Pregnancy calendar : Week by week changes in mother and foetus
- Each pregnancy is different.
- Changes during stages of pregnancy may develop at different pace.
- Pregnancy is dated from the first day of your last menstrual cycle.
- Here is your weekly guide to pregnancy for pregnancy help.
Please note that each pregnancy is different and hence the pregnancy and the fetus develop at a different pace. However do not expect to be at exactly the stage as is described in the following paragraphs. Your pregnancy can be 15 days up or down. Thus in order to pinpoint your symptoms it makes sense to look at the 15 days prior and post your gestation age. Ideally pregnancy is dated from the first day of your last menstrual cycle. But ovulation happens only in the third week after this. Hence we begin this pregnancy calendar from the third week of pregnancy to mark week by week pregnancy changes.
Pregnancy Week 3: A woman ovulates at approximately three weeks after the first day of her last menstrual period. An egg is released from her ovaries and it moves down on one of the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. If intercourse takes place during the period of ovulation there is a possibility of a pregnancy occurring. During ejaculation, millions of sperm from your partner are released but only one of them will succeed in the race towards the egg and will fertilize it while it is still in the fallopian tube. The baby is at this point a cluster of cells which will undergo rapid multiplication in the days to come.
Pregnancy Week 4: At this point most women have not felt any differently or have not noticed any changes in their body. Some women do report a change is tastes. The fertilized egg has now reached the uterus and after floating around for approximately 72 hours it finds a location and implants itself into the uterine lining. The blood vessels of the uterine lining nourish the egg and the placenta begins to form.
Pregnancy Week 5: At this time, most women might start to doubt that they may be pregnant. The monthly period is delayed. The breasts feel enlarged and tender and the aerola appears darker and bigger. Even the urge to urinate is increased. Now the egg is called an embryo and it is about 2mm long. It is possible to see it with the naked eye. The spine and brain is beginning to form.
Pregnancy Week 6: Pregnancy hormones start making you feel sick and nauseous mainly in the morning but at times through out the day. Your sense of smell is heightened and you may experience the urge to throw up at certain smells. If your care provider conducts a vaginal examination, your vagina now appears slightly blue rather than the usual pink. At this point a urine test will be able to confirm the pregnancy. The uterus is now the size of a plum. The baby now has a head and a trunk and the brain has formed. The circulation system kicks in. The face starts to develop and the dental buds are growing in the jay.
Pregnancy Week 7: Pregnancy hormones may make a pregnant mum feel dizzy or faint. Breasts feel heavy and sore. A vaginal examination will be able to confirm the pregnancy. The baby now has limb buds which resemble arms and legs. The limbs also have small formations which will be the fingers and toes. The spinal cord and the brain are now almost ready and the baby is app 1-3 cm long.
Pregnancy Week 8: The changes during stages of pregnancy are marked by an increase in vaginal discharge and this is completely normal provided it is not painful and it is odourless. The baby’s internal organs are all present but yet need to develop further before they can function completely. The eyes and ears are visible and the face is beginning to resemble a human face. The baby is now app. 2-5 centimeters long.
Pregnancy Week 9: This is the week which generally brings on the skin changes. Most women take on a pregnancy glow as their wrinkles and dark spots start to fade and be less visible due to the hormonal changes. The gums start to soften and this may lead to sensation and / or bleeding. It is important to ensure good dental hygiene and to visit a dentist early in the second trimester to ensure that there is no development of plaque and tarter. These have been known to contribute to preterm contractions. In the baby, fingers and toes are now visible. The baby starts to move around to get some exercise but the mother will not be able to feel these movements. The weight of the baby is that of a grape.
Pregnancy Week 10: The uterus is growing rapidly and is now almost as big as an orange but is still within the pelvic cavity hence pregnancy is not prominent and visible to others. Start wearing looser clothing and buy undergarments which offer good support to prevent sagging and discomfort. The baby’s ankles and wrists are formed and the fingers and toes are clearly visible. The baby is now 4-5 centimeters long.
Pregnancy Week 11: The feeling of nausea and sickness starts to wane off as you approach your second trimester in your pregnancy calendar. This is a good time to think of a child birth education class as these will guide you through the coming months of pregnancy, labour and the first few months of parenthood. It is also a good idea to involve your partner in the same as it will help him to be more connected to the pregnancy. The baby’s testicles or ovaries have formed so it is possible to determine the sex of the baby. Although in our country it is considered a crime to determine the sex of an unborn fetus and is punishable by law. All major organs have been formed and henceforth they will only continue to grow during the baby’s stay in the uterus.
Pregnancy Week 12: This week is very important in your prenatal visits to your care provider. The doctor will conduct a complete medical examination including blood and urine tests. These tests are indicative of your overall health, the possibilities of birth defects and other risk factors such as HIV, Thallesemia and so on to the baby. This is the time to ask as many questions from your doctor and to allay any fears and doubts that you may have. The baby now has a roundish head and its eyelids have developed. It is now approx. 6 centimeters long but weighs only approacimately 18 grams.
Pregnancy Week 13: In all probability morning sickness is now a thing of the past and your appetite is coming back. One of the best changes during stages of pregnancy comes in week 13 when you will begin to enjoy your pregnancy. The second trimester is the most enjoyable and comfortable period of pregnancy. The uterus is growing steadily and will soon make its way out of the pelvic cavity which will make your growing pregnancy more obvious. The baby is completely formed and if seen resembles a completely developed miniature baby. However it still needs the mother’s uterus to survive as it cannot support itself.
Pregnancy Week 14: Week by week pregnancy changes in week 14 are marked by disappearing feling s of tiredness and lethargy. You might want to consider enrolling in a regular prenatal exercise class which will help to tone up your muscles for the labor and delivery process as well as keep you free from aches and pains. Most women will also develop a dark line which runs down the centre of your abdomen and is called the linea nigra. This is due to hormonal changes and will disappear after the birth of the baby. The baby now even has eyebrows and hair starts to sprout on the head. You can hear the baby’s heartbeat through the Doppler in your doctor’s office. The baby can also now swallow the amniotic fluid as its digestive system has developed and can urinate. The placenta completely nourishes the baby which is now approximately 9 centimeters long.
Pregnancy Week 15: You will no longer be able to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes and will need to go shopping for looser clothes if not maternity wear. You will need more and more pregnancy help week by week. The blood volumes in your body have increased and your heart is working to supply almost 20 % more blood to your body. The hair on your baby’s head starts to grow and the production of melanin which provides the pigmentation to the hair is now under production.
Pregnancy Week 16: During your doctors visit you will undergo an ultrasound and you will be able to see your baby for the first time. Lanugo which is fine hair is starting to form all over the baby’s body. The baby also has fingernails and toenails. It is now 16 centimeters long and weighs approaximately135 grams.
Pregnancy Week 17: The fluid volumes in your body increases and you feel hot most of the time. You also sweat much more than usual. Nasal congestion is also common and due to this most pregnant women are very prone to coughs and colds. Drink plenty of fluids to keep your nasal passages hydrated and use saline non-medicated nose drops to get relief. The uterus is now halfway between your navel and the pubis bone. The baby is now bigger than the placenta.
Pregnancy Week 18: According to the weekly guide to pregnancy, in week 18 you might feel those first few magical movements which make the baby seem much more realistic than the images on the ultrasound. The movements feel like gas bubbles or flutters which you may dismiss as indigestion. The baby now measures approximately 20 centimeters and is much more active. During an ultrasound you may see your baby grasping the umbilical cord or sucking its thumb.
Pregnancy Week 19: You will realize that you are now putting on weight around your abdomen as well as around your buttocks. The baby is forming tooth buds for his permanent teeth.
Pregnancy Week 20: The baby will be more active now and at times you will notice your abdomen actually move. The uterus pushes your tummy outwards and starts pushing towards the lungs. The baby’s skin starts forming the protective vernix which will cling to the hairy parts of the baby as well as the creases. The baby is now approximately 25 centimeters long.
Pregnancy Week 21: You may develop acidity or heartburn as the uterus pushes upwards. Eat small meals and ask your doctor to prescribe antacids for relief. Contrary to popular myths – heartburn is not caused by the growing hair on the baby’s head. The baby is still small weighing only approximately 450 grams and can move about freely all over the uterus in the amniotic fluid.
Pregnancy Week 22: If you have not yet scheduled a dental appointment, please do so as your gums are swelling further and may start to bleed and be painful. The baby now has a sleep and waking up cycle which will continue in the first few weeks after delivery. Generally the baby is most active when you are resting which explains why new born babies are more wakeful in the night and sleep more during the day.
Pregnancy Week 23: During your doctors visits the doctor will look for changes during the stages of pregnancy, like checking if the baby is growing. You may now feel the different body parts as they are more pronounced. The baby is growing rapidly which causes the uterine muscles to stretch which at times can be painful to the mother. Remember to drink plenty of fluids and rest often. You might also start feeling the Braxton-hicks contractions.
Pregnancy Week 24: When your pregnancy calendar reached week 24, the top of the uterus which is called the fundus now reaches your navel. The baby is now about 32 centimeters long and weighs approximately 500 grams. The vital organs are almost developed but the lungs are not yet fully mature and the baby will find it difficult to survive outside the uterus.
Pregnancy Week 25: You might start feeling cramps in your legs while sleeping. Do make a mention of the same to your doctor or to your prenatal instructor who will guide you with relevant exercises and tips. The baby may be pressing against the bladder which will induce frequent urination. The baby’s bones begin to harden.
Pregnancy Week 26: Up till now the baby had translucent, paper thin skin. Now it changes and is gradually becoming opaque.
Pregnancy Week 27: Weight gain becomes steady and noticeable. However it is a good idea to watch your calories so that you do not put on too much weight. Consult a prenatal nutritionist for guidance on the correct diet to be followed to nourish the baby and not put on unnecessary weight. The baby’s skin is wrinkled due to being in the amniotic fluid but is protected by the vernix.
Pregnancy Week 28: Your breasts will leak colostrum. However the presence or absence of colostrum during pregnancy is not indicative of the amount of breast milk you will produce in the post natal period. You will now be visiting the doctor every two weeks. If your blood group is RH negative the doctor will recommend an antibody check. The baby is born now has a good chance of survival. It is now about 38 centimeters long and weighs approximately 900 grams.
Pregnancy Week 29: The uterus is now occupying most of the abdominal cavity and all the internal organs are pushed out of the way. There is a lot of pressure on the diaphragm, stomach and intestine.
Pregnancy Week 30: The uterus is now heavy and large. It disturbs your centre of gravity and can cause you to loose your balance. Maintain good posture to avoid back aches. The baby is very aware of its surroundings and can feel the Braxton hick’s contractions and react to external sounds and light.
Pregnancy Week 31: Due to the growing uterus you may feel breathless especially when you climb stairs, exert yourself or talk continuously. But do not worry; even though you feel breathless the oxygen to the baby is adequate. According to or pregnancy help week by week guide, the baby now weighs approximately 1800 grams.
Pregnancy Week 32: Every time you visit the doctor he assesses the baby’s position, heart rate and growth. It is important for the baby to start assuming the head down position as this is the ideal position for birth. The baby is now 42 centimeters long. The fat layers below the skin are starting to get laid due to which if the baby is born now it will need to be placed in an incubator to regulate the body temperature.
Pregnancy Week 33: The baby’s football like kicks now become more subtle as there is less space for it to somersault in the uterus. By now the baby should have adopted the head down position which it will maintain till delivery.
Pregnancy Week 34: Your child birth classes will now start focusing on the labor and delivery process and will be coaching you on the breathing patterns and positions to be employed during labor and delivery. The baby’s skin is now pinker and it turns towards light.
Pregnancy Week 35: You might start developing back ache as your muscles and ligaments start relaxing in preparation for labor. The baby now is about 44 centimeters long and weighs approximately 2500 grams.
Pregnancy Week 36: Now your care giver will want to see you every week till delivery. Around this time you can expect your baby’s head to engage in the pelvic cavity. It means that the head gets firmly fixed and it is now difficult for the baby to change position. You will feel your abdomen sink lower which will reduce the pressure in your upper abdomen making your breathing easier and cause the return of your appetite. However the pressure in the lower abdomen will cause extreme pressure in the pelvic area and the need to urinate more frequently. The baby is almost fully ready and is now about 49 centimeters long.
Pregnancy Week 37: Try to plan a hospital tour or visit to familiarize yourself with the labor room and the delivery areas. The baby may start getting hiccups which will cause rhythmic tapping movements in your abdomen. This is the baby practicing breathing movements although the lungs are completely closed.
Pregnancy Week 38: The baby moves much less now and instead of full fledged kicks or body movements you only feel jabs and prodding movements. The baby’s head moving inside the vagina causes eerie sensations in the vaginal area which you may have never experienced before. The baby is now growing rapidly and can put on as much as 25 grams per day.
Pregnancy Week 39: Your body is starting to prepare for labor. The cervix starts to soften in preparation for birth and the number and intensity of Braxton hicks contractions increases. The level of amniotic fluid reduces.
Pregnancy Week 40: As your due date approaches you will feel anticipation along with fear of the unknown and inexperienced. Soon labor will start and your baby will be a tangible part of this universe and your life.
Read more articles on Week by Week Pregnancy Calendar.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jun 05, 2015
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