It is amazing the changes that occur over just 36 weeks!
Follow your pregnancy progress week-by-week below.
You don’t even know you’re pregnant yet, but all sorts of changes are happening. Your baby’s brain, heart and spine have already begun to form.
You’re expecting your period and you’re wondering if it’s just going to be a bit late this month. Meanwhile, your body is producing pregnancy hormones at full speed and your baby is growing fast.
The little bundle of cells that will become your baby is known as the blastocyst. At this time, it begins moving down the fallopian tubes to the uterus. Once there, it attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. If you experience any pregnancy symptoms at this point, they will be very like the symptoms you expect when you’re expecting your period. It’s a bit late this month, isn’t it?
The embryo is still minute: smaller than 3mm in length, but your baby’s nervous system and major organs have already begun to develop. By now, your period is very late, but you may still be having PMS-like symptoms including sensitivity of the breasts. You may get a positive result with a home pregnancy test at this point and if you do, you should see your doctor.
Baby is still tiny: about 5mm in length, but already he or she is working hard on developing a heart and spine. The brain keeps on developing and in a few more weeks, baby’s heart may begin to beat. You might start developing morning sickness and feelings of fatigue as your hormones continue to go on a roller-coaster ride that’s all about preparing your body for baby.
Baby now has all the basic beginnings of vital organs and the heart begins to beat. A thin layer of transparent skin has developed and an ultrasound may show the beginnings of a face. You might be feeling a bit dodgy at the moment. Eat healthy foods and get lots of fresh air.
Baby is about 1cm long and you can see that it’s already a tiny person. Stay as healthy as you can and have your immunity to German measles checked.
Baby now has little webbed buds that will become fingers and toes. The little heart beats at 160 beats per minute and neural pathways begin to develop. As your womb is beginning to expand, you find that you have to urinate more frequently and you may need to sleep quite a lot.
By now, your baby’s heartbeat should be discernible with ultrasound depending on where in your uterus he or she is lying. Eyelids are developed but will remain closed. The hands and feet are developing beautifully. Your baby bump is starting to show. Wear loose clothing for extra comfort and consider getting a larger bra as your breasts begin to swell.
Your baby is developing fast and around this time, he or she will start moving around by themselves. Even the little fingernails have formed but baby is still only about the size of a grapefruit pip. Early pregnancy symptoms like nausea and fatigue begin to become less marked.
Baby is nearly fully formed. Once that happens, it’s just a matter of growth. Soon, your baby’s fingers will begin to move. Unbeknownst to you, baby is doing lots of wriggling and stretching. It’s time for your dating scan. If you haven’t told your workmates, friends and family about your pregnancy, now is a good time!
Your baby now has all the organs and appendages it will have at birth. The fingers move, baby makes sucking motions and exercises the eye muscles by squeezing them together. You may not be able to feel all the action going on, but you may see your first ‘baby picture’ when you go for your scan.
Baby’s bones start to solidify and mom often feels a lot better!
Baby’s arms are in proportion to the rest of the body and facial expressions are tested out – perhaps he or she will become an actor! Mom may experience nosebleeds, food cravings and forgetfulness.
Baby’s body is covered with a light fuzz of downy hair. Although the eyes are still closed, light is recognized and baby may turn away from it.
Baby is the size of an avocado or pear and may even have started sucking his or her thumb. You’ll be going for another round of tests to make sure you and baby are still doing well. Don’t miss them!
Baby now has eyebrows and eyelashes and mom might get the first sensations of baby moving about.
Baby is treating your uterus like a private gym – there’s lots of activity! You’ll be going for your anomaly scan really soon and there’s a chance that the doctor will be able to tell you whether you’ll be having a son or a daughter.
If you didn’t feel the first movements last week, this might be the week. Baby might even be able to hear your voice by now.
By now, it’s all about the bump. Your skin might feel tight and stretched and you may start having difficulty getting comfy at night.
Baby can blink and taste! Now’s the time to start thinking about antenatal classes.
Your baby may have formed a daily routine – if it matches yours, you’re in luck! Try not to spend long periods standing and put your feet up when you’re relaxing to relieve swelling.
You might even see baby moving around under your skin. Make sure you eat healthy food and prevent backache by ensuring correct posture.
Week 24 – 26:
You just keep getting bigger! Move around carefully and avoid sudden movements. At 26 weeks, baby is able to breathe. If baby gets born now, doctors should be able to keep him or her alive.
Week 27 – 29:
Things are moving fast now. Baby keeps getting bigger. He or she can see and hear. If you haven’t already planned the birth and laid down any stipulations regarding pain relief etc., now’s the time to do so.
Week 30 – 33:
The last few little developments in baby’s growth prior to birth are taking place. By now, you should have all your planning in place for the actual birth. Baby may turn head down in preparation for birth as early as week 33. More and more of the space in your womb is occupied by baby and there’s less amniotic fluid, so you’ll feel baby’s movements more.
Week 33 – 36:
Only 5% of babies are born on their projected ‘due date’ so you should be ready for the big arrival at any moment. By week 36, some babies will already begin to move into the birth canal. You’ll feel less movement than before as baby curls into the birth position.
Week 37 – 40:
Baby is ready. You are ready. Now it’s just a waiting game. Get as much rest as you can to build your strength up. If your baby hasn’t arrived after week 40, you and your medical practitioner will begin discussing possible intervention since overly long pregnancies are dangerous to the baby and the mother.