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 preeclampsia?

What exactly is preeclampsia and how can I prevent it from happening to me? Are there any warning signs?

Re: What exactly is preeclampsia and how can I prevent it from happening to me? Are there any warning signs?

The Bump Expert

Preeclampsia (also known as toxemia or pregnancy-induced hypertension) is diagnosed if, after week 20, you've got both high blood pressure and protein in your urine. Though its cause is a bit of a mystery, the consequences are clear. With preeclampsia, blood vessels constrict and reduce blood flow, which can affect the liver, kidneys and brain. Blood flow to baby also may be interrupted, which in severe cases can lead to poor growth, insufficient amniotic fluid or placental abruption.

Preeclampsia is fairly rare (5%-10% of pregnancies) and usually pops up between week 20 and a few days after delivery. There seems to be some genetic link, so pay special attention to warning signs if your mom had preeclampsia. Risk is also increased in women with chronic hypertension, blood clotting disorders, diabetes, kidney disease or certain autoimmune diseases, as well as those who are obese, older than 40 or younger than 20, or carrying more than one fetus. Keep an eye on your body, and let your doctor know if your hands, face or feet swell excessively or if you gain more than four pounds in one week. Other warning signs include vision change, intense pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting and severe headaches. If you're diagnosed with the condition, your doctor will monitor you very closely, limit your activities, and may induce labor a bit early.

Luckily, moms and babies dealing preeclampsia usually turn out just fine if the disorder is detected early. Your best defense: Keep all of your prenatal appointments (your doctor screens for preeclampsia every time) and be aware of the warning signs. Also, studies show that keeping weight down, taking vitamins, minimizing stress and eating right can reduce your chances of getting preeclampsia. (One more reason to treat your body right!)

The Bump Editors

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