Joy is to be a woman. A woman has a wide range of roles; she can not only execute them but also accomplish all of her duties. It is a blessing to be born as a human, we are God’s greatest creation. God gave the woman the power to bear life in her body and accomplish the plan she dreamed of always making progress in the human race.
The pregnancy period is usually divided into three trimesters:
- First trimester- the day of conception to 12 weeks.
- Second trimester- 13 to 24 weeks.
- Third trimester- 25 to 42 weeks
Getting pregnant is full of mixed emotions; it’s a trip through the wild and unpredictable like an adventure. However, there is a lot of risk in parenting, so a woman should be mindful of the transitions in her body.
42 Week by Week Pregnancy tips
You won’t be noticing many changes in your body now and the first week is your menstrual period. The sperm has entered an ovum by now and has fertilised the egg. The fertilised egg is in the fallopian tube and at this stage, the fertilised egg is called an embryo.
During this week the embryo gets implanted onto the uterus. This week you are bound to miss your period and that is the best sign for pregnancy. Implantation is a very important stage in pregnancy, so you must start having a nutritious diet.
Avoid having stale food. Have freshly cooked food. Exercise daily to keep your organs well-functioning. If you see traces of blood and feel a burning or painful sensation, contact your doctor immediately.
This week marks the beginning of the embryonic stage. Gastrulation begins now and it begins the formation of the three germ layers in humans. The heart is also beginning to form during this week.
You will be experiencing mood swings as you do during your periods. You will also be suffering from ‘pregnancy brain’ due to the sudden change in hormones. You will also notice certain physical changes- increase in the size and tenderness of breasts and you will be suffering from bloating and suffering.
Avoid having caffeine, alcohol and fatty foods.
This week is pretty exciting! The circulatory system, the limbs and the digestive and respiratory systems are starting to develop slowly. The embryo divides and the placenta is formed which will work act as a bridge connecting the mother and the baby and deliver oxygen, water and the necessary nutrients from the mother to the baby.
You will start suffering from morning sickness and the breasts will continue to become sore and tender. You may experience mild cramping but if it increases in intensity, do visit the doctor. Make sure you are having the right amount of folic acid!
The heart has started to beat this week! Three germ layers are formed during this week- the ectoderm (nervous system), endoderm (internal organs) and the mesoderm (muscles, bones and the reproductive organs). The size of the head of the embryo is pretty big now, as the spinal cord and the brain are forming. The umbilical cord is formed finally!
Aching breasts, morning urination and frequent urination are the major symptoms of this week. Talk with your dietitian or doctor to discuss your diet plan and to make sure you are gaining the required weight during pregnancy.
The baby is growing and is about a half an inch in size now! The heart tube is beating in a regular rhythm. The facial features of the baby are starting to form. You might be able to locate your little one in an ultrasound this week.
Gas and bloating will continue to prevail and will intensify with each passing week. You will suffer from morning sickness and you might notice your skin to become more sensitive and redder due to an increase in blood flow.
Moreover, you should keep in mind, that your pregnancy hormones have reduced your ability to digest food, so have six small meals instead of having three big ones. Drink ample water and follow your diet religiously!
The baby’s brain is developing and the nerve cells are growing very fast- 10,000 neurons per minute! You won’t be able to feel any movements now but your baby is growing at a high rate. You will be having food cravings and aversions now.
The surge in your pregnancy hormones will also result in acne outbreaks and sore breasts. Mood swings and stress will be your constant throughout pregnancy. Most importantly, be prepared to rush to the washroom n number of times a day. The uterus is growing and that will result in frequent urination.
Abstain yourself from smoking, caffeine and alcohol is also out of reach. You can have a cup of coffee per day if you are addicted to caffeine. Have smaller meals instead of big ones and drink ample water.
The facial features like the nose and the ears are gradually starting to form. The embryo is now called the foetus and the 8th week marks the completion of the embryonic stage.
Your blood pressure will increase as your body is producing more blood now and your olfactory cells are very sensitive now, so make sure you avoid pungent-smelling or any strong odour. Cramping is natural now as your belly starts expanding.
Now is the time to invest in a maternity bra and start doing your prenatal exercises. Ask your doctor to prescribe a prenatal vitamin.
This week is pretty vital for the baby! The reproductive organs are forming this week. The cartilage is gradually being replaced with bones and this marks the beginning of the bone structure. Your waistline will start to thicken and widen now as your uterus continues to grow. You will be experiencing food aversions, headaches and constipation.
The bone structure of the baby is forming now and you need to make sure that you are getting the required calcium intake. If you are experiencing a burning sensation while urinating, do visit the doctor; it might be UTI.
The facial features start to become prominent. This week is all about the sudden fluttering sensations inside your belly as he/she starts to make movements. The kidney of your baby has started to produce urine too. Fingers and toes slowly become prominent now.
Your breasts are growing with each passing week as the mammary glands are developing to produce milk and it also tends to become more sensitive with time. While urinating you might notice a transparent odourless discharge and this is natural.
Make sure to invest in a good maternity bra and wear breathable clothes. It is also recommended to take certain blood tests for genetic testing.
The external reproductive organ of the baby is forming this week. The baby can also respire now; the amniotic fluid helps in the lungs’ functioning too. This week the intensity of the abdominal cramps will increase and due to the continuous pressure on the veins of your legs, you will be experiencing leg cramping too.
Skin pigmentation is also natural during pregnancy due to the changes in hormones.
Visiting a dentist is also recommended! Maintaining proper oral hygiene is very important during pregnancy. Don’t forget to consult a dietician or your doctor to set up a proper diet to make sure you are gaining the required weight during this period.
Congratulations! You are finally done with your first trimester. You should be relieved to know that the chances of a miscarriage will decrease after this week. All the essential organs of your baby have been formed by now and they will continue to develop till the day of delivery. The baby can even move his/her fists and mouths now!
You will be getting some relief from nausea and bloating this week but you will be experiencing dizziness due to an increase in blood pressure.
Keep yourself hydrated throughout and consult the doctor if you find traces of blood in your vaginal discharge!
The baby’s body is growing at a larger pace than the head, to cope with the right proportion. Your baby’s eyes and the nose are slowly moving to their respective places now and the limbs continue to grow too! You will be suffering from varicose veins due to the increase in blood flow. This trimester is considered to be the ‘honeymoon period’ of pregnancy. And especially, this week is energetic for a lot of women. Y
ou may have a sudden surge in your sex drive, which is natural. As the week progresses, the baby bump becomes more prominent and you will have a lovely glow in your face.
As your belly continues to grow, now is the time to opt for comfortable maternity clothes and make sure you are taking your prenatal vitamins!
The most unique development of the baby this week is that of his/her fingerprints! The baby can now respond to external touch too. You should also know that the baby’s gonads are forming during this week. Stretch marks will begin to appear on your belly and breasts now.
You may notice that your skin is flaky and dry now; make sure to have ample water and keep your skin well moisturised throughout the day. Your appetite will increase this week but do not eat at bulk!
As your belly continues to grow the centre of gravity also shifts from its initial position and you should be careful while walking and sitting down. Have plenty of fluids and leafy vegetables.
Lanugo starts to appear on the baby’s skin which protects it from the amniotic fluid. The hair will fall off during the last few weeks of your pregnancy. The bones are hardening this week and hair starts to form. If you go for an ultrasound this week, you might notice your baby sucking his/her thumb.
The baby is growing with each passing week and the growing uterus can put pressure on the diaphragm and that will result in shortness of breath. Blame the hormones for your swelling gums, indigestion and bloating.
Sleep on the left side to ensure healthy blood flow. If you are having leg cramps, pop a pillow in between your legs while sleeping.
The umbilical cord is fully developed by now and the nervous system of the baby begins functioning. The taste buds continue to develop and by now the genitalia is also formed, so now you can find out the gender of your baby! You will be experiencing ‘quickening’ or sudden flutter movements inside your belly.
The increase in weight will also result in back pain and your breasts have at least increased by 2 cup sizes now.
To deal with the cramping and backaches, continue working out, but do not lift heavyweights. It is very important to make sure that the body is having a healthy blood circulation.
Your little one is growing very fast and is double the size of what he/she was two weeks back. Fat also starts accumulating under your baby’s skin which will help in controlling the body temperature. The placenta is also growing and playing the most important role of providing nutrients, water and oxygen to the baby.
You will notice your salivating more than usual and will also be experiencing itchy skin.
You need to enjoy this period instead of being stressed always. Be careful while changing positions. Keep your legs elevated while sleeping. Most importantly, drink plenty of fluids!
The tastebuds of your baby are developing now and the digestive system has also started to work. You will be experiencing swollen hand and feet due to accumulation of fluids. Drink plenty of water to flush all the unnecessary fluids out of the body. You can even feel the baby’s kicks during this week.
You might face difficulty while sleeping, so make sure you are relaxed and sleeping in a comfortable place.
Your baby’s ears have developed and can hear your voice. Read to your baby, so that he/she can recognise your voice after birth. Research says that a baby is influenced by what they listen while being inside. Do not sleep on your back, as that can block the flow of blood to the baby.
Vernix covers the baby’s body to protect him/her from the amniotic fluid or any impact. The skin of the baby is red and transparent now. By this week, the baby develops all the five senses in the brain and your baby’s heartbeat is twice compared to yours.
Swelling of legs, broadening of the waistline and abdominal and leg cramps are common now.
Sleep with a pillow in between your legs to get relief from leg cramping. Do not overtire yourself and make sure you are not lifting heavyweights.
The head of the baby is finally becoming proportionate compared to the body. The baby is moving a lot and you can feel the sudden kicks and rolls! Nails, hairs and eyebrows continue to form and as the facial features become more prominent, your little a=champ starts making faces. All the changes that are going on with your baby, your body will get affected too. Heavy vaginal discharge, indigestion and heartburn are all common now.
You will also experience shortness of breath as your uterus is expanding and putting pressure on your lungs.
Drink plenty of water to deal with the swelling but if you notice that the swelling or you are facing too much difficulty is breathing, visit the doctor immediately. You are almost done with half of the journey and during this period, you should visit your doctor for a thorough checkup.
The baby’s digestive system continues to develop and function. Your little one’s movements become more intense. Braxton-Hicks contractions or the so-called ‘practice contractions’ begin this week. These contractions are preparing your body for birth. You will be noticing that your breasts are leaking colostrum now and are more sensitive than before.
The stretch marks become more prominent now and to deal with the dry kin, use cocoa butter.
Do not have spicy and fatty foods as indulging in them will trigger indigestion and heartburn. Have a healthy diet and have six small meals instead of three big ones. The contractions won’t last long and will go away while changing positions. If you notice that the contractions are still there, rush to the doctor immediately.
Your champ’s muscles are growing stronger now and the movements become more prominent now. The little one can also feel your touch now. The eyelids and eyebrows are developed too. You will be noticing that the belly button is popping out because of the increasing uterus.
You may even experience hair fall due to hormones and also heavy vaginal discharge.
Look out for preeclampsia, which is a situation where you experience extreme swelling. Use a heating pad or opt for a prenatal massage to ease the back pain. Avoid standing or sitting in a position for a long time.
Your little one’s skin is still wrinkly as more fat is required to get accumulated underneath the skin. The significant development in the baby is that the lungs have started to produce surfactant which will help the lungs to inflate.
The nipples are also forming this week. Braxton-Hicks contractions will intensify more this week and you will also notice darkening of the skin around your nipples and acne outbreaks.
Make sure you are pampering yourself and indulging in whatever makes you happy, keeping in mind the baby’s health. Have juices which are rich in calcium and ample amount of water throughout the day. Do your kegel exercises to relax your pelvic muscles in preparation of labour.
Congratulations! You are done with your second trimester too. Your baby’s skin has a lovely pinkish tinge now; the ears are fully developed too. All the major organs continue to develop. You will notice that a dark line called the linea nigra is running down your naval. Stretch marks also start to appear on the legs and hips too.
Your face might swell this week and the breasts will continue to increase in size.
Avoid going outside now and avoid exposure to direct sunlight as your skin is sensitive now. Visit the dentist for an oral checkup this week.
Meconium is being formed in your baby’s large intestine now which will come out after birth or in rare cases be released within the womb. The white blood cells are also forming and the baby is starting to develop reflexes too. Get ready to deal with haemorrhoids and constipation this week. You will struggle to find the ideal position to sleep as your baby bump keeps on increasing.
If you haven’t gained much weight in the past few weeks, you might experience a sudden increase in weight now.
This week you should take a blood test to see whether you have gestational diabetes or not. Avoid eating raw food like raw eggs and also unpasteurized milk.
The baby’ sleeping habits are more regular now. The organs are continuously developing as the little one grows. The heartbeat of his/her becomes more distinct now. You will tend to forget small things and details due to hormonal imbalance or stress.
Your blood pressure will increase now and heartburn and indigestion will intensify. You can even feel the uterus 2-3 inches above the belly button.
Make sure you are not suffering from UTIs. Continue following the prescribed diet and make sure you are brushing twice a day.
Your little champ is sucking on his/her thumb, and this is helping to strengthen the jaw muscles and cheeks. The eyelids are completely formed too. Due to the increasing pressure on your bladder by your baby, you might find it difficult to control your urine and can soil your clothes while laughing or sneezing.
Your nails will become brittle and you will experience frequent haemorrhoids and acne outbreaks.
While you are spending sleepless nights, you must know that your body needs the utmost rest possible. Be very careful while walking or sitting. If you feel too stressed or become anxious, talk with your partner or share it with your family members.
You shouldn’t be experiencing intense pain or a burning sensation. But if you do, visit the doctor immediately.
The baby can now close and open his/her eyelids. Your baby’s eye colour is either blue or grey now which will change and it will take almost a year after birth to determine his/her colour. The lungs are gradually maturing. You will notice colostrum or pre-milk-secreting from your breasts this week.
You will be experiencing frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions now and that will also result in body aches and breathlessness.
Keep a track of your baby’s daily movements. You can even go for an ultrasound to see the status of your baby.
The arms and the legs become more prominent now and can kick much harder now. The baby is growing in size and can respond to what you are eating, or any source of light or touch. You may be suffering from low blood sugar as your baby is drawing all the nutrients and energy to help himself/herself to grow.
Be aware of signs of premature labour like cramping, back pain or pinkish or brownish vaginal discharge. Due to hormonal imbalance, you might find it difficult in maintaining your balance.
Drink plenty of water, continue doing your exercises and look for a breastfeeding class to get accustomed with it before you have your little one in your arms.
The baby is growing rapidly and more fat continues to get accumulated under the skin. As he/she continues to grow, the movements will change because space will become cramped. The brain is also developing now.
You need to gain almost a pound every week. You will continue to experience heartburn and shortness of breath as your baby continues to grow.
You should make sure you are having your prescribed supplements.
The baby is gradually taking the foetal position- head facing down, the back is bent and limbs are close to the torso. The reproductive organs are almost formed too! Your baby is growing and so is your uterus making it difficult for you to breathe and digest food.
You will find difficulty in sleeping as changing sides will feel like a strenuous activity and as your mammary glands continue to develop, you’ll notice your breasts leaking frequently now.
Start your breathing exercises to calm down your mind. Keep working out to keep your organs active. To prevent your clothes being soiled by colostrum, use nursing pads and stock up on them as you’ll be needing them more often now!
The lungs are still developing but all the other internal organs have been formed by now. Your little one continues practising opening his/her eyes and breathing. Your little one’s movements will become restricted as the space becomes cramped for him to move. You will notice that your nipples are darkening with each passing week and are sensitive to touch now.
To prepare your body for the delivery, you may experience heavy vaginal discharge which will act as a lubricant to the birth canal.
Do not stress unnecessarily. Relax and get as much sleep possible. To ease your cramping, drink plenty of fluids and always keep your legs on an elevated platform while sitting or sleeping. Caffeine and alcohol are not recommended at all!
As your baby continues to grow the space in the uterus becomes cramped and that will not let your baby move much. The reflexes of your little one are well developed by now and can even grab onto his/her toes and can also turn his/her head. You will have to deal with the breathlessness as the uterus keeps on growing.
You will become clumsier as anxiety and stress creep in your mind. Headaches are natural now.
Drink plenty of water to deal with heartburn and headaches.
Your baby is pretty big now- around 20 inches in length and weighs about 5 pounds. All the organs are fully mature but the lungs are still developing. The baby’s skin is still pink because of the capillaries which are present in high numbers on the skin.
The fingernails have also formed by now. You will be experiencing excruciating pelvic pains as your body prepares for labour. Your rib cage will be sore too because of the growing uterus. You may have difficulty in vision because of the hormones.
Start taking breastfeeding and baby handling classes. This period is the best time to bond with your baby by reading him/her stories so that he/she gets familiar with your voice once you have him/her in your arms.
Your baby is still covered with vernix which is keeping the skin of your baby well moisturised and protecting from the amniotic fluid. By now your baby should be in the foetal position but if he/she isn’t yet, you might have to opt for caesarean delivery. The skin of your baby looks well-formed now.
Get ready to deal with much more intense and painful Braxton-Hicks contractions. There will be a constant pain in the pelvic region.
Start preparing your hospital bag and also have a birth plan prepared. Wear comfortable loose clothes so that you don’t feel suffocated.
Your baby’s cheek and jaw muscles have pretty much developed and can easily suck now. The skin is soft and smooth now. Slowly the baby moves towards the pelvic region to enter the birth canal.
The good news is that as your baby moves down, you can take deeper and fuller breaths now. But you will have difficulty in standing or sitting in the same position for a long time. You might flush out the mucous plug this week.
If you find that you are having a heavy vaginal discharge, consult the doctor immediately. Look out for blood in your vagina too- it might be preterm labour.
The umbilical cord is playing an important role this week by serving as a bridge between you and your baby bypassing the necessary antibodies to prepare for labour. The baby finally looks like a human child now. As the D day nears, you will notice certain symptoms of labour.
Nausea and diarrhoea are the two major symptoms which signify that labour is knocking at the door. The intensity of the contractions will increase and in turn, will cause more stretch marks.
Keep a check on your caffeine intake and keep yourself well hydrated.
You are nearing your due date and your little one can announce his/her grand entry anytime now. The baby’s brain is still developing and is also controlling breathing and digestion. Vernix will slowly dissolve and fall off now and even the baby’s growth rate will gradually slow down now.
You will tend to become more anxious now but try and keep your cool. Your legs and arms will become more swollen and it will cause discomfort.
Do not spend time sitting or lying down throughout the day. Walk around the house to make sure your organs are well functioning. Drink plenty of water. This is the time where you can go for a check-up and examine how much has the cervix dilated.
The baby is fully grown now and is around 22 inches in length and weighs about 9 pounds. The baby is now in the pelvic region and has entered the birth canal. The arms and legs are much stronger now and the nails have already formed by now. As the baby is in the pelvic region you will be experiencing tremendous pain and your movements will become restricted.
You will find traces of blood in your vaginal discharge too. Your newfound energy will instigate your nesting instincts.
You may experience false labour alarms this week and to deal with the painful contractions drink ample of water and take rest.
This is the last week of your pregnancy but your baby might not arrive until two more weeks. Nothing to worry about; you are not considered overdue until the 42nd week. Vernix has completely disappeared now and is fully prepared to face the outside world. Your water might break this week and that is the sign!
If you start having contractions call the doctor or track them to make sure they are not Braxton-Hicks.
If you are in labour avoid eating anything as that can result in nausea. Only in a few cases, babies are born on the exact due date. Remember that the due date is just an estimate and in most of the times, it is miscalculated.
Your baby is fully formed and ready to face the outside world. The pulse od the baby can be tracked using non-stress monitoring this week. The baby’s endocrine system is gradually becoming accustomed for the big day, which is responsible for hormone development. The lungs are ready too and ready to take the first breath of fresh air.
You can enter labour at any time now. Diarrhoea and the blood-streaked vaginal discharge can be the real signs of labour!
Try and keep calm. The baby can arrive at any time now. Start preparing yourself for labour and make sure you are taking your proteins.
You are officially overdue now. The baby can make his/her grand entry any time now. Overdue babies have dry skin and may start to peel off. Overdue babies have long fingernails now and are usually hungry now.
The swelling will make you feel uncomfortable and you will finally get relieved from constipation as the baby puts pressure on the rectum muscles. A little bit of blood loss from the vagina is natural now.
If your baby doesn’t arrive by this week, the doctor might try and induce labour using Pitocin or even recommend a caesarean delivery. Make sure you are recording your contractions. Your little one is on his/her way! All the best!
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.