What is the average time it takes for a baby’s birth? The average pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks, starting on the day you have your last period (LMP). It ends at the time of the baby’s birth. It can be divided into three trimesters: the First Trimester (second trimester), and the Third Trimester (third trimester). The maturation process brings about many changes in the fetus.
When can you tell if you are pregnant?
Missing periods are often the first sign you might be pregnant. But how can you tell? Home pregnancy tests are used by many women to determine if they’re pregnant. However, the tests are more accurate if taken at least one week before their last period. It is possible to get a false test result if you take the test more than seven days before your last period. It is more likely that your test is positive if it shows you are pregnant. If the test comes back negative, it is more likely that the test was wrong. A blood test can be done by your doctor to confirm pregnancy earlier than a home test.
Pregnancy Weight Gain
A woman’s body mass index (BMI), before she becomes pregnant, will determine how much weight she should gain. Normal weight women should gain between 25-35 pounds. Women who were underweight prior to pregnancy should gain more. Women who were overweight or obese prior to pregnancy should lose less. A woman of normal weight who exercises for less than 30 minutes per semaine should consume 1,800 calories daily during the first Trimester, 2,200 during the second Trimester and 2,400 during the third Trimester.
Pregnancy Weight Gain Distribution
During pregnancy, women gain weight throughout their body. The average fetal weight is 7 1/2 pounds at the end of a pregnancy. The baby’s placenta weighs approximately 1 1/2 pounds. 2 lbs is the uterus. A woman can gain approximately 4 pounds from increased blood volume, and 4 more pounds from increased fluid. During pregnancy, a woman’s breasts can gain 2 pounds. The baby’s amniotic fluid, which surrounds it, weighs 2 pounds. Excess storage of protein, fat, or other nutrients can cause a woman to gain 7 pounds. All of these sources add up to about 30 pounds.
As the fetus grows, pregnant women might experience some complications. Anemia, urinary tract infections, and mood changes could all occur. Preeclampsia is a condition in which a pregnant mother experiences high blood pressure. This increases the risk that her baby will be born prematurely and can also cause other dangers. In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, severe morning sickness or hyperemesis Gravidarum can cause persistent nausea and vomiting. This can lead to symptoms such as weight loss or dehydration in the first trimester, which may require IV fluids or antinausea medication. Women who are pregnant should be aware that they could develop gestational diabetes. It can cause excessive thirst, hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, and other symptoms. As the pregnancy progresses, it is possible to gain excessive weight and become obese. While women are expected to gain weight during pregnancy and may experience symptoms that could put mom or baby at risk, excessive weight gain can be dangerous. Talk to your doctor about how much weight you should gain in pregnancy.
The Three Stages of Pregnancy
(First, Second, and Third Trimester)
The First Trimester is from conception to the 12th week. The second trimester covers weeks 13 through 27, while the third trimester lasts approximately 28 weeks. This slide show will explain what happens to the mother and baby in each Trimester.
First Trimester: Week 1 (conception) – Week 12
First Trimester – Early Changes in a Woman’s Body
In the First Trimester, you will notice early signs that indicate pregnancy. Missing periods may indicate that fertilization or implantation has occurred. You may also experience other changes.
First Trimester: Emotional and Physical Changes that a Woman may Experience
Hormonal changes can affect nearly every organ of the body. Symptoms of early pregnancy include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Tender, swollen breasts. Nipples may protrude.
- Nausea (with or without vomiting)
- Aversions to certain foods
- Mood swings
- Frequent urination
- Weight gain
First Trimester: The Changes in a Woman’s Daily Schedule
You may need to change your routine because of some of the changes that you will experience in your first trimester. It may be necessary to get up earlier, eat smaller portions or have fewer meals. Some women feel a lot of discomfort while others don’t feel any. Even if they have been pregnant before, pregnant women may experience pregnancy differently. Women who are pregnant may experience a completely different pregnancy each time.
The Baby at 4 Weeks
At 4 weeks, your baby is developing:
- The nervous systems (brain, spinal cord, and brain) have begun to develop.
- The beginning of the heart.
- Leg and arm buds start to develop.
- Your baby now is an embryo.
The Baby at 8 Weeks
The embryo develops into a foetus at 8 weeks. The fetal development is evident:
- All major organs are now formed
- Baby’s heart starts to beat
- The legs and arms grow longer.
- Fingers, toes, and toes are beginning to form.
- The first stages of the formation of Sexual organs.
- The face starts to develop features.
- It is clear that the umbilical cord can be seen clearly.
- Your baby is approximately 1 inch in length and weighs less than 1/8 of an ton at 8 weeks.
The Baby at 12 Weeks
At the end of your first trimester, around week 12, you can see that your baby is developing:
- It is possible for nerves and muscles to start working together. Your baby can make fists.
- Your baby’s external sex organs will tell you if it is a boy/girl.
- To protect developing eyes, eyelids must be closed. They won’t open again until week 28.
- Your baby’s head growth has slowed to about 3 inches and almost one ounce.
Second Trimester: Week 13 – Week 28
Second Trimester: What a Woman Might Experience
You may find the second trimester easier than the previous. You may notice a decrease in nausea or complete disappearance of fatigue. You will notice other changes in your body. As your baby grows, you will notice a “baby bump”. You will feel your baby moving by the end of the second trimester.
Second Trimester – Physical and Emotional Changes in Women
There are some changes that you might notice in your body during the second trimester.
- Thigh, back, stomach, groin or thigh aches & pains
- Marks on your stomach, breasts, thighs or buttocks
- Darkening the skin around your nipples
- A line drawn on the skin from the belly button to the pubic hairline (lineanigra).
- There are patches of darker skin that appear on the upper and lower lips, as well as the forehead, cheeks, nose, forehead, nose, and cheeks. This is also known as the “mask of pregnancy” (melasma or Chloasma facies).
- Numb or tingling hands (carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Itching of the abdomen, palms, or soles of your feet. If you experience nausea, loss or vomiting, skin yellowing, fatigue, itching, or other symptoms, consult your doctor. These could be symptoms of a problem with your liver. )
- The swelling of the feet, ankles, fingers and face. If you experience sudden or severe swelling, or if your weight increases rapidly, you should consult your doctor immediately. Preeclampsia, a serious condition, could cause this. )
Second Trimester: The baby at 16 weeks
Your baby’s body continues to change in the second trimester.
- The development of the musculoskeletal system is continuing.
- Skin forms and becomes almost translucent.
- Your baby’s intestinal tract develops meconium. This is your baby’s first stool movement.
- The baby starts sucking with his mouth (sucking reflex).
- A baby about 4 to 5 inches in length and almost 3 ounces in weight.
Second Trimester: The baby at 20 weeks
Your baby’s development continues at around 20 weeks of the second trimester.
- Your baby may be more active. You may feel your baby moving or kicking.
- The baby’s hair is made of fine, feathery hair called Lanugo and a protective wax called Vernix.
- There are many things that can be formed: eyebrows, eyelashes and fingernails. Even your baby can scratch itself.
- Your baby is able to hear and swallow.
- Your baby is approximately 6 inches in length and 9 ounces in weight halfway through your pregnancy.
Second Trimester, The Baby at 24 Weeks
Your baby’s growth will continue for 24 weeks.
- Baby’s bone marrow starts to make blood cells.
- Your baby’s taste buds develop on his or her tongue.
- Fingerprints and footprints have been formed.
- Your baby’s hair begins to grow.
- The lungs have been formed but are not functioning yet.
- Your baby is able to sleep on a regular basis.
- If your baby is a male, the testicles of his testicle will begin to fall into the scrotum. If your baby is a boy, his testicles begin to descend into the scrotum.
- Your baby is about 12 inches in length and stores fat.
Third Trimester – Week 29 – Week 40 (birth).
Third Trimester: What a Woman Might Experience
The final stage of pregnancy is the Third Trimester. The third trimester is the final stage of pregnancy. Any discomforts experienced in the first trimester will probably continue. You may have difficulty breathing or need to urinate frequently as your baby grows. These problems are normal, and should disappear once you have given birth.
Third Trimester: Emotional, Physical and Psychological Changes that a Woman may Experience
You will notice more physical changes in the third and last Trimester, including:
- The swelling of the feet, ankles, fingers and face. If you experience sudden or severe swelling, or if your weight increases rapidly, you should consult your doctor immediately. Preeclampsia is a serious condition. )
- Tender breasts that may leak a pre-milk called Colostrum
- Your belly button might protrude
- A baby dropping, or moving lower in your abdomen
- Contractions can indicate real or fake labor
- Other symptoms that you might notice in the third Trimester are shortness of breath and heartburn.
Third Trimester Changes: As the Due Date Approaches
Other changes take place in your body during the Third Trimester, which you may not be able to see. Your cervix gets thinner and more flexible as your due date nears. This is called effacement, which helps your cervix open during childbirth. Regular exams by your doctor will help you monitor the progress of pregnancy, especially when you get closer to your due date.
Third Trimester: The baby at 32 weeks
Your baby’s development continues at 32 weeks of the Third Trimester.
- The bones of your baby are still soft, but they are fully formed.
- Kicking and movements increase.
- Your eyes can open or close.
- Although the lungs aren’t fully developed, they do “breathing.”
- The body of your baby begins to store important minerals such as calcium and iron.
- Lanugo (fine hair), begins to fall off.
- Your baby is growing by 1/2 pound per week. He or she weighs approximately 4 to 4 1/2 lbs and is 15 to 17 inches in length.
Third Trimester: The baby at 36 weeks
At 36 weeks, as your due date approaches, your baby continues development:
- The protective waxy layer (vernix), thickens.
- Increased body fat.
- Your baby is growing faster and will require more space. Although movements are less powerful, you’ll still feel them.
- A baby’s height is approximately 16 to 19 inches and their weight is 6 to 6 1/2 lbs.
Third Trimester. The baby at 37-40 Weeks
The last stages of development for your baby occur between 37 and 40 weeks.
- Your baby is full term at 37 weeks.
- The organs of your baby are capable to function on their own.
- Your baby might turn to a head-down position as you get closer to your due date.
- The average birth weight ranges from 6 to 9 lb 2 oz to 9 lb 2 oz and the average length is 19 to 21 inches. These are the most common full-term baby weights. However, healthy babies can be born at a variety of different sizes and weights.