Pregnancy Week by Week | What to Expect

Pregnancy Is a long journey. It passes by in excitement of meeting  your little one in the end. Let’s look at pregnancy week by week and what to expect.

Your body during pregnancy goes through a lot of changes. The most it will ever go through in your life time. Not only do you carry a baby for 40 weeks inside, you also grow it.

Below is an outline of what changes you can expect to experience as your pregnancy progresses. Some women experience drastic changes whereas some hardly realise there pregnant. Each pregnancy differs but the reward is the same.


Pregnancy week by week – The First Trimester

At the time of conception, your foetus begins developing. From there, it is calculated by adding 40 weeks and that will be your due date.

Ofcourse, we can never be certain when and what day conception occurred, which is why some days may go under or over. Your first ultrasound scan usually at 12 weeks will determine more accurately the age of your baby.

But before that, your foetus is still developing inside. Let’s take at look at what to expect in your first trimester.

1-13 weeks

WeekWhat to Expect
1Baby conceives and your body is getting ready to carry a foetus for 40 weeks.
2It’s time to start eating a healthy diet, taking prenatal vitamins, and stopping any unhealthy habits. Begin to take folic tablets for baby’s healthy brain development.
3Around this time your egg is fertilized and begins implanting itself in your uterus.During this time it’s normal to experience mild cramping and extra vaginal discharge.
4As you reach the 4 weeks mark, your probably expecting your next period, but it wont be arriving any time soon ladies! OR You’ve probably already noticed that you’re pregnant! You can take a home pregnancy test to find out for sure. Drug store ones are the best. Don’t waste your money on the expensive ones.
5Symptoms like breast tenderness, tiredness, and nausea begin to show up.
6Hello morning sickness! At week six many women experience morning sickness. This can last through out the whole first trimester.
7The mucus plug in your cervix has now formed to protect your uterus.
8Depending on where you live in the world, between 8-12 weeks is when you would have your first prenatal doctor visit.
9Your uterus is growing and stretching to allow baby space, your breasts are tender, and your body is producing more blood. Blood is being produced for two.
10Usually at your first appointment you get given your baby log book (it’s green in the UK). Your doctor will do several tests, like examining blood and urine. Your personal information will also be taken in regards to mothers health, fathers heath, background, genetics etc.
11You’ll have your first ultrasound and blood tests done during this week. Getting to see your baby for the first time is a surreal moment.
12Dark patches on your face and neck, called chloasma or the mask of pregnancy, might also start to appear. The linea nigra can also appear at this stage or sometimes it’s later.
13Your breasts are getting larger now as the first stages of breast milk, called colostrum, begins to fill them. You will also begin gaining a few pounds and feel a little heavier than before.

Pregnancy week by week – The Second Trimester

The first trimester is usually the uneasy one due to all the changes your body goes through. The second trimester on the other hand is classed as more calm and enjoyable.

Your body changes a lot throughout this trimester too. Your doctor will begin to see you more regularly after each 4-6 weeks to check the baby’s growth, check the heartbeat, and perform blood or urine tests to make sure you and the baby are healthy. 

By the end of your second trimester, your belly will have grown significantly and people may have started to notice that you’re pregnant! This is usually when most women decide to announce their pregnancy.

14-26 weeks

WeekWhat to Expect
14Welcome to the second trimester. Time to get some maternity clothing for yourself.
15During the second trimester weeks, you will be having some extra blood tests to detect any issues in your pregnancy so they can be picked up early if any are found.
16If you have a family history of genetic defects, like Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, or spina bifida, this is also the time to discuss an amniocentesis test with your doctor. This test is usually done between 16-20 weeks.
17Breasts begin to grow and harden. Time to invest in some size up bras.
18People begin to congratulate your pregnancy and begin asking the typical question of whether it’s a girl or boy.
19Allergies begin kicking in as your body grows more sensitive. Cravings will also be on the high due to the increase demands of baby inside. Baby will now enjoy certain foods inside and begin to dislike some too.
20An ultrasound at this prenatal visit can tell you the baby’s sex.
21For most women, these weeks are enjoyable. Some skin breakouts here and there but nothing major.
22You can begin taking pregnancy exercise classes. The breathing ones are really helpful for the labour stage.
23You may start to have trouble sleeping at night due to normal pregnancy discomforts like urinating often, heartburn, and leg cramps.
24Your doctor may want you to schedule a blood sugar test between weeks 24 and 28 to see if you have gestational diabetes.
25Your baby is nicely growing inside and may now be about 12 inches long and weigh around 2 pounds.
26Your weight will also be checked to see if your gaining correctly. Most women gain around 15-25 pounds.

Pregnancy week by week – The Third Trimester

You’re almost there!

The third trimester is where most of the weight is gained.

As you begin to approach the end of your 40 weeks you may have extra doctor appointments, including physical examinations.

27-40 weeks

WeekWhat to Expect
27Welcome to your third trimester! You’re feeling the baby move a lot now and those kicks are clearly felt. Your doctor may recommend keeping an eye on your baby’s movement more often.
28Doctor visits become more frequent now — every two weeks.
29Discomfort like constipation and haemorrhoids may kick in. Tossing and turning in bed in aid to find a comfy sleeping position.
30Large feet and swelling – The hormones in your body can make your joints loose causing you to grow a whole show size larger.
31Heartburn and leaking below is a common sign at this stage. Braxton hicks can kick in after 30 weeks also. These are false contractions and nothing to worry about.
32You weight will begin to gain quicker. Around a pound a week.
33Cool fact –  Your body has about 40 to 50 percent more blood!
34You may be feeling very tired at this point, from trouble sleeping and other normal pregnancy aches and pains. However just think “your nearly there”
35Your belly button becomes tender and may even pop out! Shortness of breath, increase in appetite and pressure on rib cage and uterus is all normal. This is because baby is growing rapidly inside. Gaining the most weight he can before he enters the world.
36Your health carer will begin to anticipate your admission. At 36 weeks your baby is fully formed. Hurray! He can be born any time from now!
37This week you may pass your mucus plug. This brings you closer to beginning labour.  
38You may notice swelling. Tell your doctor if you notice extreme swelling in your hands, feet, or ankles, because this could be a sign of pregnancy-caused high blood pressure, also can be a threat towards pre-eclampsia.
39Your cervix will start getting ready for birth by thinning and opening. Braxton-Hicks contractions may get more intense as labour gets closer. Or you may not experience Braxton contractions at all.  
40Congratulations! You made it! If you haven’t had your baby yet, he or she will probably arrive any day. Just eat sleep and repeat.

It’s okay not to have your baby at 40 weeks. Many women go over to 42 weeks. This is absolutely normal and fine.

Don’t forget to prep the baby’s shopping as your weeks go by. The second trimester is the best time to do it. Here’s a list of what you will need for your baby.

Related – The three stages of pregnancy

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