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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What Are Signs of Labor?

What are signs that I’m going into labor? How can I tell the difference between the real thing and a false alarm?

Re: What are signs that I’m going into labor? How can I tell the difference between the real thing and a false alarm?

The Bump Expert

You've been anticipating this moment for the last nine months; no wonder you're worried about missing the early signs of labor. How will you know when it’s time to grab your hospital bag and get to the delivery room? Look for these signs of imminent labor:

Blood-tinged discharge

Sometimes called the “bloody show,” this discharge occurs when labor is anywhere from minutes to hours away.

Expulsion of the mucus plug

This thick, mucus-like membrane could come off all at once or when you are using the bathroom -- or even little by little like a thick discharge.

Rupturing of the amniotic sac (aka water breaking )

If your water breaks, you’ll likely know it. You’ll feel a gushing sensation and then you’ll see a lot of fluid. If you’re feeling a trickle and don’t know if it’s just pee or if it could possibly be leaking amniotic fluid, call your doctor or midwife. In very few cases, amniotic fluid leaks slowly before labor. You’ll need to be tested at your doctor’s office or the hospital.

Nesting instinct

If you find yourself with a sudden burst of energy and the need to clean and scrub your house spotless, baby soon may be on the way!

Regular contractions

False labor pains are easy to confuse with the real labor contractions but they do have some distinct characteristics. If the contractions are irregular, centered in your lower abdomen or don't worsen over time, it might be a false alarm. Try changing position or walking around -- does the pain recede a little? Probably not the real thing. True contractions are regular, have an obvious increase and decrease during fetal activity, and are centered in your pelvic area.

Don't spend too much time analyzing, though -- if you think you're in the early stages of labor, pick up the phone and call your doctor.

Want to know more? Our experts have the answers to your labor and delivery questions.

watch: more on the signs of labor

> Think you're in labor now? Time your contractions with our Contraction Counter tool.

The Bump Editors

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