Whether you are a first-time mom or you just had your third child, concern for growth is usually at the forefront of your mind. This is an exciting time for most, and navigating through all the changes can be fun, but at the same time make you nervous.
At your first prenatal appointment, you will be given a delivery date which is forty weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period. Keep in mind that most babies are born between thirty-eight and forty-two weeks from the first day of their mom’s menstrual period.
Pregnancy is split into trimesters.
- Month 1: Weeks 1 to 4
- Month 2: Weeks 5 to 8
- Month 3: Weeks 9 to 13
In the first trimester, your baby is around the size of a kidney bean; growing hands, toes, and brain. Also, the kidneys begin to produce urine. At the end of the first trimester, your baby will have fingerprints.
- Month 4: Weeks 14 to 17
- Month 5: Weeks 18 to 22
- Month 6: Weeks 23 to 27
In the second trimester, babies are typically 3 ⅓ inches long and weigh about 1 ½ ounces with the heart pumping 25 quarts of blood per day. At 15 weeks, your baby has formed taste buds. You should have an increase in appetite by week 19 and may start to experience some ligament pain as the baby continues to develop. By the end of this trimester, your baby may be sucking fingers, opening and closing its eyes, and even get hiccups.
- Month 7: Weeks 28 to 31
- Month 8: Weeks 32 to 35
- Month 9: Weeks 36 to 40
The final trimester is exciting, and when your baby will put on the most pounds. A full-term baby is, on average, about 19 inches long and weighs almost 7 pounds.
There will be a list of screening and tests you may be required to have to track your growing baby’s health.
Symptoms of a healthy baby
- A baby starts moving around 5 months after conception. The kicks and movement will slow down when you are close to your due date, but having movement is one of the most common ways to know if your baby is healthy.
- A baby’s heartbeat starts at 5 weeks and can be detected with a fetal monitor. A healthy heartbeat should range between 100 to 160 beats per minute.
- Weight gain. Weight gain during your pregnancy is a good sign of a healthy pregnancy and growing baby. Your weight will be checked and tracked at each appointment to ensure you are on target.
If you don’t feel movement or have cramping, you may want to give your OB-GYN’s office a call. Don’t be shy. They are used to new mommies being concerned about their baby. Set your mind at ease by checking with a professional instead of just relying on Google.
A prenatal ultrasound (also referred to as a sonogram) uses sound waves and a computer screen to show a picture of your baby growing inside the womb. Ultrasounds will help your provider track how your baby is growing and developing. Most women have an ultrasound during their second trimester between 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. If your provider suspects your baby is not in the right position toward the end of the pregnancy, they may require another ultrasound.
If you have concerns, don’t be afraid to discuss them with your OB-GYN. It’s helpful to write down your questions and bring them with you to your appointments.
Here are some common questions to ask.
- Is it okay that I'm feeling cramps or have some bleeding?
- What over-the-counter (OTC) medications are safe for me to use?
- How much weight should I gain in pregnancy?
- How long can I work when I'm pregnant?
- Are there foods I should avoid?
- Is it safe to exercise?
- Can I travel during my pregnancy?
Remember, your provider is there to support you and give you the care you need.
“Every child begins the world again.” —Henry David Thoreau
If you’ve already had your baby and need help finding time to work out read this blog.
This information is to be used for informational use only. Please consult a healthcare professional when seeking a diagnosis.