Pregnancy Symptom Week by Week

Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful times in your life as parents. The journey to motherhood is accompanied by a lot of emotional, biological and psychological as well as physiological changes. From the moment your child is conceived till you give birth to your child, the body undergoes a lot of changes. Find out more about how pregnancy unfolds, in this week by week breakup of your journey to become parents.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week

Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week

Week Number 1

For the Mother

This is the time when you may have been trying to conceive. Once conception takes place, you need to be careful about intake of any stimulants such as alcohol or cigarettes and ensure that your body is in the best shape to carry out the process.

Tip

Stop OTC and prescription drugs and ensure that you and your future child remain safe and secure.

Week Number 2

This is the week when you need to be clear that your baby has been conceived. The process post fertilization is fairly simple.

About The Baby

The ovaries generate the hormone progesterone and this prepares the uterus to host the fertilized egg. The egg after fertilization is known as the zygote. It remains in the uterus for the next 38 weeks till childbirth. Newly pregnant and trying to conceive are two very different stages. From the baby being a hoped for goal, to actual conception, the moment when you are due can be calculated from the start of your previous period.

For the Mother

At the start of the menstruation, around 20 eggs or ova are in the fluid filled follicles. In 14 days after the periods, ovulation takes place. While one of the follicles releases the ovum and it travels into the fallopian tube, where fertilization takes place, this is also the period when you are at the height of fertility. Once the eggs are fertilized, they can be moved into the uterus.

Tip

Schedule a preconception visit with the specialist to ascertain lifestyle changes and nature or nurture factors that may impact your baby’s development. Folic acid of around 400 micrograms needs to be taken o reduce neural tube related disorders such as spina bifida.

Week Number 3

About the Baby

At this stage in a normal pregnancy, the embryo is small. It is about the size of a pin’s head. It does not appear to be the fetus or the baby. It is just like a group of cells increasing exponentially. While the inner layer remains the embryo, the outer becomes the placenta.

For the Mother

This is when light vaginal bleeding may be experienced when the egg implants. This is often mistaken for menstruation. But this bleeding is lighter than the flow of the period and one of the beginning signs of conception.

Tip

If ab pain or heavy bleeding is experienced, be sure to contact your doctor. This happens in the event of ectopy or tubal birth, when the fertilized ovum attaches itself to a place other than the wall of the uterus, chiefly the fallopian tube.The common causes of this kind of pregnancy range from infection in ovaries, tubes or uterus to swelling of the fallopian tubes.

Week Number 4

About the Baby

This is when you miss your periods and the results come out positive. In this week, the embryo grows and attaches itself to the womb’s lining. The outer cells form links with the blood supply of the mother. The inner cells form into two and three layers. Each of these layers is a part of your baby’s body.

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Photo By: Public Domain Pictures/ CC BY

While the inner layer leads to the development of digestive and breathing systems such as the stomach, bladder, gut, and lungs, the middle layer transforms into muscles, heart, blood vessels and bones. The outer layer transitions into the nervous system and the brain. It also forms the eye lens, enamel of the teeth, nails, and skin. In the starting period of pregnancy, the embryo attached into a yolk sac that provides excessive nourishment. The placenta is formed within some weeks and then takes over the nutrient transfer to the embryo.

The amniotic sac contains fluid surrounding the embryo. It has an external layer which becomes the placenta. Cells from the placenta grow into the womb’s wall, causing the transportation of oxygen, blood, and nutrients. The balls of the cell change into the embryo at the commencement of only the sixth week. Till 5 weeks, the embryonic stage of pregnancy lasts, when the baby’s inner organs are developing.

For the Mother

Breast tenderness is the first indication of pregnancy, even before morning sickness. If your breasts exhibit soreness, this is an indication your body is headed towards motherhood. Extreme sense, taste, and smell may be experienced. Once the egg undergoes fertilization, it burrows the uterus lining. This is known as implantation. Light spotting as the embryo undergoes implantation in the uterus follows. The amniotic sac fills with fluid and the placenta forms. The latter supplies oxygen and nutrients to your baby.

Tip

Try to eat in healthy ways which means you need to drink adequate amounts of water and choose nutritious food.

Week Number 5

About the Baby

During this period, the baby’s nervous system is developing and foundations for important organs are already in place. The embryo measures 2mm in length at this time. While the outer layer of embryonic cells grows into a groove and is folding to form the neural tube, it also lays the foundation for the spinal cord and brain of the baby. The defects in the neural tube’s tail end lead to spina bifida and the head end to anencephaly where skull bones form improperly.

The heart of the baby also forms a simple structure much like a tube. The developing baby has some blood vessels of its own, spurring circulation. An entire string of blood vessels connects mother and child. It converts to the umbilical cord at a later stage.

For the Mother

This is the part when the mood swings become severe. This is part of the normal emotional roller-coaster during a pregnancy. Feeling positive and negative emotions at the same time, hormonal fluctuations cause changes in mood.

Tip

Mood swings are not just intense, a lot of women also experience blues or depression at this time, more so than postpartum. Feeling depression for more than 2 weeks, however, warrants medical attention.

Week Number 6

baby-hand-dad
Photo by: Jelly./ CC BY

About the Baby

The curved embryo has a tail. There is a massive bulge where the heart is located and a neural tube at the head end of which there is a bump.

These will form the brain and the head respectively. A vaginal ultrasound scan at this stage can detect the beating heart. Developing arms and legs become more visible as buds of the limbs. Small dimples on each side of the head become ears later, while slight thickening develops where eyes are. The embryo will be covered with a layer of transparent skin. The embryo is between 4 to 5 mm in length. Basic heart and circulatory systems have also developed. The neural tube forms the brain, nerves and spinal cord.

For the Mother

Some of the symptoms during the first trimester can be really hard to cope with. These include fatigue, morning sickness, sore breasts, constipation, giddiness, headaches and mood swings. But it is important to remember that your body is carrying out the critical task of nourishing the child. Moreover, these symptoms lessen in a few weeks.

Tip

Check with your doctor if the symptoms are severe.

Week Number 7

About the Baby

During this week, the heart of the embryo forms and limbs form in finer detail.

For the Mother

At this stage, you may put on some pounds and clothes may begin to feel tight. The skin will have changes to it. While some develop a pregnancy glow, others may break out into rashes.

Tip

In the event of a skin infection, contact your doctor for further tips and solutions.

Week Number 8

About the Baby

At this stage, the embryo has developed to 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. The heart has also formed and the fingers and toes become more apparent. The arms bend and the external features of the face become more obvious. Sex glands and organs do not change in the 7th or 8th week. If the gene triggers the process, a male embryo is formed. Otherwise a female embryo results.

For the Mother

This is when pregnancy cravings wreak havoc on the healthy eating plans. Eating for two means you will be loading up on calories.

Tip

Do try to eat more nutritious food as this can benefit the baby and your health.

Week Number 9

About the Mother

As the volume of blood rises, the pregnancy may trigger giddiness and persistent urination. Bulging veins may develop on the limbs or a nosebleed might even result. The additional blood helps to protect the baby when the mother is standing up or lying down. It guards against blood loss experienced during labor and delivery. The vaginal bleeding can occur during the first trimester and it could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.

Tip

Watch out for a possible miscarriage and alert your doctor if bleeding is experienced.

Week Number 10

About the Baby

Following a period of ten weeks, the fetus develops into a 21 to 40 mm long length. The tail vanishes and fingers, as well as toes, lengthen. The umbilical cord joins the fetus to the placenta. The latter is attached to the uterine wall and takes in nutrients from the bloodstream. The cord carries oxygen and nutrients to the fetus and takes waste products away from it.

For the Mother

This is when the pregnancy glow appears for most women. The hormones HCG and progesterone raise oil glands in the face, causing the skin to plump up and become flushed. Estrogen and progesterone also spit milk production glands at this stage.

Tip

Check if the progress during this week is satisfactory through a medical examination.

Week Number 11

About the Baby

The fetus has a crown-rump length of 2 to 3 inches. The webbing from the fingers and toes goes. As bones harden, skin and fingernails also expand. Hormonal changes result causing the external gender deciding organs to appear. The fetus also makes spontaneous movements and kidneys, as well as early sweat glands, appear. The eyelids remain joined together.

For the Mother

This is when your pregnancy starts to show. Most women have a slight bulge by the end of the first trimester. The uterus expands and the fetus now measures from the top to the glutes, this being known as CRL or crown rump length.

Week Number 12

About the Mother

Till now, the uterus fitted within the pelvis. But this will change as your belly will become rounded and swollen. The additional fluid the body will retain during pregnancy can lead to thickening of the lens and cornea. The fluid within the eyeball changes as well.

Tip

These can lead to blurred vision but do alert your doctor, in case you are developing high blood pressure or diabetes instead.

Week Number 13

About the Mother

Clumsiness may be noticed at this stage. This is because another hormone known as relaxin loosens up the joints and ligaments to prepare for birth. This can interfere with movement. The hormone works all over the body, so loose limbed movement can be another feature of pregnancy.

Week Number 14

About the Baby

With a 3 inch RL, the sex of the fetus at this stage can be seen on the ultrasound. The hair also begins to grow today and prostrate glands develop in the class=”note” male fetus. Ovaries move to the pelvic area in the biologically female fetus. The mouth’s roof is also formed.

For the Mother

The second trimester is when you can rest easy, knowing the possibility of miscarriage falls considerably towards the close of the 14th week. Around seventy-five percent of miscarriages only take place in the first trimester. As HCG levels fall, the estrogen and progesterone levels undergo a change. This is marked by a burst of energy and increase in the appetite. Some women may experience extended morning sickness though.

Tip

Rest easy and take plenty of nutrition.

Week Number 15

About the Baby

The fetus has a CRL of around 1 cm. There are thousands of eggs from the ovaries which are formed in the female fetus.

For the Mother

Symptoms at this stage include darkening the skin at the nipple, aerials, armpits, navel and inner thigh region. This affects more than 90% of the mothers to be. Those with dark hair and fairer skin may also develop the mask of pregnancy or chloasma. This occurs in the form of darkening around nose, eyes, and cheeks.

Tip

Avoid spending too much time in the sun and ensure that you watch out for skin tags at this stage of pregnancy.

Week Number 16

For the Mother

Moms-to-be experience a lot of changes in the ensuing week. The first kicks known as quickening are often like stomach rumblings and mistaken by the mother to be as indigestion. In fact, detecting these is very hard from the start for many.

Week Number 17

For the Mother

The belly growth becomes pronounced so that there is no doubt you have a baby bump. The uterus gears up for a major increase in size. According to medical estimates, it grows by about 1000 times the normal size by the time delivery is nearing.Gaining up to a pound in a week, weight gain will vary from one week to another.

Week Number 18

About the Baby

The fetus now has a length of 14 or 15 cms.

The baby’s kick is really felt now, The feeling of quickening intensifies and this also indicates that your baby is growing at a healthy rate.

For the Mother

Some of the baby’s moves may not be strong enough for you to feel even now though.

Tip

You may go through a day without any instances of kicking and experience several the next day.

Week Number 19

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Photo By: Jakob Kings 85/ CC BY

For the Mother

This is when you lose your stability because, with the growing belly, the center of gravity also shifts. This can make it easy to be loose limbed and drop things. You need to be alert about your movements with a growing tummy.

Tip

Preventing pain is all a matter of standing in the right posture.

Week Number 20

About the Baby

The fetus has a CRL of around 16 cms right now. A hair covering that is fine and downy called lanugo also occurs on the baby. The skin of your child is covered by a greasy material called vernix cases. The uterus formation in a female fetus takes place.

For the Mother

This is the stage when you reach the halfway point. The change in your profile and physique should be prominently visible now. If you have not felt pain due to round ligaments, this could be when they start. Round ligaments are attached to the sidewall of the pelvis and the super uterus and these become pulled and stretched.

Week Number 21

For the Mother

Expect to gain a big belly at this stage. The pre-baby body is now gone for good, so expect to look voluptuous and large. Giddiness and morning sickness may also be experienced.

Week Number 22

About the Baby

At this stage, the length and size of the fetus is around 18 to 19 cms. Bone marrow also makes blood cells at this time and the formation of taste buds in the fetus takes place.

For the Mother

At this week, the blood circulates within the body more slowly so you feel lightheaded when standing, especially for extended periods of time. Enjoy thickening of the hair and nails due to hormonal changes taking place during pregnancy.

Tip

Expect excessive hair growth so stick to either shaving or waxing. Don’t opt for hair removal creams as these contain chemicals.

Week Number 23

About the Baby

At this point, the CRL of the fetus is 20 cms. Eyebrows and eyelashes start developing from these weeks. Your baby will need nutrients such as vitamin and mineral.

For the Mother

This is why doctors often give supplements to expectant mothers. Prenatal medication may also include vitamins in the second half of the pregnancy. The boost reduces changes of anemia and fatigue.

Tip

Anemia does not harm the baby but it can really zap energy in a mother. It is treated through the use of supplements.

Week Number 24

About the Baby

The baby develops as the fetus grows finer features.

For the Mother

Now is the time when food takes precedence. More fatigue results so in the third trimester expect a drop in libidinal urges.

Week Number 25

About the Baby

This is when the uterus expands at an exponential phase, growing to the size of a soccer ball. The uterus moves upwards and the baby needs the space.

For the Mother

Numbness and tingly fingers may also result.

Week Number 26

About the Baby

The CRL of the fetus is around 10 inches or 25 cms. The eyelids are generally fused in place till the 28th week.

For the Mother

In this week, the pre-pregnancy weight notwithstanding, most women gain an average of 10 to 15 pounds. This is a necessity. Most of the weight is due to the developing baby, rise in fluid and blood volumes, a growing uterus, bigger breasts, amniotic fluid, and placenta.

Week Number 27

For the Mother

This is the time when you need to be assertive and look after your health. Pregnancy is the time when you should get attuned to your instincts.

Tip

Setting limits is important to ensure the continued good health of both mother and child.

Week Number 28

About the Baby

In this week, the fetus generally has a CRL measuring 25 cms. Eyelids are fused together till the last stages of this week.

For the Mother

This is when you have made it to the third trimester. In the final trimester, the ultimate toll of pregnancy is felt. An extra addition of weight can cause fatigue and pain. Harder to get comfort while trying to sleep, breathlessness is another problem you may face.

Week Number 29

For the Mother

This is the point in the third trimester when you may develop leaky breasts as a precursory occurrence to the secretion of breast milk. The flow becomes great in some cases and nursing pads can come in handy at a time like this. The fluid is rich in antibodies and fends off infection.

Week Number 30

baby-birth-child-gift
Photo By: Kelin/ CC BY

About the Baby

With a CRL of 32 cos, the fetus is growing and the skin is not wrinkled.

This is when the skin expansion takes place to accommodate the baby.

For the Mother

The result? You may have itchy skin, stretch marks, and rashes.

Tip

Antihistamines, ointments, calming lotions and are can work wonders. Prescription creams are there for stretch marks, but it is recommended to wait until you’re done nursing before trying these.

Week Number 31

For the Mother

This is when more lower back and hip pain may result. This is because Relaxin is generated so that your bones can spread and make way for the delivery. The growing uterus exerts pressure on the sciatic nerve. This can lead to numbness, tingling or a condition called sciatica.

Tip

But this does not harm the baby or pose any long term threat to your health. To ease the pain, you can try a compress.

Week Number 32

About the Baby

The uterus is now close to 5 inches above the belly in most cases, as the baby presses against internal organs.

For the Mother

Urine leakage, breathlessness, and heartburn may result. This impacts appetite in coming weeks causing a waning of the hunger. Certain expectant moms feel nauseous around this time.

Week Number 33

For the Mother

This week, contractions are normal. This is because the body is readying itself for birth. The Braxton Hicks contractions may take place during this time.

Tip

These are beginner contractions and will subside at a later stage. Labour inducing contractions are of a different quality.

Week Number 34

For the Mother

This is when weight gain is actually slowing down. But wearing tight shoes or skin-tight clothes is a no-no as you need room to breathe.

Tip

Feel comfortable by wearing a bra while you sleep.

Week Number 35

For the Mother

This is when you may get a labor signal such as thick vagina discharge pink or blood tinged in color. This is when the mucus plug or the ball tissue blocking the cervical during pregnancy to keep your baby safe from germs, drops.

Tip

Losing this plug can even happen two weeks before labor commences.

Week Number 36

For the Mother

This is when the belly feels lighter and happens when the baby moves to the pelvis for birth. It is called lightening, dropping or engagement. This takes place, while milk glands also get ready for the delivery, with increasing levels of the hormone oxytocin.

Week Number 37

For the Mother

This is when the cervix is engorged with blood and feels a sensitivity. Persistent red discharge is dangerous though.

Week Number 38

About the Baby

At this stage, the fetus is firmly in in position having CRL of 34 to 36 cms.

For the Mother

This is when the water breaks generally for most women. The wetness runs down the leg so you can contact the doctor and rush to the hospital asap the minute this happens.

Week Number 39

For the Mother

Yes there may be a week number 39 too. Very few (less than 5%) women give birth on due dates. So babies can come in a few hours or two weeks. Whatever be the date, notice these signs such as mild cramps, water breaking, and contractions. When you are in a hospital, you can go into active labor during the starting phase of the first stage, when cervix dilation increases to 7 cm from 3 or 4.

Week Number 40

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Photo by: Public Domain Pictures/ CC BY

About the Baby

The average newborn baby is around 7 to 8 pounds and weighs between 46 to 56 cm with extended legs. Some lanugo may also be noticed.

For the Mother

This is also a week when women go into active labor. Pain relieving epidurals are administered. Once the baby is delivered, the bluish colored placenta containing blood vessels and tissues comes out.

Week Number 41

For the Mother

This is for mothers who may have to wait longer for their baby’s birth. Specifically, the wait can be anywhere from 38 to 42 weeks.

Tip

Induced labor or C-section, there are many ways to make the process easy.

Week Number 42

About the Baby

This is when the baby is ready to come out for those who are yet to give birth. Remember close to 80 percent of babies are born two weeks within the due date. The baby’s safety is not compromised till the 42nd week is over.

Tip

After that, the doctor can consider options for inducing labor.

Pregnancy Week by Week

Conclusion

Being a mother is a privilege that women enjoy. The pregnancy is an important part of your journey as a mother and caregiver. The parent child bond is strong and caring for your child also means caring for your own health at this crucial time. Have a healthy happy and safe pregnancy!

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