Pregnancy Stages

Published: February 6, 2012

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Overview

During the first couple weeks of pregnancy, most women are unaware that they are pregnant because there are little to no signs of pregnancy. On the other hand, if you've been trying to conceive, you're probably keeping track of your ovulation and know your exact pregnancy date, especially if it's your first pregnancy.

Within the first month of pregnancy, some women experience minor pregnancy symptoms such as cramping, similar to the beginnings of a menstrual cycle. This is common, especially during early pregnancy. The big hormonal shifts and changes occur after the first month of pregnancy and though it might not seem like there are that many changes in your pregnancy week by week, you will undergo a lot of changes beneath the surface during the duration of the whole first trimester, which is the first 14 weeks of fetal development.

At about week five, the changes are subtle; however, by week six, many women start gaining weight. This is one of the natural stages of pregnancy and you shouldn't diet or try to prevent the weight gain. If it's your second pregnancy, the weight gain might not start until a little later.

At week eight, your baby will probably be about the size of a bean. The growth continues rapidly, until the baby will just about fit in the palm of your hand at week 11. If you're pregnant with twins, you'll gain more weight than you expect.

During the first week of your second trimester, your baby is somewhere between two to three inches long. You will experience changes in your pregnancy weekly, as the baby grows and your pregnant belly starts to show. At about 15 weeks, your baby is about as big as an orange; at 20 weeks, or about five months pregnant, your baby will start to swallow and practice breathing on its own. The second trimester is the 14th - 28th week of pregnancy.

Once you're into the third trimester, your thoughts will go from pregnancy to labor and from labor to birth. By 35 weeks, your baby should be about five-and-a-half pounds and will probably kicking up a storm. After nine months of pregnancy, you'll probably be thinking about giving birth every day and anticipating motherhood.

Resources

It's important to research every aspect of pregnancy before getting pregnant. Check out the following websites for more information:

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