins. Plus, continue taking those prenatal vitamins.
May Experience Insomnia
You may be experiencing some insomnia. This is very normal since it can be hard trying to find a comfortable position to sleep. Try sleeping with a pregnancy pillow to help you rest.
The fetus is continually growing and now able to distinguish between light and dark inside the womb.
Beginning Stages of Lactation
During this time, you might have noticed a yellowish substance leaking from your breast. This is totally normal. It’s called colostrum and it’s what your body makes in the beginning stages of lactation (breastfeeding).
Your fetus is continuing to gain weight and develop its lungs.
May Experience Braxton Hicks Contractions
You may experience Braxton Hicks contractions during this time. They are completely normal and it’s your body’s way to “practice” labor. If you are not aware if you are experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions or real labor, contact your doctor.
Fetus's Bone Hardening
Some women can get a little nervous that their “water” will break. Amniotic fluid is odorless and colorless. If you are unsure if your bladder had a leak or if your amniotic sack has ruptured, try smelling it to tell the difference. If you are still unsure, contact your doctor.
Your fetus’ bones are all beginning to get hard (except for the skull which needs to remain moldable for delivery).
Body Preparing for Delivery - Fetus Central Nervous System Developing
Your body is continually preparing for delivery with each passing week. Make sure to still do light exercises like walking and allow yourself to rest when you become tired.
Your fetus’ central nervous system is still developing and it's still gaining a consistent amount of weight.
Fetus Nearly Done Growing
You may be experiencing a little bit of shortness of breath. That’s because the uterus is pressing against the rib cage.
The fetus is pretty much done growing by this point. It will continue to gain weight but the kidneys have totally developed. Since there is less room for the fetus to kick, you should still be able to feel it move consistently.
Fetus Starts to "Drop"
People may begin to tell you that you’ve “dropped.” That just means that the fetus is now engaged in the pelvis. It helps with the shortness of breath but might keep you up at night with trips to the bathroom.
Most fetuses at this point are head down toward the pelvis.
Getting close to delivery!
Braxton Hicks contractions may still be preparing you for labor and the doctor may check to see if you are dilating.
Your fetus is continually enjoying its womb for the time. But the move-out day is approaching!
May Pass Musus Plug - Possibly Dialating
You may notice you have passed the mucus plug. It helps keep bacteria from entering the cervix during pregnancy. When you pass the mucus plug, it’s a great indicator that you may be dilating.
All of the fetus’ organs are fully functioning (except the brain and lungs which continue to develop after birth).
Monitor Swelling - Fetus Still Gaining Weight
Although it’s normal to experience swelling during your pregnancy, make sure you are keeping a good eye on severe swelling as it could be a sign of preeclampsia (it can be a dangerous condition). Check with your doctor if you have any questions.
Your fetus is still gaining weight.
You and your doctor have probably already talked about birthing possibilities and what to do if you go over 40 weeks. Your pregnancy has been a continual journey of preparation for labor.
Most full-term babies are between 19-21 inches long and weigh between 6 ¾ – 10 pounds.
NOTICE: Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment because of something you have read on the internet.