Pregnancy Week by Week

Get a window on what’s happening in your pregnancy, week by week. From week four to week 42, your baby is experiencing a miraculous transformation from a clump of cells to a fully formed (and totally cute) newborn. Just imagine, as early as five weeks, your baby is already starting to form major organs (heart, stomach, liver, and kidneys) and systems (digestive, circulatory, nervous). By eight weeks, your raspberry-sized womb-mate is moving her arms and legs. At the beginning of your second trimester (week 14), your wee one is sucking his thumb. By week 28, the first week of the third trimester, baby (now as big as an eggplant) is prepping for breathing, developing his eyesight and packing on pounds in anticipation of life outside the womb. Each week is a new miracle. Less miraculous is how a mom-to-be may feel. Pregnancy Week-by-Week charts your baby’s development but also lets mom know what she might be feeling during each week of her pregnancy. Pregnancy week by Week includes everything mom needs to know to feel a sense of control over her pregnancy. Each week offers a complete guide to what you might feel, your must-do’s, your nice-to do’s, and answers and advice on everything pregnancy-related. Plus each week’s guide offers tips on maintaining a healthy and comfortable pregnancy from strategies on coping with pregnancy symptoms (morning sickness anyone?) to ideas for healthy eating, and pointers on talking to your OB. Let us guide you along your pregnancy, week by week.

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Q&A: What's that dark line on my belly?

Why did I get the linea nigra, and when will it go away?

Re: Why did I get the linea nigra, and when will it go away?

The Bump Expert

That new dark line that goes from your pubic bone up toward your boobs is called the linea nigra and is yet another wonderful outcome of those raging hormones (this one being an increase in the skin-darkening melanin). While it may not be the most welcome physical change, it will go away (phew!), so don't worry, mama. Dark lines may also appear around your belly button, areolas and vagina, too, but they should all disappear between nine and 12 months postpartum. Note to breastfeeding moms: You'll probably be on the later end of that spectrum. (No one really knows why this is, but it tends to be blamed on hormones.)

Sorry, mama, but the linea nigra isn't the only skin change you're going to have to deal with over the next nine months (and quite possibly, beyond). Some other pretty common skin changes include spider veins, pregnancy mask, skin tags, stretch marks and pimples galore (stick to your cleansing routine, but avoid acne meds that could contain harmful chemicals). But it's not all gloom and doom -- some mommies-to-be actually glow (though don't get jealous yet -- it's not always as pleasant as it sounds and can involve super oily skin). Keep up your exercise routine, slather on lotions enriched with vitamin E, walk as much as possible and get enough vitamin C to keep your veins healthy (and non-spidery) to keep your skin glowing the right way.

David E. Zepeda, MD, OB/GYN at The Women's Specialists of Houston affiliated with Texas Children's Hospital Pavilion for Women and clinical associate professor, Baylor College of Medicine

Q&A: What's that dark line on my belly?

I am blonde with super fine, light hair and I have noticed some thick, black hairs growing on my stomach in a line from my pubic bone to my bellybutton. Is this part of the linea nigra? My MIL insists that it the extra testosterone from a baby boy (she is convinced I am having a boy!). I tried plucking the hairs, but they are pretty formidible. I feel like this is just one more thing to accept about my changing pregnant body :-)

laurenmdrn16 |

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