Your pregnancy, week by week

Pregnancy is a very special time for both you and your partner.

Knowing what happens to you and your growing baby during the weeks of pregnancy will help you enjoy this exciting period  to the fullest.

First trimester - Second trimester - Third trimester

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First trimester

First trimester of pregnancyPregnancy lasts approximately 40 weeks and is calculated from the first day of your last period, although conception will probably not have taken place until around two weeks afther this. Pregnancy is divided into three parts known as trimesters. The first covers weeks 1 - 13, the second trimester weeks 14 - 26 and the third trimester week 27 until birth.

During the first trimest, your baby will evolve from a cluster of cells into a recognizable fetus measuring about 3 inch (80 mm). All the major organs, muscles and bones will be formed. Until the placenta becomes mature enough to take over, your pregnancy is supported by maternal hormones, which also contribute to early symptoms such as nausea and tiredness. Although you may not look pregnant in the first trimester, you will almost certainly feel pregnant.

1 & 2 weeks pregnant

It may seem a bit strange, but the first week of your pregnancy is actually the beginning of your last menstrual period before you become pregnant. Why is that? Doctors and other health care professionals calculate your due date by counting 40 weeks from the start of your last cycle. That means they count your period as part of your pregnancy even though your baby hasn't been conceived yet. Conception typically occurs about two weeks after the start of your last menstrual period.

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3 weeks pregnant

A great deal is happening, even though your pregnancy is in its earliest stage. Ovaries lie free in your pelvis; they are close to the uterus and Fallopian tube. At the time of ovulation, the end of the tube (called the fimbria) lies close to the ovary. Some researchers believe this tube opening covers the area on the ovary where the egg is released at the time of ovulation. The release site on the ovary is called the stigma.


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4 weeks pregnant

Once your baby is conceived, he or she gets to work right away. The next step in the process is cell division, Within about 12 hours after fertilization, your one-celled zygote divides into two cells and then those two each split into two, and so on, with the number of cells doubling every 12 hours.

4 weeks pregnant


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5 weeks pregnant

eight of your pregnancy your baby’s cells multiply rapidly and they begin to perform specific functions. This process of specialization is called differentiation. It’s necessary to produce all the different cells that make up a human being. As a result of differentiation, your baby’s main external features also will begin to take shape. No longer just a mass of cells, your baby - now officially called an embryo - is starting to take on a distinct form. This article has moved to an other website of ours, namely Read the full article about 5 weeks pregnany there. 5 weeks pregnant

6 weeks pregnant

Growth is rapid during the sixth week, during which your baby will triple in size. Formation of baby' s facial features is in its early stages. Optic vesicles, which later form the eyes, are beginning to develop. Passageways that will make up the inner ear also are beginning to form. When 6 weeks pregnant, an opening for the mouth is formed by the in growth of tissue from above and from the sides of the face. Below the mouth, where the neck will develop, are small folds that ultimately will become your baby’s neck and lower jaw. 

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6 weeks pregnant


7 weeks pregnant

In week 7 of pregnancy the umbilical cord, the vital link between your baby and your placenta, is clearly visible starting near the site where your baby implanted in your uterus.

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8 weeks pregnant

Your baby’s fingers and toes begin to form this week, although they’re still webbed. His or her tiny arms and legs are growing longer and more defined. Paddle-shaped foot and hand areas are evident. Wrists, elbows and ankles are clearly visible. Your baby may even be able to flex at the elbows and wrists. The eyelids also are forming. Until they’re done growing, your baby’s eyes will appear open. This is also the week your baby' s ears, upper lip and tip of the nose begin taking on recognizable form. Your baby' s digestive tract is continuing to grow, especially the intestines. Heart function and circulation are, now that you're 8 weeks pregnant, more fully developed. Your baby’s heart is pumping at about 150 beats a minute, about twice the adult rate.


8 weeks pregnantYou and your body - Week 8 of pregnancy

The changes to your body are becoming more noticeable as your breasts and nipples enlarge and become sensitive. Your vagina changes from light to dark pink, and you may notice an increased vaginal discharge. It is time for regular monitoring of your pregnancy.

Your growing baby - 8 weeks

The fetus is now about 0.7 inch (1,8 cm) long, which is 10.000 times bigger than at conception. All the major organs are present, although still developing, The ears and eyes have formed and the skin covering the eyes will eventually split to form the eyelids. The middle ear, which controls balance as well as hearing, is also developing. The heart is now pumping with a regular beat, and blood vessels can be seen. As the arms and legs grow longer, the fetus begins to move around and starts to kick, although it is still too small at this stage for you to be able to feel it.

9 weeks pregnant

When 9 weeks pregnant, your baby is looking less like a tadpole and more like a person.

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10 weeks pregnant

By week 10 of the pregnancy, all of your baby's vital organs have begun to form. The embryonic tail has disappeared completely, and baby’s fingers and toes are fully separated. The bones of the skeleton are now forming. Your baby's eyelids are more developed, and the eyes look closed. The outer ears are starting to assume their final form.

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10 weeks pregnant


11 weeks pregnant

From week 11 until the time your baby is full term, he or she is officially described as a fetus. With all organ systems in place, growth becomes more rapid. From week 11 until week 20 of pregnancy - the halfway mark - your baby will increase his or her weight thirtyfold and will about triple in length. To accommodate all this growth, blood vessels in your placenta are growing larger and more numerous to keep up the supply of nutrients to your baby. His or her ears are moving up and to the side of the head this week, and his or her reproductive organs are developing


11 weeks pregnant

quickly, too. What was a tiny tissue bud of external genitalia has begun to develop into either a penis or a clitoris and labia majora, which will soon be recognizable.

You and your body - Week 11 of pregnancy

Any sickness should start to fade and you will begin to feel less tired. You should start to think seriously about ante-natal classes because private ones can get booked up quickly. Contact your hospital or the National Childbirth Trust, or ask at your doctor's surgery about local classes.

Your growing baby when 11 weeks pregnant

When 11 weeks pregnant, most of the major organs are formed, so the most vulnerable time will be over by the end of this week. The baby is now relatively safe from any congenital abnormalities and infections, excepting rubella. The external genitals have formed, along with either ovaries or testicles. The heart is now pumping blood to all the major organs of the body. The baby weighs around 0.25 ounce (7 gram) and is now about 1.6 inch (4.1 cm) long.

12 weeks pregnant

Your baby’s face takes on further definition this week, as the chin and nose become more refined. Week 12 also marks the arrival of fingernails and toenails. Your baby’s heart rate may speed up a few beats per minute. The end of week 12 of pregnany marks the end of your first trimester. As you enter the second trimester, all of your baby’s organs, nerves and muscles are formed and beginning to function together. Growth continues at a rapid pace, but baby is still small at this point.


12 weeks pregnantYou and your body - 12 weeks of pregnancy

You can expect to put on about one quarter of your pregnancy weight between now and week 20. You may be beginning to feel more energetic and generally better than during the past few weeks. You should consider telling your employer at this time that you are pregnant. Meanwhile, look at your lifestyle and be sure that your diet includes a sensible range of foods, for you and the unborn baby.

Your growing baby - Week 12

The baby's heart is beating at between 110 and 160 times a minute and its chest is beginning to rise and fall as it practises future breathing movements. Features are becoming more clearly defined and fingers and toes are now fully formed, with tiny nails beginning to grow. The baby can suck its thumb and it swallows amniotic fluid and passes it back as urine. When 12 weeks pregnant, the amniotic fluid is completely replaced every 24 hours. The baby is now about 2.1 inch (5,4 cm) long and weighs 0.5 ounce (14 grams)

13 weeks pregnant

Your baby’s eyes and ears are now clearly identifiable, although the eyelids are fused together to protect the developing eyes. They won’t reopen until about your 30th week. Tissue that will become bone is developing around your baby’s head and within the arms and legs. If you were able to sneak a peek at your baby this week, you might see some tiny ribs. Your baby is now able to move his or her body in a jerky fashion, flexing the arms and kicking the legs.


13 weeks pregnant

But you won’t be able to feel these movements until your baby grows a bit larger. Your baby may be able to put a thumb in his or her mouth, but sucking will come later.

You and your body - Week 13 of pregnancy

When you are 13 weeks pregnant, your uterus is enlarging at a noticeable rate and you will be able to see the first signs of a visible bump. Your nipples have become darker and the blue veins in your breasts are a lot more obvious.

Your growing baby - Week 13

The baby is now 2.9 inches (7,4 cm) long and weighs 0.8 ounce (23 grams). The bone marrow, liver, and spleen have now taken over production of blood cells. The bones are developing and the teeth are in place. The baby may already be practising lip movements to develop the muscles needed for the sucking reflex after the birth.

Second trimester

Second trimester of pregnancy


The middle third of pregnancy is the time when you feel the first fetal movements. Your baby is starting to look like a real person, with hair, even eyelashes, and the behave like one when it starts to suck its thumb. After week 24 of pregnancy the baby is considered legally viable, that is, it is capable of sustaining independent life special care.
In the second trimester, your baby will grow steadily and the basic structures and organ systems that were established in the first trimester will be further developd and consolidated. The overall size of the fetus will increase three- to four-fold, and it's weight a dramatic 30-fold. Although over the coming weeks you will begin to look noticeably pregnant, this is often the time of renewed energy, good health and a sense of wellbeing.

14 weeks pregnant

Your baby’s reproductive system is the site of most of the action when you're 14 weeks pregnant. If you’re having a boy, his prostate gland is developing. It you’re having a girl, her ovaries are moving down her abdomen into her pelvis. In addition, because the thyroid gland is now functioning, your baby starts producing hormones this week. By the end of week14 of pregnancy, the roof of your baby's mouth (palate) will be completely formed.


14 weeks pregnantYou and your body in week 14 of pregnancy

You are now beginning the second trimester when you should start experiencing what is known as mid-pregnancy bloom. You will be feeling better about everything. If your sex drive has diminished over the last few months it will probably return and sex may be better than ever.

Your growing baby - Week 14

The baby is beginning to look human as the chin, forehead, and nose become more clearly defined. It can now turn its head and even wrinkle it's brow. The baby may even respond to external stimulus by actually moving away when the doctor or midwife feels your abdomen. The baby is now 3.4 inches (8,7 cm) long and weighs about 1.5 ounce (43 grams)

15 weeks pregnant

Eyebrows and hair on your baby’s scalp are starting to appear this week. If your baby is going to have dark hair, the hair follicles may begin making the pigment that will give the hair its dark color. Your baby’s eyes and ears now have a baby-like appearance, and the ears have almost reached their final position, although they’re still riding a little low on the head. Your baby’s skin is adding hair follicles and accessory glands, but it is still very thin. The bone and marrow that make up baby s skeletal system continue to develop this week. Muscle development is continuing, too. By the end of the week 15 of pregnancy, your baby will be able to make a fist.


15 weeks pregnantYou and your body - Week 15 of pregnancy

Your heart has enlarged to cope with the increased amount of blood circulating in your body and the baby's need for oxygen, and has increased its output by 20 per cent. You will be feeling more energetic than before and now is a good time to have a holiday before the birth.

Your growing baby - Week 15

When 15 weeks pregnant, the fetal skeleton of the baby is developing and its legs are now longer than its arms. The hair on its head is becoming thicker and it has eyelashes as well as eyebrows. The baby can probably hear now and the amniotic fluid makes an excellent sound conductor, so it will be able to hear your stomach rumbling and your heart beating as well as the sound of your voice. The baby is 4 inches (10 cm) long and now weighs around 2.5 ounces (71 grams)

16 weeks pregnant

The skeletal and nervous system have made enough connections to signal movements of the limbs and body. In addition, your baby’s facial muscles are now well enough developed to allow for a variety of expressions. Inside your uterus, your baby may be squinting or frowning at you, although these movements aren’t conscious expressions of emotions. Your baby’s skeletal system continues to develop as more calcium is deposited on the bones.


16 weeks pregnant

If you're having a girl, millions ot eggs are forming in her ovaries this week. Beginning at 16 weeks, your baby’s eyes are sensitive to light. Although you probably don’t even know it, your baby may be having frequent bouts of the hiccups. Hiccups often develop before your baby performs lung movements associated with breathing. Because your baby’s trachea is filled with fluid rather than air, the hiccups don’t make that characteristic hiccup sound.

You and your body - Week 16

You may feel your baby’s first movements around this time. These early movements are like a fluttering, bubbling sensation. You may notice the beginning of the linea nigra, a dark line which appears down the centre of your abdomen. This will disappear after the birth.

Your growing baby when 16 weeks pregnant

The baby will be moving around frequently now, although you may have only just started to feel this. The body will became covered in a fine downy hair called lanugo, which is thought to maintain the right body temperature. It is possible to tell a baby's sex now through an ultrasound scan. When 16 weeks pregnant, the baby is around 4.6 inches (11,5 cm) long and weighs around 3.5 ounces (105 grams).

17 weeks pregnant

In week 17 of your pregnancy the eyebrows and the hair on your baby’s scalp continue to appear. The baby also continues to experience bouts of the hiccups. Although you aren’t able to hear them, you may begin to feel them, especially if this is your second baby. When you are 17


17 weeks pregnant

weeks pregnant, brown fat starts to develop under your baby’s skin. This will help keep your baby warm after birth, when the temperature change from your uterus to the outside world will be quite noticeable, to say the least. Your baby will add more layers of fat in the later months of your pregnancy.

You and your body - Week 17 of pregnancy

Your waistline will have completely disappeared and you may have begun to develop stretch marks. Bleeding gums may be a problem, so if you haven't had a dental check-up now is the time to go. If you work, you should start thinking about when you intend to leave and whether you will want to return.

Your growing baby - Week 17

Your baby’s limbs are fully formed in week 17, as well as the skin and muscle. Its taste buds are beginning to develop so that it will be able to distinguish sweet from non—sweetened fluid. After 17 week of pregnancy, the baby is about 5.1 inches (13 cm) long and weighs around 5 ounces (145 grams)

18 weeks pregnant

During week 18 of your pregnancy your baby’s bones begin to harden, a process called ossification. Bones in your baby’s legs and inner ear are among the first to ossify. With the bones in the inner ear now developed enough to function and the nerve endings from your baby’s brain now hooked up to the ears, your baby can hear sounds. He or she may hear your heart beating, your stomach rumbling or blood moving through the umbilical cord. Your baby may even become startled by loud noises.


18 weeks pregnant

Your little one can also now swallow. Inside your uterus, your baby may be swallowing a good dose of amniotic fluid every day. Scientists think this may help keep your amniotic fluid at the appropriate, constant level.

You and your body in week 18

You should be able to feel the movements quite clearly when you are 18 weeks pregnant. Your nose may become blocked as pregnancy causes the membranes inside the nasal passages to swell. You may also notice an increase in vaginal discharge. You will find that there are several physical changes besides the predictable weight gain.

Your growing baby when 18 weeks pregnant

The skin is still wrinkled because the baby hasn't started to gain body fat and is very active. It is becoming aware of sounds outside the uterus and you may be able to feel it jumping at unexpected noises. The baby is now, when you are 18 weeks pregnant, around 5.6 inches (14 cm) long and weighs about 6.75 ounces (195 grams)

19 weeks pregnant

During week 19 your baby’s skin becomes covered with a slippery white, fatty coating called vernix caseosa, or vernix for short. Vernix helps protect the baby's delicate skin, keeping it from becoming chapped or scratched. Under the vernix, fine, down-like hair called lanugo covers your baby’s skin.


Your baby’s kidneys are now developed enough to make urine. The urine is excreted into your amniotic sac, the bag of waters inside your uterus that contains your baby and your amniotic fluid. Unlike your urine, your baby’s urine is completely sterile because he or she is living in a sterile environment. Therefore, when your baby swallows amniotic fluid containing urine, it is not a problem. His or her hearing is now well developed. The baby is probably hearing lots of different sounds, maybe even your conversations. Mom's voice is by far the most prominent in any conversation. If you sing or talk to your baby, it’s reasonable to think he or she might notice. It’s less clear whether your baby is able to recognize particular sounds.

19 weeks pregnantYour baby’s brain continues to develop millions of motor neurons, nerves that help the muscles and brain communicate. As a result, the baby now may make conscious muscle movements, such as sucking a thumb or moving his or her head, as well as involuntary movements. You may or may not be able to feel these movements yet. If you haven’t, you will soon.

You and your body in week 19 of pregnancy

You have started to put weight on your bottom, hips, and thighs as well as your abdomen. Tiny veins may start appearing on your lace. These are very small broken blood vessels which are caused by circulation changes. They will disappear after the birth.

Your growing baby - Week 19

The baby is starting to put on weight and its rapid rate of growth has begun to slow down. The milk teeth have developed in the gums and the buds for the permanent teeth are beginning to form. The baby is around 6 inches (15,2 cm) long and weighs about 8.5 ounces (240 grams)

20 weeks pregnant

The baby’s skin is thickening and developing layers this week, under the protection of the vernix. Skin layers include the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin; the dermis, the middle layer, which makes up 90 percent of the skin; and the subcutis, the deepest layer of skin, made up mostly of fat. Your baby’s hair and nails continue to grow. If you could sneak a peek at your baby this week, you would see a fetus remarkably baby-like in appearance, with thin eyebrows, hair on the scalp and rather well-developed limbs.


20 weeks pregnant

Now, 20 weeks pregnant,  you've probably begun to feel your baby’s movements. Make a note of the date, and tell your care provider at your next visit. While most of baby’s organs are structurally developed or nearing development, your baby is still quite small. But by the end of this month, he or she will finally pass the 1 pound mark!

You and your body - Week 20 

Your uterus is enlarging quite rapidly now so that you look pregnant. Your navel may be flattened or pushed out and it will stay this way until after the birth. Heartburn may start to become a problem because the uterus is starting to push against your stomach.

Your growing baby - Week 20

Vernix, a white greasy substance, is starting to form over the baby’s skin to protect it from the amniotic fluid. This usually wears off before the birth, but sometimes traces at it can be seen. At this stage in your pregnancy the baby weighs around 10.6 ounces (300 grams) and measures about 6.5 inches (16,5 cm).

21 weeks pregnant

In week 21 the baby begins to absorb small amounts of sugar from the amniotic fluid he or she swallows during the day. These sugars pass through your baby’s digestive system, which is now developed enough to handle them. Any processing of the sugars, however, is only done as practice. The Baby is still completely dependent on the placenta for his or her nourishment.


Also this week, your baby’s bone marrow starts to make blood cells. The bone marrow works along with the liver and spleen, which have been responsible, up to this point, for making blood cells.

21 weeks pregnantYou and your body - Week 21

You should be able to see your abdomen ripple as the baby moves. You may be feeling slightly breathless as your expanding ribcage pushes upwards, giving your lungs less room. You will probably be feeling energetic so now is the time to tackle things such as planning the nursery.


Your growing baby - Week 21

The baby is very active now and you will probably be able to feel it kicking quite easily. If this disturbs you at night, stroke your tummy and talk to the baby because it will be soothed by the sound at your voice. The baby is now around 10.5 inches (26,5 cm) long and weighs about 12.8 ounces (365 grams).


22 weeks pregnant

The senses of taste and touch advance in week 22 of your pregnancy. Taste buds are starting to form on your baby’s tongue, and his or her brain and nerve endings are now mature enough to process the sensation of touch. If you could sneak a peek at your baby this week, you might see him or her experimenting with this new found sense of touch — feeling his or her face, sucking a thumb or touching other body parts.


Your baby’s reproductive system is continuing to develop. If you're having a boy this week his testes begin to descend from the abdomen down to the scrotum. If you’re having a girl, her uterus and ovaries are now in place, and her vagina is developed. Your baby girl has already made all of the eggs she’ll need for her own reproductive life.

22 weeks pregnant

You and your body - Week 22 

Your lower ribs are starting to cause you pain as they get pushed outwards by your growing baby and your expanding uterus. Your ribcage rises by a small amount as it is pushed upward. To minimize the discomfort try sitting up as straight as you can or lifting your arms above your head. This is an ideal time to investigate the different methods that you can use to ease discomfort now and during labour and birth.

Your growing baby - Week 22

Your baby is getting larger every day. Eyelids, and even the eyebrows, are developed. Fingernails are also visible. Your baby's organ system are becoming specialized for their particular functions. Consider the liver. The function of the fetal liver is different from that of an adult. Enzymes (chemicals) are made in an adult liver that are important in various body functions. In the fetus, these enzymes are present but in lower levels than those present after birth.

23 weeks pregnant

During week 23 of the pregnancy,  the baby’s lungs develop rapidly beginning preparation for life on the outside. The lungs are beginning to produce a substance that lines the air sacs called surfactant. This substance allows the air sacs to inflate easily. It also keeps them from collapsing and sticking together when they deflate.


If your baby was born before this time, the lungs would have had no chance of working. Now it’s possible that the lungs could function to some degree outside the womb, however, your baby would need a lot more surfactant to handle breathing air without help. In addition, the blood vessels in your baby's lungs are growing and developing in preparation for breathing. He or she is making breathing movements, but these are just trial runs.

Your baby is still receiving oxygen through your placenta. There’s no air in the lungs until after birth. Although your baby now looks like a baby he or she is still slender and delicate looking, with little body fat and thin, nearly translucent skin. Later in your pregnancy when fat production catches up to skin production, your baby will grow into this skin and will look more like an infant. Babies born at 23 weeks can sometimes survive if they receive the appropriate medical care in a neonatal intensive care unit.

23 weeks pregnant

But complications are common and usually serious. On the bright side, the long-term outlook for premature babies is improving each year as knowledge in the field of neonatal medicine continues to expand. But there’s no doubt that at this age, baby is far better off staying in the uterus, if at all possible.

You and your body - Week 23

The baby can be felt through your abdominal wall and the midwife or doctor will palpate your abdomen to see how the baby is lying. You may occasionally feel a pain rather like a stitch down the side of your stomach. This is the uterine muscle stretching and it will go away after you have had a rest.

Your growing baby - Week 23

The baby is beginning to look as it will at birth, with the head more in proportion to the body. In a boy, the scrotum is now well developed and in a girl the ovaries already contain several million eggs. (These will reduce to around two million at birth and will carry on decreasing until puberty) The baby is around 11.4 inches (29 cm) long and weighs approximately 1.1 pound (501 grams)

24 weeks pregnant

This week your baby is beginning to get a sense of whether he or she is upside-down or right side up inside your amniotic sac. That’s because your baby's inner ear, which controls balance in the body is now developed. By the 


24th week of your pregnancy your baby is about 8 inches long and weighs about 1 pound. Babies born at 24 weeks have a greater than 50-50 chance of survival, and the odds get better with every passing week, still, complications are frequent and serious.

24 weeks pregnant

This month, your little boy or girl will add more body fat, which will make his or her skin look more smooth and less wrinkled. The skin will also begin to take on a little more color.


You and your body - Week 24

You will noticeably be putting on weight. Your feet and legs may start to feel the strain of carrying this extra weight, so make sure that you wear comfortable shoes and that you get plenty of rest.

Your growing baby - Week 24

Vigorous movements followed by periods of quiet will start to occur as the baby develops its own waking and resting periods. The pattern that develops now may well continue after the birth so it’s a good idea to monitor it for a few days to see how it compares with the sleep pattern once the baby is born. The heartbeat can be heard with an ordinary stethoscope and the baby can hear you clearly when you speak. It is now around 11.8 inches (30 cm) long and weighs about 1.3 pound (600 grams)

25 weeks pregnant

At this time, your baby’s hands are now fully developed, complete with miniature fingernails and the ability to curl his or her fingers into a tiny fist. This week, he or she is probably using these hands to discover different body parts.


25 weeks pregnant

Your little one is exploring the environment and structures inside your uterus, including the umbilical cord. The nerve connections to your baby’s hands have a long way to go, however if she or he wants to grasp a big toe, success will be an accident.

You and your body - Week 25 

When you are around 25 weeks pregnant, you should be look rosy-cheeked and healthy because of the increase in blood circulation under the skin. Pressure from the growing uterus on the bladder means that you need to make frequent trips to the lavatory. Cramp, heartburn and backache are often problems now.

Your growing baby - Week 25

The fetal brain cells continue to develop and become more sophisticated and the bone centres are beginning to harden. The baby actively practises breathing, inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, as more air sacs develop in the lungs. When too much amniotic fluid is swallowed, you may feel a hiccup. When you are 25 weeks pregnant, the baby is about 13.6 inches (35 cm) long and weighs around 1.5 pound (660 grams)

26 weeks pregnant

Week 26 lashes are now well formed, and the hair on his or her head is longer and more plentiful. Your baby still looks red and wrinkled, but more fat is accumulating under the skin with each passing day. As your baby continues to gain weight over the next 14 weeks until birth, this wrinkly suit of skin will become a better fits.

26 weeks pregnant

Your baby’s footprints and fingerprints are now formed. All the components that make up the eyes have developed, but your baby probably won’t open his or her eyes for about two more weeks.

You and your body - Week 26

If you are working you need to decide when you are going to stop. Remember that you should notify your employer in writing by the end of the 15th week before your baby is due. Your partner must also tell his employer if he intends to take Paternity Leaver. If you haven't started taking regular exercise you should now, because this will help prepare your body for the rigours of labour.

Your growing baby - Week 26

Although still appearing rather scrawny, the baby is beginning to lay down fat under the skin. This fat will help regulate body temperature now and after the birth. The baby is around 14 inches (35,5 cm) long and weighs approximately 1.7 pound (750 grams)

Third trimester

Third trimester of pregnancy

Your baby is capable of surviving if delivered now, albeit with medical assistance, but the remaining weeks in the uterus are vitally important. All your baby's development is now focused on maturing the lungs, digestive system and brain so they can function in the outside world. As your abdomen expands hugely to accommodate your growing uterus and baby, your thoughts turn increasingly towards the birth.

If born during the third trimester before the 38th week, the baby might have breathing problems and difficulty keeping itself warm. However, with modern special-care facilities the baby has a good change of survival - about 80 percent at 28 weeks, and rising the closer to term (40 weeks) that it is born.

27 weeks pregnant

By the 27th week, your baby looks like a thinner, smaller, redder version of what he or she will look like at birth. Baby’ s lungs, liver and immune system aren’t yet fully mature, but they’re getting close. If birth were to occur this week, your baby’s chances of survival would be at least 85 percent!

The baby may start recognizing your voice this week, as well as your partner’s. But it’s probably a little hard to hear clearly given that his or her ears are covered with vernix, the thick, fatty coating that protects the skin from becoming chapped or scratched. 27 weeks pregnantIt’s also hard for your baby to hear through the amniotic fluid in your uterus — similar to the difficulty in hearing under water. At 27 weeks, baby is now three to four times as long as he or she was 12 weeks into your pregnancy.

You and your body - Week 27

You will be getting noticeably larger and will have put on weight around your chest as well as your breasts. Make sure that you are wearing the correct size of maternity bra. Avoid lying on your back too much because this may make you feel faint, as the enlarged uterus presses directly against blood vessels.

Your growing baby - Week 27

The baby's eyes are open and it will be able to see light through the skin of your abdomen. It will have started to practise sucking and may even be able to suck its thumb or fist. The baby is now about 14.4 inches (36,6 cm) long and weighs about 1.9 pound (875 grams)

28 weeks pregnant

Your baby’s eyes, which have been sealed shut for the last few months, may begin to open and close this week. If you could sneak a peek at your baby this week, you might be able to determine the color of his or her eyes. But many times baby’s eyes change in color during the first six months of life, especially if his or her eyes are blue or gray-blue at birth. So, the color they are now may not reflect what they' ll be in life.

Your baby's brain also continues to develop and expand rapidly this week. In addition, he or she continues to accumulate layers of fat underneath the skin. Your baby is now sleeping and waking on a regular schedule, but this schedule isn’t like that of an adult or even of a newborn. The baby probably sleeps for only 20 to 30 minutes at a time.

28 weeks pregnantWhen you are 28 weeks pregnant, you’re most likely to notice baby's movements when you’re sitting or lying down. During these last couple of months, your baby is working on the finishing touches of the remaining steps that need to occur before he or she is fully developed.

You and your body when 28 weeks pregnant

Your breasts are producing colostrum, The fluid which precedes breast milk. If your breasts are leaking put breast pads or folded tissues inside your bra. If you have an antenatal appointment you will probably have a second blood test to check tor anaemia. If you are anaemic, iron supplements may be offered.

Your growing baby - Week 28

Now fully formed, the baby would be viable if it were born at 28 weeks, although the body systems are still very immature. The heart is beating at a rate of around 150 beats a minute. The baby weighs around 2.2 pounds (1 kg)

29 weeks pregnant

With the major developments finished, the baby now starts to gain weight very quickly. As space becomes tighter, you may not feel baby’s sharp jabs and punches as much as you did earlier. The baby is also developing a sleep and wake cycle. During periods of sleep, the baby will be very quiet.


29 weeks pregnantYou and your body when 29 weeks pregnant

You will probably be able to feel the baby's bottom and feet as it moves around. The baby will be putting pressure on your stomach and diaphragm now and you will need to sit down and rest more often.

Your growing baby - Week 29

The baby is filling almost all the space in your uterus and its head is now more or less in proportion with the rest of the body. The eyebrows and eyelashes are fully grown and the baby has quite a lot of hair which is still growing. The eyes, which can now open and close, are beginning to focus. The baby weighs around 2.5 pounds (1.2 kg) and is about 15 inches (38 cm) long.




30 weeks pregnant

As your baby gains weight, he or she is also adding layers of fat. From now until about your 37th week of pregnancy baby will gain about a half-pound a week. The baby may also begin practicing breathing movements this week by moving his or her diaphragm in a repeating rhythm. These movements may give your baby a case of hiccups. As your baby continues to make these movements, you may occasionally notice a slight twitching in your uterus from baby’s hiccups. It may feel like little spasms.

30 weeks pregnantYou and your body in week 30 of pregnancy

You will feel larger and clumsier now and your movements will be slower. It is important to try to maintain good posture to prevent backache. You may have problems sleeping and become a bit breathless it you walk too last or climb stairs.

Your growing baby - Week 30 

The baby is beginning to move about less vigorously now because it has less space to move around in the uterus. To get comfortable it is likely to adopt a curled-up position with arms and legs crossed. The baby is now about 15.7 inches (39,9cm) long and weighs around 2.9 pounds (1320 grams)



31 weeks pregnant

During week 31 of your pregnancy, the baby’s reproductive system continues to develop. If your baby is a boy, his testicles are moving from their location near the kidneys through the groin on their way into the scrotum. If your baby is a girl, her clitoris is now relatively prominent. However, the labia are still small and don't yet cover it.

Your baby's lungs are now more developed, but they're not yet fully mature. If your baby is born this week, he or she will probably need to stay six weeks or more in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and will need the help of a ventilator to breathe. However because your baby's brain is more mature than it was several weeks ago, he or she will be at reduced risk of having bleeding in the brain.

31 weeks pregnantYou and your body 31 weeks pregnant

Breathlessness may be more of a problem now, especially if you overdo things. Try to get as much rest as possible and slow down any exercise regime to a pace that suits you. If your breasts feel uncomfortable when you go to bed, wear a maternity or specially designed sleep bra at night.

Your growing baby - 31 weeks

The organs are almost completely developed, apart from the lungs which are still not fully mature. The brain is still growing and the nerve cells and connections are now working. The baby is around 16.2 inches (41 cm) long and weighs about 3.3 pounds (1,5 kg).



32 weeks pregnant

Lanugo, the layer of soft, downy hair on your baby’s skin, starts to fall off this week. The baby will lose most of his or her lanugo over the next few weeks. Right after your baby's birth, you may see some remnants on his or her shoulders or back.

Some women may notice a change in baby's movements this week, now that he or she has grown to the point of being crowded inside your uterus. Although your baby is moving around just as much, kicks and other movements may seem less forceful. For many women, this change becomes more apparent about week 34. You may want to check on your baby’s movements from time to time, especially if you think you’ve noticed decreased activity. To do this, sit down and keep a tally of how often you feel your baby move. Your baby's kicks or movements may seem a little muffled, given the space constraints inside your uterus. If you notice fewer than 10 movements in two hours, contact your care provider. Although no one would welcome the early arrival of your baby, it’s comforting to know that almost all babies born at this age will survive without life-threatening complications.

32 weeks pregnantYou and your body when 32 weeks pregnant

If you work, you may have left by now or will have a date when you are going to leave. Enjoy the last weeks of your pregnancy and spend time singing and talking to your baby. You may find your baby's movements uncomfortable now that it is so much bigger. Occasionally, you may feel its feet getting stuck under your ribs.

Your growing baby - 32 weeks

The baby is now very energetic and it will have periods of extreme activity, and you will feel it twisting and turning. As it continues to grow it will have less and less room to move in, so it will soon settle, probably in the head-down position, ready for birth . The baby is about 16.7 inches (42 cm) long and weighs about 3.8 pounds (1700 grams)



33 weeks pregnant

The next four weeks will be a period of extraordinary growth. Next month, as your pregnancy approaches term, weight gain will occur a bit more slowly. At week 33, baby is almost fully developed. The pupils of his or her eyes can now constrict and dilate in response to light.Your baby’s lungs are much more completely developed, which allows for greater optimism if he or she is born this week. While their birth isn’t yet welcome, most babies born at this age will be healthy.

33 weeks pregnantYou and your body after 33 weeks of pregnancy

Your blood pressure may be slightly raised and you will probably be told to take things easy. Swelling of the hands and feet could also be a problem so try to get as much rest as possible, preferably with your feet up.

Your growing baby - Week 33 

The fingernails are fully formed although the toenails are not quite so advanced. The vernix covering the skin has become thicker. The lungs are almost fully developed and the baby will be practising breathing in preparation for the birth. It measures around 17.2 inches (44 cm) and weighs 4.2 pounds (1,9 kg)



34 weeks pregnant

The white, waxy coating protecting your baby’s skin (vemix) thickens this week. When your baby is born, you may see traces of vernix firsthand, especially under your baby's arms, behind the ears and in the groin area. At the same time, the soft, downy hair that has grown on the skin for the past several months (lanugo) is now almost completely gone.

34 weeks pregnantYou and your body - Week 34

During the last trimester of your pregnancy, you may discover you leak a little urine when you cough, sneeze, exercise or lift something. It is quite normal as your uturus enlarges and puts pressure on your bladder. A few weeks before labor begins or at the beginning of labor, you may notice a change in your abdomen. When examined by your doctor, measurement from your bellybutton or the pubic symphysis to the top of the uterus may be smaller than a previous visit. This phenomenon occurs as the head of the babyenters the birth canal. This doesn't occur with every woman or with every pregnancy. It's also common for your baby to drop just before labor begins or during labor.

Your growing baby when 34 weeks pregnant

The weight gain continues to increase. The eyes respond to bright lights and the baby will practise blinking. Eyebrows and eyelashes are fully developed. A boy's testicles will have descended into the groin. The baby is 17.7 inches (45 cm) long and weighs about 4.7 pounds (2,1 kg)

35 weeks pregnant

The baby continues to pack on the pounds, accumulating fat all over his or her body especially around the shoulders. Your baby's most rapid period of weight gain will occur over the next three weeks, with weekly gains of up to a half pound. Given the crowded conditions inside your uterus, you may feel fewer of your baby’s movements this week.Crowding may make it harder for this bigger, stronger baby to give you a pinch, but you’ll probably feel lots of stretches, rolls and wiggles.

35 weeks pregnantYou and your body at week 35 of pregnancy

Discuss any worries you may have about labour and birth with your doctor or midwife. You will be feeling tired and even a little fed up, so try to get as much rest as you can. Pay special attention to your diet: you will be needing another 200 calories a day during these last weeks. Some practical planning now can save time and forestall anxiety at the time of labour and delivery.

Your growing baby - Week 35

The baby is putting on weight each day and now fills most of the uterus, so you may find it uncomfortable when it moves around. The baby now does body rolls rather than the more energetic movements it made when it was smaller. it is now about 18.2 inches (46 cm) long and weighs around 5.25 pounds (2,4 kg)


36 weeks pregnant

During week 36 of pregnancy, your baby continues to add more fat underneath his or her skin. If you could sneak a peek at your baby this week, you would see an infant you could almost describe as plump, with a little but fully rounded face. The fullness of your baby’s face is the result of recent fat deposits and powerful sucking muscles that are fully developed and ready for action.

36 weeks pregnantYou and your body after 36 weeks

You will be able to feel the top of your uterus just below your breastbone. This can make breathing uncomfortable and you may suffer from pain in your ribcage. Your antenatal checks will be weekly from now on.

Your growing baby - Week 36

The nervous system is maturing and the baby is getting ready for birth by starting to practise breathing movements, sucking, and swallowing. It is now about 18.7 inches (47,5 cm) long and weighs around 5.8 pounds (2,6 kg).




37 weeks pregnant

By the end of this week, your baby is considered full—term. He or she isn't quite done growing yet, but the rate of weight gain has slowed. As fat is being laid down, your baby’s body is slowly becoming rounder. A baby's gender seems to play some role in determining size at birth. If you have a boy he'll likely weigh a bit more than a baby girl born to you at a similar length of gestation.

37 weeks pregnantYou and your body after 37 weeks of pregnancy

Your baby could arrive at any time from now until the end of week 42, so check that you have everything organized. You will probably be given the chance to visit the hospital and see where you are going to give birth. Don't be afraid to ask questions if there is anything you don't understand about hospital procedures. Sometime between now and the birth, you may experience a sudden burst of energy, known as the nesting instinct. Don't overdo things and decide to spring-clean your whole house. Remember that you will shortly need all your energy reserves for the exhausting demands of labour.

Your growing baby in week 37

The lanugo, the fine hair that covers the baby’s body, is beginning to wear off. The baby has started to produce a hormone called cortisone, which will help the lungs to become fully matured so that they are ready to cope with breathing once the baby is born. The baby will be practising breathing although there is no air in its lungs. The baby is now about 19.1 inches (48,6 cm) long and weighs around 6.3 pounds (2,85 kg)

38 weeks pregnant

In recent weeks, your baby's development has focused mainly on improving organ functioning. Your baby's brain and nervous system are working better every day. However, this developmental process continues through childhood and even into the later teen years. This month, your baby’s brain has prepared to manage the complicated jobs of breathing, digesting, eating and maintaining a proper heart rate.

38 weeks pregnantYou and your body

You will notice that the baby is moving about less now that it is head down in the uterus. You may be feeling tired and rather depressed about the waiting so try to keep busy.

Your growing baby

The baby has put on fat so that it now appears rounded and its skin has a pinkish look. The hair may be as long as 2 inches (5 cm) and the nails already need cutting. The vernix, which has been protecting the skin of the growing baby from the amniotic fluid, is beginning to dissolve. At this stage of your pregnancy, the baby now measures about 19.6 inches (50 cm) and weighs around 6.8 pounds (3,1 kg)



39 weeks pregnant

The Baby has now lost most of the vernix and lanugo that used to cover his or her skin, although you may see traces of them at birth. Your baby now has enough fat laid down under the skin to
hold his or her body temperature as long as there’s a little help from you. This fat gives baby the familiar healthy chubby look seen at birth. Even though the rest of the body has been catching up, baby’s head is still the largest part of his or her body, and that’s why it’s ideal when babies are born headfirst.

You continue to supply your baby with antibodies, protein substances that help protect against bacteria and viruses. The antibodies cross the placenta from you to your baby. During the first six months of your baby’s life, these antibodies help your baby’s immune system stave off infections. Some of these antibodies also are provided through breast milk.

39 weeks pregnant

By the 39th week of pregnancy the average baby weighs about 7 to 8 pounds. By now individual differences in babies become noticeable. A 39-week old baby may weigh 6 to 9 pounds.

You and your body after 39 weeks

The waiting is nearly over and you will probably be feeling both excited and apprehensive. You may be having quite strong Braxton-Hicks contractions as the cervix softens in readiness for the birth. Although you may be feeling heavy and weary, don't simply sit around waiting for something to happen. Keep up your social life and talk to other friends from your parent-craft classes who are at the same stage as you.

Your growing baby

The baby is now able to function on its own, although it is still getting nourishment from the placenta. The baby is in position for birth and is about 20 inches (50,7 cm) long and weighs
around 7.2 pounds (3,3 kg)

40 weeks pregnant

Your due date arrives this week. Hippie! However, only about 5 percent of women deliver on their due dates. It’s just as normal to have your baby a week late as it is to have him or her a week early. Try to be patient, although with all the work you’ve done, that’s not easy!

As labor approaches, your baby will experience many changes in order to prepare for birth, including a surge in hormones. This may help maintain blood pressure and blood sugar levels after birth. It may also have something to do with communicating to your uterus that the time has come.

With labor, your baby is prepared for the blood flow to the placenta to decrease a bit with each contraction. Your baby can coast through these interruptions so long as they aren’t too frequent and don’t last too long. The changes your baby will experience at birth are truly amazing. All that has gone before is prologue to this wonderful, glorious event.

You and your body

You will probably be impatient for labour to start as you approach your EDD. If nothing has happened by your due date try not to be too disappointed; only around five per cent of babies actually arrive on the date they were expected. Keep yourself busy and make plans for each day so that you are not just sitting and waiting for something to happen. Once you are close to your EDD you may feel more confident wearing a sanitary towel just in case your waters break.

Your growing baby

Your baby is curled up, head down, in the fetal position with legs drown up underneath and waiting to be born. He or she measures about 20.1 inches (51 cm) and weighs around 7.6 pounds (3,4 kg). Your own baby may be smaller or larger and still be nomial and healthy.

41 & 42 weeks pregnant

While some moms have their babies prior to their due dates, most moms don't have their babies until after their due dates. You may see your practitioner more often. Some want to do a non-stress test to ensure baby is still doing well. His endocrine system is getting ready to produce stress hormones (you aren’t the only one who’s stressed!), which he’ll need to survive outside the womb. While you're tired of being pregnant, induction is harder on both you and the baby, often leading to increased intervention. 

You and your body

You are probably quite frustrated and tired of being pregnant. Your baby just isn't quite ready to be born. Making love is not only a wonderful way to connect with your partner, but it can help to bring on labor -- if your baby is ready and your membranes have not yet ruptured. Though induction can be tempting, remember that you "buy" a package of interventions if you decide to ask for an induction, so be sure to make an informed choice.

Your growing baby

Not much has changed since last week, to be honest, and your baby is medically ready to be born. She will, of course, continue to gain a little weight for as long as your placenta continues to nourish her, but her length is unlikely to alter much from now until the birth.