Just because you can carry and deliver a baby doesn’t necessarily mean you know all about that baby. For example, do you know about how large the baby is , in the womb, at two months? Four months? Do you know how far along you will be when the baby gets distinctive arms and legs? Here’s a guide that tells you all about what’s going on with your developing baby – and you!
Most people know what happens during the beginning of a pregnancy: the woman usually stops having a monthly period and can often experience what is called “morning sickness”. The baby is very tiny at this point and the mom-to-be can feel tired, sickly or fabulous.
When you’re four weeks along the embryo will begin to develop organs. This is about the time most women discover they are pregnant. If you are currently taking any medications you should let your physician know. Some medications will continue to be safe for baby; others may have to be stopped or switched to something safer. Up until about ten weeks organs will develop completely and some will even start to function. The embryo is very small – tinier than an apple seed.
When you discover you are pregnant it’s a good idea to go ahead and make your first doctor’s appointment. The physician will check on you and the fetus and will likely start you on a prenatal vitamin. The placenta and the umbilical – such as they are so far – will feed the baby everything you take into your own body. If you are drinking alcohol, so is the baby. If you are doing drugs, so is the baby.
By the time you are entering your second month you can experience some discomfort. Sore breasts, fatigue and a frequent urge to urinate are a few of the common complaints amongst pregnant women. During the second month the baby will develop distinguishable fingers and toes. It’s impossible to tell yet, by viewing the fetus, whether or not it is a boy or a girl since genitals have not yet developed. The baby is developing eyelids, and is about the size of a bean. Although the baby is moving around you can’t feel it yet. Many pregnant women say that their breasts begin getting larger, and their stomach is swelling, about this time in the pregnancy.
At three months along the average fetus is about 3″ long. During the third month your baby will develop its fingerprints and will continue to grow. At the end of the first trimester your chance of miscarriage is much lower than at the beginning of your pregnancy. During the second trimester most women say the nausea has ended and fatigue has lessened. Many women say the second trimester of the pregnancy is the easiest.
Also during the second trimester the baby’s skeleton turns from a rubbery cartilage to bone. At 17 weeks the baby can move the joints of the arms and legs. By five months the baby is about ten inches long. The belly is growing rapidly and can cause the mom-to-be discomfort, trouble sleeping and backaches. The baby weighs about 3/4ths of a pound but with fluid can feel so much heavier. You should be able to feel the baby moving around frequently. You might feel a hand pushing against your womb – or even a knee. The feeling is usually not uncomfortable.
In the last trimester the woman can gain a considerable amount of weight. The baby is getting larger and can be pushing on nerves or weighing against the spine. Discomfort in sitting, walking or even lying down can be noted. The baby, at 28 weeks, weighs a little over two pounds. During this last trimester the baby will begin turning upside-down, to get in position for delivery.
The last month is most definitely the hardest part of most women’s pregnancies. The baby is much larger and heavier. This is the time when the baby puts on the most weight. He or she is fattening up and preparing for life outside the womb. The baby has toenails, fingernails and even eyelashes. The growing baby, pushing up against the diaphragm can cause shortness of breath or even heartburn. Eating smaller meals and sleeping propped up on pillows can help.
At nine months babies can vary in length and weight. The average baby weighs nearly 7 pounds and is about 19″ long. The baby is now in full position to be delivered. Many women experience pain in the back or even false labor pains. If you have continued pain, or pain that comes in waves that can be evenly spaced apart, it might be a good idea to call your physician. Many women think they’re having a bad backache, when instead, they are actually in labor. If your water breaks you should definitely let your physician know – even if you haven’t had any pain.
The birth of your new baby will be the greatest moment of your life. There’s no other feeling like it in the world! Understanding what is taking place with the development of your baby, as well as what’s going on in your own body, can help you get through the entire experience with ease. Be sure to eat right, get lots of rest, and take care of yourself while pregnant. You and your baby will then have a long life together!