Pregnancy can be the best dream or the worst nightmare for people. When it comes to being pregnant, you are bound to go through floods of emotions and mood swings. The thought of having a baby might be intriguing at first, but you must sit back and think. If you’re willing to carry the pregnancy on, you need to be well-versed with the consequences. Start with gathering knowledge about the events of pregnancy. That way, you can prepare yourself for the worst situations beforehand. Along with the events, you must know how to take care of yourself and your baby as the stages of pregnancy progresses.
Detailed Information For Pregnancy Stages Week by Week
Keep reading to know the stages of pregnancy and how it affects your bodily needs with time.
Fertilization and Conception – Week 1 to 4
Fertilization is something that occurs only during a specific period. Once you find out that you’re pregnant, know that fertilization, as well as conception, already took place. As the sperm reaches the egg, fertilization occurs, followed by implantation within a week or so. You need to know that implantation might occur within the next 12 days. Your body releases the pregnancy hormone i.e., Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, after successful implantation. Confirm the pregnancy by doing one or multiple urine pregnancy tests.
During this period, you must schedule a preconception appointment. Not only will this ensure a smooth pregnancy, but it also rules out genetic anomalies in the fetus. As of last week’s approaches, you are likely to miss your period. This is the time when implantation bleeding occurs. Don’t confuse the light spot with your regular menstrual cycle. Other symptoms include morning sickness and slight abdominal discomfort. Make sure to eat healthily and drink as much water as you can.
Placental & Organ Development – Week 5 to 8
With the onset of the fifth week, the development of the placenta takes place. It is the only structure that connects your body to that of your baby. Being one of the most crucial stages of pregnancy, it takes care of almost every stage. From providing adequate nourishment to performing the gaseous exchange, the placenta does it all. Along with the placenta, the circulatory structure i.e., umbilical cord, develops. The blood circulation from our body to the fetus occurs through this special cord. Other organs like the heart, brain, muscles as well as bones develop from this week onwards.
By the end of week 8, your baby gets the eyelids as well as ears. It marks the onset of the fetus; facial development. Don’t be afraid of nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain as they’re quite common during this period. Make sure to wear a supportive bra to prevent excessive sagging of the breasts.
Fingers and Toe Nails Form – Week 9 to 12
As the stages of pregnancy progress, your baby becomes the size of a peanut by the ninth week. By the end of the 2nd month, the toenails, as well as other digits, develop. Foetus’s head gets straighter with the formation of the neck. During a gynecological ultrasound, you might be able to see your baby moving. Heading over to the tenth week, this is when the stretch marks appear on your stomach or thighs. However, don’t worry about the marks. All you need to do is use the stretch mark cream to get rid of the after-effects. Apart from the marks, you might gain a few pounds during the third stage of pregnancy. Make sure to take your calcium and iron supplements to ensure better fetal development.
Lanugo Formation – Week 13 to 16
As the third-month finishes, some major fetal developmental events take place. The fetus occupies your abdomen and crosses the pelvic area. Also, the ankles, as well as wrists, begin to take their original shape. The baby also gets his original fingerprints in the fourth month. Apart from this, fine hair-like projections called lanugo to develop by the end of the 14th week. From eyelids, eyebrows to the scalp hair, everything develops by the end of this month.
Make sure to book an appointment with your doctor as you might get to listen to the heartbeat of your child. Another crucial thing that the doctor might look out for is the genetic anomaly like the down’s syndrome. Wear a good pair of sticking to keep the leg veins in place. Also, do moderate exercise and eat as healthy as you can.
Quickening Movements – Week 17 to 20
Almost all the fetal systems begin to work by the end of the fifth month. From the excretion of amniotic fluid to exhalation via the lungs, everything happens during this period. Also, the fine lanugo becomes thicker and transform into full-fledged hair on the head, eyelid as well as other areas. You might gain a few more pounds as this is the midpoint of your pregnancy stages. What marks the onset of the fifth month is the quickening. Your baby begins to show movements when the muscles form. You are likely to experience backache due to an increase in weight. In order to take care of the pain, you must improve posture and get a special chair.
Lastly, a special cheesy covering around the fetus called vernix caseosa develops. This protects the baby from the surrounding amniotic fluid.
Fingerprints Develop – Week 21 to 25
The sixth month of pregnancy deals with the perception of sound and faster development of the fetus. While the morning sickness ceases, you might still experience the leg cramps as well as swelling on the digits. You can control the cramps as well as pain by consuming more calcium and potassium-rich foods. Apart from this, the fetus develops mechanisms to fight off the infection in the 23rd week. White blood cells take over the body and aid the defense mechanisms. Make sure to reduce the abdominal pressure by improving posture. You are very much prone to diseases like hemorrhoids, bladder infections as well as varicose veins at this time.
Mild Uterine Contractions – Week 26 to 30
Just when the seventh month begins, there’s something unusual that the mother might feel. Braxton hicks contractions make their way throughout the 26th week. These uterine movements are likely to stay until the process of childbirth. The fetus develops proper sleeping patterns, strong movements as well as physiological systems. Slowly, the eyelids open up and the baby starts to dream. The progression leads to even more weight gain and abdominal contractions become stronger with time. Make sure to visit the doctor for another consultation to rule out hypertension as well as pre-eclampsia. By the end of the seventh month, almost every fetal organ develops. Also, the fingernails get longer with every passing day.
Fetal Organs Mature – Week 31 to 34
The eighth-month deals with the maturation of the internal systems. From excretory to sensory system, every fetal organ matures during the eighth month. However, the lungs might still be immature. Apart from this, the baby can distinguish between voices and recognize the familiar ones. Braxton Hicks contractions become stronger by the end of this month. Also, the breasts start secreting yellowish fluid known as colostrum. This is the first milk containing loads of nutrients essential for the baby’s growth. Remember to take the utmost care of yourself as you’re almost on the verge of childbirth.
Labor Events Begin – Week 35 to 40
When you enter the last month of your stages of pregnancy, the labor events begin with full swing. The contractions become intense and the baby just can’t chill anymore. With the onset of the 25th week, your baby attains a height of 21 inches. Also, the weight ranges anywhere between 4 to 6 pounds. The baby starts to align in the head-down position that’s optimum for childbirth. Also, you might experience severe mood swings and abdominal discomfort at this time. The pelvis feels heavy and pressure increases with the contractions.
As the 38th-week starts, your baby fetches the required antibodies to tackle the infections through the placenta. Also, the protective structures like lanugo, vernix, and others leave the fetus’s body. You might feel relaxed as the baby goes back into the pelvis. Don’t think that the childbirth occurs on the due date only. Around 95% of the babies are born either before or after the due date. So, make sure that you’re prepared for the event at the beginning of last month. Eat healthily and facilitate childbirth by taking proper sleep.
Stages of Pregnancy involves innumerable physiological as well as mental changes. If you’re someone who hasn’t been pregnant yet, then you need to do some preparations. Make sure to consult the doctor for a preconception guide and things to keep in mind. Also, confirm your pregnancy by doing multiple pregnancy tests. The events occur in a weekly pattern and you are likely to experience new changes every week. From the development of fetal heartbeat to experiencing quickening movements, you go through it all. Take healthy diet, folic acid as well as nutrient supplements for better fetal growth. Along with this, regular gynecological consultations are highly advised to rule out genetic anomalies in the baby.