August 22nd, 2011 by Hasham
The Monthly Stages of Pregnancy
Just scroll down to your stage of pregnancy to see what your little one is up to in there. Not sure what month of pregnancy you are in? The month starts with the implanting of the embryo in the lining of the uterus. By the end of the first month, the embryo is about one tenth. Fetal Development Pictures Slideshow: Month by Month More Reading on Pregnancy. Pregnancy Stages of Pregnancy. Typically, the stages of pregnancy are discussed by the week (1 through 40), the month (1 through 9) or by the terms “trimester”. Images for Stages Of Pregnancy Month By Month. Learn about amniocentesis, fetal development, ultrasound, first trimester health, first trimester tests, second trimester health, second trimester tests,
Stages Of Pregnancy Month By Month:
The Monthly Stages of Pregnancy
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Stages Pregnancy Morning Sickness:
This information is from health care professionals and groups such as Mayo Clinic, and should be used as a point of reference or as a generality, because each pregnancy is unique:
Morning sickness is a symptom some women feel during early pregnancy. It starts after conception which may or may not occur after unprotected intercourse. So, first confirm that you are pregnant by using a home pregnancy test, and if positive, make an appointment for a health care professional to confirm those results and to start prenatal care.
Once you have a confirmed pregnancy, the morning sickness usually starts around the first 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy and it tends to get worse over the next month or so after it begins. However, for some women, the queasiness begins as early as two weeks after conception.
Morning sickness for the majority of women stops around the 12 th week, but for many women it continues until the 14th to 16th week. About half of the women feel complete relief by 14 weeks. For the rest, it may take one more month or so for it to stop. It can return later, and for some unlucky women it can come and go throughout the entire pregnancy. There isn’t a set time for it to stop because each woman is different, and each pregnancy is different.
If nausea and vomiting persists well into the second trimester (after the 13th week) you should contact your doctor just to be on the safe side. It isn’t harmful to you or your baby unless you have excessive vomiting and can’t keep anything down. If you are unable to eat or drink fluids and keep it down for 24 hours straight, you may have something called hyperemesis gravidarum. This condition can be harmful to both you and your baby, so you should contact your doctor right away to see if you need any special treatment.
As stated above, each pregnancy is unique, so here is some information from various contributors about their experiences:
It starts at about the 4th-6th week of pregnancy and lasts until the 14th or 16th week.
Morning sickness can occur at any stage of pregnancy but is more common in early pregnancy. It can start as soon as you become pregnant, before you even know you may be pregnant, this is usually due to all the hormones whizzing around inside you and your body trying to keep up with all the changes and surges of hormones.
Some women never have morning sickness, some have it in the morning, some in the evening and others all day. With my first I had nausea in the evenings and would fall asleep about 7pm, this lasted until about 13 weeks.
With my second I had no nausea or tiredness, and it turned out to be twins.
It varies from woman to woman… When I was pregnant with my girls, I have 2, I had morning sickness from 4 weeks up to month 5, straight. With my boys, no morning sickness at all.
I started feeling sick one week after my missed period, which is how I found out that I was pregnant!
You can have morning sickness early. When I was pregnant with my son, I found out I was pregnant 2 weeks after unprotected sex due to morning sickness!! I had been getting it for almost a week before it got so bad, I knew it wasn’t a bug!
Well, one week after conceiving, the embryo is no larger than a bundle of cells in your uterus. Morning sickness due to pregnancy does not occur until the embryo is implanted and producing sufficient hormones to affect you, usually from about 3 weeks after conception.
Everyone is different, you may get it within a week of being pregnant, or at any time. Some people only have it for the first trimester and for others it may be with them all through the nine months (but usually not every day). Morning sickness can happen any time during the day just not in the morning. I had it only if I ate certain foods, but in the first couple of weeks, I felt like I wanted to throw up but I never would. Right now I am 10 weeks into pregnancy and feel great. I just sleep ALOT but that is normal.
I’ve been pregnant twice and I began symptoms around a month into it both times.
Some women have it in the first week or so and some women never have it.
Some people don’t get it, some people do. Usually it hits at about 3-4 wks
It can vary with every pregnancy. I have had three kids and all have been different. My first pregnancy I had a feeling of light headedness within 2 weeks of my missed period. In my last trimester it probably settled down at about the 8 month mark. My second pregnancy was totally different. I may have had a few days that I felt lightheaded or my blood sugar was low, but it was a breeze. The last, all I wanted to do was eat and I was queasy just for 3 months or so. So you never know what it is going to be like. I know someone said “the more sick you are the healthier the baby.”
You can feel morning sickness as early as a week after conception or sooner.
I think it’s different for each woman, and each woman’s pregnancy. I think the general rule is the first trimester.
Morning sickness usually starts (if at all) between the 4th and 8th week after conception. On average, morning sickness lasts until sometime between the 14th and the 22nd week.
As soon as conception occurs, hormones are released to prepare your body for the upcoming months of pregnancy and the eventual birth of your baby. These hormones signal to your body to increase blood volume and to prepare the uterus for upcoming growth. Even your joints and muscles have to relax to enable them to move out of the way of your growing baby. These hormones are also causing your morning sickness. Until your body adjusts to the new hormone levels, you may be feeling nauseous. Every pregnant woman reacts differently to these hormonal changes, making it hard to pinpoint exactly how soon after conception morning sickness starts.
The majority of pregnant women start to experience morning sickness somewhere between the 4th and 8th week of pregnancy. It can, however start as early as the day after conception. For some women, it doesn’t start until about the 19th week of pregnancy, and some never experience it.
Morning sickness can also occur at any time of day — not just the morning!
Usually it ends at the end of the first three months (first trimester) – It was like clockwork for me. I felt great at the beginning of the 2nd Trimester!
It starts in American movies the day after conception (along with fainting). However, in reality it begins after about six to eight weeks.
Morning sickness caused by pregnancy begins between the 4th and 7th week after last menstrual period, and it resolves by 20th week of gestation.
Morning sickness affects 50-70% of pregnant women. Which means, there is a chance that you will not get morning sickness at all. However, morning sickness is also a good sign for a successful pregnancy, because women who experience morning sickness (especially vomiting) are less likely to have miscarriages, stillbirths, low birth weight babies and preterm deliveries. In addition, one should avoid anti-emetics to treat morning sickness because the mechanism of how pregnancy causes morning sickness is not known. Your symptoms of pregnancy will usually appear anywhere from the first week of your expected period to 1-2 weeks after your first week of expected period. Your first signs of pregnancy most commonly include missed period, tender/swollen breasts, change in color of the breasts, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, increased sense of smell, and weight gain.
For some women it can happen as soon as the egg implants itself, which can take up to 5 days after fertilization. Usually during second pregnancies the woman will feel the sickness early and shows signs of pregnancy earlier than her first.
Morning sickness can affect a woman at any time in her pregnancy and at any time of the day too. It is more common in the mornings and nearer the beginning of the pregnancy (hence the term!). I have heard of some women who had it very bad and almost right to the very end of their pregnancy. It’s not common, but morning sickness affects different women in different ways and at different times – there truly is no “normal” with morning sickness!
It will show up only after two to three weeks into your pregnancy.
Usually it starts the first few weeks. It depends on your body because you may be one of a few women who do not experience morning sickness during pregnancy.
You may not have any nausea at all… if so count yourself lucky. Some women get morning sickness all day, some only get a few bouts of nausea, some not at all. At six weeks you may be just about to start the nausea. If you do get nausea, eating something normally helps. Crackers are a good thing to always have on hand for morning sickness. Morning sickness hit me at seven weeks until about three months.
Stages Of Labour:
Every labour is different. Situations vary from woman to woman and from labour to labour.
Broken down into three stages, the first begins with the opening of the cervix to its full capacity; the second involves the baby pressing down through the birth canal (the vagina) culminating in birth; and the third is when the placenta and uterus lining are expelled.
The first stage of labour is generally the longest, taking an average of 8-16 hours for a first baby and 3-10 hours for a second or subsequent baby.
As a pregnancy nears its end, the cervix becomes softer and thinner and shorter in a process known as “ripening”. This is followed by the opening of the cervix known as “dilation” and is estimated in centimetres.
Once dilation reaches 2-3 cm, labour is said to be “established,” and said to be “progressing” as it continues to open.
Full dilation is estimated to be 10cm.
Spontaneous labour at full term signals that both your body and baby ready for birth. The hormone relaxin prepares muscles and ligaments and copper levels, which have risen steadily during the latter stages of pregnancy, may act as a trigger for the initiation of labour. High copper levels also encourage increased zinc in the uterus.
In a normal, unmedicated labour, the body produces endorphins. These are morphine-like substances that bring about a sense of wellbeing and offer some protection from the pain of contractions.
The First Stage of Labour
If you are expecting your first baby, you may notice pressure in your groin and on your bladder beginning up to four weeks before the birth. Your baby’s head will become engaged in our pelvis in preparation for labour.
The first stage of labour begins with the loss of the mucus plug from the entrance of the cervix. This will be bloodstained or pinkish in colour and is called a ‘show’, and may occur several days before labour begins. This is completely normal though a large amount of blood loss is not. In such a case, contact your doctor or midwife immediately.
The amniotic sac may leak or break and the waters either trickle or gush out, commonly known as the waters breaking. The amount of fluid lost will depend on how well engaged your baby’s head is. The amniotic fluid replenishes every three hours so there is no danger of your baby’s welfare being threatened.
Once the contractions have begun, they will become more regular and closer together.
A contraction occurs when the muscles in the womb contract and the pressure within the womb wall rises then falls. During the contraction, the blood supply to the placenta, and therefore the baby, decreases but resumes rapidly once the contraction is over. A normal healthy baby will cope well during this natural process. During this stage, contractions will occur 5-20 minutes apart and last 30 – 60 seconds in duration.
Some women experience ‘false labour’ where contractions start then stop for a period before beginning again. Some women experience vomiting and diarrhoea which are normal symptoms of your body purging.
As the contractions strengthen and the interval between them decreases, you may find yourself retreating into a meditative state. Your breathing pattern may become your focus and your method to deal with the pain.
The muscles at the top of your uterus are pressing down on your baby’s bottom and his head is pressing against your cervix. As the baby’s head descends, it exerts pressure on the cervix, assisting further dilation.
Dilation of the cervix may not occur at a constant rate. Usually, the dilation from 1-5cm takes much longer than from 5-10cm. Generally, the stronger and longer the contractions, the more responsive the cervix will be in dilating.
Contractions are generally at their strongest near the end of the first stage of labour as the cervix becomes more dilated. Once dilation reaches 10cm, the first stage is complete.
Transition is the point when the labour reaches a peak before shifting down a gear. This lull can last for an hour or two or be over in a flash, though is usually longer during the first labour. There may be feelings of rectal pressure and even feelings of nausea or vomiting.
The Second Stage of Labour
Now begins the second stage when you will begin to push. Contractions will occur 3-5 minutes apart and last for as long as 60-90 seconds. You will probably have an overwhelming urge to bear down and press the baby through the birth canal. During the descent, the rotation of the baby’s head is assisted by powerful contractions, stretching the vagina wide open to accommodate its passage. The bones of its skull are soft enough to allow a little flexibility.
The head and the body are like two balls moving against each other, the largest diameter being that of its head. The body’s trunk will have its limbs tucked tightly in. The natural action of a contracting uterus will mould the baby into the right shape for its journey through the birth canal.
This stage of labour has been described as the most intense, thrilling and passionate of all, and for some women it is the nearest thing to overwhelming sexual excitement. Some women say that your reaction, less a rational decision, is more of a natural response sweeping through your body. You are encouraged to follow the natural breathing pattern and trust the spontaneous feelings.
Some people think it is a good idea to hold your breath then push frantically, however it’s been found that holding your breath is not only exhausting for the mother, but can be dangerous for the baby in that it reduces the oxygen content of the blood.
As the baby’s head passes through the bony pelvic outlet, the head must twist sideways slightly then to a backwards-facing position again before becoming visible. Seen for the first time, it may look more like a wrinkled walnut than a baby’s head. When the widest part of the baby’s head is at the birth opening, you will feel stretched to your utmost. This is known as the “crowning”. It is important not to push as this stage, despite wanting to, as you may tear the perineal tissue.
The doctor or midwife may consider it necessary to perform an episiotomy at this stage. If you do not wish to have one, say so.
To avoid tearing, you will need to begin intense breathing before the head crowns in a bid to “breathe the baby out” rather than pushing. In this way it may slip forwards. The doctor or midwife will check to see that the umbilical cord is free of the neck and may insert a catheter into the baby’s mouth to suck any mucus out.
The head may look sticky with mucus and violet or purple in colour though this is normal as it has yet to take its first breath to oxygenate its blood.
Once the head is free, it will turn to align with the shoulders which are still inside. You may be asked for a push to free the shoulders. Next the body will slide out and the baby is born. This is often accompanied by a great gush of water, followed by a baby breathing and crying with limbs lashing about.
The baby may be covered in vernix, a creamy-like substance that protects the baby’s skin while in the uterus. Its head may be oddly-shaped, asymmetrical and moulded by the birth canal, with a receding forehead and chin. Its face may have little red marks around the eyes and eyelids and its nose may seem flattened. The body, still attached by the umbilical cord, may see small in comparison with the head, though the genitalia may seem extraordinarily large. This is a normal looking baby.
The Third Stage of Labour
All that remains now within the uterus is the placenta, the attached cord and the remnants of the pregnancy sac. Although you may not feel it, the uterus continues to contract causing the placenta to peel off from the uterine wall.
A naturally occurring hormone called oxytocin is produced within the body to help this process. The squeezing of the uterine wall closes off the supply to the blood vessels, preventing excessive bleeding from the wall and keeping blood loss at a minimum.
When the placenta is detached, the doctor or midwife may gently pull on the cord and you may be asked to take a breath and bear down to assist.
After it slides out, it will be closely examined by the person who delivered the baby to check that every part is there. This is to avoid any section being left within the womb, which if left unnoticed, could cause infection during postpartum.
Often during a hospital birth, it is a common practice to inject oxytocin into a muscle or drip as soon as the baby is born to induce the delivery of the placenta. The potential for haemorrhage immediately after childbirth is at its greatest and this usually increases with successive pregnancies.
In the nineteenth century, excessive bleeding at this stage was a common cause of women dying in childbirth.
Today’s routine administration of an oxytocin injection at birth has meant that far fewer women suffer from postpartum haemorrhage and if they do, it is likely to be less severe, often without need for a blood transfusion.
The progressing dilation of the cervix during the stages of labour.
The placenta will look like a piece of raw liver with a rough side, that which was attached to the uterine wall, and a velvety smooth soft side, against which the baby was cushioned. It will have an intricate network of blood vessels which during pregnancy, was the baby’s life support system supplying oxygen and nutrients.
The significance of the placenta in its role of creating and sustaining life has long been recognised by tribal cultures. Some choose to mark its importance with a burial in a sacred place, creating what is considered to be a “place to come home to”.
Cutting the Cord
Once the baby breathes air, it has not further need for the placenta or the umbilical cord. Within a few minutes of the birth, once the cord has stopped pulsating, the cord can be clamped with forceps. Clamps are usually placed at two points, and with a pair of sharp, sterile scissors, the cut is made between these points.
A clamp is then moved closer to the umbilicus (tummy button) so the excess cord can be trimmed.
There is no hurry for this to be done and there may be some advantages for the baby in waiting for the blood within the cord to drain into its circulation.
Cord Blood Collection
The blood within the umbilical cord is considered to be rich in special blood cells called “stem cells” also found in bone marrow.
Stem cells can be used to successfully treat children with leukaemia (cancer of the blood cells).
For this reason, in some countries you may be asked if you would care to donate to a cord blood bank. The collection has to be planned beforehand so that the cord can be cut quickly and the blood collected into a special container by a trainer technician so it can be immediately frozen. The collection process is painless and harmless for both the mother and newborn.
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