A healthy and normal pregnancy has duration of about 38 to 40 weeks from the day of conception. The entire term of pregnancy is divided into 3 trimesters. These trimesters signifies the various pregnancy stages. Here is a description of the pregnancy stages and what to expect at each stage.
Also termed as the first trimester, this stage sees significant hormonal changes in the mother’s body. These in turn have a cascading effect on her emotions, digestion, cravings, distastes, urinary system and sleep cycles to name a few.
In the first trimester, the baby’s spine and brain are developing, arms and legs bud out, heart begins to beat at around the 8th week and eye lids cover the developing eyes. By the end of this trimester your baby is almost 3 inches long and is about an ounce in weight.
This second trimester is easier on both the mother and the baby, as the fetus is well implanted in the uterus and the initial symptoms of nausea and uneasiness have reduced for the mother. By the end of this trimester, the baby makes its first movement in the womb.
In these 3 months, your baby’s skeletal system develops so also the skin is being formed. This is covered by a coating called vernix. Your baby is more active than ever with almost all organs functional. Reflex actions and suckling actions are developed by 20 weeks and the baby can now hear people around it. By the end of 28 weeks your baby weighs about 1.5 pounds and is about 12 inches long.
This is the final leg of your journey to motherhood. The baby is now growing rapidly and itching for space. This stage is marked by the visible growth in the abdomen of the mother. The growing baby presses on various organs and causes some more discomfort to the mother in terms of breathing and frequent urination. Your cervix gets softer and thinner and helps the birth canal open up.
Your baby is now big enough to kick you hard, but the movements are more of stretches and wiggles. By the end of this third trimester your baby is fully formed with all organs functional. It should weigh anywhere between 6 to 9 pounds and is about 20 inches long. The baby (under normal circumstances) now turns, with its head down and ready to enter the world.