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The Monthly Stages of Pregnancy

By HealthLife Contributor
Updated: February 23, 2009
While pregnancy is an exciting time, it can also be an uncertain one. There are so many unknowns during pregnancy, particularly for first time moms. Here is a look at the different stages of pregnancy and what you can expect on a month-to-month basis.

Month one

Month one encompasses the first four weeks of pregnancy. One of the most confusing things about pregnancy is how it is dated. Most doctors date pregnancy from the date of your last menstruation. In most cases, by the time you find out that you are pregnant, month one has passed, and you are already on to week five or even later.

Physically, you probably don’t look or feel much different. In terms of the baby’s development, by the time you have completed this first month, your tiny embryo already has a heartbeat, a rudimentary brain, and a head, though he or she generally looks like a tadpole if viewed under a microscope.

Month two

The second month encompasses weeks five through eight of your pregnancy. It may be the month where you have your first appointment with your OBGYN, though different doctors have varying schedules regarding when they see patients.

This month, you may be starting to feel some of the symptoms of pregnancy, including fatigue, nausea, headaches, breast changes, and more frequent trips to the restroom. You may notice that your clothes or your bra are starting to feel tighter. By the end of this month, your baby is about an inch long and has arms and legs, fingers and toes, as well as all the major body organs and systems.

Month three

This month includes weeks nine through 13, and when completed, will mark the end of your first trimester. For most, the risk of miscarriage is reduced significantly after this point, and the end of the first trimester often reduces troublesome pregnancy syndromes like morning sickness.

This month, you may need to start looking into bigger clothing or even maternity clothing to find something that is more comfortable for you to wear. At the end of this month, you can feel your uterus just above your pubic bone. Your baby is about the size of an apple and definitely looking more human now. If you have an ultrasound, there is a chance that the doctor may be able to tell if the baby is a boy or a girl.

Month four

Welcome to the second trimester! This month looks at weeks 14 through 17, and you are definitely starting to show a little pregnancy belly. Don’t be surprised if it takes strangers a while to notice it yet, especially if it is your first pregnancy. Your baby is about 5 inches long and weighs a little over a quarter or a pound, and you may be starting to feel tiny kicks and punches, especially if you have been pregnant before.

Month five

For those who want to find out the gender of the baby, this is the month! Lasting from week 18 to week 22, you are now passing the halfway point of your pregnancy this month. It is probably getting difficult to hide the fact that you are pregnant, and your little one will weigh close to a pound and is probably kicking strong enough for you to feel.

Month six

Marking weeks 23 to 27, the end of the sixth month also marks the end of the second trimester. You may be starting to feel pregnant now, as the top of your uterus can now be found above your belly button. Baby is getting stronger as well, weighing close to two pounds. Many women find comfort in the idea that babies born after the six month will often survive with the help of intensive medical care.

Month seven

Welcome to the third trimester! Looking at weeks 28 to 31, you may find that pregnancy is wearing you out more than you anticipated. Make sure that you take it easy and find ways to relax. You might find it harder to eat a full meal as your uterus takes up more room, but remember to look for healthy ways to get the nutrients that you and baby need. Baby is now about three pounds and may be growing some hair, and his or her brain is growing rapidly.

Month eight

You are almost there! Baby may be keeping you up at night with kicks and movements, and you may find that you tire easily. Baby is looking more and more like a newborn and could weigh close to six pounds by the end of the month.

Month nine

Chances are you are seeing your doctor on a weekly basis now, and if your bags aren’t packed for the hospital, they should be! Baby can come at any time during this month, and it won’t be unusual to have a false alarm or two as your body gears up for labor. Baby is growing rapidly, though the actual size he or she will be at birth is determined by numerous factors, including your health and genetics. Take some time to enjoy these last couple of baby-free weeks – it won’t be long until you are taking care of your little one!
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