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 is HELLP syndrome?

What is HELLP syndrome?

Re: What is HELLP syndrome?

The Bump Expert

HELLP stands for Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelet count -- the three dangerous symptoms a woman experiences when she has the syndrome. According to the American Pregnancy Association, HELLP affects only about 0.2 to 0.6 percent of pregnancies, and it usually shows up after week 32. HELLP is a very serious condition, and unfortunately, the signs can be very vague. Sometimes, the patient will have high blood pressure, but often her symptoms are less distinct -- she can be vaguely not feeling well, with some nausea or fatigue. It's a really tough diagnosis to make because it can seem like she's just getting the flu or another run-of-the-mill virus, and it can only be diagnosed by blood tests.

HELLP is a variant of preeclampsia and poses serious health risks to the mother, including excess bleeding, liver rupture and kidney failure. If your doctor finds out you have it, the only way to get rid of it is to deliver your baby. Of course, whether your doctor decides to do this right away or to wait will depend on baby's gestational age.

Laura Riley, MD, ob-gyn, Director of Labor and Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of You & Your Baby: Pregnancy

Q&A: What is HELLP syndrome?

My doctors discovered I had HELLP syndrome only AFTER I delivered my first child by c-section. I did not have the high blood pressure, but did have all the other symptoms/blood levels. They put me on a round of Magnesium Sulfate and monitored me for 12 hours or so. It was not pleasant, but took care of the situation. I did not experience this syndrome again in my following 3 pregnancies, so if you have it once, you will not necessarily have it again. YAY! Hopefully your experience will not be a bad one!

mama6W |

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