Calendar of pregnancy

 

The first month (weeks 0- 4)

-begins on the day you started your last period and lasts 4 weeks.

  • Conception takes place about two weeks from the start of your period – the baby’s life begins.
  • At the end of the month there are still 36 weeks until the birth (8 months, 12 days).
  • At the end of the month the fetus is 2 weeks old.
  • The fetus is now the size of a pinhead.

REMEMBER: While you are pregnant, do not take any medicines without first checking that they are safe for you and your baby. Consult your doctor or the health nurse first.

The second month (weeks 5-8)

-begins 4 weeks after the start of your last period.

  • Lasts 4 weeks.
  • At the end of the month there are still 32 weeks until the birth (7 months, 14 days)
  • At the beginning of the month the fetus is 2 weeks old and at the end of the month 6 weeks old.
  • The fetus is about 1,5 cm long at the end of the month.
  • The fetus has got the beginnings of arms and legs.
  • The heart, nose, ears and eyelids, the nervous system, spine and umbilical cord are beginning to develop.

REMEMBER: Heavy smoking and drinking during pregnancy can harm your baby!

The third month (weeks 9-12)

-begins 8 weeks after the start of your last period.

  • At the end of the month there are still 28 weeks until the birth (6 months, 16 days)
  • At the beginning of the month the fetus is 6 weeks old and at the end of the month 10 weeks old.
  • The fetus is about 9 cm long at the end of the month and weights about 20 grams.
  • The baby’s heart beats for the first time.
  • The fetus floats in a sack of amniotic fluid and gets its food via the umbilical chord.

REMEMBER: The mother’s welfare is important to the child: healthy food and plenty of exercise are good for both.

The fourth month (weeks 13-16)

-begins 12 weeks after the start of your last period.

  • At the end of the month there are still 24 weeks until the birth (5 months, 18 days).
  • At the beginning of the month the fetus is 10 weeks old and at the end of the month 14 weeks old.
  • The fetus is about 16 cm long at the end of the month and weights about 100 grams.
  • The uterus is about the size of a fist.
  • The head is big, about half the total length, and the face is beginning to acquire its own features. The ears and genitals are developing.
  • The fetus practises breathing and swallowing movements. It kicks, moves its toes and thumbs and turns its head. The mother does not yet feel these tiny movements, however.

REMEMBER: In order to qualify for maternity benefit you must visit the clinic or a doctor before the end of the 16th week.

The fifth month(weeks 17- 20)

-begins 16 weeks after the start of your last period.

  • At the end of the month there are still 20 weeks until the birth (4 months, 20 days)
  • At the beginning of the month the fetus is 14 weeks old and at the end of the month 18 weeks old.
  • The fetus is 25-27 cm long at the end of the month and weighs 250-300 grams.
  • The fetus has its own circulatory system and its heart beats twice as fast as an adults.
  • The foetus’s skin is covered in fine, downy hair (lanugo), which vanishes by the time the baby is born. It now has eyebrows.
  • At this stage the placenta is almost as big as the fetus. It protects the fetus from some but not all harmful substances.
  • The mother can now feel the baby’s movements if she has had a baby before.

REMEMBER: Now’s the time to talk to the health nurse about antenatal classes.

The sixth month (weeks 21-24)

-begins 20 weeks after the start of your last period.

  • At the end of the month there are still 16 weeks until the birth (3 months, 2 days).
  • At the beginning of the month the fetus is 18 weeks old and at the end of the month, 22 weeks old.
  • The fetus is about 30cm long at the end of the month and weighs 400-600 grams. Even a primapara (a women expecting her first baby) can feel its movements. Its heartbeats can be heard.
  • By the end of the month the top of the uterus (the fundus) is up to the navel. Faster growth is a sign of twins.
  • The fetus practises sucking and its thumb often find its way into its mouth. Its hair and nails grow. The protective film begins to develop into skin.
  • The fetus sleeps most of the time but may be woken by external noises or vibration.

REMEMBER: In week 22 you can apply for your maternity, paternity or parents’ pay (and leave of absence) as well as for maternity benefit.

The seventh month (weeks 25-28)

-begins 24 weeks after the start of your last period.

  • At the end of the month there are still 12 weeks until the birth (2 months, 24 days).
  • At the beginning of the month the fetus is 22 weeks old and at the end of the month 26 weeks old.
  • The fetus is about 35 cm long and weighs about a kilo.
  • The fetus moves a lot, turns and visibly kicks. It opens and closes its eyes, and it has a strong grip with its hands.
  • The uterus is up to the navel. You may feel the first contractions, during which your tummy goes hard for a few seconds.

The eighth month (weeks 29-32)

-begins 28 weeks after the start of your last period.

  • At the end of the month there are still 8 weeks until the birth (1 month, 26 days).
  • At the beginning of the month the fetus is 26 weeks old and at the end of the month 30 weeks old.
  • The fetus is about 40cm long and weighs about 1,5 kilos
  • The fetus is really beginning to look like a baby, though a very frail one. If it were born now it would have chances of surviving.
  • The foetus’s lungs and other organs are not yet fully developed, however, and it does not yet have all the antibodies of a full-term baby.

REMEMBER: Avoid standing, lifting heavy objects and other strenuous jobs.

The ninth month (weeks 33-36)

-begins 32 weeks after the start of your last period

  • At the end of the month there are still 28 days until the birth, i.e. 4 weeks.
  • At the beginning of the month the baby is 30 weeks old and at the end of the month 34 weeks old.
  • The baby is about 47 cm long and weighs about 2, 700 grams. It quickly gains weight.
  • The baby moves less than before, because it has not much room left to move in. At this stage most babies get into position for birth, head down.
  • The baby’s skin is covered with a creamy film called vernix.

REMEMBER: It’s a good idea to get everything ready for the baby at this stage.

The tenth month (weeks 37-40)

-begins 36 weeks after the start of your last period or 34 weeks after conception.

  • At the beginning of the month the baby is 34 weeks old; most babies are born when they are 38 weeks old.
  • The uterus drops and the baby’s head engages ready for birth. The contractions increase, considerably.
  • The baby kicks so hard in the uterus that it can push away a book placed on the mother’s tummy.
  • At birth most babies are 49-52 cm long and weigh 3,000-4, 000 grams
  • Your baby is born at the end of the tenth month, give or take a week.

REMEMBER: Set off for the hospital immediately the waters break, if you have pain or bleeding, or when the contractions are coming regularly (see the chapter on the birth).

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