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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you asked...

Q&A: What is amniotic fluid?

What's amniotic fluid made of, and what purpose does it really serve?

Re: What's amniotic fluid made of, and what purpose does it really serve?

The Bump Expert

The truth? Amniotic fluid is pee. Well, mostly pee. When the fluid first starts to form inside the amniotic sac (a few weeks after conception), it's mostly made of your own body fluids. But when baby's kidneys kick in and start putting out urine (at as early as 11 weeks), those new fluids start building up to help cushion and protect baby's growing body. After around week 20, the amniotic fluid is mostly urine.

This all might sound a little gross at first, but thank goodness for those fluids! They keep baby safe in case you fall, push out on the uterine walls to give baby more space (and allow for more practice wiggling around), help baby learn how to breathe and swallow, and serve as protection from infection by stopping the growth of certain types of bacteria.

The amniotic fluid also contains skin cells that have shed from baby, which means your doc can use it to test for some genetic disorders.

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Your pregnancy and birth. 4th ed. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2005.

Erin Walters

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