Pregnancy Journey

Your Amazing Pregnancy Journey – Week Wise

image courtesy: istockphoto

image courtesy: istockphoto

week 1 & 2

Conception typically occurs about 2 weeks after your last menstrual period. It means that you are actually not pregnant for first two weeks. Doesn’t it sound strange?

week 3

Fertilisation – sperm & ovum unite in the fallopian tube to form a one-celled “zygote”. The Zygote !

week 4

“Embryo” a small seed like structure is growing inside the uterus. It has developed three layers which would form all organs, later. The placental cells burrow inside the uterine lining (Implantation).

It is time to take a Urine Pregnancy Test.

One might experience little bleeding at this time, called as “Implantation Bleeding”.

week 5

 The embryo is growing at a fast pace. It appears like a tadpole.

week 6 ( week 2 of Gestation)

Your baby is somewhere between 4-6 mm (0.15-0.24 in) and heartbeats are now visible through an ultrasound. Because of the growing activity of the brain, an EEG is able to monitor its activity. Your baby is sprouting arm and leg buds.  A distinguishable body and head are beginning to develop and even tiny facial features are starting to form!

week 7

Your baby will reach between 7-9 mm by the end of this week. As the arms and legs continue to develop, tiny hands are starting to form, though they are not fully defined yet. Your baby’s more prominent facial features, such as the eyes, nostrils, mouth and ears are becoming more defined. Internally, the digestive tract and lungs are continuing to develop.

The umbilical cord will be completely formed by the end of this week. This connection between mother and child will be vital for providing oxygen and nutrition to your baby while also disposing of waste.

week 8

Your baby is about 0.63 inches (1.6 cm) from crown to rump and weighs about 0.04 ounces (1 gram). It is slowly beginning to look human. Its fingers and toes are beginning to form this week (toe rays) and the arms can flex at the elbow and wrists.

Internally, the baby’s intestines are growing longer and developing into the umbilical cord until week 12 when the baby is large enough to fit them.

His face is also becoming more obvious as lips, tongue and nostrils are present. Your baby also has developed eyelid folds and nerve cells, and the retina is beginning to form in the eye. And is growing smarter as the brain is developing. The cerebellum, which controls muscle movement, is emerging.

The baby’s bones are also starting to harden and his heart is also developing its aortic and pulmonary valves.

week 9

Your baby is now 0.90 inches (2.3 cm) long from crown to rump and weighs around 0.7 ounces (2 grams). Overall, your baby is starting look more human. The tail, which was extending from the end of its spinal cord, has shrunk and almost disappeared. The tip of your baby’s nose has also developed and can be seen in profile. Its arms and legs are also now longer and straighter. Its hands will be flexed at the wrist and will almost meet over the heart. Toes have begun to form. The digestive system also continues to develop. Its anus is forming and its intestines are growing longer. The skeleton may begin ossifying as the bones form cartilage. Your baby has also started taking its first few drinks from amniotic fluid.

week 10

Week 10 marks an important milestone for your little one: The end of this week is the end of your baby’s embryonic period and the start of the foetal period. This is when the embryo begins resembling a little human. All vital organs have formed and are starting to work together.

At this point, your baby’s head will be over half of the total length as the head slowly becomes more rounded as well. The average size of a baby at this stage is 1.06-1.38 inches or 2.7-3.5 cm crown to rump length (CRL). Your baby should weigh roughly 4 grams (.14 ounces). Tiny toes are forming and the eyes are largely open but will begin to fuse shut and will remain shut until weeks 25-27.

External ears and an upper lip are beginning to form and tooth buds are forming inside her mouth. The tail has also completely disappeared by this point.

week 11

Your baby will be growing rapidly over the next 9 weeks from roughly 2 inches (5 cm) to 8 inches (20 cm). With this rapid growth, the blood vessels in the placenta are increasing in size and volume to provide the baby with more nutrients. Some of your baby’s organs are almost complete including the pancreas, the thyroid and gall bladder.

Your baby’s head is also developing. The ears are moving toward their final position on the sides of the head. At this stage, the head accounts for about half of its body length. The baby’s eyes are still very wide apart and the eyelids begin to fuse close temporarily. This week, the irises, the colored part of your eyes, are also developing. Your baby will also begin to grow teeth, fingernails, toenails and hair follicles.

week 12

Your baby is now approximately 2.5–3.5 inches (7 cm) long and should weigh about 12-14 grams (.49 ounces). Your baby’s brain continues to develop and will continue to grow from this point on but will maintain its current shape. At the base of your baby’s brain, the pituitary gland is beginning to make hormones this week. Your baby has also started developing nerves and a spinal cord. Fingers and toes have separated and hair and nails are starting to form. Your baby’s vocal cords are also formed this week. The kidneys gain function as the baby starts swallowing amniotic fluid and passes it out as urine.

Most importantly, your baby’s heart is beginning to pump several quarts of blood daily. This can be heard with the aid of a Doppler (a special listening device). The heartbeat will be very fast.

week 13

This is a big week for you and your baby — you’ve officially entered the second trimester. The placenta has developed to provide your baby with oxygen, nutrients and waste disposal. It also secretes the hormones progesterone and estrogen, which help keep your pregnancy steady.

 

Your baby continues to develop significantly. One thing that is apparent is the slowdown in the growth of your baby’s head in comparison to the rest of the body. Your baby’s face is also starting to look more human as its eyes are beginning to move closer together and the ears are moving to their normal positions.

Internally, your baby’s intestines are developing villi which aid in digestion and the intestines are migrating from the umbilical cord into their abdomen. The liver also begins to secrete bile and the pancreas begins to secrete insulin. Your baby is also starting to practice swallowing as it takes in amniotic fluid and passes it out as urine.

At this point, your baby may also be able to put a thumb in his or her mouth, although the sucking muscles are not fully developed yet. All twenty teeth have formed and are lying under the gums. Your baby can also smile and its vocal cords are rapidly developing.

Your baby weighs between 13 and 20 grams (.5 and .75 ounces) and is approximately 2.5 to 3 inches long. The placenta and your baby also weigh the same now. Your baby’s vital systems are all fully developed and will now concentrate on growing (at rates up to 1 inch / week!).

week 14

Your baby weighs about 1.6 ounces (45 grams) and is about 3.6 inches (9 cm) long from crown to rump. Some fine hairs, called lanugo, are also developing all over her face. This hair will eventually cover entire body.

Your baby’s body systems are also starting to work on their own. The digestive system is practicing moving food through the intestines. The renal system has started creating and eliminating urine. And the thyroid gland has matured and started secreting hormones.  Your baby has also developed soft nails on fingers and toes.

Your baby’s blood is starting to form in the bone marrow and blood vessels.

As the eyes and ears continue to move into place, the baby’s mouth has gone through major development. The sucking muscles are developing and the completion of the salivary glands should happen this week. The esophagus, windpipe and larynx should all be present by the end of this week.

week 15

Your baby is around 2.5 ounces (70 grams) and is about 4 inches (10.1 cm) from crown to rump. The growth over the next few months is only going to accelerate. The skin has developed but is so thin and translucent that you can still see blood vessels through it. Hair continues to grow and the ears are almost in position now.

The skeletal and muscular system continues to develop as your baby slowly becomes more active. Bones are hardening as they retain calcium rapidly.

You may feel your baby start moving at this time, if it is not your first pregnancy.

week 16

Your baby now weighs 3.9 ounces (110 grams) and measures about 4.7 inches (12 cm) from crown to rump. Your baby is growing fast which leads to you seeing an increase in weight gain. The muscles are now developing to the point that can hold head erect, in a straight line, and facial muscles can display a variety of expressions.

The nails are well formed. The baby is emptying out bladder every 40 to 45 minutes.

week 17

Your baby weighs about 4.9 ounces (140 grams) and is about 5.1 inches (13 cm) from crown to rump. The placenta, which nourishes the foetus with nutrients and oxygen and removes wastes, is growing to accommodate your baby. It now contains thousands of blood vessels that bring nutrients and oxygen from your body to the baby, fuelling his growth.

Your little one starts to form fat this week. The fat resides under the skin and is important in generating heat and maintaining a steady metabolism. This will help maintain a steady body temperature. The baby’s movements are becoming stronger and more frequent. Loud noises outside the uterus may also startle the baby.

week 18

Your baby is 5.59 inches (14.2 cm) in total length and weighs about 6.7 ounces (190 g). The ears are approaching their final position and the eyes are starting to face forward.

Your baby’s bones will continue to harden and the pads for his fingers and toes are formed. They will gain the characteristic swirls and creases that form finger and toe prints. The meconium (an early fecal waste matter) will start to be collected in the intestines. If the baby is a boy, the prostate will begin developing as well. The baby’s heart is starting to build up muscle and pump out about 25 litres of blood a day.

week 19

Your baby weighs around 8–9 ounces (250 grams) and is about 6 inches (22 cm) long, covered in vernix caseosa, a white and waxy substance that protects the fragile skin from becoming chapped or scratched. Permanent teeth buds are also forming behind the already formed milk, or baby, teeth buds.

If your baby is a girl, her ovaries also contain primitive egg cells. Girls are born with all the eggs that they will have in their life. Your baby is also developing more brown fat around the neck, chest and crotch. Brown fat will keep your baby warm from the time of birth until the body is able to regulate its own temperature. The baby also might start sleeping this week. Babies can find a “favourite” position. Usually, babies will have their chin tucked into the chest. Most babies can even dream (REM sleep)!

week 20

Congratulations! You’ve reached the halfway point in your pregnancy. Your baby is now 11 ounces (312 grams) and measures about 6.3 inches (16 cm). Though your baby is still small, it’s grown tremendously from that first dividing cell! Under the vernix caseosa (the protective coating), your baby’s skin is thickening and might start forming two layers, the epidermis (outer layer) and the dermis (deeper layer). Hair and nails are also continuing to grow.

Movements should be becoming stronger and stronger as ossification of the bones continues. You should be able to feel fluttering or quickening quite regularly. In fact, from the movements, you should be able to know if the baby is sleeping or awake. Your baby is also continuing to practice breathing. Hair on the scalp is beginning to grow and all of the organs and structures are entering a period of growth.

week 21

From this week on, your baby is usually measured from head to heel. Your baby should be around 10.51 inches (26.7cm) and weighs around 12.70 ounces (360 grams). The digestive system has developed enough to start absorbing small amounts of sugar from the amniotic fluid. Most of the baby’s nourishment is still through the placenta.

The bone marrow has also developed enough to contribute to blood cell formation. The liver and spleen were responsible for creating blood cells before but the liver will stop producing blood cells a few weeks before birth. The spleen stops producing blood cells around week 30.

Your baby will also start to settle in the amniotic fluid near the end of this trimester. It usually chooses a head-down position. Its hair is also rapidly developing with visible eyebrows, eyelashes and hair on the scalp.

week 22

Your baby is about 10.94 inches (27.8 cm) long and is about 15.17 ounces (430 grams). Baby is developing senses. The taste buds have started to form on the tongue and brain and the nerve endings are also developed enough to feel a sense of touch. The reproductive system is developing. In boys, the testes have begun to drop from the abdomen, and in girls, the uterus and ovaries are placed and the vagina is developing.

You may notice your baby kicking and turning as well. His heartbeat can also be heard with a stethoscope. His organs are also beginning to specialize into their adult functions. For instance, the baby’s liver functions differently than an adult’s. The baby’s blood has more bilirubin, which is produced when blood cells break down, so the baby liver must be able to handle more bilirubin.

week 23

Your baby is around 11.38 (28.9cm) long and weighs roughly 1.10 pounds (510 grams). The baby continues to accumulate fat and drink in amniotic fluid. Over the next few weeks, your baby will be gaining significant weight and will almost double in size. The ears are also starting to develop as the three main bones (hammer, anvil and stirrup) are all starting to harden. This means your baby can listen to sounds.

The pancreas is maturing which helps produce insulin. Your baby will also be moving around a lot during this time so the kicks and punches you felt before will continue.

week 24

Your baby should be around 1.25 to 1.5 pounds (around 600 grams) and about a foot long (32 cm). The lungs are developing to produce surfactant, a substance that keeps the air sacs in the lungs from collapsing. Most of the development at this point is in the growth of muscle, bone mass and developing organs.

week 25

Your baby is about 14 inches (34.6cm) long and your baby weighs around 1.5 pounds (670g). The spine is beginning to form its structures and the blood vessels of the lungs start developing. Your baby’s nostrils are also starting to open.

Small blood vessels are also starting to form beneath the skin. As these blood vessels begin to fill with blood, the baby’s skin will take on a pink tone.

week 26

As you near the end of your second trimester, your baby weighs a little less than 2 pounds (907 grams) and measures around 14 inches (35 cm) long. Eyes will open soon and begin to blink. The baby can also respond to noise now and has been listening to the sounds of your heartbeat, digestion and other bodily functions.

week 27

Your baby weighs roughly 2 pounds (880 grams) and measures from head to toe about 14.5 inches (38 cm). Though it’s the last week of your second trimester, it will still be a while before your baby’s lungs; liver and immune system have fully matured. At this point, brain development will concentrate on the forebrain which deals with visual and auditory information. Your baby’s hearing should be mature enough to recognize your voice as well as your partner’s. The retina in the eye is starting to develop its layers and the skin is wrinkled from floating in the liquid in your uterus.

week 28

Congratulations! You’ve just entered your third trimester! Your baby now weighs roughly 2.20 pounds (1,000 grams) and measures about 15 inches (38 cm). The brain continues to develop its signature folds and grooves as the brain grows and matures.

Muscle tone is also improving and your baby will be moving around much more. The kicks and squirms might wake you up at night.

week 29

Your baby weighs roughly 2.5 pounds (1.15 kg) and measure about 15 inches (38 cm) long. Sensory organs are well developed. The bone marrow is now completely in charge of producing red blood cells as well.

Fluttering, the kicking sensation you feel in your belly has become more active as your baby kicks and punches more. The baby is urinating about a half litter of urine into the amniotic fluid daily.

 

week 30

At 30 weeks, your baby weighs about 3 pounds and is approximately 15.5 inches long. Your little one is now very conscious of the environment. Not only can your baby hear your voice, but is able to distinguish your voice from a voice belonging to someone else. Even though your baby is waking up and sleeping in cycles, just like any other person, the sleep cycle may be very different from yours. The lungs are working at near optimal levels now.

If you feel a rhythmic twitching in your belly, it’s perfectly normal — it means your baby has the hiccups!

week 31

At approximately 16.25 inches and 3.33 pounds, your baby may feel like quite big and heavy. The baby continues to add fat to his arms and legs; kicking and punching have probably picked up pace as the brain and nerve connections continue to develop. If all this movement keeps you up at night take heart, it’s a sign that your baby is healthy, strong and active.

week 32

At approximately 16.8 inches from head to foot, and 4 pounds, your baby now has toenails and fingernails and has grown hair all over her body — eyebrows, eyelashes and hair on scalp. Although your baby is now sleeping for the majority of the day, movement will increase greatly and foetal kicks will become more frequent.

week 33

With 2 months to go until his big debut, your baby’s lungs are almost completely developed.

The ever-developing neural structure within the brain allows your baby to not only listen, feel and partially see, but is allowing for REM sleep cycles.

week 34

Your baby is approximately 17 inches and weighs about 4.75 pounds. The bones in his skull aren’t fused together yet, allowing them to move and slightly overlap, making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. In fact, the bones in the skull won’t fuse entirely until early adulthood so they can grow as brain expands during childhood. Your baby will be set in its delivery position (either head or bottom) during this week.

week 35

With 5 weeks to go, your baby is approximately18 inches long and weighs close to 5 pounds (2.2kg) ! Most of the basic physical development is now complete. The baby will spend the next few weeks putting on weight and fine tuning systems. The kidneys are fully developed now and  liver can process some waste products

week 36

Your baby is approximately 19 inches long and weighs between 5.5-6.0 pounds (2.4 -2.7kgs). Multiple layers of fat are being added to your baby’s body, which will allow for better temperature regulation and to prepare for the outside environment upon delivery. As your baby moves more and more into the pelvic region, you will find that you are able to breathe more easily, although will probably need to go to the bathroom more frequently as this new position puts increased pressure on your bladder.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term.

week 37

With just 4 weeks to go, your baby measures approximately 19-20 inches long and weighs about 6.5 pounds (2.9kgs)! Right now, your baby is busy practicing for life outside the womb, inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid to get the lungs ready for the first breath, sucking thumb to prepare for breastfeeding, blinking and turning from side to side.

week 38

Your baby is approximately 20 inches long and weighs 6.5-7.0 pounds (3kgs). Believe it or not, your baby has taken a bowel movement. The waste is called meconium and is stored in the intestines.

week 39

Your baby is now about 20 inches long (51 cm) and approximately 7.25 pounds (3.3 kg). Most of the vernix and the lanugo that has covered your baby have disappeared. The baby has accumulated a steady supply of antibodies from the placenta that will help fight off infections for the first few months after birth. Movements will also begin to slow as the baby is starting to outgrow tight quarters in the womb.

At this point, all organ systems are developed and your baby is just building layers of fat to help control body temperature.

week 40

This is it! You’ve reached 40 weeks, congratulations!

A baby born at week 40 weighs on average 7 pounds (3,300 grams) and is about 20 inches long (51 cm). At birth, your baby might be covered with vernix and blood and have some skin discoloration. Your baby’s genitals may also appear enlarged due to your hormones in the baby’s system. These variations are completely normal and should disappear within a few days.

Your journey through pregnancy will have come to an end and your family will have grown by one, two or even three. However, your adventures with your newborn are just beginning. We wish you the best of luck and remind you to treasure the experiences that are going to fly your way!

 

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