Once you find out that you are pregnant, it is best to gather as much information as you possibly can. Even if this is not your first pregnancy, you will want to have tips and information handy that details what is happening throughout the different stages of your baby’s growth. Knowing a good timeline of development along with some of the common changes and feelings that you can expect as an expectant mother will be the best way to prepare for baby’s arrival. Sharing this information on the various stages with your partner as well as any other children you have can also be a great way to get the family involved in the pregnancy.
Your Pregnancy Calendar
Basically, your countdown for delivery will begin right after the first day of your last menstrual period. The egg takes about two weeks for fertilization and the baby is generally expected to arrive about 38 weeks after the fertilization takes place. Throughout your regular doctor appointments and any ultrasounds that you have, measurements can be taken to make sure that you are right on track with your gestational calculation. If your physician feels as though the timing might be off, he or she will adjust your projected due date accordingly and make sure that you are still monitored on schedule.
During your 40 weeks of pregnancy, you have three different stages that are also known as trimesters. The first trimester is made up of weeks one through twelve, the second trimester will be weeks thirteen through twenty six and then the third trimester will go from week twenty seven until the time when the baby delivers. Delivery will normally occur around week 40 of the pregnancy, however some women have been known to safely deliver for up to 42 weeks out.
The three trimesters that make up your pregnancy are divided to help easily identify the growth and changes of the fetus and the different characteristics that are shared by each of the weeks. For all women, the initial weeks of pregnancy are crucial to the health and development of the baby and can almost be considered as high risk. Once a woman hits their second trimester, a sigh of relief can be taken as the baby is now past the stage where they are less fragile and the growing and developing increases. After the third trimester, the body is preparing for delivery of the baby and the mommy to be is in the home stretch. While you still want to make sure that you deliver a full term baby, there are instances where a baby can be born in the third trimester and still live a happy and healthy life.
Your Due Date
While it would be nice to be able to accurately predict your due date, there is no such thing as a perfectly precise pregnancy calculator. All a calculator is able to do is help generate a possible date for delivery that will give a good guideline on what can be planned for. There are so many different factors that will go into determining the length of a pregnancy, including external sources, that it is nearly impossible to come up with a solid date unless you are going to be having a scheduled cesarean section.
Pregnancy Calendar Information
There are all sorts of books and calendars that can help you to learn more about your child’s development as well as the changes that you are going through both mentally and physically. For some women, looking at these timelines is a great way to help prepare for baby and make it so that the waiting is much more tolerable. You may find that your obstetrician will give you a gestational calendar that you can use during your pregnancy or you can get your own online or even at your local bookstore.
When all is said and done, you are going to be able to look back with fond memories of all of the changes that took place during the various stages of your pregnancy. This is a journey that is long, precious and memorable for you and your family. Knowing the stages of pregnancy and what you can expect is a great way to get ready for your new bundle of joy to arrive.