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: Can breastfeeding help the baby blues?

I’ve heard that breastfeeding can actually help alleviate the baby blues naturally. Is this true?

Re: I’ve heard that breastfeeding can actually help alleviate the baby blues naturally. Is this true?

The Bump Expert

A lot of women ask this question, but interestingly, there isn’t a clear-cut "yes" or "no" answer to it. Put simply, it depends. The individual effects of hormones are unpredictable, so while one woman may feel better breastfeeding, another woman’s baby blues might actually get worse.

There are also other factors to consider. For example, if breastfeeding is extremely painful for you, then weaning baby might actually help improve your mood. Also, chronic sleep deprivation can cause postpartum depression because your serotonin levels (which control your mood) decrease when you don’t get enough sleep. If you’re waking up every two hours to breastfeed, you might actually prolong your baby blues if you’re sensitive to sleep deprivation. This is why it's so essential that breastfeeding moms make sure they get at least a few hours of uninterrupted sleep several nights each week. It’s also important that when you do wean, you do it very slowly -- especially if you’re sensitive to hormone shifts. This will help to keep your moods more stable than if you’d wean abruptly.

Shoshana Bennett, PhD

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