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: Baby blues or depression?

How do I tell true depression apart from the baby blues?

Re: How do I tell true depression apart from the baby blues?

The Bump Expert

The first month or two with baby can be tough, we know. It's okay to feel overwhelmed when everything around you is suddenly changing. Being a mommy is a tough job, so expect that you'll need time to adjust.

Lots of women suffer from what's commonly called the baby blues, which can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after delivery. You may find yourself feeling low, unable to focus, lacking an appetite and having a hard time getting to sleep (even after baby's gone down). Some moms with the baby blues describe themselves as feeling isolated and emotionally fragile. If you're experiencing any of these symptom, you're not alone. This is a normal part of a baby (though it certainly may not feel that way) and is reported by about 70 to 80 percent of new moms. This doesn't mean you should minimize the rough emotions; rather, just remember that you're not abnormal and strange, and the feelings should pass.

Now, if the baby blues are still strong after a few weeks, head to your doctor. You might be suffering from postpartum depression, which is a serious illness that affects an estimated 10 percent of new moms, causing profound feelings of anger or sadness for months after childbirth. A strong sense of guilt, extreme fatigue and panic attacks are other common manifestations. While some symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to the baby blues (loss of appetite, inability to sleep, etc.), with true depression you may find your head going someplace darker, with thoughts of harming baby or yourself.

The only way to truly determine whether it's baby blues blues or postpartum depression is to speak with your doc. And remember, many women have been in the same position, and there are effective treatments. Though asking for help can be scary, there's no reason for you to feel ashamed. In fact, reaching out to others is one of the strongest things you can do -- for yourself and for your baby.

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Your pregnancy and birth. 4th ed. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2005.

Paula Kashtan

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