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Detailed Week By Week Guide To Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a beautiful phase in every woman’s life which is meant to be enjoyed for every pregnancy. It is a precious occurrence that is highly respected and appreciated by all walks of life, society and tradition.
It is the signal of a new life bringing new hope and joy to many involved. Pregnancy is as complicated as it is joyous as it alters the biological, physiological, social and emotional being of the woman. Her family status is also impacted.
Hence, it is every pregnant woman’s desire to want a good guide to pregnancy as it is a fantastic phenomenon happening in her life; and she would want to ensure a good and memorable experience, no matter how many times she has gone through it.
Changes in Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a testament of the woman’s contribution to procreation and it is necessary to assist her correctly during the process to ensure a favorable outcome. An accurate and good guide on how to cope with the physical, biological or emotional changes she will experience as well as understand the reasons behind these changes will prepare the expecting mother to embrace this experience with joy instead of trepidation.
Although it is impossible for any two women to experience the same changes in pregnancy, there are similarities that one can note in general; even the same woman may not experience the same changes in different pregnancies.
Week by Week Guide
Below is an outline for an expecting mother to monitor her own pregnancy:
Week 1 to Week 4
The first week begins when you had your last period; it takes 4 weeks before the egg is fertilized which marks the start of a new life. Physically, there may not seem to be any obvious changes to the woman but things are being established on the inside. The woman may also feel very normal and for most women, they may not even be aware that their egg is being fertilized. Life is very normal for the woman at this point of time.
Week 5 to Week 8
If you are not too busy to notice that you have missed your period at about the 5th week, you might suspect that you are pregnant. A pregnancy test can be performed to confirm your suspicion. You can perform one at the privacy of your home with a pregnancy test kit or visit your doctor who can perform a simple test for you to confirm your pregnancy or he will do an ultrasound to check on the heartbeat of the baby in the 6th week as you begin to experience nausea at about the 7th week. By the 8th week, the fetus has developed its identifiable arms and feet.
Some pregnant women have bad bouts of nausea while others may sail through it. Pregnancy affects each woman differently. Even the same woman may experience every pregnancy differently.
Week 9 to Week 12
The fetus continues its development although the woman does not really feel very much of it. However, it may be noted that the nausea is not as drastic with the body displaying some physical changes. The pregnant woman will note her growing belly as the baby continues its growth but it may not be very big, especially for the first pregnancy in most women. Nevertheless, whether the pregnant mother feels it or not, her baby is not only growing within, it is possibly moving in its sac. The nausea or morning sickness tends to ease off by week 12.
Week 13 to Week 14
The baby would have grown to a good size for its gender to be determined. The doctor may use the ultrasound again to view the sex of the baby but at times, the position of the baby blocks the genitals; hence, the sex of the baby remains a mystery until later checks again. Nevertheless, the heartbeat of the baby grows stronger and louder. You should be able to hear it beating at the 14th week. It should be loud and regular as evidence of the good health and growth of the baby. It is an awesome phenomenon that no parent-to-be should miss.
Week 15 to Week 20
The baby increases in size to allow the mother to feel its movements. The internal organs of the baby begin to develop. The baby’s bones are getting bigger and stronger; its movements can be felt more readily by the mother due to its growing size and the fast restrictive space it calls ‘womb’. Every part of the baby is developing: its bones, organs, fingers, toes and others. Its gender can be more accurately confirmed at this stage by ultrasound tests if the genitals are not blocked by the baby’s position.
Week 21 to Week 24
Slight contractions are felt as the baby develops breathing skills; fat deposits start to form. The mother may feel the contractions and feel heavier with the growing baby within.
Week 25 to Week 28
The baby moves less as there is less space to accommodate his movements, but at this stage, it can sense darkness, light and sound as it picks up outside sounds. This is the best time to speak regularly to your baby so that it can recognize your voice and be soothed by it. You can establish a special bond with your baby through regular communication, even though it may seem to be one way at this point.
Week 29 to Week 32
The baby’s head develops quickly with its brain and eyes formed; only the lungs remained to be fully developed.
Week 33 to Week 36
The baby can open and close its eyes; its fingernails also start to grow. It weighs around 4 lbs and has grown to about 16 inches long.
Week 37 to Week 40
The climax is reached where the baby could be delivered at any time. Only the baby’s lungs are yet to be fully developed.
This is just an outline of the weekly guide of a pregnancy. Find out more from your doctor or other approved reading materials.