Pregnancy Week By Week

Pregnancy Week By Week

When you’re pregnant it’s an exciting time—you’re learning new things about your body, dealing with new experiences and looking forward to the future. If you’re a first time mother, or even if you’re not, you may be wondering what you can expect throughout the various phases of your pregnancy journey. Every woman’s journey will be unique and your doctor will help keep you on track. For a general idea of what to expect, here is a quick glimpse of pregnancy from week to week.

WEEKS 1-3

No baby just yet. But, something incredible is about to happen: your body is starting to gear up for ovulation which is the best time try to and get pregnant. When an egg appears from the ovary, it’s just waiting for the right sperm to come along and assist in fertilization.

Baby Size: Just a tiny group of cells

Symptoms: You may experience spotting when the egg implants itself after fertilization.

WEEK 4

After experiencing some symptoms, you may take an e.p.t™ Pregnancy Test. Your hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels will have increased dramatically. This is about the time your pregnancy test will reveal the good news—congratulations, you’re pregnant!

Baby Size: At this point the embryo splits into two parts: the placenta that will help deliver oxygen and nutrients, and the embryo itself which will grow into your baby.

Symptoms: You may begin to experience breast tenderness, a heightened sense of smell, and maybe some nausea.

WEEKS 5-8

Your baby’s heart and circulatory system will begin developing now. Around week 7 your baby’s face will begin to form, as well as his or her brain, and there will be a regular heartbeat.

Baby’s size: In these weeks your baby’s size will go from the size of an apple seed to the size of a raspberry.

How It May Affect Your Body:

  • Increasing urges to urinate
  • Morning sickness (which isn’t just confined to morning hours)
  • Tender breasts
  • Mood swings due to a surge in hormones.
  • Slight weight gain
  • You may start having cravings

WEEKS 9-11

During week 9, your baby will be focused on building up muscle. Week 10 is all about building bones, cartilage, fingers and toes. This is the same week you will finally be able to hear his or her heart beat! Week 11 will lead to the development of a few more features.

Baby’s Size: In these weeks, baby will develop from the size of an olive to the size of a lime.

How It May Affect Your Body:

  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Increased urination due to increased blood volume
  • Cravings
  • Progesterone and hCG will stimulate your oil glands—so your skin will glow!

WEEKS 12-13

You’re starting to show and it may be time to let your secret out! Baby is continuing to develop strong reflexes and muscles. Most of baby’s vital systems have formed and around week 13, teeth and vocal chords will start to show up.

Baby’s Size: During these few weeks, baby will grow from the size of a plum to the size of a peach.

How It May Affect Your Body:

  • Fatigue is very common
  • Your belly will begin to grow in size
  • Pressure will ease off your bladder because your belly is growing out

 

SECOND TRIMESTER

WEEKS 14-16

Baby is continuing to gain humanizing details—hair will start to grow on his or her head and body. Around week 15, baby will begin kicking and flinging legs and arms, but you won’t feel it yet. At week 16, your baby’s eyesight is developing greatly.

Baby’s Size: During these few weeks, baby will grow from the size of a lemon to the size of an avocado.

How It May Affect Your Body:

  • Some first trimester symptoms will begin to ease up
  • Your risk of miscarriage has dropped by about 75%
  • You’ll have a little more energy to work out or run errands
  • Constipation, bloating and gas may be prevalent

WEEKS 17-20

Around weeks 17 or 18 you may start to feel your baby moving, and it will be so exciting! Baby will start to practice some major skills in the womb—sucking, swallowing and facial expressions to be exact. Your baby will also develop a protective skin coating called vernix caseosa. And with the development of your baby’s hearing, he or she will likely be sensitive to sound. Week 20 will be especially exciting as you’ll finally be able to find out your baby’s gender, if you choose to.

Baby’s Size: In these few weeks, baby will develop from the size of an onion to the size and length of a banana.

How It May Affect Your Body:

  • Backaches may start around this time
  • You may be clumsy—extra baby weight has changed your center of gravity
  • Sleeping may be difficult, but try and get plenty of rest
  • Maintain good habits—while pregnant, you are more prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) and yeast infections

WEEKS 21-24

Your baby will develop a lot of details—he or she will start filling out a little, gain keener senses, develop taste buds and grow fingernails. Overall, his or her growth is fairly rapid. Baby will spend time sleeping, moving around and listening to the sound of your voice. By the end of week 24, his or her face will be fully formed.

Baby’s Size: In these few weeks, baby will increase from the size of a pomegranate to the size of a cantaloupe.

How It May Affect Your Body:

  • You may experience swelling in your feet
  • Your belly button will stick out more
  • Around week 23, the linea nigra may appear in some women—it’s a dark line that runs vertically from the belly button down. It appears as a result of an increase in melanocyte-stimulating hormone that may also cause darkened nipples. A few months after delivery, this line will disappear.
  • Stretch marks may begin to appear
  • Low blood pressure may induce dizziness. Be careful when sitting and standing.
  • Your hair and nails are most likely strong and beautiful
  • Breasts and belly continue to grow
  • Fatigue
  • Your sex drive may either dip or surge
Mom Tips

“Don’t be afraid to lean on your husband for support. He’ll be with you through it all!”

–Rachel I.

WEEKS 25-27

Around this time, baby will open his or her eyes! You’ll begin to learn baby’s specific sleep patterns. Baby is also preparing to take his or her first breath, and brain activity begins. All exciting developments!

Baby’s Size: In these few weeks, baby will develop from the size of a cauliflower to the size of a turnip.

How It May Affect Your Body:

  • You may experience more edema, or swelling of the hands and feet
  • You will gain more weight to support baby’s development
  • Sleep becomes difficult and you may have to experiment to find comfortable positions
  • Hormones will continue to affect mood

 

THIRD TRIMESTER

WEEKS 28-31

You’re in the final stretch! Around week 28 baby’s immune system will be gearing up for exposure to the outside world. Your baby may experience hiccups, which you’ll feel as a slight leap in your belly from time to time—they’ll feel different than baby’s kicks and punches. Around week 30 your baby will have built up enough strength to grasp a finger, and by week 31 all five senses will be working.

Baby’s Size: In these few weeks, baby will develop from the size of an eggplant to the size of a pineapple.

How It May Affect Your Body:

  • Some women may experience a lot of joint and muscle pain. Talk to your doctor about relief
  • Insomnia will become more persistent
  • Fatigue is common
  • Around week 29 your breasts may begin to leak colostrum, a thick, yellowish fluid that is sometimes known as pre-milk. It contains antibodies that will help protect your baby from infection when you start breastfeeding.
  • Your expanding skin may lead to stretch marks and itchy skin, so stay moisturized and try different calming lotions

WEEKS 32-35

In this time, baby’s hearing will be fully developed. He or she will be able to recognize simple songs. Baby’s bones are hardening, and he or she will begin to establish more stable sleeping cycles. Your baby’s brain will also grow even more and his or her immune system will fully prepare itself for the real world.

Baby’s Size: In these few weeks, baby will grow from the size of a squash to the size of a coconut.

How It May Affect Your Body:

  • Vision may be less sharp
  • Sleep may be difficult
  • You may experience Braxton Hicks contractions—it’s not labor, just your body’s way of preparing
  • Weight gain will plateau or slow down
  • Around week 35 you may begin seeing extra discharge that is extra thick and slightly pink. This is the mucus plug from your cervix. Two weeks prior to labor this may come out.

WEEK 36-39

You’re getting close to meeting your baby! Around this time baby will flex his or her limbs, grow even more hair and begin to inhale, exhale, grip and blink. Your baby will have also reached its birth height and weight.

Baby’s Size: In these few weeks, baby will grow from the size of a honeydew melon to the size of a watermelon!

How It May Affect Your Body:

  • You feel more body aches
  • You may feel like you’re experiencing signs of labor. Just be attentive.
  • Your belly may “drop” and sit lower as baby drops toward your pelvis to prepare for delivery
  • Exhaustion isn’t unusual, try and get some sleep!
  • Babies are considered full term around 38 weeks, so don’t be surprised if labor comes early!

WEEK 40

You have reached full term pregnancy. Your baby may decide to make his or her debut right on time. But it’s also not uncommon for babies to be delivered later as well. Your baby will come when he or she is ready!