The length of each of these foods is a rough guide to the length of your growing baby throughout your pregnancy. 

week4

First Trimester

Right from the beginning, your body is very busy.
Once fertilization of an egg has taken place, the  egg starts to divide as it travel down the fallopian tube, towards the uterus.  The lining of the uterus has  already thickened and is ready for the egg to implant into it.  The levels of hCG will rise which  prevents a period from taking place.

 

week6

Most women will be aware of a missed period by now and might be starting to experience some of the symptoms of pregnancy, which can include:

nausea and sickness

tiredness

sore and swollen breasts

strong sense of smell and/or taste

needing to wee more frequently

you might go off certain food and drinks

baby…

looks like a tadpole

the neural tube is formed, which will become the spinal cord and brain

the heart forms and develops into 4 chambers and starts to circulate
blood around the body


 

 

week8

baby…

limb buds start to develop

the stomach is formed

the head is formed

veins can now be seen beneath the skin

the placenta develops

the tail begins to disappear and the hands becoming noticeable

you…

your metabolism will speed up and your blood volume will start
to increase to meet the demands of pregnancy. This increased blood volume could give you headaches.

your uterus is about the size of a grapefruit, which could cause lower backache

you be feeling quite rough and tired

 


 

week10your baby…

The nose,  mouth and lips are almost developed and the
eyes are at the front of the face

The testes or ovaries develop and the
ovaries will begin to produce eggs

The limbs are getting longer


 

week12baby…

your embryo now becomes a fetus – this means that the critical part of
your baby’s development is now complete

your baby’s mouth can open and close and he can swallow

reflexes are developing so your baby can move

your baby’s brain is developing into to halves

fingernails start to grow

your baby is now fully formed

you…

your boobs and waist may feel bigger
your uterus moves above the pubic bone so a bump could start to develop
your energy might start to increase


 

Second Trimester

As the early pregnancy symptoms start to disappear, you could be feeling really well again.
Some women feel like they are glowing during the second trimester, with more energy as well as
the excitement of telling more people about your pregnancy.

Things to think about: look into antenatal classes for your third trimester, think about where you want to give birth, keeping fit in pregnancy and relaxing in pregnancy.

 

week14

baby…

the spine straightens out and the neck uncurls further

the taste buds are formed

you…

have probably had your first scan now so you might be feeling more relieved and you might be telling more
people about your pregnancy


 

week16

baby…

hair starts to grow

skin starts to thicken

starts to make regular breathing movements

you…

might have more energy now and you might feel like you are glowing as your bump grows and you don’t feel the need to crawl into bed as soon as you finish work

you might feel like doing more if you are feeling better – that could be having a social life again, exercising again or you might also want to start something pregnancy related like yoga, pilates, aquanatal or aerobics

might also be feeling hot – with an increased sex drive


week18

your baby…

the lungs are developing further as the brionchioles and alveoli form

your baby may now be larger than the placenta

your baby can move his arms and legs vigorously

the milk teeth buds are created

eyes and ears are in the correct place

could start to hiccup

fingerprints are forming

eyes are developing and the eye lids are fused together

cartilage starts to form bone

you…

there might be fluttering in your bump now – that is your baby kicking and floating about

might be experiencing some back and hip ache now, as your bump starts to grow – yoga, pilates and physio sessions could help

 


week20

baby…

the nerves start to develop

a scan can probably show the sex of your baby now

your baby starts to be covered in vernix

you…

you may have had your second scan now

your baby could be very active now – with kicks and somersaults


 

week24

baby…

there will be more hiccups and yawns

the body and leg growth will have caught up with the head

the buds for the adult teeth are now developing

the nostrils are starting to open up

starts to lay down more fat now

the meconium starts to develop in the gut

the bones in the inner ear are developing so your baby is more responsive to sounds

the nervous system is developing so your baby is more active

 


 

week26

baby…

more brain development has taken place and hand coordination has improved – your baby may start
to make a fist and sucking its thumb

the eyelids start to open so your baby can become aware of light

you…

as your baby’s growth is rapid, your bump might grow quickly so – backache could start to
kick-in at this point and you could start to feel a bit unsteady as your shape changes 

heartburn can start to affect you

you might feel like you are unable to breathe in deeply

 


 

Third Trimester

This could be the time when you well and truly feel like you are making a human being, as your bump
gets bigger and your baby kicks and wriggles.
It can be a great time to bond with your baby but tiredness and nausea can creep in again for some women.

Things to think about: attend good antenatal classes so you get the best birth preparation for you.

 

week30baby…

probably has a sleep-wake pattern

the brain is no longer smooth – it is folding to accommodate the millions and
millions of brain cells

The teeth buds have developed separate layers of enamel and dentine

The layer of vernix on your baby’s skin thickens

you…

might be having weird dreams – this can be common in pregnancy

you might start to feel a little more tired and achy again now – a swim, resting and yoga or pilates can continue to help


 

week34baby…

is aware of your heartbeat, breathing and stomach sounds
along with the blood moving through the umbilical cord

loud noises can startle your baby

is awake for longer periods

he is becoming more aware of himself – he can touch his face,
hold the umbilical cord and suck his thumb, as the sucking reflex is also developing

you…

you might start to experience some discomfort in your pelvis, as your joints start to loosen for labour. If this is painful, it can help to see a physiotherapist and simple things such as: sleeping with a pillow between your knees, trying not to stand on one leg to get dressed, avoid using a shopping trolley as this can put pressure on your pelvis


week36

baby…

your baby is almost full term now. He is fully formed although his lungs may need to develop a bit more and he just needs to grow and add a layer of fat.

you…

your baby may be engaging into your pelvis now which may ease your heartburn and make your breathing a little easier

your boobs might start to leak some breastmilk

you might be experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions as your body starts to get ready for labour

this is a great time to think about the position of your baby – to help your baby stay on the left of your bump, try not to lean back to often and lie on your left side when you rest/sleep

use your birthball – sitting on it and leaning over it can ease backache and encourage your baby to stay in a good position for labour


 

week40

More than half of all babies are born before their due date but labour will start when your baby is ready – that said you might be feeling huge and very ready to meet your baby now.
You won’t have long to wait.

If you are concerned about your baby – even if it is just a feeling you have, get yourself checked out at your nearest pregnancy assessment unit

Try to enjoy this time off work before your baby arrives – nap, read, go for cake, see a movie, get a massage.
If you are feeling anxious or worried about birth or being induced – practise your breathing to relax and stay calm and speak with your midwife. You can also contact Janine at Birth & Baby for a peptalk or last-minute preparation for labour and/or induction. Janine provides face-to-face, phone and online support.

You may even be experiencing some signs of labour, especially if this is not your first pregnancy. You could be having:

Braxton Hicks, which tend to come on when you are relaxed in the evening

more vaginal discharge, which could be your mucous plug starting to come away

cramping – this could be your body getting ready for labour

low backache – this can be a sign of early labour

 


Janine Rudin
antenatal educator, postnatal group leader, baby massage instructor, parent life coach