What to expect during week 4 and 5 of pregnancy

First Trimester Pregnancy: What to Expect?

Anticipating the arrival of a new baby is perhaps the most thrilled experience in the life of a married couple. Of the 9 long months, the first three months of pregnancy is the most delicate stage. For nearly all mothers, child-bearing is a roller coaster ride of emotional feelings and physical symptoms. This article is a tough guide to pregnant mothers and mothers-to-be about the first stage of pregnancy.

What Happens During 1st Trimester Pregnancy?

Normal pregnancy runs up to 40 weeks but as of the 37 th week, the baby is considered full-term with its body organs fully functioning on its own. The table summarizes the fetal major developments during the first trimester of pregnancy:

… So, what happens during the 1st trimester of pregnancy week by week?

What to Expect in 1st Trimester Pregnancy?

Top 5 Major Symptoms during 1st Trimester Pregnancy

It should be noted that pregnancy symptoms vary from one pregnant mother to another, and every pregnancy experience is relatively different. On the other hand, there are pregnant mothers who have better tolerance to pregnancy symptoms while there are some others who do not have. Below are the 5 major signs of early pregnancy.

  • Bleeding: Almost ¾ of pregnant mothers experience slight bleeding during the first three months of pregnancy. Light spots of blood in underwear may signify implantation. When to call a doctor: heavy bleeding, sharp pain and cramping which may indicate ectopic pregnancy.
  • Leukorrhea: Leukorrhea is a medical term used to refer white, think discharges from the vagina. When to call a doctor: foul-smelling and green discharge which may indicate bacterial infection.
  • Food Cravings: Taste buds can change strangely during pregnancy. This is a very common occurrence and is expected to experience by lots of mothers. When to call a doctor: mothers have strong cravings for non-edible foods such as hair, soil, dirt and similar others. This condition is known as pica.
  • Fatigue: Most mothers during the 1 st trimester pregnancy experience fatigue and exhaustion. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest. When to call a doctor: when fatigue interferes daily activities significantly.
  • Nausea: Also called the morning sickness, nausea is the universal sign of pregnancy which affect nearly all mothers. Nausea starts as early as 2 weeks after conception as a result of hormonal changes in the body. Morning sickness usually clears up by the end of the first trimester. When to call a doctor: frequent episodes of vomiting.

Other early signs of pregnancy include sensitivity to smell, dizziness and headache.

8 Major Physical Body Changes during 1st trimester Pregnancy

  • Breast Size and Tenderness: Breasts tend to swell during the early stage of pregnancy.
  • Weight Gain: A pregnant mother in her first three months of pregnancy can gain up to 6 pounds weight.
  • Frequent Urination: Pregnant mothers are expected to have frequent bathroom visits due to the growing fetus.
  • Shortness of Breath: Pregnant mothers experience slight difficulty of breathing because of the increased oxygen demand of the fetus.
  • Increased Salivation: Medically termed as ptyalism, saliva glands are overactive during pregnancy, hence explains the increased salivation.
  • Skin changes: Acne breakouts, skin tag formation and pigmentation are common skin changes that commence in the first three months of pregnancy.
  • Constipation: Infrequent bowel movement is caused by the progesterone hormone.
  • Leg Cramps: Pregnant mothers sometimes experience leg cramps due to deficient calcium source.

What and What not to do During 1st Trimester Pregnancy?

The first trimester of pregnancy is a crucial stage for baby’s growth and development. Hence, mothers should gain a better understanding of what and what not to do during the first three months of pregnancy.

  • Consume Proper Nutrition: Because of the growing baby, nutrition is top most important. Eat right by eating foods rich in fiber, choline, iron, vitamin C, folic acid and vitamin A. Make sure to take supplements daily.
  • Decide when to Announce Pregnancy: Couple should be very discreet on when to reveal pregnancy. Know the right time for this since enthusiasm can turn into fear. One of the most common scenarios is when a mother gets miscarriage only few days after announcing she’s pregnant. Experts recommend holding up pregnancy declaration until the baby grows stronger, and if the pregnancy is positively viable.
  • Get Sufficient Rest and Sleep: Pregnant mothers during the first trimester experience hormonal imbalances that can affect their quality of sleep. Make the environment conducive for sleeping by reducing* morning naps, avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon, taking a warm shower before sleep, drinking warm milk and reading books.
  • Mild and Gentle Exercise During Pregnancy is Considered Safe: Only pregnant mothers with medical conditions and impending complications are not advised to go for exercise. Exercise for weight loss*, contact sports, jarring activities and deep sea exploration are likewise strongly not recommended.
  • Follow Prenatal Visit Schedules: Between weeks 4 and 28, pregnant mothers should see a prenatal visit once a month. Prenatal care is important to ensure the health of the mother and the baby. Pregnant mothers who are considered high risk such as those aged 35 and over, with pre-existing medical conditions and at risk for preterm labor require more prenatal visits.
  • Cut off Vices: Pregnancy should be a health and safe journey, thus mothers who are smokers and drinkers should start realizing that vices are by no means healthy to their bodies most especially to their babies’ health. Smoking increases* birth defects in babies, and studies have shown that large dose of alcohol can affect fetal development which may result in facial abnormalities, growth retardation and learning problems. Drug abuse can also lead to serious complications on babies. Avoiding these activities is not enough, it is also important to not be around with people who smoke, drink and use drugs.
  • Do not Take Drugs without Prescription or without Doctor’s Advice: The first trimester of pregnancy is a delicate stage since it is where the baby’s body organs are forming. It is strongly advised to not take drugs (unless advised) until 8 weeks of pregnancy especially Aspirin. If you are sick and needs pharmacological intervention, consult your doctor first.

Third Trimester of Pregnancy

In this Article

In this Article

In this Article

Now that you’ve reached the third trimester, you’re in the home stretch of your pregnancy. You’ve only got a few more weeks to go, but this part of your pregnancy can be the most challenging.

Video Transcript

WebMD Pregnancy App.

In this article, you’ll learn what to expect during your third trimester of pregnancy. You’ll find out which symptoms are normal, and which ones may warrant a call to your doctor.

Changes in Your Body

Backache. The extra weight you’ve gained is putting added pressure on your back, making it feel achy and sore. You might also feel discomfort in your pelvis and hips as your ligaments loosen to prepare for labor . To ease the pressure on your back, practice good posture. Sit up straight and use a chair that provides good back support. At night, sleep on your side with a pillow tucked between your legs. Wear low-heeled, comfortable shoes with good arch support. To relieve back pain , use a heating pad and ask your doctor whether it’s OK for you to take acetaminophen .

Bleeding. Spotting may sometimes be a sign of a serious problem, including placenta previa (the placenta grows low and covers the cervix ), placental abruption (separation of the placenta from the uterine wall), or preterm labor . Call your doctor as soon as you notice any bleeding.

Braxton Hicks contractions. You might start to feel mild contractions, which are warm-ups to prepare your uterus for the real labor to come. Braxton Hicks contractions often aren’t as intense as real labor contractions, but they may feel a lot like labor and can eventually progress to it. One main difference is that real contractions gradually get closer and closer together — and more intense. If you’re red in the face and out of breath after your contractions, or they’re coming regularly, call your doctor.

Breast enlargement . By the end of your pregnancy, your breasts will have grown by as much as 2 pounds. Make sure you’re wearing a supportive bra so your back doesn’t suffer. Close to your due date , you may start to see a yellowish fluid leaking from your nipples. This substance, called colostrum, will nourish your baby in the first few days after birth.

Discharge . You might see more vaginal discharge during the third trimester. If the flow is heavy enough to soak through your panty liners, call your doctor. Close to your delivery date, you might see a thick, clear, or slightly blood-tinged discharge. This is your mucus plug, and it’s a sign that your cervix has begun dilating in preparation for labor. If you experience a sudden rush of fluid, it may mean that your water has broken (although only about 8% of pregnant women have their water break before contractions begin). Call your doctor as soon as possible after your water breaks.

Fatigue . You might have been feeling energetic in your second trimester, but are weary now. Carrying extra weight, waking up several times during the night to go to the bathroom, and dealing with the anxiety of preparing for a baby can all take a toll on your energy level. Eat healthy food and get regular exercise to give yourself a boost. When you feel tired, try to take a nap, or at least sit down and relax for a few minutes. You need to reserve all your strength now for when your baby arrives and you’re really not getting any sleep.

Frequent urination . Now that your baby is bigger, the baby’s head may be pressing down on your bladder . That extra pressure means you’ll have to go to the bathroom more frequently — including several times each night. You might also find that you’re leaking urine when you cough , sneeze, laugh, or exercise. To relieve the pressure and prevent leakage, go to the bathroom whenever you feel the urge and urinate completely each time. Avoid drinking fluids right before bedtime to cut down on unwanted late-night bathroom visits. Wear a panty liner to absorb any leakage that does occur. Let your doctor know if you experience any pain or burning with urination. These can be signs of a urinary tract infection .

Heartburn and constipation . They’re caused by extra production of the hormone progesterone, which relaxes certain muscles — including the muscles in your esophagus that normally keep food and acids down in your stomach , and the ones that move digested food through your intestines . To relieve heartburn, try eating more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day and avoid greasy, spicy, and acidic foods (like citrus fruits). For constipation, increase your fiber intake and drink extra fluids to keep things moving more smoothly. If your heartburn or constipation is really bothering you, talk to your doctor about what medications may be safe for you to take for symptom relief.

Hemorrhoids . Hemorrhoids are actually varicose veins — swollen veins that form around the anus . These veins enlarge during pregnancy because extra blood is flowing through them and the weight of pregnancy increases the amount of pressure to the area. To relieve the itch and discomfort, try sitting in a warm tub or sitz bath. Ask your doctor whether you can also try an over-the-counter hemorrhoid ointment or stool softener .

Shortness of breath. As your uterus expands, it rises up until it sits just under your rib cage, leaving less room for your lungs to expand. That added pressure on your lungs can make it more difficult to breathe. Exercising can help with shortness of breath. You can also try propping up your head and shoulders with pillows while you sleep.

Spider and varicose veins. Your circulation has increased to send extra blood to your growing baby. That excess blood flow can cause tiny red veins, known as spider veins, to appear on your skin . Spider veins may get worse in your third trimester, but they should fade once your baby is born. Pressure on your legs from your growing baby may also cause some surface veins in your legs to become swollen and blue or purple. These are called varicose veins. Although there’s no way to avoid varicose veins, you can prevent them from getting worse by:

  • Getting up and moving throughout the day
  • Wearing support hose
  • Propping up your legs whenever you have to sit for long periods of time.

Varicose veins should improve within a few months after you deliver.

Swelling. Your rings might be feeling tighter these days, and you may also notice that your ankles and face are looking bloated. Mild swelling is the result of excess fluid retention ( edema ). To reduce swelling, put your feet up on a stool or box whenever you sit for any length of time, and elevate your feet while you sleep. If you have sudden onset of swelling though, seek medical attention immediately as it may be a sign of preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication.

Weight gain. Aim for a weight gain of 1/2 pound to 1 pound a week during your third trimester. By the end of your pregnancy, you should have put on a total of about 25 to 35 pounds (your doctor may have recommended that you gain more or less weight if you started out your pregnancy underweight or overweight ). The extra pounds you’ve put on are made up of the baby’s weight, plus the placenta, amniotic fluid , increased blood and fluid volume, and added breast tissue. If your baby seems to be too small or too big based on the size of your belly, your doctor will do an ultrasound to check his growth.

Red Flag Symptoms

Any of these symptoms could be a sign that something is wrong with your pregnancy. Don’t wait for your regular prenatal visit to talk about it. Call your doctor right away if you experience:

  • Severe abdominal pain or cramps
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Bleeding
  • Severe dizziness
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Rapid weight gain (more than 6.5 pounds per month) or too little weight gain

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Skin Conditions During Pregnancy.”

Department of Health and Human Services: “Varicose Veins and Spider Veins.”

Roberts, J.R., Hedges, J.R., eds., Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine, 5th edition, Philadelphia, Saunders Elsevier, 2009.

Gabbe, S.G., Niebyl, J.R., Simpson, J.L., eds., Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies, 5th edition, Philadelphia, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2007.

Bope, E.T., Rakel, R.E., Kellerman, R., eds., Conn’s Current Therapy 2010, 1st edition, Philadelphia, Saunders Elsevier, 2009.

Ratcliffe, S.D., Baxley, E.G., Cline, M.K., eds., Family Medicine Obstetrics, Philadelphia, Mosby Elsevier, 2008.

March of Dimes: “Weight Gain During Pregnancy.”

What to Expect in the 8th Week of Pregnancy

After working as a chemist at a biotechnology company, Leah is now a freelance writer and enjoys exploring new places.

The Baby at 8 Weeks

8 Weeks Pregnant

Most women have had their first appointment by (or during) the eighth week. Some physicians do not see women until they are more than 10 weeks along, though most will at least have a “paperwork” appointment to take a medical history and to obtain blood work by this point in the pregnancy.

The baby continues to develop at a rapid pace, with the knee joint and webbed fingers and toes making their debut. The “tail” has nearly disappeared as the baby has grown, and the neural network of the brain is forming very quickly. The baby is approximately 0.6″ long, or the size of a raspberry.

Pregnancy symptoms are still very prominent at this week, but take heart! The second trimester is only a month away!

Heartburn in Pregnancy

Pregnancy Symptoms at 8 Weeks

All of the symptoms of pregnancy are at their peak during week 8. Morning sickness, if present, can be present throughout the entire day. Some women merely feel nauseous, while others vomit. With a heightened sense of smell, even the scent of the workplace lunchroom can send many pregnant women running for a bucket (or toilet).

Heartburn often plagues pregnant women – it often begins in early pregnancy and may not let up until the baby is born. Progesterone, the same hormone that causes constipation, also causes acid reflux. This hormone relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the entire gastrointestinal tract, including the sphincter that separates the esophagus from the stomach. When acid washes up the esophagus, the searing pain known as “heartburn” occurs.

Avoid carbonated drinks, citrus, and tomato-based products if heartburn is a problem. Cured meats, chocolate, and coffee are also contributors to acid reflux. Avoid snacking before going to sleep at night, and try to elevate your head by approximately 30В° with a large pillow. Sleeping while slightly inclined may help reduce the amount of acid that washes up during the night.

Some antacids are safe in pregnancy (tablets made from calcium), but others are not safe and contain aluminum or salicylic acid (aspirin). Ask your obstetrician for recommendations for safe heartburn relief if this symptom is particularly troublesome!

Breast enlargement starts to occur at this stage of pregnancy, and some women will find they go up an entire bra size. The soreness that accompanies this change is generally not welcome – find a good support bra or maternity bra. It is well worth the expense!

Weird dreams may also occur during pregnancy. Extremely vivid colors and unusual situations may present themselves during the nighttime hours. These strange dreams (and nightmares) may continue throughout the rest of the pregnancy.

Ultrasound at 8 Weeks of Pregnancy

The Baby at 8 Weeks

The size of a kidney or lima bean, the baby is over half an inch long and develops many organ systems this week. While the baby’s gender has already been genetically determined, ultrasound examination cannot reveal whether the baby is a boy or a girl at this stage.

The baby’s trachea is extending toward the lungs, and the arms and legs grow longer. When seen on ultrasound, small hands and feet may be seen waving – the fingers and toes are still webbed, but they are there! The baby is quite active, but don’t expect to feel the movement yet. The baby is still too small to be felt through the uterine wall.

The baby’s eyelids continue to grow and nearly cover the eyes, while the nose begins to take shape. Teeth are forming under those baby gums at this stage in the pregnancy, though you won’t see a sign of them until baby is about six months old!

Twins on Ultrasound

Ultrasound Surprise: Twins!

Many women receive a first ultrasound scan between 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. This scan allows doctors to accurately date the pregnancy, verify fetal heart tones, and determine if the pregnancy appears healthy. The ultrasound also allows doctors to determine how many embryos are present in the womb!

For the vast majority of pregnancies, only one baby is present. For others, two (or more) gestational sacs may be visualized. If twins are seen on ultrasound, expect more frequent monitoring. Doctors are able to determine if the twins are fraternal (arising from two separate eggs) or identical, arising from one egg that split after fertilization.

Some women have higher odds for having fraternal twins:

  • Older moms are more likely to have multiples (35 years of age or older).
  • Taller and heavier women are more likely to bear twins.
  • Women who have several other children are more likely to conceive twins.
  • The use of Clomid or other drugs that assist ovulation increase the likelihood of multiples.
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) increases the chance for twins.

The current rate of twinning for fraternal twins is 1/32 in the United States. This rate has increased substantially since the 1980s, in large part to fertility treatments.

The rate for identical twins has remained the same over time: 1/250 births result in identical twins.

First Trimester Screen Poll

Did you have the first trimester screen?

Prenatal Testing: The First Trimester Screen

Many expectant mothers are offered the opportunity to have testing known as the “first trimester screen” performed in early pregnancy. This screening method combines a blood test with an ultrasound scan. The ultrasound is performed at 11-13 weeks gestational age and measures the thickness of the embryo’s neck – the nuchal translucency (NT). A thicker nuchal translucency is associated with a higher rate of chromosomal problems or cardiac abnormalities. The ultrasound screen is not diagnostic, but simply allows a mother to pursue more testing for those in the higher risk categories.

The blood work is often performed at the same time as the NT scan, but sometimes it is drawn at an earlier date. The blood test determines the amount of hCG and PAPP-A in the mother’s blood. hCG is the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin, and PAPP-A is pregnancy associated plasma protein A. The levels of these hormones, in combination with the NT ultrasound scan and maternal risk factors (including maternal age) are calculated into a risk factor for the mother. The information can be useful for the decision to pursue further testing via amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. Like all screening tests, this test can have false positives and cause anxiety.

The first trimester screen may be brought up at this appointment, and mothers may opt to have it performed (or opt out of the screening process, if desired).

What To Expect During the 37th Week of Your Second Pregnancy

There will be changes between the symptoms of your first pregnancy and the second one. What would be a relief is that the morning sickness is a lot less than during the first pregnancy but other problems like frequent urination, varicose veins and hemorrhoids may still be there. The second pregnancy is always more tiring for the mother as she cannot have as much rest as she needs because of taking care of the first child. The pelvic joints are painful and one would have to be .

. more careful of the posture while sleeping and ensure that one sleeps on the side on not on the backc The second pregnancy becomes more apparent earlier than the first one because the uterine walls expand faster as they are more flexible this timem

Labor time is reduced compared to the first time as the cervical muscles get dilated fastere In case the first time the delivery was by C-section this may be repeated the second time also and the labor period will not be reducede While the uterus is contraction and returning to its original pre pregnancy size the contractions are more painful in subsequent deliveries when compared to the first onen Sometimes the doctor may have to prescribe pain killers if the pain is too severer Read more on 37 weeks pregnant what to expecta

37 weeks pregnant what to expect third pregnancy

In the third pregnancy the symptoms are very much like the second one and it starts showing quite fast when compared to the first and second pregnancyc The labor is reduced further if the first two were normal deliveries and the cervical muscles are more flexible than in the previous pregnanciese The uterine contractions post delivery will be more painful than during the previous two pregnanciese

This will be a period of adjustment at home as the two earlier babies will also have to be cared for along with the new one and all older kids go through a period of restlessness as they feel neglectede

37 weeks pregnant what to expect

The 37th week of pregnancy is the third trimester and the mother is usually preparing for the hospitala She has to get together clothes for herself and her new baby at the hospital along with all the other requirementst Most hospitals do give a list of what is needed before admitting the mother to beb If this is the second or third pregnancy arrangements would have to be made for the older kids while the mother is at the hospitala

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