1st Trimester 2nd Trimester 3rd Trimester

      NOTE:
Women should be consulting their doctor months prior to conceiving to ensure they are healthy and to monitor different medications.
 

      1st Trimester Week 1 through Week 12:
  • Considered to be the most important time of the gestation period.
  • First of all, all necessary internal organs begin to form in the first eight weeks.
  • It is important to drink a lot of fluids and start changing your diet.
  • Eat healthy, and avoid smoking, drinking, medications-unless the doctor prescribes them, and any unhealthy environment that may affect you or your baby's health.
  • Within the first few days after conception, the baby settles into the lining of the uterus. A placenta forms.
  • At week 2, the mother starts sharing blood with the baby through the placenta. The baby develops skin, hair, nails, internal organs such as the heart, cartilage, muscles and tissue. Also, since there are so many hormonal changes, nausea begins between 2 and 4 weeks.
  • At week 3, the baby develops a central nervous system.
  • At week 4, the baby's mouth and face take form, and the baby's heart starts beating.
  • During week 6, the baby is big enough to press down on the bladder, hence the feeling of constantly needing to go to the bathroom.
  • At week 7, the baby becomes more defined. You can make out a head, arms, eyes, nose and mouth.
  • At week 8, it is time to get a thorough checkup. The doctors will ask you many questions about your medical history, as well as what has happened to you and your child, and what will take place.
  • By week 11, your baby has a strong heartbeat, and his or her mouth opens and closes.
  • Week 12 is the end of the first trimester.
  • With the end, the baby's bones are forming and becoming stronger.
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          2nd Trimester Week 13 through Week 27
  • The mother's body continues to change to accommodate the new life within her.
  • The new mom begins to gain more weight. And there are other changes besides physical changes.
  • The mom will become more emotional because of the changing hormonal levels.
  • Another common side effect of being pregnant at this stage is that heartburn sets in.
  • In the baby, hands become fully formed, and baby can grasp.
  • Also, the baby will continue to move and the movement will be more felt.
  • With tests being done now in weeks 15 through 18, the doctors can learn if there are any birth defects or other problems that might occur for the new mother during or after labor.
  • Week 19 and 20 are the halfway point. Just think you are halfway there! Usually, weight gain is from water, fats and proteins.
  • Week 21 is when the baby is almost 1 pound. The baby can hear sounds from outside of the womb. Also, the baby's nails are getting harder. Another new phenomenon is that the baby develops stool.
  • Around this time, an ultrasound is recommended. At this time, you can see what the gender of the baby is. However, it is not always 100 percent accurate. It is also recommended to increase your calcium intake.
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          3rd Trimester Week 28 through Week 40
  • These last few weeks before birth are also very important to you and your baby.
  • First of all, your sleep patterns will change.
  • You may get up many times during the night.
  • You may be physically tired, and you will experience aches and pains all over.
  • While the mother's body is preparing to go into labor, her body is changing.
  • The mother may experience more feelings like those in the first trimester.
  • Along with those, she will be experiencing more such as backaches, and lower abdominal pains.
  • Also, women may experience pains that can resemble labor but are referred to as Braxton-Hicks contractions.
  • Not only is the woman's body getting ready to go into labor, but the baby is also getting ready to come into the world. The baby is starting to gain fat underneath the skin. The skin takes on a pinkish color. Also, the baby starts to swallow.
  • Along with preparing inside of the body, it is recommended that women and their husbands go to Lamaze classes to learn to breath, and other information that will help ease the way to having a baby.
  • Finally, at 38 weeks, all organs, including the lungs are fully developed and ready to function on the outside of the mother's womb.
  • The weeks of 38 to 40 are the final weeks of being prepared for having a baby. This is when babies are usually born.
  • When this happens, sometimes the mother notices that her water breaks.
  • Other times, labor starts when muscles start to contract.
  • Labor can last for a very long time.
  • There are usually three stages in delivering a baby.
  • The first is when the mother goes into labor.
  • Followed by active labor and delivery.
  • Finally, there is a third stage when the placenta needs to be discharged.
  • There maybe some discomfort and in fact some "labor pains" because the placenta is trying to dislodge from the uterine wall, but nothing compared to the pains felt when in the middle of labor.
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