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 Is an Episiotomy?

A friend of mine needed an episiotomy when she gave birth. Can you explain what this is?

Re: A friend of mine needed an episiotomy when she gave birth. Can you explain what this is?

The Bump Expert

An episiotomy is an incision in the perineum (the skin between the vagina and anus) that helps baby fit through. Doctors used to routinely perform episiotomies because a surgical cut was thought to prevent tearing. But, it's now known that episiotomies don't prevent tears, and that natural tears actually tend to heal better than episiotomies. However, doctors will still perform an episiotomy in certain situations, such as to help deliver baby more quickly when there are signs of fetal distress.

If your doctor does decide you need an episiotomy, you'll receive a local anesthetic (unless your perineum is already numb from the pressure of baby's head). Once baby is safely delivered, your doc will give you another shot of local anesthesia and stitch up the cut. After a few weeks, the stitches (and your memory of this icky part of childbirth) will disintegrate.

watch: more about episiotomies

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