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Pregnancy week by week: A guide to pregnancy stages

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! This is without a doubt one of the most memorable and significant times in a woman’s life. However, it also brings with it many physical, mental, and emotional changes.

You might have searched for early pregnancy symptoms, or “is morning sick normal after 12 weeks” on Google. (spoiler alert: totally!) or you’re just wondering what to expect as pregnancy stages tick by week by week, check out this TODAY Parents pregnancy guide, which we put together with help from Dr Myra J. Wick, an obstetrician/gynaecologist at the Mayo Clinic, and her comprehensive, go-to guide for expecting moms, “Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. 

Let’s say you are experiencing your first signs of pregnancy. If this is the case, then you can look forward until week 13, or the beginning of the second trimester. This is when your early pregnancy symptoms will subside. Wick says that this is the honeymoon period. Most women feel fine, have overcome nausea but don’t feel too uncomfortable. Wick says that not everyone follows the rules and that you should report any concerns to your provider. She focuses on things such as spotting, heavy cramping, and a lack of fetal movement.

Dr Myra J. Wick

Dr Myra J. Wick










This is a guide to the stages and symptoms that are common during pregnancy.

First-trimester pregnancy symptoms

TODAY illustration

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 1

Although it may seem strange, you are not pregnant in the “week one” period. Week one begins on the first day after your last period. Doctors refer to pregnancy as the 40-week period after your last period. Therefore, your menstrual cycle can be considered part of the pregnancy process.

It’s a good idea to quit smoking and alcohol if you want to have children. You should also start taking a prenatal vitamin that contains at least 400 mg of folic acid. This will help to reduce your risk of developing congenital disabilities.



Could I be pregnant? Here are some ways to tell.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 2

You are not likely to become pregnant during week 2. Conception usually occurs two weeks after the beginning of your last period. Your body is still getting ready by producing hormones that aid in the release of eggs. This process is called ovulation. Your egg can be fertilized to form a zygote if you have not protected sexual intercourse or are trying to get pregnant by fertility procedures such as intrauterine injection (IUI) and in vitro fertilization.

You will notice a slight rise in your basal temperature during ovulation. If you get pregnant, it will remain high throughout the pregnancy.



What time of year are you most fertile How to know when you are most likely to become pregnant

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 3

Let’s assume that April 10 was the first day of you last period and that you fell pregnant shortly after. This would indicate that your baby was born around week 24, or possibly during week 3. Some pregnancy tests can detect human chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), as soon as six days after fertilization. False negatives can still occur, meaning that the test indicates you are not pregnant but it is false positive. To avoid disappointment, some doctors recommend waiting until your next period is over before taking a test.

The fertilized egg travels through your fallopian tube, and then buries in the uterine line. You may experience light bleeding, spotting, or vaginal discharge.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 4

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Although you may not feel any symptoms of pregnancy at this point, things such as morning sickness, fatigue, frequent urination, breast tenderness, and nausea may begin around week four. The skin around your nipples (called the areola), may become darker and develop small bumps called tubercles. This is because nature is clever that way. Their function is to help you breastfeed later. Many women find that mood swings begin around this time and last throughout their pregnancy. They can be caused by hormonal shifts and fatigue as well as adjusting to parenthood.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 5

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Your body: Even if you don’t notice any changes in your body, such as nausea, frequent urination, and exhaustion (which could also include vomiting), most moms-to be experience these unique symptoms during their second month. This begins at week five. Wick says that it is normal to feel tired and unwell in the first trimester.

Your little baby: While they are still tiny (about the size an earring back), your medical team officially calls them an embryo. They are developing the brain, spinal cord, blood vessels and other vital organs.



More women share information about their pregnancy during the first trimester

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 6

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Your body: Hormones can cause food to travel slower through your body. You may continue to experience the digestive distress described above, as well as constipation or heartburn. Some moms experience insomnia, even though they are tired, especially in the first trimester.

Your baby: This is a busy week. A baby will grow to three times its size and develop a regular heartbeat. You may be able spot it on an ultrasound.

Pregnancy Symptoms Week 7

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Your body Some women experience nausea, fatigue, moodiness, and dizziness during the first trimester. This may be due to the growth of veins and arteries, which can cause more blood to be produced.

Your little guy: Now that your kiddo is one-third of an in. long, he has more definition and a visible umbilical chord.

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