When you're pregnant, it's only natural that you want to find out if you're baby is healthy and progressing along fine by reaching its developmental milestones properly. The only person who can tell you about this is probably your trusted health practitioner. She/He is also one of the most reliable sources to clear your nagging doubts and fears that keep popping up during the many stages of your pregnancy. How long will morning sickness last? Are they ways to prevent stretch marks? Are there any specific foods you need to avoid? Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?
When the egg is fertilized, your pregnancy period starts. For the next 266 days, you would enjoy the moment of motherhood. But do keep in mind that it is difficult to determine the actual fertilization of the egg. So when you want to estimate your pregnancy, the first day of your last menstrual period is taken into consideration and not the day of fertilization.
If you are not feeling the fetus kick yet, don't worry! You are ovulating, which is the best time for you to conceive. You just need your partner's strong sperm to fertilize your egg. So have patience.
During week 4, your embryo splits into two crucial parts and helps in the healthy growth of your baby. Part one is the embryo which grows and develops itself and the second part is called the placenta which supplies oxygen and the required nutrients to your baby.
Your baby's brain would develop rapidly during week seven. It's time to get all the details on the changes and prepare and schedule your first prenatal visit. Not to mention, you would bond better with your partner during your pregnancy.
Your baby's last embryonic stage takes place during week 8. During this period, you would also find yourself struggling to fit in your regular jeans. We suggest you shop for some bigger bra or maternity bra to be comfortable.
You will start feeling the movement of your baby during this month as your baby is growing bigger every day. But be careful as you might feel dizzy or urinate frequently due to your increased blood volume.
In week 10, your baby will grow from an embryo to a full-blown fetus. During this period, your baby will also start developing his or her fingers and toes. Bones will also get hardened and kidneys will start producing urine.
By now your uterus has fit within your pelvis. But you would feel the pressure on your bladder when it starts to move north this week. This means that your belly has the room to expand, thus giving you that pregnancy look.
If you feel clumsier during this period, that's OK! It's completely normal to be so. The Relaxin hormone loosens up your ligaments and joints while you prepare for your childbirth. This means that your hand and feet will experience some discomfort.
Now that you have reached the second trimester, your risk of miscarriage drops considerably at the end of this week. You would feel good about yourself, your energy levels and your appetite will increase and life would be normal again.
Do you see dark skin especially around your nipples, areolas, navel, armpits and inner thighs? If yes, don't worry. This pregnancy symptom affects 90% of pregnant women. The dark skin disappears few months after pregnancy.
You might experience some baby kicking by the time you hit 16th week. Baby kicks known as quickening or flutters are often mistaken to be indigestion or stomach rumblings and moms-to-be find it hard detecting them in the initial phases.
This week will see your belly starting to pop up and the world would come to know that you are pregnant. So be happy and stay calm as you prepare for the moment of your life. Your uterus will expand and so will your body as you would put on few extra kilos.
Ah! The baby-kick! You would now start to really feel the baby kicking inside you. At times you might really feel the strong kick but more often the kicks go unnoticed. But not to worry, your baby is saving the kicks for the next day.
One look at the mirror and you will know you are not as beautiful as you once were. Your growing belly might make you prone to slips and spills. Your back will ache and your posture won't be aligned, but that's part of the journey called motherhood! So take precautions and eat healthy.
The 20th week calls for a celebration. You have successfully completed half of your journey of motherhood. But on the flipside you will experience sharp pain in your hips, ligament, abdomen and groin. This is normal, so no need to panic.
You won't feel great about your body. But the fact is you are not fat, you are just pregnant and it's completely normal to put on extra kilos. You can always shed those kilos post pregnancy. So be happy and show-off your baby-bump.
Your body pressure might drop which can lead to dizziness. This is a normal side effect of pregnancy. The pregnancy hormones will result in thicker hair and stronger nails but you might also notice some unwanted hair growth. Do no bleach, but instead go for plucking or waxing.
All the vitamins and minerals that go inside your body go straight to your baby. So, you need some extra dose of healthy food to support your body's need. Taking iron supplement and prenatal vitamin will help you stay strong and healthy.
As your baby bump expands, your libido shrinks. And it's completely fine to have no sex drive during this period. As you feel more tired and achy you would experience little or no interest in sex. But then, it's only temporary.
Your little baby bump will soon take the size of a soccer ball as your baby goes beyond one kilo mark. Hence, your belly has to make room for his growth. You would also experience numb and tingly fingers due to carpel tunnel syndrome which is a normal indication.
Pre-pregnancy weight varies from 6-8 kilos or even more in some cases. You might not like being overweight but it's a necessity. The extra kilos are the result of weight of your baby, increase in blood and fluid volume, uterus expansion and larger breasts.
You are stepping towards the final stage of the pregnancy and soon you will be a mother. But as you approach the big day, you'll feel physically exhausted and tired. Those extra kilos will cause pain and weakness and make every activity, be it sleeping, working or even relaxing, a bit hard.
Experiencing leaky breasts? This fluid is called colostrum, which is the precursor to breast milk. If there is a greater discharge we suggest you put nursing pad inside your bra. It contains antibodies that help in fighting common illness during your baby's first few days.
Itchy skin and stretch marks are symptoms most of the moms-to-be have to experience during the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. Though there are lotions and ointments, the best healer of these symptoms is the time. As time goes by, you would see significant difference in your skin post your pregnancy.
You would experience symptoms such as urine leakage, breathlessness and heartburn during this period. This occurs as your baby is pressing your internal organs. Expect loss in appetite and nausea during this period.
You might feel bigger and cannot see your shoes. But that's OK. The weight gain often slows down by this time. Just few more months and you will be back to your old self with an adorable baby on your lap.
If there is an extra-thick vaginal discharge in pink or red colour, it's because of the start of the mucus plug dropping which is a ball of tissue that blocks your cervical opening during pregnancy to keep your uterus safe from germs.
If you feel lighter these days, it's because your baby settles lower into your pelvic. This means that the baby is all set to make his big move. During this period, your milk gland will also expand and fill with colostrum due to the increase in hormone oxytocin.
Giving birth on the actual due date doesn't happen all the time. Only 5% of women manage to deliver on the actual due date. So relax! You could deliver your baby either in the next 2 hours or after next two week.
Hold your breath! Your bundle of joy is about to come out but get ready for some really nerve-wracking moments. When you are active in labour, you could feel excruciating pain on your stomach, lower back and upper thighs. Although you might continue to feel contractions, but the moment you see your baby, it's all worth it.