Pregnancy lasts nine months or 40 weeks give or take. Some people have their baby early at around 37 or 38 weeks. Others might go until 41 or even 42 weeks. It just depends on the woman, baby, doctor and health of everyone.
When a woman first finds out they are pregnant, it can be a wonderful thing. They most likely took a home pregnancy test after discovering that their period had been late. If they have been trying for a baby, they are probably more aware of their cycles than if they were not.
In some cases finding out they are pregnant can be stressful, especially if a baby was not in the plans. It can be hard to accept what is going on when that is the case. Either way, finding out using a home pregnancy test is very common.
After a woman tests positive on a home test she will contact her doctor or midwife. She will want to set up an appointment as soon as she can. In some cases this will happen around the 4–5 week mark but it others the woman might have to wait until she is farther along.
Once she does get in for her first appointment she will be told how to have a healthy pregnancy. She will start taking prenatal vitamins if she hasn’t already done so. She will also need to be better about what she is eating and she will need become more active if she isn’t already.
During the first 12–14 weeks, a woman can feel pretty sick. This is what they call morning sickness. It doesn’t always happen in the morning as it can hit at any time of day. Women range from just feeling a little sick to throwing up so often they have to be hospitalized.
This can be a stressful time because the woman’s body isn’t acting the way it used to. It can be hard to keep food down and even the lightest scent can make someone sick. It is important to find ways to get through the first trimester.
Sometimes women can chew on ginger or other types of candies to help with the nausea. Other times they will have to get medication from their doctor. If a woman is having issues and doesn’t know what to do, she should talk to her doctor or midwife about it.
Around 12–14 weeks, a woman will usually start to feel better. In some cases the morning sickness doesn’t go away until the baby is born but it usually will taper off around that point. The woman will start to notice that they made it a few hours or through a whole day without feeling too sick.
A lot of exciting things happen within the 2nd trimester. Around 17–18 weeks along, a woman will start to feel the baby move. This is such an exciting time because it makes the baby feel a little more real. Some might feel it a little earlier and others a little later.
At about 20 weeks you can figure out the gender. Most people go in around that time for an ultrasound if they haven’t had one already. They can find out what they are having as well as a good check of how the baby is developing.
Once the woman knows what she is having she can start calling the baby by his or her name. This is a great thing for a lot of women and allows them to bond a little easier. A lot of people start to buy things for the nursery at this point.
Towards the end of the 2nd trimester, around 30 weeks or so, they can start to feel a little more tired and worn down. Although some say they get some energy back in the 2nd trimester, they tend to feel a lot more pregnant by the end of it. It is important for the woman to take it easy when she feels like she has done too much, especially if it is hot outside.
The last trimester can be hard for a lot of people. They feel really big and have slowed down quite a bit. They no longer have the energy they used to have and have added other issues such as heartburn or the need to go to the bathroom all the time. It is at this point that a lot of women start getting up many times during the night.
As the time gets closer to the due date, the woman might start to nest and want to get everything ready for the baby. Despite feeling sore and tired, they just want it all taken care of. They are excited about the baby and start to get a little more nervous about the birth.
If a woman hasn’t done so by this point, she will want to take some type of birthing class. This will allow her to know what to expect and will prepare her and her partner for what birth is like. It is good if she can come up with a type of plan.
When it comes to getting ready to go to the hospital, it is a good idea to have a bag packed ahead of time. That way, when labor starts they can grab it and go. Pregnancy can seem like a long time but it does end and the baby arrives just like it is supposed to.