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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you asked...

How much does the uterus grow during pregnancy?

I heard the uterus grows a lot during pregnancy? How much exactly?

Re:

I heard the uterus grows a lot during pregnancy? How much exactly?

The Bump Expert

Think of blowing up one of those big punching bag balloons kids play with -- that's basically what your uterus does during pregnancy. It gets heavier too, by about two pounds total.

The uterus is normally pretty small and hangs out deep in you pelvis. It doesn’t typically stretch up and out of there until about your 12th week of pregnancy (slightly earlier if you’re carrying twins or other multiples). By about mid-pregnancy (18 to 20 weeks), your uterus should be as high as your belly button. After that, your OB will use a tape measure at each visit to measure the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus in centimeters; that number usually corresponds with the number of weeks of pregnancy you’re in. So you should measure about 30 centimeters when you’re 30 weeks, for example.

If your uterus is about the size it should be at each visit, your OB will see that as a sign that everything’s A-OK. If you’re measuring too big or too small, it may mean your due date’s wrong, or you may need additional tests to rule out any unusual pregnancy complications.

After birth, your uterus -- which will, in the end, reach almost as high as your rib cage -- will gradually return to its pre-pregnancy position. (That deflation is called “involution.”) It generally takes about six weeks after delivery for the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size and shape -- but, in general, it does. (Yay!)

Plus, more from The Bump:

Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Best bump-watching method?

Braxton Hicks Contractions

Myra Wick, MD, ob-gyn, medical editor in chief of Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

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