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The Nine Months

You are about to embark upon a real journey & while nine months may seem like a long time, you will see that at time it will pass very quickly while at other times it will drag on.

Generally speaking if you are waiting until your second trimester to share your big news with others, then you will feel time passing very slowly during your first trimester.

During the second trimester, with all the excitement surrounding your news, as well as with your new energy given that the morning sickness & sleepiness have subsided, the time will pass more quickly.

The third trimester can be a toss up- if this is your first child- by the end of the third trimester you may feel time moving at a snail’s pace. All you want is to meet your new baby & it seems like endless waiting. If you have an older child or older children, chances are that they are keeping you so busy that time is flying and you’re praying that you won’t be too busy to notice your contractions!

No matter what your situation, it’s always fun to remind ourselves of the main expectations from each month. For a more in-depth look at the nine months of pregnancy, consult one of the books recommended in our 411 section under Resources.

The First Trimester
The First Month

The first month of pregnancy is calculated from the first date of your last period to the 6th week from that date. For the greater part of this “month” you will not even know that you are pregnant. You may feel some symptoms such as breast tenderness, fatigue, nausea and darkening of the nipples & areola- but not necessarily. Your pregnancy will not be outwardly visible and your baby is smaller than a poppy seed.

As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed, you should:

  • Schedule an appointment to visit with your OB Gyn in the next few weeks.
  • Think about whether you will be considering prenatal screening for Down’s Syndrome. If yes, then schedule an appointment with your OB Gyn sooner rather than later to give enough time to speak to your doctor about this before scheduling the first of the screening tests which will take place between 11 & 13 weeks.
  • If you are opting to do prenatal screening, schedule your appointment.
  • Schedule your 18 week ultrasound

The Second Month (Weeks 7-11)

  • Symptoms may be more noticeable now:
    • Frequency of urination
    • Nausea & loss of appetite
    • Fatigue
  • The embryo is now the size of a small grape & becomes recognizable as human. There is a distinct head, face, ears & trunk, as well as tiny arms & legs. Internal organs such as lungs, liver, kidneys are all developing. The baby’s heartbeat may be visible on an ultrasound scan at this time.

The Third Month (Weeks 12-15)

  • If you have been feeling nauseous, your symptoms should be lessening, if not altogether subsiding at this point. You may be experiencing:
  • Breast tenderness & enlargement
  • Fatigue
  • Some deepening of skin color
  • Food cravings or aversions
  • Discomfort in your regular clothes
  • You may be developing a small baby “bump” by now, particularly if this is not your first pregnancy.
  • By the end of this month, your baby will be about 3” long (the size of a small pear)

The Second Trimester
The Fourth Month (Weeks 16-19)

  • You are likely developing a bigger “bump” and, if you haven’t already done so, will be shopping for maternity clothing sooner rather than later. Consult our Planning/Pregnant section for articles & tips on what to choose.
  • You are feeling more energetic as you are less fatigued and less nauseous (or not nauseous at all).
  • As your blood volume increases you may begin to experience the “glow” of pregnancy.
  • You may notice some puffiness as a result of water retention. Believe it or not- one of the best ways to prevent water retention is to drink lots of water!
  • You may be thirstier and find that you are sweating more.
  • You skin may be darkeing & you may or may not develop the “linea nigra” a dark line that runs from your belly button down to your pelvic area.
  • Your baby is now about 6 ½ inches long. The sex organs are more clearly defined. The fingernails & toenails as well as hair, eyebrows and eyelashes are all beginning to grow. All major organs are functioning. Eyes and ears are functioning although not fully mature.

The Fifth Month

  • You look obviously pregnant
  • You may feel healthy & energetic
  • You may be “glowing”
  • You may feel your baby move for the first time- at first a feeling like butterflies in your stomach , soon real kicks and punches will take place
  • By the end of this month, your baby will measure approximately 11 inches. The muscle & bones continue to develop. Hearing is improving. The baby’s skin is covered in vernix. The teeth exist in the jaw.
  • This may be a good time to start preparing for baby’s arrival. Deciding on what you need to buy, making room & ordering any essentials in advance, if you plan to.

The Sixth Month

  • Your belly seems to be growing rapidly.
  • You feel energetic & healthy, but pace yourself as your body is working harder than you realize.
  • You may begin to “leak” milk (colostrums) from your nipples.
  • Your baby is about 13 ½ inches long, has open eyes and is developing fingerprints & creases on the soles & palms of those tiny feet & hands! 

The Third Trimester
The Seventh Month

  • You are still feeling healthy and strong as you approach the final stretch.
  • You may be leaking colostrum (milk) from your breasts.
  • You may be retaining more water, resulting in swelling of wrists & ankles.
  • Your baby measures about 16 inches and is starting to accumulate fat underneath the skin. The head begins to look more proportionate to the rest of the body.

The Eighth Month

  • You may still be feeling well, or may be starting to experience some fatigue.
  • Your visits to the doctor will become more frequent.
  • You may be experience “Braxton Hicks” contractions- they are contractions that do not actually help to push out your baby, but are more like practice contractions to get your body ready. They tend to be irregular and short in duration (30-60 seconds). Consult with your doctor when you should call for advice with contractions.
  • Your baby is about 17 inches long and gaining weight. The fingernails & toenails are fully grown.

The Ninth Month

  • Your hospital bag should be packed in the next 2 weeks. Click here.
  • You may feel more tired now.
  • Time feels as though it is passing more slowly as you anxiously await the arrival of you little baby.
  • The baby’s head may be engaged.
  • You may feel strange movements from time to time- your baby may have the hiccups!
  • Your baby is about 21 inches long. The eyesight develops rapidly. The lungs are maturing. The baby can now suck & swallow.
  • You are now getting ready for Labour & Delivery.

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