Pregnancy week by week

Pregnancy week by week

What you need to know about pregnancy


Pregnancy is a wonderful and exciting time for an expecting mum, especially if this is your first pregnancy. You know there’s a new life forming inside you and you probably get more and more excited as the weeks go by, anxiously waiting to meet your new baby.

A normal pregnancy lasts around 40 weeks (280 days), but it varies from women to women. In fact, less than 5% of women deliver on their due date! This is because doctors can’t tell exactly when conception has taken place, and usually assume that the first day of your pregnancy coincides with the first day in your last menstrual period. Because most likely you ovulated and conceived around 2 weeks later, your baby actually spends about 38 weeks in your womb.

Pregnancy is usually divided into three periods, each lasting 1/3 of the total duration. The first trimester starts from conception until 12 weeks pregnant, and during this period your baby grows at an astonishing rate, forming most of his internal organs. This is followed by the second trimester, from week 12 to week 28, and your baby is now starting to look more human. From week 28 until week 40 is considered the third trimester, and during this period your baby is mostly gaining weight and getting ready to life outside the womb. 

Conception occurs when a single sperm, selected from billions that started the journey, meets the egg at the right time and the right place. After the long expedition swimming up the uterus, the lucky sperm still has one last task, which is to dig through the tough outer membrane protecting the egg and only then it can fertilise it. The ultimate prize! Although it can't even be seen by the naked eye, your baby has everything it needs to grow. In addition, it now has 46 chromosomes, 23 inherited from each parent and all the genetic information required is contained within those structures. All it needs now is time and nurture to develop.

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