Pregnancy Week by Week
Having kids is an enjoyable experience and only those can understand who have the experience of having them, The feeling of the mother is unexplainable when she first finds out she has conceived and is about to have a baby. The moment she realizes this feelings she begins to think how her baby would look like, how she will love her, what she would call him or her and decide on how to plan the nursery and what to place in it and a whole lot of other things. However the main thing to be known before all these things is how she is going to go through the period of her pregnancy. She should be aware of how to lead a safe and healthy pregnancy term and how to deliver a healthy baby. It is suggested by doctors that a pregnant woman should be aware of the symptoms of a healthy pregnancy on a week to week basis. Knowing what difficulties can be faced during pregnancies and what and what not to expect in the term helps the new mother in understanding the complications and coping with them.
Before you check on the weekly symptoms of pregnancy it is necessary to be aware at what point or week exactly your pregnancy is at present. Usually doctors or midwives calculate almost two weeks ahead of your pregnancy as they count weeks of pregnancy from the last menstrual cycle whereas the ovulation process starts from two weeks later of the previous cycle date. So an easy way to assess your pregnancy stage is to deduct two weeks from that of the doctors estimated week given to you. For example if your doctor suggests you are at the 12th week of pregnancy it means you are probably at the 10th week.
Pregnancy is divided in three trimesters, the first one ranges from the first to the twelfth week, whereas the thirteenth to twenty seventh weeks is included in the second trimester, the third trimester is the final and includes the twenty-eighth week to the delivery of the baby. Here further discussed are the symptoms on weekly basis.
First Trimester Symptoms (Week 1 – 12)
This is the most crucial trimester as this is the point of conceiving and the embryo is developing. At this stage the mother’s activities have a very deep impact on her baby as everything she eats or drinks will have its effects on the baby. Also the behavior of the mother, mental and physical, will have its effects on the baby, so the mother is advised to be very careful at this stage. Any carelessness at this stage can cause serious results in form of damage to the baby’s brain or growth or it could also result in miscarriages. It is advised that in this period the mother should avoid alcohol, smoking or consuming coffee as the rich amounts of caffeine will effect the growth of the embryo.
Pregnancy Symptoms From Week 1 To 4
Many women are not aware of being pregnant at this point and no pregnancy related symptoms appear at this stage. Only some women may experience spotting which is due to the thick blood on the uterine walls which is present as the body prepares for pregnancy. The body at this stage does not respond to the pregnancy however the uterus and hormones get active and start developing changes.
Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 5
Normally this is the stage when a woman realizes that she has missed a menstrual cycle and a pregnancy test at this point would pretty much show clear signs of pregnancy. The body too starts to react to the pregnancy at this point as by now the baby’s circulatory system is being formed and your baby’s blood vessels are forming in the developing placenta. Mostly women discover there pregnancy in there fifth to seventh week and symptoms at this point include
- Morning sickness which can commonly occur at any point during the day.
- Increased smell sensitivity due to change in hormone can often lead a women to throw up on certain smells.
- Feeling fatigued due to no reason.
- Repeated urination
- Feelings of tenderness or tingling in the breasts.
Pregnancy Week 6
Women going through pregnancy for the first time may notice no changes in physique at this point however in repeated pregnancy a slight change in waist line will be observed. Sensitivity to smell increases and so does vomiting and nausea.
Pregnancy Week 7
This week marks continuity of morning sickness, along with frequent break outs in the skin due to the changes occurring in the hormones. Appearance of acne and pimples are common and any use of facial creams of different types is discouraged as the chemical may affect the baby. Drinking lots of water may aid this situation to an extent. Also a slow weight gain process will start at this point.
Pregnancy Week 8
In this week heartburn, bloating and indigestion is considered common and normal too but if heartburn reaches to a point of losing appetite it is advised to consult a doctor. You should never buy any over the counter medicines during pregnancy and medical assistance should be sought at every level. It is suggested that prenatal consultation should be undergone at this point as tests are taken now. A slight change in weight and waistline began to appear at this stage.
Pregnancy Week 10
By now your old clothes would not fit and maternity clothes will be needed. Nausea begins to subside and will gradually ease off as the pregnancy progresses. The veins by now will become more prominent due to the increase of the blood flow especially around the areas of the breasts, legs and stomach.
Pregnancy Week 11
The uterus is felt by the doctor at this point and rises above the pelvic bone without prominent any change. Growth will not be evident in the woman as quick as in the baby and a pigmented line starting from the navel to the pubic hair known as the linea nigra will appear in this week.
Pregnancy Week 12
At this point many pregnant women may recover from morning sickness though not in all cases and wearing loose clothes is recommended so that carrying out day to day activity is possible with ease.
2nd Trimester Symptoms (Week 13 To 27)
By now morning sickness and nausea almost disappears and other symptoms and difficulties caused due to the increase in the baby’s weight is faced. This trimester is marked by the rapid growth of the baby and weight gain and stretch marks are some of the common worries.
Pregnancy Week 13
The feeling of being drained diminishes to an extent and nausea and urination also lessen at this point. Swelling, backaches and heartburn become apparent at this stage due to the growing size of the fetus inside the pregnant woman. Extra weight gain at this stage may result in balancing problems and carrying out day to day activities will get effected.
Pregnancy Week 14
In some cases a slight movement of the baby is felt at this stage as the uterus moves upwards in preparation to accommodate the growing baby in it. By this week the waist line of a pregnant woman is definitely going to be thicker. Read more about 14 weeks of pregnancy here.
Pregnancy Week 15
The uterus at this stage is continuously expanding and a slight pulling feeling or cramps may be experienced sometimes. This is normally expected at this week as the ligaments in the abdomen stretch to provide room to the growing baby.
Pregnancy Week 16
By now a healthy mother would have gained 5 to 10 pounds. To ease the difficulties of pregnancy proper sleeping positions are suggested at this point. For example sleeping sideways will help in avoiding the blood vessels from blocking and a smooth supply of blood is regulated to the baby.
Pregnancy Week 17
Movements will be more prominent and the mother will experience dizzy and weak at this stage which due to lack of sugar in the body. Drinking juices and eating fresh fruits will considerably aid in guaranteeing safety of the mother and the baby.
Pregnancy Week 18
At this stage a white discharge from the vagina is experienced which is normal and will increase as the pregnancy progresses.
Pregnancy Week 19
At this point the breasts of a pregnant woman will get heavier and larger and the nipples will develop a darker color due to the preparation of the body for future breast feeding of the baby. Lighter clothes are advised at this stage as weight will be continuously growing.
Pregnancy Week 20
Movements of the baby get stronger as the bones are being developed from the cartilage of the baby which may be a bit painful but tolerable most of the time.
Pregnancy Week 21
Hormonal changes and increased blood flow can cause bleeding of the gums and swelling in the body but nausea and fatigue will vanish completely at this stage.
Pregnancy Week 22
Prolonged fatigue and standing may result in mild cramps in the feet and legs along with swelling on the ankle area and feet. Also in this week a faster heartbeat is experienced as the heart is working harder to pump blood for two humans.
Pregnancy Week 23
At this stage the belly is more rounded and stretch marks become evident. An itchiness will be experienced and it is avoid o apply lotion to avoid itchiness and stretch marks on the belly.
Pregnancy Week 24
Movement is more prominent but only to the mother and others will still not be able to feel the movement from the abdomen.
Pregnancy Week 25
Prenatal consultations should be regularly taken and further tests also are done to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy as by now the mother may have gained almost 15 pounds of baby weight.
Pregnancy Week 26
At this point the circulation of blood improves and so does the metabolism and many women may feel their nails getting stronger at this point. Since the weight is continuously increasing and so is the size of the belly so backaches, cramps, pressure in the pelvic area and headaches are frequent in this week.
Pregnancy Week 27
In this week the baby is rapidly growing and it is due to the increased size and weight of the baby, the mother may feel difficulty in breathing as the uterus may be suppressing the diaphragm. This is a normal occurrence too and can be eased using proper sleeping positions and posture.
3rd Trimester Symptoms (Week 28 To 40)
The final trimester will bring major pregnancy symptoms week through week, such as swollen hands and legs, hemorrhoids and varicose veins. A healthy diet and proper exercise should be maintained at this stage to ensure a safe and sound pregnancy and delivery. This will help significantly in the delivery and classes are also available to prepare the mother for delivery.
Pregnancy Week 28
The ending weeks of the pregnancy are more testing as frequent visits to the doctor will be needed as the baby is growing fast. Also due to increased space taken by the baby urination will occur frequently which is a good exercise to prevent Urinary Tract Infections.
Pregnancy Week 29
An increase of 20 pounds by now should be gained by the mother and sleeping now gets a bit difficult due to the increased size of the tummy. Also Anxiety is faced commonly at this stage which can be relieved by using anxiety relieving exercises.
Pregnancy Week 30
In this week the mother will suffer from varicose veins as the small veins that bring back blood to the heart are facing difficulties. Pregnant woman may face difficulties in normal movements at this stage.
Pregnancy Week 31
This week is distinguished with carpal tunnel syndrome in some cases and results in tingling and numbness of hands which is quite normal and will disappear after delivery. It is nothing to be alarmed about.
Pregnancy Week 32
The body is now preparing itself for the nearing delivery time. Pregnant women at this stage experience Braxton Hicks contractions refer to occasional contractions of uterus for the purpose of preparing the body for giving birth to the baby. These contractions are usually pain free.
Pregnancy Week 33
As by now the uterus is lowering in the body in preparation of giving birth, body aches are more frequent and extreme at this point. The lowering of the uterus is to aid the baby in leaving the womb at the time of delivery. Sleeping in a relaxed position may aid this problem a lot.
Pregnancy Week 34
This week marks the end of the 8th month of pregnancy and by now the pains will travel to the hips area causing frequent problems. Due to the increasing weight that the woman carries suffering from back pains is also common. Proper care and staying cautious is the key to ease this difficulty.
Pregnancy Week 35
The baby now moves further downwards to the pelvis of the mother and prepares for the delivery, since the weight is shifted down ease in breathing is felt as the diaphragm is freed from the pressure but urination may still occur frequently as the bladder is still pressed and under pressure.
Pregnancy Week 36
Fluctuations in the energy levels of the mother will be experienced as fatigue and moments of energy will be interchangeably experienced. They should be wisely used to practice a safe delivery.
Pregnancy Week 37
If you feel a sudden gush of fluid running down from the genitalia be cautious and check it. It could look like amniotic fluid which sometimes may be the urine and should be nothing alarming but at this stage you should always stay alert and check to be safe.
Pregnancy Week 38
At this stage it is important to keep an eye out for labor signs. Bloody show, digestive disturbances such as diarrhea or nausea at he onset of labor, abdominal pains and more frequent and severe contractions. As the delivery nears it is possible to notice mucus clot which plugs the cervix blocking the uterus from bacteria entering it and this plug discharges before delivery, in some cases hours or in others even days before delivery. Whatever the case may be this indicates that the delivery is expected anytime.
Pregnancy Week 39
As the delivery nears Braxton Hicks, contractions become more frequent. It is quite uncomfortable and sometimes develops a pattern that gets more painful as delivery time approaches. If these contractions become long and more painful this is usually an indication of starting of labor pain and calling a doctor is advised at this point.
Pregnancy Week 40
This is the final week of the pregnancy and labor is expected any time. The baby is ready to come out and pain at this point gets severe by every passing day. A total of about 25 to 35 pounds in excess of original weight is present at this point and pregnancy is just about over now.