Symptoms and stages of pregnancy: Month 1 to 9 | Ultimate Guide - Tips On Parenting

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July 30, 2020

Symptoms and stages of pregnancy: Month 1 to 9 | Ultimate Guide

Generally, pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks which begins from the first day of your last normal menstrual period and ends at the day your baby is born. Whole pregnancy is divided into three stages also known as trimesters.


Symptoms and stages of pregnancy: Month 1 to 9 | Ultimate Guide

Stages of Pregnancy:

First Trimester: Week 1 - Week 12 (Month 1-3)
Second Trimester: Week 13 - Week 28 (Month 4-6)
Third Trimester: Week 29 - Week 40 (Month 7-9)

The development of child inside any pregnant women can be an amazing experience. Pregnancy journey and stories can differ from women to women. Some symptoms of pregnancy last for few days or few weeks while some are just temporary and may or may not affect all pregnant women the same way.

Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters on the basis of the changes in the developing fetus and changes in pregnant women's body. Usually, these trimesters can be anywhere from 12-13 week.

First Trimester

First trimester starts from the day of conception up to 12 weeks. This is when any women will witness all signs of pregnancy from missing period to mood swings and more. First trimester lasts for the first three months of pregnancy. At this stage, the baby develops from a teeny-tiny group of cells to a fetus.

Changes in pregnant women's body during first trimester:

  • Missed period - Indication of implantation and fertilization.
  • Headache.
  • Heartburn.
  • Morning sickness – Nausea.
  • Tired as the body tries to adjust itself to all the hormonal changes it is experiencing.
  • Weight loss or weight gain.
  • Swollen nipples or breast – Breast tenderness.
  • Craving or distaste towards certain foods.
  • Frequent urination – Side effect of increased production of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in a pregnant women's body.
  • Constipation.
  • Sexual desire drops due to lack of energy.

First Trimester: Baby at Week (1-4)

  • Development of heart begins.
  • Brain and spinal cord (parts of nervous system) starts to form.
  • Baby sprouts flipper like buds which eventually grow and lengthen into arms and legs later on.
  • Development from group of cells to an embryo of length 0.25 inches.

First Trimester: Baby at Week (5-8)

  • For the first, time baby's heart begins to beat.
  • Lengthening of arm and legs bud begin.
  • Sex organ form deciding the sex of the baby.
  • Baby is almost an inch long in size.
  • All the major organs start to develop.
  • Facial features begin to form.
  • Eyes still aren’t fully developed yet.
  • Umbilical cord can be seen clearly and the baby weighs less than 3.5 gram.

First Trimester: Baby at Week (9-12)

  • Baby grows from an embryo to a fetus.
  • Size of the baby triples from 1 inch to about 3 inches long.
  • Eyelids close to protect the eyes under development and doesn’t open until week 28 is reached.
  • Fingernails start to develop and grow.
  • Baby can move its arms and legs but you still won't be able to feel it.
  • Growth rate of head slows down.

Advice for pregnant women in first trimester

Body is experiencing a lot of hormonal changes and needs some time to get used to. This requires attention from pregnant women. You may want to change your daily routine, bedtime, meals, number of meals to find some comfort in the discomfort. For some, this trimester can be unbearable, while some pregnant women might feel nothing at all. Even pregnant women who have already been pregnant before may feel different this time.

So, these are the symptoms of pregnancy for month 1 to 3 and how baby develops and grows during this trimester.

Second Trimester

Second trimester is from 13-28 weeks and is found to be much comfortable than the first trimester for most pregnant women. This is when your body starts to make room for your growing baby. At the end of second trimester, you will be able to feel your baby moving.


Changes in pregnant women's body during second trimester:

  • Fatigue and morning sickness reduce significantly or even vanish completely.
  • Baby bump can be seen as abdomen expands to make room for the baby.
  • Back, thigh, abdomen, groin pain and aches.
  • Skin around the nipple are darkens.
  • Sex drive is back and hormone becomes stable.
  • Heartburn can be experienced as uterus rises into the abdomen.
  • Clear stretch marks on buttocks, abdomen, thighs and breasts.
  • Over the cheeks, upper lips, nose and forehead, small patches of darker skin can be seen.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Condition causing tingling, numbness and weakness in your hand.
  • Itching on palms, soles of feet and abdomen.
  • Pregnancy line: A line running down straight from belly button to the pubic hairline.
  • Weight gain adding 5 to 15 pounds and swelling in some parts of the body.
  • Pregnancy Brain: Women might experience forgetting small details.

Second Trimester: Baby at Week 13-16

  • Baby is now around 5-6 inches long.
  • Babies facial features and heart are fully developed.
  • Lungs are still in developing phase.
  • Musculoskeletal system responsible for stability and movement of body continue to form.
  • Skin starts to form and is semi-transparent (translucent).
  • Baby weighs around 3 ounces.
  • Baby urge to suck is seen which is also known as sucking reflex.

Second Trimester: Baby at Week 17-20

  • Weight: 10 ounces & Length: 6-9 inches.
  • You meet feel your baby moving and kicking for the first time as they become more active.
  • Baby is protected by fine hair.
  • These are the weeks when the baby develops a fingerprint.
  • Your baby can now swallow and hear.
  • Fingernails, toenails, eyebrows and eyelashes are formed.
  • If the baby is a girl, ovaries are formed and this is the time when you can do the scan to know the sex of the baby.

Second Trimester: Baby at Week 21-24

  • Weight: Over a pound & Length: 10-12 inches.
  • More baby movement can be seen and heard when they stretch and got hiccups.
  • Lungs even though are formed don’t function yet.
  • Baby sleeps following a regular sleep cycle.
  • Hair starts growing on your baby's head.
  • Vocal cords are now function and your baby can now open and close their eyes.

Second Trimester: Baby at Week 25-28

  • Baby start developing fat under the skin.
  • Size: 12 inches & Weight: 2 to 4 pounds.
  • Visual, hearing and taste senses start working.
  • Brain and nervous system growth catch rapid speed.

Advice for pregnant women in second trimester

This is the time when most parents' signup for parenting classes, reading parenting books and start buying stuff for their babies.

Third Trimester

This is the final stage of pregnancy where pregnant women will face multiple discomforts. As baby starts growing more and more, it puts pressure on your internal organs causing pain. Third trimester starts from week 29 and ends when the baby is born.

Changes in pregnant women's body during third trimester:

  • Some pregnant women have difficulty in breathing and the frequent urination comes back.
  • Gaining a pound weight each week.
  • Heartburn is common.
  • Baby starts to move lower in the abdomen which increases the pelvic pressure.
  • Contractions: Indication of true or false labor.
  • Belly button extends over the surface and stick out.
  • Swelling of fingers, ankles and face.
  • Your skin will continue to stretch leaving more stretch marks.
  • Hemorrhoids: Piles.
  • Pregnant women may face trouble sleeping.
  • Tender breasts with watery leaks.

Third Trimester: Baby at Week 29 to 32

  • Weight: 5 pounds gaining half pound each week & Size: 15 to 17 inches.
  • Brain and lungs still continue to grow and develop.
  • Other body parts and the whole system of the baby is preparing to survive in the outside world.
  • Movements and kicking may go down as the baby moves down to the uterus leaving less room for the baby to stretch.
  • As you approach week 32, the babies are head down moving towards the pelvic area.
  • Minerals like iron and calcium is stored by the baby's body.
  • Fine hair (Lanugo) that has been covering the body and limbs of the baby starts to fall off.

Third Trimester: Baby at Week 33 to 36

  • Level of body fat increases.
  • Weight: 6 to 7 pounds & Size: 16 to 20 inches.
  • Vernix thickens: Wax coating protecting the baby inside.
  • Lungs mature and the brain growth is rapid.

Third Trimester: Baby at Week 37 to 40

  • At the end of week 37, the baby is considered full term.
  • Baby's organs are ready and capable of functioning on their own without any support.
  • Baby's in head down position as birth date approaches.
  • Average weight of babies during birth is 3.5 kg (5.5 lb.) to 4.5 kg (10 lb.)
  • Size of the baby during birth is 19 to 21 inches.

Advice for pregnant women in third trimester

Learn more about labor and labor management techniques, so you can prepare for the day to come.


Symptoms and stages of pregnancy: Month 1 to 9 | Ultimate Guide

So, these were the symptoms of pregnancy from week 1 to week 40, how pregnant women's body react and changes throughout the pregnancy and the development and growth of a new life inside a pregnant women's body from month 1 to 9. Being educated and aware of these symptoms of pregnancy and trimesters can help you prepare better for the challenges in your pregnancy journey and make it comfortable and beautiful with a calm mind.

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