Stages of Pregnancy

A Week by Week Calendar

Week 1

If you suspect you might be pregnant, or want to be, act as if you are, it’s best that you avoid anything that could harm the baby until you know for sure. Take a prenatal vitamin with 0.4 mg of folic acid, which helps to prevent neural tube defects. It is best to take these vitamins before you get pregnant, but not all of us are expecting to. Your body is preparing for ovulation by shedding the uterine lining and developing an egg for release.

Week 2

The uterine lining is thickening and ovulation is getting ready to occur. Some women can actually feel themselves ovulate, but don’t be disappointed if you can’t.

Week 3

You have ovulated and assuming you have been exposed to sperm, you can get pregnant. Some women have light bleeding, called implantation where the egg burrows into the lining and sheds that little bit.
The egg and sperm usually meet in the fallopian tube and it takes a 4-7 day journey down to the uterus. Cell division will begin immediately from the moment the egg is fertilized, and will continue to do so. Once in the uterus it will take 72 hours for the egg to implant, at this point the baby is about 0.1-0.2 mm.

Week 4

By now a urine pregnancy test should be positive. At this point you might be feeling more tired, have mood swings, tender or swollen breasts and urinating more frequently.
The first trimester is the most critical for your baby so avoid environmental hazards whenever you can. Including alcohol, smoke, second hand smoke, and street drugs. Start a healthy eating plan and a pregnancy exercise plan.
The chorionic villi have begun forming by the end of this week. Towards the end of this week and into next week, a transvaginal ultrasound can show a gestational sac. The yolk sac that helps feed your baby until the placenta is fully functional is appearing as well.

Week 5

You’re probably really tired at this point with lot of yawning. Your breasts are probably swollen and tender, try sleeping in a jogging bra, it will help with the pain. Some women get headaches due to the rise in hormones in their bodies. You may feel cramping or fullness in your uterus, this is normal.
Some women do not get any symptoms and manage to get through without having to deal with it. This can be normal. But if you have symptoms and they suddenly stop see your doctor.
Your babies heart is starting to beat now! Having those folic acid vitamins starts to help as the neural folds begin to fuse. You can also tell the difference between the head and tail of your baby through an ultrasound. Baby is 1.5 – 2.5 mm.

Week 6

Your nausea may get worse this week as the hormone levels are on the rise. Your breasts might start feeling heavier, tingle and the areolas are darkening. You may be experiencing “morning sickness” but it can come at any time during the day.
Avoid changing cat litter for there is a risk of toxoplasmosis. If you can swing it, get someone else to do it from now on. You don’t need to get rid of the cat, you just need someone else to change the litter. Toxoplasmosis can cause problems in the newborn and the pregnancy.
The baby is 4-6mm by the end of the week. The larynx and inner ear start to form. The lining of the placenta starts to develop but won’t take over hormone development till week 12. Circulation has developed and the heart is bulging from the body. Limb buds start to appear, and the primordia of the liver, pancreas, lungs, and stomach are evident.

Week 7

If you start breaking out in zits, this is normal and you are not alone, it’s because of the hormones. Look for early pregnancy classes, your partner has no idea what you are going through. These classes can help prepare him and make it more real for him.
Baby will be 7-9mm by the end of the week. The genital tubercle is present, but you can’t distinguish girls from boys by sight at this point. Nasal pits are forming. Your baby develops 3 sets of kidneys, this week he’s on to his second set.

Week 8

This is about when you should plan your first doctors office visit, they prefer if you miss 2 periods to weed out false pregnancies. Make a list of questions to take with you so you don’t forget to ask anything you are wondering about.
The baby’s hind brain is clearly visible now. This week the baby’s gonads will become either testes or ovaries. And spontaneous movement begins!
There’s lots going on with bones and joints this week. Elbows appear and the process of ossification (hardening of the bones) begins. Toe rays become present, almost ready for you to count! Your baby will be about 8-11 mm by the end of the week.

Week 9

During pregnancy stuffy nose, congestion and nose bleeds can be common. Try adding a humidifier or vaporizer to your home to help with the symptoms. You will continue to feel nauseated, dizzy and possibly have fainting spells.
Your baby now has elbows! At approximately 13-17 mm your baby weighs about 1 gram. Hardening of the bones will begin and toes are taking form. The gonades have become testes or ovaries now. The baby will move away if touched through the uterine wall and spontaneously move about.

Week 10

Still tired? Nauseated? It’s only a few more weeks of this to go. If you plan to measure your waist/belly, now is the time to start so you can compare later. Your belly is starting to poke our and you have less of a waistline.
The baby is now entering the fetal period and your baby is 27-35mm now, weighing in at about 4 grams or 4 paper clips. External genitalia is starting to form. The external ears and lips have formed. Tiny toes have formed and the eyes are open while the eyelids fuse. And guess what? No more tail!

Week 11

In the first trimester you will gain about 1-2 lbs a month and some will gain nothing and some will lose weight, it depends on the person. But stay on a healthy diet it is very important. Nutrition is key at this time, you will only need 300-500 extra calories per day (less during the first trimester).
Weighing 7 grams your baby is starting to grow finger nails and the iris’ are forming. The head is about half the size of the body, but this will change.

Week 12

You might be starting to feel better at this point, and maybe not. Your placenta is taking over the production of hormones now. Your risk of miscarriage has decreased greatly by this point.
Your baby is 14 grams and 3.54 inches in length. The baby now has reflexes and is starting to try out it’s digestive tract. You can ask to hear the heart rate now!

Week 13

You have now entered the second trimester! And you are starting to feel your best, you have more energy and you’re starting to feel pregnant. This is also when your pregnancy becomes real for your family, you might want them to participate now.
Your baby has all 20 teeth formed, but teething comes later. Your baby now weighs an ounce and so does the placenta. The pancreas is secreting insulin, and the intestines are developing and moving into place. Even your baby’s first stool is developing.

Week 14

Hormonal changes are becoming more apparent on the outside. It may change the way you use make up during the pregnancy due to skin changes. You may have developed a dark line down the middle of your abdomen to your pubic bone. Your areola are darker and larger. Your uterus is the size of a grapefruit!
The baby is now about 12.5 cms or 4.92 inches. Your baby is now producing urine and actually urinating into the amniotic fluid. It also can practice “breathing” the amniotic fluid in and out of its lungs.
Amniotic fluid is an amazing substance. It completely regenerates itself every three hours. We do know that it is partially composed of urine from the baby, but where amniotic fluid in general is made we are not sure. Modern medicine still has some surprises left.

Week 15

Your heart rate is increasing as you supply the baby with oxygen. Your clothes might be getting tight now, but don’t squeeze yourself into them. Go get maternity clothes. The blood screening for neural tube defects happens now.
Your baby might be sucking his/her thumb by now. You can see blood vessels clearly under the skin which is thin. The baby is currently pumping 25 quarts of blood each day and weighs about 70 grams.

Week 16

You might be feeling your baby by now. Mothers who have already had a child can identify this sooner as they know what they are feeling. It might just feel like gas to you.
At 85 grams you might be able to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. Your baby is now emptying its bladder every 45 min.

Week 17

Extra sweating, nasal congestion and increased vaginal discharge are all normal at this point.
Your baby is developing fat to keep him/her warm when they’re born. Loud noises might startle the baby at this point. The baby weighs about 142 grams.

Week 18

You might find sleeping to get more difficult as your body grows. Try propping yourself up with pillows to help you find a comfortable position. Try pelvic tilts before going to bed and always urinate before laying down.
You might want to start looking into baby names now, play around with the names and make sure the initials don’t spell something rude.
The baby’s bones are hardening even more and finger prints are developing.

Week 19

You should be looking into childbirth classes and childbirth education to help you prepare for the road ahead.
The baby increases to 227 grams. If it’s a girl her ovaries are developing eggs. Teeth buds are forming and the baby is growing fine hair all over.

Week 20

You have made it half way!! Your belly button might pop out, you may have troubles breathing as your lungs are cramped, which will continue until the baby “drops” which may occur 4-6 weeks before birth. When the baby does drop you will have to pee more frequently. Remember to keep doing those pelvis tilts before laying down.
Lanugo forms from sebum and skin cells to create vernix. This creamy white substance is believed to help protect the baby. It will cling to the lanugo and in the creases. The baby weighs about 283 grams.

Week 21

Baby is just continuing to develop this week.

Week 22

Your libido might be increasing at this point. With the increase in blood flow and vaginal secretions and clitoris some women are able to have multiple orgasms for the first time.
Your baby has grown eyebrows this week and probably weighs about 425 grams and about 10.8 in in length.

Week 23

Baby’s still growing!

Week 24

Your fundus (top of the uterus) reaches just above your navel! You are now fully aware of your baby’s movements, you may be able to tell the awake/sleep cycles of him/her. It is important to pay attention to your baby to watch for signs of premature labor In the summer it’s possible this is brought on by dehydration, so drink plenty of water.
Your baby is almost completely formed and is getting more fat deposits to regulate body temperature.

Week 25

You probably still feel good and you’ll be seeing your doctor more often now. If you haven’t started on a babies room it might be time to do that.
Baby weighs 1 pound 9 ounces (709 grams). The bones are continuing their ossification process, meaning that they are becoming harder.

Week 26

While the you can feel your babies movement, other might not have been able, around this time you should be able to share this joy with others.
You need a lot of sleep at this point and you probably wake up lots when you do sleep, bathroom break, hunger, etc. Sleeping might be uncomfortable for you as you can’t find a good position. You can use a body pillow to support your legs and belly.
Veins are visible through your babies skin. Your baby is also able to hear you and those around you, you may feel the baby jump at sudden noise. The uterus allows for some light to be seen, your baby will be aware of light and dark. S/he weighs 1 pound 12 ounces (794 grams) and measures 32.5 cms or 12.8 inches total length.

Week 27

You’re going to start really putting on the weight now, but don’t worry it’s not fat or unhealthy, but rather, necessary for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Some of this weight goes to your breasts, body fluids, etc.
Your baby weighs about 2 lbs now. His/Her skin is wrinkly from all the water and will stay that way until a few weeks after birth. Your baby is also starting to take on the looks it will have at birth.

Week 28

Welcome to the third trimester. You will probably begin to see your practitioner every 2 weeks now. If you haven’t begun discussing labor plans with your practitioner, now is the time to start!
Your breasts my leak colostrum now, although if they do not leak, this is not an indication that you can’t breastfeed. You may also need a Rhogam shot now if you are Rh negative.
The baby’s eyelashes are forming and more fat deposited. If it’s a boy the testicles have started to descend.

Week 29

Your internal organs are getting crowded and your body grows as your baby’s body grows. The best way to deal with the discomforts of late pregnancy are:
•Good Posture •Proper Nutrition •Exercise •Rest (When you can!)
You will feel most discomfort in your back, legs and lungs.
The baby is beginning to regulate his own temperature and the bone marrow is completely in charge of production of the red blood cells. The baby is even urinating about a half liter of urine into the amniotic fluid everyday!
While your baby had total freedom of movement the space is running out, so now the movements will be smaller, elbows and knees.

Week 30

Posture is important, it can help to relieve some of that back pain. Exercise is also important and can help you avoid complications. Do not over exercise but go for walks, swim, etc. It will help to increase your energy and prepare you for the birth.
Baby weighs a whopping 3 pounds (1.36 kilograms)! S/he measures about 14.8 inches (37.5 cms) in length. S/he is aware of its surroundings and light and dark, depending on the environment the mom is in.

Week 31

The baby is going to use all the room to grow that it can, so your ribs and pelvis may be sore while accommodating this. As this is happening you might start experiencing leg cramps and heartburn.
Don’t worry about lack of air for the baby if you are out of breath from exercise, s/he is getting plenty of oxygen through the placenta.
The baby’s irises can now dilate and contract in response to light. Due to the deposits of white fat underneath the skin the baby’s skin is no longer red but pink, and your baby weighs about three pounds and five ounces (1.5 kilograms). The finger nails may reach the end of the hands.

Week 32

If you have questions about labor, you should be learning about it now.
Your baby is putting on weight and the wrinkles on the face are disappearing.

Week 33

If you notice small bumps that appear to be rhythmic in your uterus it’s probably just the baby’s hiccups.
Your baby has surfactant, which helps baby breathe after birth, coating the alveoli in the lungs.

Week 34

Your body is getting ready for labor and you may notice some contractions.
Baby’s still growing at about 4lbs. Your hormones are starting to kick start the milk in your breasts.

Week 35

You may have troubles sleeping at this point and it isn’t helpful that you have to pee every 45 min or having a backache. Keep doing those pelvic tilts and limit fluids at bed time.
Your baby is putting on about half a pound a week in weight.

Week 36

You’ll begin seeing your doctor every week now until you give birth. Most babies are in a head down position, but if yours isn’t, don’t panic there’s still time.
The baby is moving downwards now which allows you to breath better.

Week 37

If you plan on having your birth at the hospital it might be a good idea to tour it ahead of time.
Your baby is practicing breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid.

Week 38

You may begin to feel electrical buzzes down your legs and inside your vagina. This is caused from the baby hitting nerves as s/he settles into your pelvis.
baby can gain up to an ounce a day now!

Week 39

Your baby will descend into your pelvis, sometimes called engagement or lightening, this can occur before labor in first time moms or during labor as in subsequent births. In the days before labor begins you may also experience the following, although they are not always accurate predictors of when labor will begin:
•bloody show from mucous plug •loss of mucous plug •nesting instinct •loose stools •loss of weight •increase in appetite
The meconium in the baby’s intestines will be shed as the first movement that the bowels make after birth. Meconium is a black, thick, tarry substance. About 30% of the time, the baby will actually pass this stool before birth.

Week 40

Only about 4% of women will actually give birth on their due date. While 98% of women will give birth 2 weeks before or 2 weeks after.
Your baby is probably one of the 96% of babies who is head down and deeply snuggled into your pelvis. The immune system is still immature and the baby receives antibodies from the placenta and after birth they will receive antibodies continually from your breast milk. Most of the lanugo has fallen off the baby’s body, although you may still find some hidden spots, particularly in the creases, and around the shoulders or ears

Week 41

If you haven’t had the baby yet your just waiting, any day now!

Week 42

Not much longer.