Finding out that you are pregnant is very exciting and happy news. It brings you joy knowing that you will have a family. But many first-time mothers don’t know how the pregnancy stages will go and what to do as the baby grows inside their stomach.
In this article, Dr. Himali Maniar, a gynecologist in South Bopal, talks about the stages of pregnancy.
What Are the Stages of Pregnancy?
Your pregnancy will last for nine months or 39-40 weeks. These nine months will be divided into three terms or three months. Each term is called a trimester.
Dr. Himali Maniar is a well-known gynecologist in South Bopal. She is an expert in this field with over nine years of experience.
The trimester lasts from the beginning of the pregnancy until the fetus is 12 weeks old, or around three months. The fertilized egg will develop from a small clump of cells to a fetus with baby-like traits throughout the first trimester.
According to gynecologist in South Bopal, Dr. Himali, you may see the following changes:
As your body is going through a lot of hormonal changes, your body reacts to it differently:
- You might start experiencing mood swings
- Nausea and vomiting
- This will stop around the second trimester. Your food preferences will change.
- You might feel tired and sleepy
- Feeling of constipation
- You might feel your breasts have become sore and sensitive
- Frequent urge to urinate
- You will gain some weight
Month 1 (Week 1 to 4)
A sac develops around the fertilized egg as it grows. This sac is an amniotic sac that cushions the embryo. It gradually fills with liquids.
The placenta develops throughout this month as well. It is a spherical, flat organ that transports nutrients from you to the fetus. Throughout the pregnancy, it serves as a food supply for the fetus.
At this time, the fetus begins to develop. Face, mouth, eyes, neck, and jaw will grow. The formation of blood cells begins, and circulation begins.
The fetus is about the size of a grain of rice at the end of the first month.
Month 2 (Week 5 to 8)
The facial characteristics continue to grow. Ears emerge as a little fold of skin on the side of the skull. Tiny buds that will eventually develop into arms and legs are also created. Sensory organs and the digestive tract are also growing.
Bones begin to form as well. After eight weeks, your doctor will start referring to the embryo as a fetus.
The fetus is around 1 inch long at the end of the second month.
Month 3 (Week 9 to 12)
Hands, arms, feet, toes, and fingers are fully developed. Fingernails and toes are growing, as are external ears. The reproductive organs are developing as well. At this point, the fetus is investigated by opening and closing its hands and lips.
The fetus is fully developed by the end of the third month. Limbs and organs will continue to grow so that they can function. The urinary and circulatory systems are both operational.
The fetus is around 4 inches long at the end of the third month.
Some of the effects from the first trimester will reduce, and new ones will start to emerge, says Dr. Himali. You will observe the following:
- Body pain, abdominal pain, back pain, and leg pain
- Stretch marks
- Swelling of hands, legs, and sometimes face
- Pigmentation on the face, nose, and forehead
- Darkening around the nipples
Month 4 (Week 13 to 16)
The fetus’s heartbeat may now be audible using a gadget known as a Doppler. The toes and fingers are clearly defined. Hair, nails, eyelashes, brows, and eyelids develop. Bones are denser.
The nervous system is becoming operational. The reproductive organs and genitalia have completed development.
By the conclusion of the 4th month, the fetus is around 6 inches long.
Month 5 (Week 17 to 20)
At this point, you might start feeling that the fetus is moving around. The fetus is developing muscles and moving them.
Hair begins to grow on the head and back, and temples and shoulders are covered by fine, soft hair that is generally shed after the first week the baby is born. This hair protects the fetus.
The skin of the fetus is covered with a whitish coating. This coating protects the skin of the fetus from exposure to amniotic fluid. It is shed just before birth.
Around the end of the fifth month, the fetus is about 10 inches long.
Month 6 (Week 21 to 24)
According to Dr. Himali, a gynecologist in Bopal, the fetus’ skin is reddish and wrinkled, and veins are visible through the skin because it is translucent.
Finger and toe prints are apparent. At this point, the eyelids begin to separate, and the eyes open. The fetus reacts to sounds by increasing its pulse and moving around.
The fetus is roughly 12 inches long at the end of the sixth month.
You are in the final three months of your pregnancy. The fetus develops weight fast during this trimester and adds body fat that will benefit after delivery.
If you miss your due date and do not go into labor naturally, your doctor may induce you, which means that you will be given medicines to induce labor and give birth.
You will see the following in the last trimester:
- Urge to urinate frequently
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Swelling in feet, ankles, face, and fingers
- You might experience contractions, and they could either be labor pain or false alarm.
Month 7 (Week 25 to 28)
The fetus continues to develop and gain body fat. The ability to hear is completely developed. The fetus often changes positions and responds to light, pain, and sound. The amniotic fluid begins to decrease.
Month 8 (Week 29 to 32)
The fetus stores body fat and continues to develop and mature. There will be more kicking. The brain is rapidly growing at this stage, and the fetus can hear and see. Most internal systems are formed; however, the lungs may not be.
At this stage, the fetus is around 18 inches long.
Month 9 (Week 33 to 36)
At this point, the lungs are fully grown. The fetus can blink, open and close its eyes, respond to noises and light, and tilt its head.
You will be uncomfortable at this time since the baby’s position has shifted, and its head is now down the uterus.
The baby is 18 to 20 inches long and ready for delivery by week 39 to 40. It can weigh around 2.5 kgs.
If the baby is in the breech position, where the head is up and legs are down, your doctor may suggest C-section surgery.
After you deliver the baby, your hormones will shift again so that you may have mood swings. You will be tired. Talking to your doctor or gynecologist about your physical and mental health is important.
You must eat, sleep and take medications if your doctor has given you any, as you will be breastfeeding.
You can talk to the gynecologist in Bopal, Dr. Himali Maniar if you have any queries about the stages of pregnancy or any other gynecological issues.