Exploring Pregnancy: A Detailed Guide Through Each of the 9 Monthly Stages

You are welcome to the parenthood phase of life. It is an amazing feeling for the parents and family to know about the upcoming champ in their life. Are you already under conception? If yes, then the journey of your pregnancy starts itself from the day after conception. In all of these, a baby develops very fast in the womb of its mother. Let’s understand the development of a baby month by month. It will make you encounter physical differentiation in your baby’s body. Here you can find many tips to follow as a new parent in stages of pregnancy. 

You can find a lot of changes in the fetus during different months of pregnancy. What are the stages of pregnancy? To get proper clarification, it is divided into three phases called trimesters. Each trimester includes three months in total. Generally, the development of a baby is counted in terms of week. For instance, a three month pregnant lady is 12 weeks old. Let’s check stages of pregnancy month by month

The First Trimester

This period is considered from the day of conception till 12 weeks. It means you are under the initial stage of pregnancy. In this phase, the foetus will turn from zygote as a few groups of cells till journey to have features like the human body. It is a very exciting period of your life but also comes with symptoms of morning sickness and lethargy. 

Month 1: Conception and early signs.

Every month the ovulation occurs in the female body as a part of the reproductive cycle. The ovulation ends up in two main ways. It either results in a menstruation cycle or pregnancy. When a mature egg in fallopian tubule encounters sperm after intercourse, it is called the fertilization process. It develops the zygote which gets implanted into the uterus lining. This entire process is called conception. 

After the day of conception, it starts with the initial stage of pregnancy symptoms. The first two weeks are considered an adaptation period. Body starts to release the hormones to make itself ready for pregnancy. 

  • Week3: 

The formation of zygote after the process of fertilization occurs in this week after conception date. 

  • Week4: 

A group of cells called blastocyst gets implanted into the lining of the uterus. With this, a placental tube develops which helps in providing nutrition to the fetus from the mother. A sac-like structure forms around the uterus called amniotic sac. It is a protective and cushioning layer for the fetus to develop. The fetus develops a size of about 2 mm like a small seed at the end of 4 weeks. 

Month 2: Fetal development, symptoms, and healthcare tips.

In this month, your pregnancy gets reflected to other people. Testing the pregnancy after missing the menstrual date will give a positive result. Here, you might start to feel the initial stage of pregnancy symptoms. 

  • Week 5 

The brain, neural tissues, CNS, spinal cord etc in the baby's body start to develop this week. The tiny heart of the fetus beats about 110 per minute at the end of the week. 

  • Week 6 

Body of the fetus slowly starts to differentiate in arms and legs. Blood cells will also develop and a circulation in the body starts. Even ears, eyes and mouths are formed. Your healthcare provider can now check the pulse of the foetus with the help of a vaginal ultrasound. 

  • Week 7

Soft cartilage in the body gets replaced with bones. Also, the genitals of babies are developed this week. Here, the head is larger as compared to other body organs. It simply resembles a tadpole having tails which later differentiate to form legs. 

  • Week 8 

All major organs of the body grow in this week. Visible eyes and ears are developed. Also, a web-like structure in hands and feets is observed instead of fingers. Oxygen and other essential nutrients are now transferred to the baby from the mother via umbilical cord. At the end of the second month it grows about 1 inch long as the size of black bean. 

Month 3: Completing the first trimester, tests and health screenings.

Now, an embryo is referred to as a fetus. It is the phase in which the fetus gets maximum growth. Limbs, facial features, bones, muscles etc get developed. After this month the gender of the baby is decided but not detected until some more weeks. 

  • Week 9 

Initially taste buds develop on the tongue. Now the muscles have more resemblance with the human body. You can even hear the heartbeat of your loved one with ultrasound doppler. 

  • Week 10 

The fingers are developed from web-like structure in hands and feet's. External ear along with nails on  finger and toe grows. Further, external genitals of the fetus are also developed. But yet it should not be checked this week. 

  • Week 11 

The fetus is now able to explore some movements like closing of fist, moving of elbow, ankles and knees. But it is not strong enough to feel you kicked. The bones start to harden but skin still remains transparent. Facial features also get prominent to much extent. 

  • Week 12 

All organs will develop continually till fully functional. Even circulatory, urinary and digestive systems are also developed in the body. Liver is functional, producing bile juice. Now the foetus has the ability to drink as well as pee inside the amniotic sac. 

The baby has now gone under development and differentiation in body. It means the chances of miscarriage reduces considerably. You will now move from early stages of pregnancy to the second trimester. At the end of the first trimester the baby has achieved a size of 3 inches like a plum. 

The Second Trimester

The second trimester is considered as most amazing experience of different stages of pregnancy. In this phase, all of primary symptoms fade away. You can now feel movements of the foetus flipping and turning in your womb. Many people at this phase, tends to know the gender of their baby. It is done generally after 20 weeks using anatomy scan. 

Month 4: Changes in the body, growth of the fetus.

A first stage of pregnancy symptoms are clearly visible. Heartbeat of the fetus is now louder and clearly heard with ultrasound doppler. Fetus now is a bit naughty, sucking thumb, making faces even yawn and stretch. 

  • Week 13 

Vocal cords formation occurs here. Now slowly the head of the baby gets into proper proportion with the rest of the body. 

  • Week 14 

Transparent skin gets thicken with the presence of fine hairs. Foetus can touch its mouth with fingers and can turn around. Genitals are fully developed. Fingerprints also mark up the body. 

  • Week 15 

Ears and intestine like organs get their permanent place in the body. Lungs start to develop while still the fetus breath using amniotic fluid. Fetus  do purposeful things like smiling, sucking their thumb and more. 

  • Week 16 

Ending early stages of pregnancy, the fetus now has lips. The Ears are developed enough to listen to your talks. Even if the fetus' eyes remain closed, it is still sensible to light turning around when exposed to the same. 

Here the fetus is about 5 inches and weighs 4 ounces. But still the size of avocado. Isn’t it exciting to know the stages of pregnancy by week. Let’s further imagine the development of a baby every month. 

Month 5: Detectable foetal movements, ultrasound details.

Reaching 5th month, you can always feel the movement of the baby. The very first movement from the baby to mother is called quickening. It can make you feel like fluttering. With healthy pregnancy till this stage, can allow an ultrasound. The sex of the baby is determined this month. 

  • Week 17 

The skin of the baby gets covered with white layer tagged as vernix. It is like sticky material which helps to protect the sensitive skin of the foetus from prolonged exposure to amniotic fluid. 

  • Week 18 

Lanugo, a protective fuzz hair-like layer also develops around the fetus. It helps to keep a warm and comfortable environment for the fetus. It’s surprising that now your baby goes under the sleep and wake cycle. Make sure you avoid making loud sounds which might wake your baby. 

  • Week 19 

Foetus is now strong enough to make you feel kicks and punches. It also develops hiccups and unique fingerprints. 

  • Week 20 

The brain giving five senses develops too much. Nails also grow till the end of finger tip. 

Fetus grows about 10 inches long and weighs 1 pound at the end of the fifth month. You can better understand each stage if you imagine or see pictures of pregnancy stages. 

Month 6: Preparations, lifestyle adjustments.

Skin of the baby is still translucent with visible veins, wrinkles and reddish colour. The eyes may now set to open and jerky movements as a bonus. Now the foetus develops the ability to respond to sound with increased heartbeat. 

  • Week 21 

Foetus develops the bone marrow from which all blood cells differentiate. Limb movements are more frequent now. 

  • Week 22 

Grasping power of the foetus increases making it touch umbilical cord, ears etc. Now the baby can hear your heartbeat, breathing, making a strong bond between mother and its child. 

  • Week 23 

Premature baby gets into this week in this world. It needs intensive care for proper survival. Foetus is worm will now put on fat. 

  • Week 24 

Foetus now have fully functional lungs. But these are not strong enough to allow it to breathe outside the uterus. 

From the starting stage of pregnancy till now the foetus is 12 inches in size and 2 pounds of weight. 

The Third Trimester

This is the final phase of the 9 months of pregnancy stages. You would get to make countdowns to see your baby at the due date. But all of these final stages are important for preparation of a baby's birth. In this phase, the foetus puts on weight till birth. 

You need to visit the healthcare provider weekly to make constant monitoring. Make all clarifications in your mind about labor and delivery. 

Month 7: Baby's development, prenatal visits.

Foetus is still developing to become mature and have body fat reserved. It has now become responsive towards sound, light, pain etc. Amniotic fluid slowly begins to diminish. Parental visits increase to avoid any complications in health during birth time. 

  • Week 25 

Skin has now become plumper and with fewer wrinkles. Nervous system has a main focus for development. 

  • Week 26 

Melanin, a chemical which imparts colour to skin and eyes is secreted from the body of the foetus. Surfactant is a substance present in lungs which helps to breath in the outer environment of the uterus. 

  • Week 27 

Foetus has eyelashes along with the ability to open and blink the eyes. 

  • Week 28 

Foetus now gets its head down towards the vaginal opening in the uterus making itself ready for birth.

Foetus is now about 15 inches and about 3 pounds of weight at the end of seven months. Among three stages of pregnancy these are very crucial to mark with health.

Month 8: Maternity planning, recognizing labor signs.

The brain development gets fully completed till this month. Most internal systems work with proper functions. 

  • Week 29 

Fetus starts cramping, making felt kicks and punches like pokes. 

  • Week 30 

Foetus can now maintain its own body heat apart from the outer environment. 

  • Week 31 

You can now easily notice the awake and sleep pattern of the foetus. 

  • Week 32 

The skin of the foetus has fully developed from translucent. Foetus is now ready for birth with fully functional body organs giving you labour signs. 

Here, it is about 18 inches long with 5 pounds of weight all set to get into this world. 

Month 9: Final preparations, signs of labor, what to expect in delivery.

With the arrival of the 9th month, you can expect labor pain anytime around your due date. The position of the foetus gets head down for birth. You might expect delivery when feeling discomfort as the foetus drops at your pelvis region. 

  • Week 33 

The toenails have reached the tip of toes. Foetus moves down to the pelvic region. 

  • Week 34 

The foetus put on fat of about 0.5 pounds to set essential birth weight. 

  • Week 35 

Foetus is fully set to meet you in this world at the end of 35 weeks. 

  • Week 36 

It is now your due date week. Immediately call your healthcare provider with development of any sign of labor. 

At the time of birth, your baby might have weight of about 9 pounds with 20 inches longer. All your wait is now over to meet your little one and enter into parenthood. 

Special Considerations

Nutritional needs through the stages.

 Eating nutritional food in pregnancy is key to delivering a healthy baby. These nutrients can help you handle all extra demands for proper development of a baby. You can prefer to take advice from healthcare experts about planning the meals as per stage of your pregnancy. Even you prefer to download various applications available to plan a healthy meal of the day. You can make a personalized account according to physical activities involved in your day, weight during pregnancy, height etc. It can help you to monitor intake of vitamins, minerals, and calories with each meal. 

Emotional and mental health considerations.

Emotional and mental health of a woman during pregnancy directly affect on health of baby. Stress can land out on your body as part of everyday worries. You might feel low or depressed with the initial stage of pregnancy for about weeks. Allow your body to get some rest. Don’t make your body work much and listen to rest needed. Do things which lift up your mood with visiting spa, friends and more. Remember a cheerful mother can only deliver a healthy baby. 

Partner support and family involvement

Everyone in the family should provide a comfortable environment to expectant mothers. The support of partners also plays a major role during this period. Also, it is essential for a partner to understand the pain, mood swings and therefore, care more for her. 

Conclusion

Recap of the stages.

Encouragement for continual learning and consultation with healthcare providers.

There are 3 stages of pregnancy called trimester. Each of these helps in proper growth and development of the baby in terms of every week. A baby undergoes differentiation till fully matured till birth under proper health conditions. You should also make an eye on labor signs and health during pregnancy. Also, make a healthy intake of nutrients to deliver a healthy baby. Remember that an expectant mother needs support from family and a happy environment for proper mental and physical health. In short, a happy mother can deliver a healthy baby. 

FAQ Section

  • What are common symptoms to expect during each stage?

In stages of pregnancy by week you may experience different symptoms including morning sickness, nausea initially. After this, at the last stage of pregnancy, you might feel labor pain and more. 

  • How does the baby develop month by month?

Every month, the baby undergoes several changes in the body to get proper differentiation of each organ. Initially it might develop a shape similar to that of tadpoles. Later, it gets down to proper body resemblance like humans. 

  • What medical tests and screenings are necessary at each stage?

It is important to make a view on the development of the baby with various medical tests and screening. The proper and louder heartbeat of the baby was detected with ultrasound doppler. 

  • How should their lifestyle or diet change through the pregnancy?

After pregnancy confirmation, you should mark up some changes in lifestyle to maintain good health. Proper uptake of nutrition along with maintaining a good mental and physical health is important. 

  • What are the major milestones in foetal development?

Baby firstly resembles a tadpole with a larger head and small tail. Later, foetus differentiate into various body organs, getting resemblance to humans. It is considered a major milestone in foetal development. 

  • Are there any warning signs to watch out for during specific stages?

Yes, for the first stage of pregnancy it is important to maintain proper health to avoid possibilities of miscarriage. You should mark low blood pressure, excessive vomiting, weakness during pregnancy as warning signs of health.