Pregnancy Week by Week
This guide is a small effort to provide help and support to the pregnant women so that they can have a problem free, healthy pregnancy. Here we will provide you with important information that will give you enough knowledge to have a smooth and successful 40 weeks of pregnancy.
An average pregnancy is based on 40 weeks which are divided into three trimesters. The purpose of having these three trimesters is to clearly understand the different stages of pregnancy, its requirements and precautionary measures.
Each week of pregnancy brings a lot of changes in your body and baby, and will definitely make you overly excited about the upcoming weeks and months.
The First Trimester of Pregnancy: Week 1 – 13
The first trimester or first 13 weeks of pregnancy are very vital as all the major developments start in this trimester. These initial weeks demand a lot from you so as to have a healthy pregnancy. For instance, you need to quit bad habits such as drinking, smoking, drugs etc. and employ some healthy activities like exercise, good eating habits, proper rest etc.
During the first two or three weeks of pregnancy, you may not even realize that you are pregnant. The true pregnancy starts from week 4 and it is just a window of time after ovulation when an egg is fertilized by a sperm of your partner. This is the beginning of a new life inside your uterus.
A lot of changes begin to happen inside your body as soon as you become pregnant. In initial few weeks, you might not feel anything unusual, but as the time progresses, you will start experience the symptoms. The most common symptoms involve the morning sickness, fatigue, breast tenderness and mood swings. These are considered normal and every women experience them. However, with the passage of time, these symptoms will be replaced by other physical or emotional changes.
The first trimester is given so much importance because all the major organs of your baby including brain, heart, and nervous start developing and for this reason it is suggested to pregnant women to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This will help them to have a healthy pregnancy throughout and will eventually give you a healthy little baby.
It is important to keep visiting your doctor or GYN/OB to have a better monitoring of the baby’s progress. Your healthcare provider will have a thorough check up and may conduct an ultrasound to have a better idea of how your baby is growing. Somewhere around the end of the first trimester, you will be able to feel the heartbeat of your baby through ultrasound.
You have already managed the most critical phase of your pregnancy and now you are in the honeymoon phase of pregnancy as it is often referred to. By now, majority of earlier symptoms have vanished that were caused because of extreme hormonal changes in your body in the earlier few weeks of pregnancy. But this is not that all as you keep on experiencing different symptoms throughout pregnancy.
Where you are getting relieve from the fatigue, vomiting and nausea, you will start experiencing new pregnancy symptoms such as ankle swelling, lower backaches, trouble balancing and severe mood swings.
As your baby begins to grow in size, you will feel stretchiness in your body and some women may experience the stretch marks on their belly, buttocks and breasts. Although, these are temporary, you can still opt for pregnancy skin control products like creams and belly oil. Some women have trouble sleeping, in that case pregnancy pillows can be used to relieve pain.
In the second trimester, the movements of your baby become more frequent and you can feel her kicking, moving her positions etc. With each passing week, these movements become more prominent and frequent.
The growth of your baby is pretty fast and she is growing quickly. You baby will approximately 8.5 inches in measure with a weight around 1.2 pounds.
Your baby is growing fast. Almost all the organs of your baby are developed by now. Lungs and her respiratory system are still developing and will be developed completely near the labor or delivery time. The third trimester is equally vital for pregnant women as they have to prepare themselves for the upcoming labor and delivery time. If at this time your baby is born, she has to live under special intensive care as her lungs are not yet fully developed and she needs assistance for breathing for next few weeks till the lungs become mature and she can breathe independently. However, if your baby born prematurely in this trimester, she still has a higher chance of survival.
Like the first trimester, your fatigue and weariness will return. Other possible symptoms that you can experience during the third trimester include the varicose veins, swollen legs and hands, rectal bleeding, nosebleeds, hemorrhoids, sleeplessness, and discomfort. As you are getting near to your labor, the baby shifts to the pelvis. Those women who are going to have their first baby, this process may happen several weeks before the labor actually starts. However, for the women who are going to have their second or third baby, this might occur just before the labor. When your baby shifts to pelvis, you will get rid of many of these pregnancy symptoms and feel a lot of relieve.
As the labor and delivery time approaches, you will start feeling the false labor pains called the Braxton Hicks contractions. These are often mistakenly perceived as real labor pains by majority of the women.
Having a baby between 37 and 40 week of pregnancy is pretty normal. You can have baby at any time between these weeks or may be a couple of weeks later. Last three or four weeks appear longer than usual as you know that your baby is soon going to be in your hands. You will be overwhelmed with mixed feeling of joy and confusion. It is important to note here that a normal baby can born until 42 week of pregnancy, but after that the term post-term will be used for your baby and may need to undergo some medical treatment for the baby’s delivery to avoid further complications.
Finally, you have your little baby with you. Having a baby in your hand will be a great source of pleasure for both mom and dad.