A positive pregnancy test results in an explosion of emotions and questions – none more important than what is going on inside of your body. Fetal development follows a fairly predictable timetable. You can learn about your child’s development week by week and what changes to expect to your body during pregnancy below. These measurements are estimates, as every baby is unique.
If you’re pregnant and unsure about what to do next, we are here for you. Schedule an appointment with medical staff members to talk about your options, what to expect and next steps.
During conception or fertilization, the egg and sperm becomes a single cell called a zygote. This tiny cell contains all the complex genetic details of your child such as your child’s sex, hair and eye color, height and skin tone.
While you may not feel anything yet, your body is already changing! Pregnancy takes about 38 weeks, but your healthcare provider will count 40 weeks starting with your last period, because it is difficult to know when exactly the sperm and egg came together.
That’s why when fertilization occurs, you are considered two weeks into your pregnancy. During week 2, your Estrogen levels, temperature and hormone levels are already increasing. You may feel some discomfort and notice a change in your cervical mucus.
The zygote has implanted into the uterus and is now called an embryo. While the embryo is barely visible on an ultrasound at this point, your baby’s heart has already begun to beat. The spinal cord, muscles and nerves have begun to develop and the organs have already been established. The embryo is getting nourishment from the amniotic sac and placenta.
Have you noticed some spotting this week? Don’t worry, this is normal! When the embryo burrows into your uterine lining as part of the implantation it can cause bleeding. You may also experience discomfort in your abdomen.
The embryo is about a fifth of an inch in length. The embryo’s heart, mouth, intestines and liver are just beginning to form. The eyes and other extremities are visible, as are all ten fingers. The embryo is now moving and responds to touch.
While there are no major changes on the outside, the inside of your body is continuing to rapidly change. Are you queasy or bloated? Do you find yourself craving certain foods? These are all common early pregnancy symptoms. You may also find yourself running to the bathroom more frequently. As your uterus grows, you will have less room for urine storage, which will make long car rides difficult!
The embryo is now a fetus, a Latin word meaning “young one.” He measures about one inch in length. The fetus has facial features and its limbs, hands, and toes are all developed. The internal organs are beginning to function and the nervous system is responsive. The fetus is able to grasp and can suck his/her thumb and fingerprints can be seen on the skin. The fetus can now feel pain and at week 12, the fetus can sleep and wake up.
You may notice that you have gained a couple pounds and that you get tired easily. Don’t worry, this will pass next month. Nausea and vomiting may also be symptoms. Try incorporated ginger into your diet. Research shows that ginger can relieve sickness, so juice or grate ginger over your food.
The fetus is around 3 inches in length and weighs about an ounce. You can feel the fetus’s movements and his/her fingernails and toenails are beginning to grow. He/she is now able to swallow and urinate.
You are most certainly feeling pregnant at this point! You will continue to notice weight gain and find yourself reaching for another serving of food as you eat for two. You may also find yourself struggling to go to the bathroom as your bowels will be less efficient at getting rid of waste. Eating fiber rich foods and drinking a lot of water will help you stay regular. Some other symptoms you may experience include: breast tenderness, faintness or dizziness, food aversions and heartburn.
The fetus is now about five inches long. The child’s ears are fully developed and he/she can hear voices, blink, grasp and move his/her mouth. The fetus weights about a ½ a pound and is 8-10 inches long by the conclusion of the 4th month.
You are probably starting to feel your baby’s fluttering movements! Your baby is growing and you definitely can see your waistline expanding. Your baby will continue to get more active, and you will likely still be experiencing heartburn, constipation and indigestion.
A third of the fetus’s weight is the head and the fetus now weighs about 1/2 a pound, but measures 10 inches from head to toe. The skin is no longer transparent and the sweat glands are formed.
As your baby continues to grow, you will find yourself gaining around a pound a week. You may also notice a difference in your skin. While some women experience the pregnancy glow, others may notice that their skin is dry or even acne prone.
Can’t remember what you were doing? You may be suffering from pregnancy brain. There is no certainty what causes this, but it is likely that hormones are the culprit.
The baby’s eyes are fully functional and taste buds are formed on the tongue. The baby can now cry, inhale and exhale because the lungs are now fully developed. There is a high chance of survival if this baby were born prematurely.
Your baby’s kicks may be more painful as he/she gains strength and stretches the uterus. Your back pain may be increasing and you may start experiencing what feels like menstrual cramps. These cramps are called Braxton Hicks Contractions. These false labor contractions may increase as your labor day draws near.
At 30 weeks, the baby is capable of living outside the womb, but would be considered premature. The fetus can now use all his/her senses including sight, taste and touch. The baby can look around and even hear voices, and weighs around 6-9 pounds.
You will experience the most weight gain between weeks 20-30. Back and body aches may increase, but your major physical changes are over. Be sure to rest during these last few weeks as you progress through your last trimester.
At 40 weeks, your baby is full size, which means there is very little room in your body for him to move. You may notice your nipples secreting a white substance to prepare for your baby’s birth and cramping may also be present.
It is important that you rest and prepare your body for labor. Soon enough your baby will be here!