When you find out you are a soon-to-be mom you may feel joy, fear, excitement, among many other emotions. It is said that anxiety can be decreased when we are more familiar with what we can expect. For this reason, it can be helpful to educate yourself on the 40 weeks prefacing the birth of your baby in an attempt to lessen the worry.

Pregnancy is a big mix of physical transformations and emotions. However, by arming yourself with the right information and seeking out solid week by week pregnancy advice you can better prepare for the most important milestones of each trimester.

Let’s take a closer look at the different stages of your pregnancy so that you can be better prepared for this incredible journey.

Trimester One: 1st – 4th Week

Congratulations, you are pregnant! You might be surprised to learn that the beginning of your pregnancy is counted from the first day of your last period. Therefore, for the first 2 weeks you are not actually pregnant, rather your body starts getting ready to become pregnant.

Some women say they knew right away. You may be able to sense your ovulation by having a heightened sense of smell, pelvic region pains and changes to the cervical mucus and increased libido.

At week 4, you could start to see the first symptoms of pregnancy like nausea, cramping, regular bathroom visits with mostly just a tiny bit of urine, and breast enlargement. You are more likely to experience these if your mom had them too. Morning sickness and nausea will usually disappear by the end of the 1st trimester. Be patient and be aware of your intake of food and fluids.

Trimester One: 5th-9th Week

At week 5, you might start wondering if you are pregnant when you miss your period. If you are taking any medication at this time you should check if those are safe for the baby and start with the prenatal medicine. At week 6, even though the outside world wouldn’t see any changes, you might feel them as an increase in the initial symptoms of nausea and fatigue. At this time your baby will measure approximately 5-6 mm and will be developing his or her first organs.

At week 7, your baby’s feet and hands appear. At this time, you may expect those more uncomfortable symptoms such as constipation, vomiting and pimples. Most doctors will schedule your first prenatal visit at week 8. At this time your baby is the size of a kidney bean. The tail is almost gone and hands and feet are developing fingers.

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Trimester One: 9th-13th Week

During week 9 your baby is now around 2.5 cm big, your baby’s basic physiology is in place and ready for rapid weight gain. Baby’s sex organs are visible, but it is yet not possible to determine the sex of the baby.

During weeks 10-13 baby is becoming a mini version of themselves at birth and all essential body parts are there, though they will be developing further in the following months. This is the time when you will be getting compliments on your “pregnancy glow” due to an increase in blood volume, stronger hair and nails, and your skin clearing up.

Trimester Two: 14th-20th Week

At week 14, your morning sickness will begin to fade, but be sure to look after yourself and resist pushing your physical limits.  Week 15 is an important period for prenatal testing, for instance, marker tests and amniocentesis.

During weeks 16-20 you will experience the first baby kicks, vivid dreams, very frequent restroom breaks, and nesting urges making you want to constantly clean and organizes your home. At this point, you can relish in the fact that all the effort you made and healthy habits you formed have helped your baby form its organs and body systems. Your baby is now feeling clustered surrounded by your pelvis and your uterus is now rising up to create a small bump on your tummy.  By the 20th week, your baby will be around 21 cm in height.

Trimester Two: 21th-27th Week

At week 21, your baby’s arms and legs become more proportional and the kicks you are feeling seem to be stronger and more intentional.  In this part of the trimester, from week 21 until week 27 your baby will develop hearing and you can start to play music, talk through the tummy wall and help the baby get familiar with sounds.

During this time, your baby will double in size and develop lungs and eyesight. You may expect a reaction in movement when you’re in a brightly lit area. It is also possible that the baby will communicate to you through touch when you place your hand on the belly.  

Trimester Three: 28th-35th Week

At week 28, your baby is weighing now around 1 kg and will continue to gain weight. Your baby’s head is now much more proportional than it used to be. Around week 30, your baby’s brain will be maturing fast, so this would be a great time to eat a lot of brain foods like fish, blueberries, broccoli, nuts and other foods that can improve your brain health.

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Your baby will spend a lot of time sleeping in this period. You may feel as if it is waking up and changing positions. Maybe even elbowing you in the process. At week 35 your baby is around 50 cm tall and its brain is developing at an even more accelerated rate. Eat foods high in DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), such as salmon, tuna, and oysters to help your baby’s development.

Trimester Three: 36th-42nd Week

Some studies have shown that at about week 36, your baby starts developing personality traits and at this time it can be beneficial to talk to your tummy in a soothing and calming voice. At week 37, your baby will now be in the engaged position, with its head down and getting ready to come into this world.

From week 38, your baby is considered to be at full term and it can be born anytime from this point on. It’s a good idea to have hospital bags prepared, money put aside for the taxi and a baby room set in case your baby decides it’s time. Weeks 40-42 are when the big moment will come and your bundle of joy is born.  

New Family Member

Every week during pregnancy your baby is growing and developing. Each trimester has its challenges but with the right preparation, you will be able to recognise them and take action. Staying informed about the road ahead can help you prepare better and allow you to every moment of your pregnancy.

By now, you will likely have started bonding with your baby, singing and talking to them while they are in your belly. After the birth, the baby will experience a huge change. That little person will go from a comfortable, friendly and protected environment to the outside world full of noises, colours and lights. When your baby arrives, try to make her as comfortable as possible by mimicking the former environment as much as you can. With time, your baby will grow and together you can enjoy the rest of your lives together.