Just found out you’re pregnant? Congratulations! You’ve probably already subscribed to a dozen week-by-week pregnancy guides and purchased all the pregnancy books in your local bookstore lest you miss some crucial piece of pregnancy-related information.
But if you’re overwhelmed by all that and you’re just looking for a brief breakdown of each trimester, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for an incredibly detailed week-by-week pregnancy guide, this isn’t it; instead, you can tape this to your fridge so you know what’s coming up as you grow your little bean.
Here’s a handy overview of what you can expect for the next 40(ish) weeks.
Pregnancy Week by Week: The First Trimester
Remember the iconic scene in Saved By The Bell when Jessie Spano takes all the caffeine pills and she’s so excited, until all of a sudden, she’s really sick and a little scared? That’s sort of what the first trimester is like. Here’s what the first 13 weeks have in store.
Weeks 1 and 2 of Pregnancy
“Your due date is calculated by adding 40 weeks (roughly 280 days) from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP), which is why you’re technically pregnant before you conceive,” explains Tami Prince, MD, an OB-GYN, occupational medicine physician, and author practicing in Georgia. (This crazy math is the reason that I had to patiently explain to my extremely conservative grandmother that no, I was not pregnant at my wedding.)
Pregnancy Symptoms in Weeks 1 and 2
The first two weeks of pregnancy are technically the first 14 days of your cycle, from the first day of your period through ovulation. While you won’t be experiencing pregnancy symptoms quite yet, it is completely normal for some women to experience pelvic pain during ovulation.
Things to Keep in Mind in Weeks 1 and 2
“Take prenatal vitamins while attempting to conceive as well as throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding or until your physician tells you to stop,” says Prince. “The idea behind taking prenatal vitamins before pregnancy is to prevent neural tube defects. By the time most women realize they are pregnant, the neural tube has already formed so the vitamins are less effective to prevent defects. Even so, the vitamins also contain other important nutrients such as iron, calcium, and vitamin D so they are still important to complement a healthy diet.”
Week 3 of Pregnancy
After ovulation, your fertilized egg is growing and soon will attach itself to the wall of your uterus. Implantation of the egg to the uterus signals pregnancy hormones to begin secreting.
Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 3
Although you won’t be getting your period (because you’re pregnant, even if you technically don’t know it yet), you’re probably feeling symptoms similar to PMS this week, as your pregnancy hormones surge.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 3
Keep taking those horse pills—er, prenatal vitamins!
Week 4 of Pregnancy
This week, you may have officially peed on a stick and found out you’re pregnant. Yippee! It’s hard to believe, but the little clump of cells that has recently made your uterus its home will eventually become a baby. For now, though, it’s known as an embryo.
Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 4
“Nausea, vomiting, intolerance to smells or certain foods, breast tenderness, abnormal bleeding or spotting are all common early pregnancy symptoms,” says Mercy Medical Center’s Janelle Cooper, MD, FACOG.
This week you may be experiencing the dreaded nausea that often accompanies the first trimester. Prince advises eating small, frequent meals and bland foods to keep nausea at bay. Just know that somewhere around week 12 to 13, the nausea will start to subside. Until then, hang in there, mama!
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 4
You’ll want to call your OB-GYN this week and let them know you got a positive pregnancy test. They’ll probably want you to come in sometime between six and 10 weeks to confirm the pregnancy and update your medical information.
Week 5 of Pregnancy
Hooray! You’re officially one month in! At this stage, that cute little embryo is about the size of a jellybean and has a heartbeat, though it’s probably not detectable on an ultrasound yet.
New Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 5
Early in pregnancy, blood flow to your kidneys actually increases by up to 60 percent! All that extra pressure means you’ll have to pee more than usual. Like a lot. Especially in the middle of the night. The good news is that this typically peaks early in the second trimester. Unfortunately, you’re probably still feeling nausea, fatigue, and bloating during week five.
Pro Pregnancy Tip
Even though you’re making five bajillion trips to the bathroom a day, don’t forget to drink extra water, which is how key nutrients (you know, the ones you’re taking daily in your prenatal vitamins) are delivered to the embryo.
Week 6 of Pregnancy
At six weeks, the embryo is going through rapid development. The heart and brain are now complex organs, and a little heartbeat can probably now be heard through an ultrasound.
New Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 6
Nausea, fatigue, and bloating are probably still in full swing, and you may add one more symptom to the mix: constipation. You may experience constipation as you struggle to adjust to the pregnancy hormones that are surging through your body. Do you love being pregnant yet?
For constipation relief, Cooper says, “I recommended starting with natural remedies such as increased water intake, increasing fiber in the diet (fruits and vegetables), prune juice. If that’s not successful, then a mild laxative such as Miralax daily, or in severe cases a laxative suppository.”
What’s New in Week 6?
Sometimes during pregnancy, you have to talk about scary stuff. While most of it is unlikely to happen, it’s still good to know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Deep vein thrombosis is a rare but serious condition in which a blood clot forms deep within a vein, usually in the calf. You’re most likely to clot in the first trimester, and if a clot is released it can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. Luckily, there are some telltale signs you may have DVT.
Prince says that compression stockings (yes, like your grandma wears) can decrease the risk of DVT by increasing circulation. But if you notice that your calf is red or swollen and extremely warm to the touch, call your OB-GYN to get checked out.
Week 7 of Pregnancy
During week seven, your baby probably looks like a little black-and-white blob on an ultrasound screen. In reality, your little embryo looks a little bit like Lord Voldemort when he’s that gross man-baby; the embryo has developed little slits where a cute nose will eventually form, eyes (which won’t open for quite some time), and even has little limb buds!
Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 7
Even though you may not have gained weight yet, during the first trimester, the bloat is real. If none of your clothes fit due to pregnancy bloat, it’s okay to bust out maternity clothes already. No judgment! Just remember that your belly is going to get much, much larger, so buy clothes that will fit your currently barely there bump and when you’re 40 weeks preggo.
Week 8 of Pregnancy
By week eight, even though the embryo is just about a half inch long, all the most important body parts have formed. Baby’s heart beats at around 150 to 160 beats per minute, which is almost twice that of the average adult.
Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 8
The term morning sickness is such a lie! Pregnancy nausea can strike anytime, day or night. But there is good news! Morning sickness is actually nature’s way of protecting you from eating things that could harm the baby. While you’re in the worst of it now, it won’t be long before the nausea subsides for good.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 8
One thing people forget to tell you about pregnancy? This early in the first trimester, ultrasounds are typically done vaginally to calculate the most accurate due date, Prince explains. It’s a bit uncomfortable, sure, but I like to think of a transvaginal ultrasound as your initiation into pregnancy. I won’t spoil the surprise, but compared to some pregnancy-related procedures, a transvaginal ultrasound is a total breeze.
Week 9 of Pregnancy
If you could see a close-up image of the embryo during week 9, you’d clearly see a teeny-tiny bobblehead of a baby with a disproportionately enormous head, about half the length of the entire body at this point! Don’t worry, your baby’s head-to-length ratio will even out a little over halfway through pregnancy.
New Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 9
There’s a reason your breasts have been sore and tender; they’re preparing for their starring role as milkmaids 1 and 2! You’ll also notice that your breasts have grown substantially larger over the past few weeks. By the end of the second trimester, your breasts will be completely ready to produce milk.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 9
Now that you’re nearing the end of the first trimester, you can start thinking about how you’d like to tell friends and family you’re expecting, if you haven’t already. Here are some great ideas for cute photo announcements.
Week 10 of Pregnancy
We’re in double digits, people! At 10 weeks, the placenta is forming, taking the place of the yolk sac. Once the placenta is fully formed, it will supply the nutritional needs of your baby until birth.
New Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 10
“As the uterus begins to grow during the transition to the second trimester, the round ligaments which hold the uterus in place are stretched and can cause pelvic and or vaginal pains,” Cooper says.
That’s why toward the end of the first trimester, you might experience achy pelvic pain, especially if this isn’t your first pregnancy. To alleviate pelvic pain you can do some stretches, take a pain reliever (ask your doctor which ones are safe!), or soak in a warm bath.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 10
Sometime between weeks 6 and 10, you’ll probably have your first OB appointment. During the appointment, you can expect to give a urine sample, get your blood drawn, and get a pelvic exam. Your weight and blood pressure will be checked, a Doppler ultrasound will be used to check the baby’s heartbeat, and you’ll meet with the doctor to discuss any questions you may have.
Week 11 of Pregnancy
Your baby is currently weighing in at a hefty quarter ounce, but by the end of the second trimester, he or she will weigh about two pounds!
Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 11
People mean well when they urge you to “eat for two,” but Prince explains that “excessive weight gain too early in the pregnancy can lead to adverse outcomes such as macrosomia (larger than average babies) and diabetes mellitus. Ideally, weight gain is determined by pre-pregnancy weight.”
While every pregnancy is different, Prince says pregnancy weight gain should go something like this:
- Women with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 19.8 (underweight) should aim to gain 26 to 40 pounds.
- Women with a BMI of 19.8 to 26 (normal BMI) should aim to gain 24 to 35 pounds.
- Women with a BMI of 26 to 29 (overweight) should aim to gain 15 to 24 pounds.
- Women with a BMI greater than 29 (severely overweight) should aim to gain 15 pounds or less.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 11
If you are considered a high-risk pregnancy, your doctor may recommend cell-free DNA testing to check for chromosomal abnormalities that indicate an increased risk of certain conditions.
Week 12 of Pregnancy
Your baby is officially a little fetus! And even though you can’t feel it, baby will wiggle and squirm if you press on your belly.
Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 12
As promised, your nausea should start subsiding around week 12. That is unless you have hyperemesis gravidarum.
“Hyperemesis gravidarum is due to extremely elevated hCG levels and may also be associated with hyperthyroidism,” says Prince. “Signs and symptoms of hyperemesis include severe nausea and vomiting where women may not be able to hold down water, causing weight loss, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance.” If you have hyperemesis gravidarum, your doctor will likely recommend lots of fluids to keep you hydrated.”
Week 13 of Pregnancy
You made it, mama! You officially reached the end of the first trimester! Woo hoo! At the end of the first trimester, the risk of miscarriage is less than 1 percent, so it’s the time when most people feel comfortable sharing news of their pregnancy. Still, you can share (or not share) any time you want—your baby, your body, your business!
Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 13
You should be feeling pretty good right about now. The nausea and fatigue of the first trimester should be abating, and you’ll soon be getting a brief reprieve from the water retention that’s causing bloating.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 13
By week 13, your doctor will probably have already done genetic testing to screen for certain chromosomal abnormalities; your blood will be tested for abnormalities that could indicate conditions like Down syndrome.
Pregnancy Week by Week: The Second Trimester
A few pro tips for the second trimester: From now on, do NOT look at the scale during weekly weigh-ins at the OB’s office, and definitely do not weigh yourself at home (unless your doctor advises you otherwise, of course). On a related note, enjoy looking at your manicured toes while you still can. Also, teach your partner to paint your toenails. It’s a skill they’re definitely going to need.
Week 14 of Pregnancy
Your baby is roughly the size of a lemon, an avocado, or a single scoop of ice cream if you’re into food comparisons. Your doctor, though, does not measure your baby’s growth by digging through their refrigerator. During the first and second trimester, baby’s growth is measured from “crown to rump” using advanced ultrasound imaging.
New Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 14
Sometime during the second trimester, you may notice melasma, a darkening of certain parts of your body like the nipples, face, and abdomen, says Prince. She goes on to explain that “this darkening is due to the increased production of melanin by the placenta.” While there’s not much you can do to prevent melasma, you can mitigate the effects by always wearing sunscreen, which you should be doing anyway!
Week 15 of Pregnancy
Feeling little flutters down low? It might be gas brewing (pregnancy farts are nothing to mess around with, ladies), but it’s probably your baby swimming around! Those little flutters that sort of feel like a bubble popping inside you aren’t visible to the naked eye yet, but they’re signs your baby is happy and healthy.
What’s New in Week 15?
By week 15 or 16, your uterus as expanded up and out of your pelvis, and while co-workers and friends may not notice, you will probably see a very visible (if small) baby bump!
Week 16 of Pregnancy
By week 16, your little fetus can swallow and might even get the occasional case of hiccups (which, by the way, is totally adorable the first time you notice it—but not so much at 40 weeks when you’re trying to sleep).
What’s New in Week 16?
You might start to feel suddenly sexy again in the second trimester as your pregnancy symptoms begin to subside, which is why the second trimester is commonly called the “honeymoon trimester.” Sex during pregnancy is not only totally okay, it’s encouraged. So throw on some John Legend (or whatever floats your sexy boat) and get to it!
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 16
Now is also the time to start planning a babymoon if you want to take one. The second trimester is the best time to plan a trip before baby arrives: You feel great, you’re not huge and uncomfortable yet, and air travel isn’t off limits.
Week 17 of Pregnancy
At week 17, baby is measuring around 5 inches long and weighs about 3 ounces. Around this time, baby also learns to suck his or her thumb (adorable!) in utero.
Things to Keep in Mind in Week 17
Somewhere between 15 and 20 weeks, you’ll have another screening to test for chromosomal abnormalities as well as neural tube defects like spina bifida. A blood panel is usually taken in your doctor’s office and sent to a lab for analysis.
Week 18 of Pregnancy
You’re officially four months pregnant and almost at the halfway point of your pregnancy! Your uterus is roughly the size of a honeydew melon and is sitting just below your belly button.
What’s New in Week 18?
While the sex of your baby was determined at conception by the presence (or lack of) a Y chromosome, that’s now easily identified on an ultrasound scan! But, Prince cautions, “While baby’s [sex] may be identified between 18 and 20 weeks, it does depend on the positioning of the baby, and an ultrasound at this time is not performed solely to find out the baby’s sex but to assess fetal growth and well-being.”
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 18
How do you want to find out the sex of your baby? Do you want to stay #TeamGreen and keep it a secret? Do you want to find out with family and friends at a party? Or would you rather it’s just you, your partner, and the ultrasound tech? Decide how you want to find out before you schedule an anatomy scan so there are no mishaps!
Week 19 of Pregnancy
Baby is slowly morphing from Voldemort into a more human-looking little being, but they’re still very skinny at this stage. Baby won’t start storing fat until the end of the second trimester, so he or she still looks like a tiny (but cute!) Skeletor.
What’s New in Week 19?
Hip and back pain may become your constant companions during the second and third trimester because your center of gravity shifts as you carry increasing weight in the front. Luckily, your doctor can most likely prescribe physical therapy to help alleviate some of the strain, and in between visits you can try these pregnancy stretches to soothe an achy back.
Week 20 of Pregnancy
Most pregnancy apps and books will tell you that at 20 weeks, baby is as big as a banana, even though in week 19, baby was as big as a mango or an heirloom tomato. One of those things is long and skinny whereas the others are round and plump, so what gives? Well, right now, baby is more on the banana side of the scale: long, skinny, and still weighing in at under a pound.
What’s New in Week 20
You’re probably feeling like it’s impossible to get comfortable enough to sleep, and when you do, you may be waking up with terrible leg cramps, which can be caused by poor circulation, not drinking enough water, or even magnesium and potassium deficiencies.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 20
What’s in a name? Oh, everything! Now that you (probably) know the sex of the baby, you can start trying out baby names. My advice? Try yelling possible names out loud as if you were calling your kid down from across a crowded park. If you can’t say your kid’s name with a straight face, then mark that name off the list ASAP.
Week 21 of Pregnancy
Remember those cute little flutters back in week 15? Well, now it probably feels like your baby is doing interpretive dance in your uterus.
“You may notice fetal movement more at night due to nocturnal nature of the fetus, as well as the fact you also have decreased movement at bedtime, making baby’s movements more noticeable,” Prince explains.
What’s New in Week 21?
During your mid-pregnancy anatomy scan ultrasound (the one in which you usually find out the sex) your doctor will also check the location of the placenta. If your placenta is lying too close to the cervix or covering the cervix completely, you may be diagnosed with a condition known as placenta previa.
Placenta previa is pretty rare (roughly 1 out of every 200 pregnancies), and most women diagnosed with placenta previa early go on to have completely uneventful pregnancies, with the condition correcting itself before the third trimester. If the previa persists in the third trimester, your doctor will likely put you on bed rest, and you may need a c-section when it’s time to deliver to reduce the risk of postpartum complications.
Week 22 of Pregnancy
Finally! Baby’s starting to look like a baby instead of an alien creature using your body as a host. Even though the fetus still weighs less than a pound, baby basically looks like a teeny-tiny newborn with clear facial features and well-formed limbs.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 22
Now’s a good time to start your baby registry. Talk to veteran moms to get the scoop on which items to purchase and which ones to skip.
Week 23 of Pregnancy
Want to know a secret? Television “newborns” are covered in grape jelly and cream cheese to simulate just being born. In reality, your baby may be born covered in a white, waxy substance called vernix caseosa, which already coats your baby’s skin in the womb. At this point, the vernix is almost completely developed. Vernix protects your baby’s skin and may even have antibacterial properties, which is why most doctors advise delaying bathing newborns for at least 24 hours.
What’s New in Week 23?
You got a brief reprieve from having to pee every five minutes, but now that the weight of your uterus is right above your bladder, you’ll probably have to pee frequently again. Or, you might (okay, probably will) pee on yourself. More than once. Ah, the joys of pregnancy.
Week 24 of Pregnancy
Week 24 is a milestone week. Going forward from this point, if baby were born prematurely, they would have a 50 percent chance of survival, which increases with each passing week.
New Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 24
Did you know there’s such a thing as fake contractions? They’re called Braxton Hicks contractions, and they’re essentially practice contractions to help your body prepare for real labor. Braxton Hicks are typically painless, irregular, and don’t increase in intensity.
Things to Consider During Week 24
Sometime between weeks 24 and 28, you’ll have a glucose tolerance test to check for gestational diabetes, a condition that causes high blood sugar in pregnant women. Gestational diabetes can be managed during pregnancy and usually goes away after birth.
Week 25 of Pregnancy
Baby is growing, growing, growing! Baby has regular waking and sleeping hours and is as big as a head of iceberg lettuce.
New Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 25
Your other organs, like your stomach, get squashed to make room as your uterus expands. All this smushing means one thing: heartburn. If you get occasional heartburn during pregnancy, try to avoid trigger foods like spicy dishes. If you get daily heartburn, talk to your doctor to see if certain medications may work for you.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 25
Now is a good time to schedule a pregnancy and childbirth class if you haven’t already. Most local YMCAs and hospitals offer these classes free or at a minimal cost. You’ll learn the basics of caring for baby as well as what to expect during labor and delivery.
Week 26 of Pregnancy
By week 26, baby can hear you and your partner’s voices. Don’t feel silly if you want to talk out loud, sing, or read to your baby while he or she is still in the womb. It’s how they’ll recognize your voice when they’re born!
What’s New in Week 26?
So, another scary topic: pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a condition that causes extremely high blood pressure in pregnant women. If your blood pressure has been normal throughout your pregnancy but suddenly skyrockets or you experience headaches and swelling in your extremities, call your OB-GYN to get checked out. Pre-eclampsia is a serious but manageable condition, but if it isn’t addressed early, it can lead to other more, severe conditions, like HELLP syndrome.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 26
Now is a great time to pre-register at the hospital where you’ll be delivering. You’ll fill out all the registration information (that you will definitely not want to fill out when you’re trying to breathe through contractions) and get a tour of the rooms where you’ll be delivering.
Week 27 of Pregnancy
You’re six months pregnant, and you’ve probably gained about 15 to 20 pounds. But it’s all worth it for that little stinker who’s currently using your bladder as a recliner.
Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 27
So, we covered constipation early on, but we didn’t talk about constipation’s best friend, hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can be ultra painful and can be exacerbated by labor and delivery. If you have hemorrhoids, do NOT be embarrassed to speak to your doctor about treatment. In most cases, hemorrhoids can be treated with a simple cream.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 27
Now’s a great time to choose your pediatrician, since baby will need to be seen a day or two after hospital discharge. Overwhelmed by the thought of choosing your child’s doctor for the next 18 years? Here are the key questions you need to ask to find a pediatrician you and your baby will love.
Week 28 of Pregnancy
It’s officially the end of the second trimester! Baby currently weighs about 2.5 or 3 pounds and can now see light as it’s filtered through your body.
What’s New in Week 28?
From now on you will have office visits starting every two weeks, instead of just once per month. Additionally, as you enter the third trimester, you can start doing kick counts to monitor your baby’s activity. To do a kick count, lie on your side in a quiet room during a time when your baby is likely to be active. You’ll want to count baby’s movements and record 10 movements within one hour. If baby doesn’t move, try drinking a small glass of juice and try again. If you still don’t feel movement, there’s no need to panic, but you should still let your doctor know so you can get checked out.
Pregnancy Week by Week: The Third Trimester
Here we go! Home stretch! Less than three months to go! You’ll need this wave of enthusiasm to give you a boost when you’re feeling super tired and uncomfortable as your baby and belly continue to grow. During the third trimester, all the focus will be on preparing for labor and delivery as the big day approaches, but don’t forget to take time for self-care.
Week 29 of Pregnancy
By week 29 or 30, your baby is likely in a head-down, birth position and is not likely to flip right side up at this point. Sometimes though, a baby will be breech, or head up.
What’s New in Week 29
Your doctor can tell whether baby is breech by doing an ultrasound or a physical examination. If baby is currently breech, don’t panic! Baby is still relatively small and may spontaneously turn head down on his or her own. Or there are many techniques you can try (with your doctor’s approval, of course!) to coax baby to turn.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 29
Now that you’re in the third trimester, it is probably a good idea to write down your birth plan if you choose to have one. Having a birth plan can help you work through any pre-birth anxieties you might be having as you plan for all the what-ifs.
Week 30 of Pregnancy
Roughly 10 weeks to go! Baby weighs about 3 pounds, and his or her brain is rapidly developing every day.
Pregnancy Symptoms in Week 30
Remember how your organs are being squashed by your growing uterus? This includes your lungs, which is why you’re probably short of breath after walking up a flight of stairs. Don’t push yourself, and take a break anytime you feel like you need one.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 30
Week 30 is a good time to start putting together your nursery. Things are stressful enough when bringing home a new baby, so you definitely want to make sure all your essentials (crib, changing table, etc.) are set up well before baby arrives!
Week 31 of Pregnancy
Baby is rapidly developing at week 31 and still has a lot of growing to do over the next nine weeks!
Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 31
Remember all those pregnancy symptoms you thought you left behind in the first trimester? Well, many of them, like frequent urination and fatigue, are back! If you’re feeling tired and just plain down, take a few minutes to yourself and try to meditate. Even just a minute or two can be enough to help!
Week 32 of Pregnancy
Baby is still surrounded by quite a bit of amniotic fluid (about 2 pints), but the amount of amniotic fluid will decrease as baby gets bigger.
Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 32
Did you pee yourself or are you leaking amniotic fluid? Usually amniotic fluid is colorless and odorless and may come out in a trickle or a gush. On the other hand, urine usually smells, well, like urine and is not usually colorless. If you suspect you’re leaking amniotic fluid, call your doctor immediately. This could be a sign of preterm labor.
Pro Pregnancy Tip
“If you suspect that you’re leaking amniotic fluid,” says Prince, “use a pad. If the pad is soaked within one hour, call your OB-GYN.”
Week 33 of Pregnancy
In week 33, baby is putting on his or her finishing touches. You might notice baby is less active these days; that’s because there’s a lot less room in the womb. But you should still be doing daily kick counts to monitor baby’s activity levels.
What’s New in Week 33?
Let’s talk about stretch marks. Some women get them, some don’t, but most doctors agree that there’s little you can do about stretch marks. Still, staying hydrated and keeping your skin extra moisturized may reduce their appearance.
Things To Keep in Mind During Week 33
If you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to pack your hospital bag! Bring along shower supplies, a robe that opens easily for frequent feedings, and a plush towel (because hospital towels are the worst).
Week 34 of Pregnancy
It’s the final countdown! You have six weeks (or less) to go, sister! Baby is rapidly gaining weight and settling deeper into your pelvis to get ready for birth.
What’s New in Week 34?
Braxton Hicks contractions may be occurring more frequently by week 34. As you get closer to your due date, you may even experience false labor contractions, which are a more intense type of Braxton Hicks. With false labor, your contractions may be painful and come regularly but will not increase in intensity and may subside without warning. If you’re experiencing contractions this close to your due date, it’s always a good idea to let your OB know what’s going on.
Week 35 of Pregnancy
Baby’s still growing! You’re still pregnant! Hang in there!
What’s New In Week 35?
“Group B strep is a type of bacteria that can lead to a fatal infection in the baby soon after birth,” Cooper explains. That’s why at around week 35, you’ll probably get a vaginal swab to check for Group B strep. Group B strep is is a bacteria that is found in the vaginas of about a quarter of all healthy women. If you have Group B strep, you’ll be given antibiotics during delivery.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 35
Your doctor will soon have you come in for weekly cervix checks now that you’re just a few short weeks away from delivery. During a cervix check, your doctor is looking at two things: how much the cervix is dilated and how effaced the cervical membranes are. These checks aren’t usually painful, but they’re not all that pleasant either.
Week 36 of Pregnancy
At this point, your baby is putting on the final pounds to reach his or her birth weight, their brain is still developing like crazy, and they’re typically perfectly content to continue residence in utero.
What’s New in Week 36?
Have you been keeping up with your vaginal discharge during pregnancy? If not, now’s the time to do so. As we mentioned earlier, if you notice a watery discharge, you could be leaking amniotic fluid. But if you notice a mucousy/blood-tinged discharge, that could the be the mucus plug, which protects the opening of the cervix from bacteria. Labor is on the horizon when you lose your mucus plug, though it could still be days or weeks away.
Week 37 of Pregnancy
Baby would probably not have to spend time in the NICU if he or she were born during week 37, but it would still be considered an early term birth.
What’s New in Week 37?
Your doctor may offer to do a membrane sweep in the upcoming weeks to get the labor process started. Membrane stripping isn’t the most pleasant procedure, but you can read more about the risks and benefits here to decide if it’s a good option for you.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 37
Now’s the time to brush up on what you learned in childbirth class. Practice your breathing and other coping techniques with your birthing partner, and try to relax as you wait for labor to begin. After all, it could be tomorrow—or it could be three to four more weeks!
Week 38 of Pregnancy
Baby’s probably reached his or her birth weight and would officially be considered full-term if born between 38 and 40 weeks.
What’s New in Week 38
You know how Braxton Hicks contractions feel, but do you know what real contractions feel like? Real contractions feel more like intense period cramps that become more frequent and intense as they progress. If you’re having real contractions, start timing their duration and frequency. Typically, you’ll follow a 5-1-1 rule: head to the hospital when contractions are five minutes apart, last one minute each, and continue for at least one hour.
Week 39 of Pregnancy
It’s two weeks until your official due date, and you were probably officially over being pregnant weeks ago. But hang in there, mama: The end is in sight and it won’t be long until you’re soaking up all the baby snuggles you can stand.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 39
One thing I recommend? Make homemade padsicles to put in your mesh hospital undies when you get home, because they feel heavenly on stitched-up, swollen lady parts post-delivery. To make a padsicle, take a heavy, overnight pad, and saturate it with aloe and witch hazel. Fold it neatly back up, place back in its packaging, and stick in your freezer.
Week 40 of Pregnancy
Pregnancy Symptoms During Week 40
Totally. Over. It. That’s it.
Things to Keep in Mind During Week 40
Pregnancy is a marathon, and you’re at the finish line! You got this, mama!
Weeks 41 and 42 of Pregnancy
What’s New in Weeks 41 and 42?
Oh, did we forget to mention that your baby most likely won’t be born on his or her due date? In fact, in a 2013 study, 41 percent of the women surveyed said their doctors recommended induction since they had gone past their due date. And if you’re a first-time mom, chances are even more likely you’ll still be pregnant past 40 weeks.
Now, while most babies do tend to make their appearance around week 41 if they haven’t already, some like the womb a little too much, and those babies need to GET OUT.
According to Prince, “After 40 weeks, an ultrasound, as well as a non-stress test is likely to be performed to assess fetal well being. Your physician may also begin the discussion about inducing labor if labor is not spontaneous or the ultrasound and non-stress test show decreased fetal well-being and decreased amniotic fluid levels. The good news? Delivery of your baby will definitely be prior to 42 weeks!”