Conception (Weeks 1 to
Based on LMP (last menstrual period), pregnancies
last about 280 days or 40 weeks. You may also calculate
by adding 7 days to the date of your last period
and subtract 3 months. This again gives you only
the approximate date of delivery. For example, if
your last period began on March 24th, your due date
is January 1st. It is important to understand due
dates only indicate, and not establish the exact
birth date; 90% percent of the time, delivery happens
the week before or the week after. Only 5% of first
babies arrive on the projected due date.
Month (Weeks 5 to 8)
It may not hit you right away that you are expecting.
You will probably miss your period when you are
4 weeks along if you have a regular ovulation cycle,
and not feel any differently. Some over-the-counter
pregnancy tests are reliable but it is important
to schedule an appointment to see an obstetrician
as soon as you suspect being pregnant.
may range from extra sensitive
breasts, flu-like feeling, nausea & vomiting
(morning sickness) frequent urination, heartburn,
loss of appetite, fatigue, & some women have
cramping as if getting ready to start their period.
Month (Weeks 9 to 12)
Third Month (Weeks 13
During your first doctor's visit you will undergo
Pap smear test
is to check for cancerous or pre-cancerous cells
of the cervix, baby's position in the womb and to
determine if the uterus is big enough for baby passage
will be taken to check for STDs including HIV, rubella
antibody titers (immunity against the 3 day measles),
Rh factor, complete blood count, diabetes &
blood type. If you are found to be RH negative and
have had any of the following: an Amniocentesis,
Ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or abortion before,
you will be given Rho GAM to prevent you from forming
antibodies to Rh-positive blood.
conducted routinely at every visit to check for
blood & sugar in the urine.
will be taken routinely at
every visit to monitor and chart baby's growth.
this point should allow a gain of a few pounds.
Pregnancy will become apparent for some. It is important
you remember that you are eating for two so cross
out dieting for the time being. You will need an
additional 300 to 800 calories a day. These extra
calories provide energy for tissue growth in both
you and the baby. Your baby is using your energy
to create and store protein, fat and carbohydrates,
and to provide energy for overall bodily functions.
that contain recommended daily amounts of vitamins
and minerals specially designed for pregnant women
should be taken. They contain iron, folic acid,
zinc. Blood volume increases by about 50 % and iron
supplement is required to handle this change. Unfortunately
iron can cause constipation, upset stomach, nausea
and vomiting. It helps to take iron with a meal
or before bedtime. Your iron count should lie between
12 & 15. Folic Acid is taken to prevent neural-tube
defects including Spina Bifidae. Doctors recommend
4mg of folic acid a day, preferably one month before
conceiving. Continue taking this amount through
the first trimester as during this the period spine
development takes place.
Avoid tight fitting clothes as it restricts your
breathing and limits amount of oxygen reaching the
baby. If this is not your first child, changes happen
sooner than the last time. Your skin and muscles
stretch faster comparatively to accommodate the
growing uterus and baby. Pregnancy is more obvious
this time round. But this may not apply always.
There are very few absolutes in pregnancy and each
one is different.
Results of your blood test &
Pap Smear will be discussed especially if there
were any problems. You will be advised if you require
prenatel tests like AFP screening & Amniocentesis
along with genetic counseling.
Your weight and iron count will
You will probably hear the baby's
heartbeat for the first time using a doppler.
Moles and skin tags are common during pregnancy.
Venereal warts form around the birth canal, the
vagina, or near the rectum. If they feel lumpy,
change in structure or size you need to address
the issue with your doctor.
Forth Month (Weeks 17
Stretch marks on your abdomen, hips, buttocks, or
breasts start to appear. They may fade to skin color
but they rarely disappear entirely. There is no
known preventive measure but moisturizing these
areas with a vitamin E cream does help to some extent.
Avoid steroid creams to treat them. These creams
are absorbed into the skin and can affect the fetus.
Itching is a common symptom due to the stretched
skin but it does not harm you or the fetus. Your
breasts may leak a yellowish fluid called colostrum,
which is the forerunner to breast milk. Your breasts
have probably grown larger and the area around the
areola has darkened.
A thick whitish yellow vaginal discharge or an increase
in discharge is normal and is probably caused by
increased blood flow in the vaginal area. It is
also common to see a bluish coloration on the vaginal
area. You may experience round-ligament pain, which
is caused by the growing uterus. It is not harmful
to you or the fetus but it does cause you some pain
and discomfort. At this doctor's visit your baby's
heartbeat can be heard with a stethoscope. Any tests
including an AFP Screening, Triple Screen Test,
Amniocentesis will be carried out now if you have
decided to have them. An Ultrasound is done at this
time to give an accurate due date and inform you
on the sex of the baby.
Fifth Month (Weeks 21 to
A gain of 12 to 15 lbs makes you look unmistakably
pregnant. Your legs tend to swell especially if
you are on your feet most of the day. It is important
to get off your feet and elevate them to bring the
swelling down. At this doctor's visit the baby's
heartbeat will be checked. The normal fetal heartbeat
reads at 120 to 160 beats a minute. Your doctor
may measure you from the pubic bone to the top of
the uterus to monitor fetus growth.
Exercising & Sexual relations can be continued
as long as it is comfortable for you unless you
have been advised differently. Remember that your
extra weight and your protruding belly will interfere
with activities that you normally do. Swimming and
walking are safe exercises to do and help stretch
those muscles you will use during labor and delivery.
Now is the time to start doing Kegel Exercises.
There is a theory on Cravings being caused by iron
deficiency. Ensure the right dose is taken daily
to help reduce or prevent cravings. Check with your
doctor on this.
Sixth Month (Weeks 25 to
Discomforts associated with pregnancy kick in now.
To relieve back pain try not to walk with your belly
sticking way out in front of you as this puts more
pressure on your back. Try to walk with your head
and shoulders leading the way. Leg cramps and headaches
will also occur more frequently. Drinking plenty
of fluids will help alleviate the cramping. Moderating
the amount of juice you drink would be a good idea
at this time. During pregnancy sugar level rises.
Sugar in the urine is called Glucosuria, which commonly
occurs during the last two trimesters. It can trigger
Gestational Diabetes. Your kidneys control the amount
of sugar in your system, therefore any excess will
be lost through urine. At this doctors visit you
will probably be tested for gestational diabetes.
There are two tests that can be done i.e. fasting
blood sugar test and/or glucose tolerance test.
At 28 weeks you will be given Rho GAM to protect
If you experience any of these symptoms please contact
your doctor or health care provider.
1. Bleeding or leaking from vagina
2. Cramps that are strong
3. A lasting backache or bellyache
4. Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
5. A fever above 100 F
6. Prolonged headache
7. Blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes
8. Pain or burning when you urinate
9. Puffy face, fingers, and feet
10. Your baby is moving less than usual
Seventh Month (Weeks 29
A gain of 19 - 25 lbs is estimated during this phase.
The average weight & size of baby is 2.7 lbs and
16.7 inches in length. The baby will more than double
his size between 30 and 40 weeks. At this doctors
visit you will be checked for swelling, hypertension,
pregnancy induced high blood pressure, sugar if it
was high last time you had urine test. You might be
given a pap to check for dilation or effacement. Some
doctors will have you start coming every 3 weeks now.
You can count your baby's movements after 32 weeks.
Some doctors will in fact suggest this to you. It
is not possible earlier as the baby is too little.
Some babies are very active while some don't move
much. Some babies slow down in movements in the
last weeks, as there is not enough room in the uterus.
If you notice any peculiarities in movements like
too much or too little or not at all, consult your
doctor. They will usually want to check the heart
beat. One way of counting your baby's movement is
to record them in a 12hour period e.g. from 8am
to 8pm. Note down the number of times your baby
moves. If you have counted 10 movements you can
stop and resume the next day. If it is less than
10 movements in a 12hour period, consult your doctor
Eight Month (Weeks 33
Your weight gain should be between 22 and 28 lbs
and baby's weight & size is about 4.4 lbs and
about 19 inches long. At 32 weeks your doctor visits
are more frequent at every two weeks. Things are
changing rapidly, the baby's weight is increasing
and your hormones are going into overdrive. Your
doctor will probably start checking your dilation
and effacement so that if things are going too fast,
it can be arrested. The baby is pressing on your
bladder causing water to leak. If you just feel
the wetness when you move too quickly, bend down,
or sit, your bladder is the cause. If you are unsure
and are concerned call your doctor. During this
time you may notice the baby is lower or has dropped.
Some babies drop early while others will wait until
the last minute. The baby's development is almost
complete; all the organs are formed except for the
lungs, which are not yet mature. Now the baby is
gaining weight rapidly and reflexes are forming
that will help the baby with its survival instincts.
You may feel false labor contractions called Braxton-Hicks
contractions. These will continue up until the baby
is born. In a way they help prepare you for the
real thing and also with blood circulation. The
best way to find out if it is true labor is to go
for a walk. If after 5 minutes you are still having
contractions lie down on your left side. A change
in what you are doing will usually stop them. If
you have time to take a shower, put on your makeup
and get dressed real nice you cannot be in labor.
Time your contractions for 30 minutes. Start from
the first pain through the contraction until the
beginning of the next pain. Contractions occurring
every 10 minutes or more often, may mean you are
in true labor. Inform your doctor/hospital right
Nine Month (Weeks 37 to
Your doctor visits are now weekly. If you crave
for bleach, soap or other chemicals you need to
talk to your doctor. You may notice some spotting
which is most likely your mucus plug, a secretion
in your cervix, also called bloody show. Usually
the first sign that you are getting ready for labor.
It is possible to lose your plug 4 weeks before
the baby is born. In the last month of pregnancy
the baby's weight gain slows down to about a half
a pound a week. The mother may go through water
retention and swelling of feet and fingers. By now
the mother will have gained somewhere around 30
lbs. It is advisable to go easy on salt. Salt causes
you to retain water and swell. Rest as much as you
can now. You will not get the chance after the baby
arrives. It will be a bonus for you if you can arrange
help when you & baby come home, although the
sooner you settle into your routine the better it
will be in the long run.
1. Plan ahead by ensuring you have the basics kept
aside before baby comes home.
2. Clothes or disposal diapers to fit a newborn,
baby wipes, diaper rash cream
3. Cotton shirts and gowns, baby blankets
4. Wash clothes, body lotion, body wash, baby shampoo
5. Nursing bras and pads if you are breast feeding
6. Bottles and formula if you are bottle-feeding
7. Cot or bassinet for baby to lie on
8. An approved infant car seat