There’s no denying that pregnancy is an exciting and overwhelming time for any woman. While the journey is different for everyone, it’s important to know what to expect as you progress week to week. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of week-to-week pregnancy.
Week 1 to 4: The Beginning
During the first four weeks of pregnancy, you may not even know you’re pregnant yet. However, during this time, the fertilized egg implants into the uterus and begins to grow. You may experience mild cramping and spotting, which is normal.
Week 5 to 8: Development Begins
During this time, the embryo starts to develop major organs and systems, such as the heart, brain, and digestive system. You may start to experience morning sickness, breast tenderness, and fatigue.
Week 9 to 12: The End of the First Trimester
The first trimester ends at week 12. During this time, the fetus begins to look more like a baby and the placenta takes over the production of hormones. You may start to feel more energetic and your morning sickness may begin to subside.
Week 13 to 16: The Second Trimester Begins
The second trimester is known as the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy. During this time, the fetus begins to move and you may start to feel those first flutters. You may also begin to show and experience heartburn and constipation.
Week 17 to 20: Gender Reveal
During this time, you may be able to find out the gender of your baby through ultrasound. The fetus also begins to develop a protective coating called vernix, and you may experience Braxton Hicks contractions.
Week 21 to 24: The Third Trimester Begins
The third trimester is when things start to get real. During this time, the fetus starts to develop more fat and the lungs begin to mature. You may experience more frequent urination and difficulty sleeping.
Week 25 to 28: Viability
During this time, the fetus reaches the point of viability, meaning it could survive outside of the womb with medical assistance. You may experience swelling in your feet and ankles and shortness of breath.
Week 29 to 32: Preparing for Birth
The third trimester is winding down, and it’s time to start preparing for birth. During this time, the fetus is putting on more weight and you may experience Braxton Hicks contractions more frequently. You may also start to experience more intense back pain.
Week 33 to 36: Final Stretch
The final weeks of pregnancy can feel like an eternity. During this time, the fetus is running out of room and you may experience more intense Braxton Hicks contractions. You may also start to feel more fatigued and experience more frequent trips to the bathroom.
Week 37 to 40: Due Date
The due date is finally here! However, it’s important to remember that only 5% of women actually deliver on their due date. During this time, the fetus is fully developed and ready for birth. You may experience more intense contractions and your water may break.
Pregnancy is a journey unlike any other, filled with excitement, anticipation, and sometimes anxiety. Knowing what to expect week-to-week can help alleviate some of that anxiety and make the journey more enjoyable. Remember to listen to your body, stay hydrated, and rest when you need to. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I expect during the first trimester?
During the first trimester, you may experience mild cramping and spotting, as well as morning sickness and breast tenderness. The fertilized egg implants into the uterus and begins to grow.
2. When can I find out the gender of my baby?
You may be able to find out the gender of your baby during an ultrasound around week 17 to 20.
3. What should I expect during the third trimester?
The third trimester is when things start to get real. The fetus is putting on more weight, the lungs begin to mature, and you may experience more frequent urination and difficulty sleeping.
4. What happens if I go past my due date?
If you go past your due date, your doctor may recommend inducing labor or monitoring the baby more closely to ensure their safety.
5. What should I pack in my hospital bag?
You should pack comfortable clothing, toiletries, snacks, and any necessary paperwork. Your hospital may provide some essentials, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own.