Pregnant Baby Bump – An average pregnancy is forty weeks long, but a mother might not be pregnant during the first few weeks of the gestational age countdown. The beginning of a pregnancy is measured from the first day of the last period of the mother. The fetus is carried in the uterus ideally for forty weeks before delivery.

During pregnancy, concentrate on maintaining a balanced diet and getting adequate exercise to help the fetus develop properly. Here is a concise week by week guide about what goes on with a fetus and a mother’s body during pregnancy.

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Pregnant Baby BumpPregnant Baby Bump Week by Week in the First Trimester – Weeks 1 to 13

The first trimester of pregnancy is from week one to week thirteen. When an expectant mother visits the doctor for the first time, she will be asked when the first day of her last menstrual cycle occurred. This is deemed the beginning of the first week of pregnancy, though the mother might not have actually been pregnant at that time. It is virtually impossible to determine the exact time of conception; only a close approximation is possible.

If fertilization has occurred during the second to third week of pregnancy, symptoms will not begin right away. However, some women notice changes in their bodies including their vaginal discharge at this point.

The fourth to sixth week is usually when an expecting mother suspects she might be pregnant. A missed period might be the first clue. By this time, a home pregnancy test will yield a positive result. Now is the time to book an appointment with a doctor or midwife. Some implantation bleeding and light spotting may occur [1].

From week seven until the thirteenth week, symptoms are usually more pronounced. Symptoms include sore breasts, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, frequent urination and feeling bloated. If the expectant mom is thinner, the beginnings of a tiny baby bump may be visible. Some women report not feeling any strong symptoms in the first trimester. This is completely normal and not a cause for concern.

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Pregnant Baby Bump in the Second Trimester - Weeks 14 to 26Pregnant Baby Bump in the Second Trimester – Weeks 14 to 26

The second trimester is a milestone. The risk of a miscarriage is greatly reduced at this time, and the mom-to-be may start to feel better as the symptoms usually start to abate. Enjoy the honeymoon stage of pregnancy and begin to take baby bump pictures!

Week fourteen is usually the time that women announce to friends and family that they are expecting. Expect a growth spurt anytime now. To document a baby bump progression, start taking pictures of your growing pregnant belly. Keep your baby bump moisturized to help prevent itchiness and stretch marks.

A fifteenth-week baby bump might sit higher than it did in the first trimester. The rapidly growing fetus needs more space. Many mothers at this stage find themselves unconsciously cradling their bellies. The protective mother’s instincts have started to develop.

An ultrasound on the eighteenth week may uncover the sex of the fetus. This special moment is often shared with a partner or husband. If you are having a baby through a surrogate, this is one doctor’s appointment to which you would want to accompany her.

During the nineteenth week, a pregnant mom-to-be might can start talking to or singing to her baby. The baby’s senses have been developing, and the ears and brain can now hear sounds from the outside world. Studies show that babies who were played or sang a certain song in utero showed a partiality for it after birth.

During the twentieth week of pregnancy, a doctor will order a congenital anomaly scan. The ultrasound scan will check the baby’s heart, arms and legs, facial features, spine and internal organs. This is very important for the parent’s peace of mind and for the baby’s health. Doctors can assess the necessity of medical treatment while the baby is in utero or soon after delivery.

During weeks 24 to 26, women are in the last weeks of the second trimester. The baby bump has truly grown. During these weeks, a pregnant woman may experience some discomfort like heartburn and shortness of breath. The baby is small but already considered viable. In the event of premature labor and delivery, a baby born on this stage can survive with proper care and attention.

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Pregnant Baby Bump Week by Week in the Third Trimester - Weeks 27 to 40Pregnant Baby Bump Week by Week in the Third Trimester – Weeks 27 to 40

The third and last trimester is often met with great relief and anticipation where moms-to-be take plenty of baby bump pictures to remember this time. A baby born during the third trimester has a greater chance of thriving. Although the baby might still be premature if born under thirty-five weeks, the odds are in favor of the baby’s survival without any long term health issues.

At the twenty-seventh week, the fetus will start to exhibit a lot of brain activity.

From weeks twenty-eight to thirty, the third-trimester symptoms start. The expectant mother’s ankles may start to swell. Headaches and migraines are also common. Braxton Hicks contractions may feel stronger and more frequent. New mothers might mistake Braxton Hicks for labor.

For mothers that work, long hours can be stressful. An ergonomic office chair may be helpful, but flexed hours might be more beneficial when possible. Work can become difficult, no matter the job. At work and home, pregnant women should avoid lifting heavy objects to prevent strained muscles and protect the pelvic area. As long as the doctor approves, a mother should continue to exercise appropriately to stay as fit and healthy as possible.

During the twenty-ninth week of pregnancy, the fetus is around 2.5 pounds. A baby grows at an amazing rate. By the time the baby is born, the weight has typically tripled.

Between the thirty-first to the thirty-fourth weeks pregnant, the fetus has often shifted to a head-first position in preparation for birth. The uterus is getting a bit cramped, and the fetus is definitely feeling the squeeze. Another major change in a mother’s body that will take place around this time is the onset of milk production. Nipples may leak milk from time to time. You may want to start using removable breast pads to avoid getting wet stains on your shirts.

From thirty-seven weeks onward, a baby is considered full-term, and it is perfectly safe to deliver. The longer the baby remains in utero, the better. A couple more weeks will give the fetus a chance to put on more weight and accumulate more fat which helps with insulation and regulation of body temperature. It will also give the organs more time to mature, especially the lungs. Mothers may take to wearing abdominal belts made of breathable mesh. The mesh provides much-needed support to prevent discomfort from abdominal muscle or back strain.

Preparing for labor. The fortieth week is the scheduled arrival date for a baby. However, babies rarely arrive on schedule unless the mother is having a planned cesarean section surgery. The baby might arrive a couple of weeks early or a couple of weeks late. Some mothers require induced labor to finally get the baby to leave the warm and comfy cocoon of the uterus.

After labor, take the time to recover from the delivery, especially if you had a C-section. The scar will have to heal substantially before you are discharged, otherwise, the stitches might re-open. The pregnancy journey has completed, and you are about to enter the world of motherhood.

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A Last Word About Your Pregnant Baby Bump
A Last Word About Your Pregnant Baby Bump

Expecting a baby can be exciting and difficult at the same time. It takes its toll on a woman’s body, but some mothers feel nostalgic. You might miss the sensation and thought that your baby is safely cocooned and nourished by your body through the placenta. You might miss feeling the baby’s kicks and wiggles or the feeling of closeness. It’s a good idea is to take plenty of baby bump pictures so that you can share and remember this special time. Once your baby is born, will have the joy and privilege of watching your baby grow.

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Pregnant Baby Bump Resources:

[1]   U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office On Women’s Health; Stages of pregnancy.

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