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: Pregnant and uncomfortable?

My belly is so big... and my body is so sore. How can I reduce the all-over aches and pains?

Re: My belly is so big... and my body is so sore. How can I reduce the all-over aches and pains?

The Bump Expert

You've got our sympathy. At least in terms of physical comfort, sometimes pregnancy just plain isn't fun. There are ways to reduce the soreness, though. A massage from your partner can help you feel better, as can stretching and light exercise. A few laps in the pool can work in two way, both by strengthening your abdominal and lower back muscles and by taking some strain off of your joints and ligaments. Working on your posture is another biggie -- proper alignment strengthens muscles and reduces strain. Simply shifting positions also might help a bit, and heating pads can offer soothing relief. As with any pain, listen to your body and avoid activities that seem to make the pain worse, particularly those requiring extreme movements of your hips or spine. And try not to let the pain get you too down -- delivery day is coming soon!

Paula Kashtan

Q&A: Pregnant and uncomfortable?

The heating pad is a great idea! It relaxes the lower back muscles and helps soothe back aches and pains. If you need to do your shoulders too, have the heating pad rest just under you neckline. For only 30 min - if you get too relaxed you may end up pee-ing on yourself! Not a fun experience! Also, don't put the heating pad on your front belly, it can over heat the baby - I've already had my doctor tell me this (if it's true or not, I do not know but I'm trustin her). You might notice a slight increase or decrease in the baby's movement after resting on the heating pad, depending on where baby is located. Don't freak out, because as soon as you remove the heating pad the baby may wriggle and signal they're alright. Also, if your really sore, try stretching while laying on your side(s) with a pillow between your legs at first. This will help align your back and spine and get the pressure off your sciatic nerves in your back. Plus it will allow you to breath a bit better as you stretch your limbs. Have a friend or your partner help you with your stretching by simply holding your arms or legs at a gentle angle and keeping your back straight. These are just some techniques I've come to do myself and they have helped me, hope it's helpful to you too. And the swelling ankles/feet thing... easy, Take a relaxing warm/hot bath with your feet elevated in the tub. The bath will relax muscles and help with circulation (warm/hot) in the water. You'll feel refreshed and renewed and possibly a bit more relaxed - so have help getting out of the tub so you don't slip or strain your muscles again. Then take a soothing nap (if you can) and that should help.

KathrynFN87 |

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