Pregnancy Month by Month

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First Month
Second Month

Third Month
Fourth Month
Fifth Month
Sixth Month
Seventh Month
Eighth Month
Ninth Month

 

First Month
The earliest symptoms of pregnancy differ from person to person. For most, this is the month you discover you’re pregnant – and that positive pregnancy test (and a missed period) may be the only sign you have.

CHANGES YOU MAY EXPERIENCE

  • Nausea – the earliest signs of “morning sickness” can appear in the first month
  • Breast Tenderness – your breasts or nipples may be swollen and tender to the touch
  • Fatigue – you may feel tired as your body adjusts to hormonal changes
  • Frequent Urination – a common side effect of the production of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) which causes an increase need to urinate in early pregnancy
  • Food Sensitivity – just the smell of food may turn your stomach.

HOW YOUR BABY IS DEVELOPING
Your baby is only .1 to .2 millimeters and at this stage is called a blastocyst. At three weeks pregnant, your child has already developed all his genetic material – and the sex is already decided.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PRENATAL VISIT THIS MONTH 

  • A pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy
  • You’ll complete an extensive family medical history
  • The doctor  usually performs an internal pelvic exam to check your uterus, vagina and cervix
  • A Pap smear, if you haven’t had one in the past year
  • Routine blood tests and urine tests may be performed
  • An assessment of your health, including height, weight and blood pressure
  • You will be prescribed a prenatal vitamin and folic acid
  • Consult with your doctor about any over-the-counter or prescription drugs you take

 

Second Month
Baby goes from blastocyst to zygote, as that dividing ball of cells takes on a more human form. You may be experiencing a change, too, as your body and mind adjust to your new role as mom-to-be.

CHANGES YOU MAY EXPERIENCE

  • Nausea, vomiting, food sensitivity and fatigue may develop or become more severe
  • If you haven’t already, you should make changes in your lifestyle so you and your baby will be healthy. You should stop smoking , drinking and using caffeine. Consult your caregiver about other changes you may need to make.
  • You may experience moodiness as hormone levels adjust.
  • Sexual desire may wan as fatigue and nausea increase.

HOW YOUR BABY IS DEVELOPING
Your baby is now a little under an inch long but has developed into a tiny human being. The heart is beating, the brain is developing and she has developed all her limbs as well as hands and feet. The eyes have not fully developed.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PRENATAL VISIT THIS MONTH

  • If this is your first visit, you will receive an internal pelvic exam and Pap smear.
  • Weight gain and blood pressure will be measured and monitored.
  • Urine will be tested for possible infection
  • Blood may be drawn to test for anemia and HIV. Genetic testing may also be given if appropriate.

 

Third Month
You’re reaching the end of your first trimester, and your body is adjusting to the shifting hormone levels.  By the end of the third month, your baby is fully developed.

CHANGES YOU MAY EXPERIENCE

  • Nausea may decrease as your body adjusts to hormone levels.
  • Your middle may widen, as the uterus grows to the size of a grapefruit.
  • As you feel better, develop an exercise plan to increase strength and flexibility, which will help during labor.
  • Moodiness and food aversions may continue, buy usually subside by the end of the trimester.
  • You may experience your first food cravings as appetite returns.

HOW YOUR BABY IS DEVELOPING
Your baby is now officially a fetus, and is between two and four inches long. By the end of the first trimester all organs are present, and even fingernails are developing. Your baby is also moving her arms and legs, though you won’t feel it yet. The rate of miscarriage drops at this point.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PRENATAL VISIT THIS MONTH

  • You will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat
  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS), which can detect Tay-Sachs, sickle cell anemia, Down syndrome and other genetic defects, is usually scheduled between ten and twelve weeks, if desired.
  • Weight, blood pressure and other monitoring will continue.

 

Fourth Month
Hormones settle, morning sickness fades, and you start to feel normal again. You also start showing – and feeling like a true mom-to-be. Welcome to the joys of the second trimester! 

CHANGES YOU MAY EXPERIENCE

  • By the end of this month, you may feel “quickening” – the first flutters of baby movement, often described as “butterflies” or “bubbles.”
  • You may find yourself feeling better. Nausea usually subsides and energy increases.
  • Hormones stabilize, and you feel less moody. Your sex drive may also return. Enjoy this time!
  • You may develop heartburn as your uterus rises in the abdomen.
  • Outward signs of pregnancy may begin to appear.
  • Most moms-to-be start shopping for their pregnancy wardrobe at this point.
  • Now is a good time to sign up for prenatal classes.

HOW YOUR BABY IS DEVELOPING
Your baby is five to six inches long and weighs up to four ounces. Baby’s face and heart are fully formed at this point, though the lungs are still developing. Baby’s eyes will open during this month and he or she will begin feeling the urge to suck.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PRENATAL VISIT THIS MONTH

  • Much like last month’s, monitoring of fetal heartbeat and size, as well as your own weight and blood pressure, will continue.
  • As it is every month, your urine will be tested for sugar and protein.
  • An ultrasound is usually performed to check for fetal age.
  • The alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test for neural defects is given in week 16.
  • Amniocentesis test for abnormal chromosomes may be offered.

 

Fifth Month
You’re glowing – and showing! You’re halfway through your pregnancy, and your baby is thriving.

CHANGES YOU MAY EXPERIENCE

  • Most women gain between 5 to 15 pounds by this time.
  • Your uterus is now the size of a cantaloupe.
  • Appetite often increases.
  • Fatigue may return, as you’re carrying extra weight and your heart is pumping more blood.
  • Some women experience bloating, constipation or other uncomfortable symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
  • Some women experience forgetfulness, sometimes called “pregnancy brain.”
  • Your belly button may pop out.

HOW YOUR BABY IS DEVELOPING
Your baby is now about 10 ounces and six to nine inches long. Baby is covered with a fine protective hair. This month he or she will develop fingerprints and permanent teeth buds behind fully formed baby teeth. Little girls’ ovaries also develop at this time, and sex may be determined through ultrasound.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PRENATAL VISIT THIS MONTH

  • Monitoring of baby’s growth and heartbeat continues.
  • Your weight, urine and blood pressure will also be checked.
  • At this point, an ultrasound may reveal the baby’s sex. This “second scan” may also show any anomaly.

Sixth Month
As the second trimester comes to an end, your baby is making his presence known – and your maternal instincts may be emerging as well. Start the countdown – labor day is just months away.

CHANGES YOU MAY EXPERIENCE

  • Your uterus is now the size of a basketball resting above your belly button. Skin on the stomach may feel itchy as it stretches around your growing womb.
  • Complaints of mid-pregnancy, including bleeding gums, constipation, heartburn and leg cramps, may intensify at this time.
  • You’ll gain about a pound a week at this time. The increased weight may result in varicose veins or hemorrhoids. Talk to your doctor if you notice protruding veins in any area.
  • You may become tired more easily – no wonder! Listen to your body and rest as necessary.

HOW YOUR BABY IS DEVELOPING
Your baby is about 10 inches long and weighs over a pound. You’ll be aware of baby’s movements as he or she stretches and hiccups. Baby’s eyes now open and close, vocal cords are functioning, and “finishing touches” like eyebrows have formed.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PRENATAL VISIT THIS MONTH

  • Monitoring will continue. Pregnancy-induced blood pressure problems (hypertension) often start at this time, so make your caregiver aware of problems with swollen ankles, headaches or nosebleeds.
  • Most women are tested for gestational diabetes at this time.

Seventh Month
The fetus at seven months is becoming more baby-like. Time to start thinking about maternity leaves and birth plans, as you enter the third trimester!

CHANGES YOU MAY EXPERIENCE

  • Your feet or hands may start cramping.
  • You may experience more movement of your baby
  • Your joints may feel more loose due to softening in preparation for birth
  • Many women experience Braxton Hicks contractions (non-productive contractions) starting in the seventh month.

HOW YOUR BABY IS DEVELOPING
Your baby is starting to develop fat under his or her skin. Baby’s now almost 12 inches long and weighs between two and four pounds. Your child can now see, hear and taste, and the brain and nervous system are growing rapidly.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PRENATAL VISIT THIS MONTH

  • Monitoring of your weight, blood pressure and urine, as well as the baby’s growth and position, will continue.
  • Women who are Rh-negative may receive a shot of Rhogam at this time to prevent complications later.
  • Stretch marks may appear as skin continues to stretch.
  • You may start seeing your caregiver more frequently at this point. Most start out with checkups every other week once you’re seven months pregnant.
  • Now is the time to talk to your caregiver about your birth vision. Discuss your feelings about pain management, fetal monitoring, episiotomies and breastfeeding at this time. Just remember these plans are just a blueprint, which can be adjusted as necessary during labor and delivery to protect the well being of mom and baby.

 

Eight Months
Babies grow rapidly when you’re eight months pregnant – and you may be tiring of pregnancy and anxious for baby’s arrival. Enjoy setting up a nursery as the countdown begins!

CHANGES YOU MAY EXPERIENCE

  • You’ll continue to gain about a pound a week.
  • You may feel discomfort as baby pushes on rib cage or organs.
  • Pelvic pressure may increase as baby drops into this area.
  • Indigestion and heartburn may become more intense.
  • Skin continues stretching and stretch marks may appear
  • Braxton Hicks contractions become more regular.

HOW YOUR BABY IS DEVELOPING
Your baby’s brainwaves resemble those of a newborn by this time. He may be a foot (12 inches) or more long and weigh about five pounds.   The Lungs and brain are continuing to develop and other body systems are refining to be ready for living outside of you.  Movements may slow as the baby fills more of the uterus and has less room to stretch. By the end of the month, most babies are head down and descending into the pelvic area.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PRENATAL VISIT THIS MONTH

  • Monitoring of your weight, urine, blood pressure and swelling will continue.
  • Baby’s growth, heartbeat, size and position will be checked.
  • Some caregivers order a second ultrasound at this time to verify baby’s size and position.
  • Caregiver visits usually increase from bi-weekly to weekly starting at the 36thweek.

 

Nine Months
The countdown to baby’s birthday begins. You may be tired one minute and energetic the next, as you anxiously wait for baby’s arrival.

CHANGES YOU MAY EXPERIENCE

  • You may breathe a little easier as baby settles into the pelvis, giving you more room in the abdominal area. This is known as lightening.
  • Sleep will become more difficult due to your size and any anxiety you may feel about the upcoming birth.
  • Some women experience a “nesting instinct” and feel compelled to ready the home for baby’s arrival.
  • Your weight gain will be as high as it will go – up to 35 pounds is average. Some women start losing a pound or two as labor approaches.

HOW YOUR BABY IS DEVELOPING
Baby’s lungs are maturing, and he or she is shedding the layer of hair that protected him or her in the uterus. Your baby’s brain is growing tremendously this last month. Baby measures about 18 to 21 inches long and weighs about six to eight pounds. 

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR PRENATAL VISIT THIS MONTH

  • All monitoring will continue. You will also receive an internal examination to determine if the cervix has ripened or started to dilate.
  • Your caregiver may swab your vagina and rectum to test for group b streptococcus infection (group b strep).
    • You will visit your caregiver weekly for monitoring at this point. Visits may increase if you pass your due date.

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