Pregnancy: How many weeks is a normal Pregnancy?

pregnancy

So you’re going to have a baby! Whether you are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, you will want to give your baby a healthy start.

You need to have regular visits with your healthcare provider. These prenatal care visits are very important for your baby and yourself. Some things you might do when you are pregnant could hurt your baby, such as smoking or drinking. Some medicines can also be a problem, even ones that a doctor prescribed. You will need to drink plenty of fluids and eat a healthy diet. You may also be tired and need more rest.

Your body will change as your baby grows during the nine months of your pregnancy. Don’t hesitate to call your health care provider if you think you have a problem or something is bothering or worrying you.

Pregnancy facts

Pregnancy facts medical author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

  • A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks and is grouped into three trimesters.
  • Symptoms of early pregnancy include the absence of menstrual periods, breast changes,tiredness, nausea, mood swings, or other symptoms.
  • A pregnancy test measures the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin in the urine or blood.
  • Symptoms of late pregnancy can include heartburn, difficulty sleeping, swelling of the ankles or fingers, hemorrhoids, and mild contractions.
  • By the end of 37 weeks, a baby is considered full term and its organs are ready to function on their own.
  • As you near your due date, your baby may turn into a head-down position for birth. Most babies “present” head down.
  • Babies at birth typically weigh between 6 pounds 2 ounces and 9 pounds 2 ounces and are 19 to 21 inches long. Most full-term babies fall within these ranges.

What is the first trimester (week 1-week 12)?

During the first trimester your body undergoes many changes. Hormonal changes affect almost every organ system in your body. These changes can trigger symptoms even in the very first weeks of pregnancy. Your period stopping is a clear sign that you are pregnant. Other changes may include:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Tender, swollen breasts. Your nipples might also stick out.
  • Upset stomach with or without throwing up (morning sickness)
  • Cravings or distaste for certain foods
  • Mood swings
  • Constipation (trouble having bowel movements)
  • Need to pass urine more often
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Weight gain or loss

As your body changes, you might need to make changes to your daily routine, such as going to bed earlier or eating frequent, small meals. Fortunately, most of these discomforts will go away as your pregnancy progresses. And some women might not feel any discomfort at all! If you have been pregnant before, you might feel differently this time around. Just as each woman is different, so is each pregnancy

What is the second trimester (week 13-week 28)?

Most women find the second trimester of pregnancy easier than the first. But it is just as important to stay informed about your pregnancy during these months.

You might notice that symptoms like nausea and fatigue are going away. But other new, more noticeable changes to your body are now happening. Your abdomen will expand as the baby continues to grow. And before this trimester is over, you will feel your baby beginning to move!

As your body changes to make room for your growing baby, you may have:

  • Body aches, such as back, abdomen, groin, or thigh pain
  • Stretch marks on your abdomen, breasts, thighs, or buttocks
  • Darkening of the skin around your nipples
  • A line on the skin running from belly button to pubic hairline
  • Patches of darker skin, usually over the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lip. Patches often match on both sides of the face. This is sometimes called themask of pregnancy
  • Numb or tingling hands, called carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Itching on the abdomen, palms, and soles of the feet. (Call your doctor if you have nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice or fatigue combined with itching. These can be signs of a serious liver problem.)
  • Swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face. (If you notice any sudden or extreme swelling or if you gain a lot of weight really quickly, call your doctor right away. This could be a sign of preeclampsia.)

What is the third trimester (week 29-week 40)?

You’re in the home stretch! Some of the same discomforts you had in your second trimester will continue. Plus, many women find breathing difficult and notice they have to go to the bathroom even more often. This is because the baby is getting bigger and it is putting more pressure on your organs. Don’t worry, your baby is fine and these problems will lessen once you give birth.

Some new body changes you might notice in the third trimester include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn
  • Swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face. (If you notice any sudden or extreme swelling or if you gain a lot of weight really quickly, call your doctor right away. This could be a sign of preeclampsia.)
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Tender breasts, which may leak a watery pre-milk called colostrum (kuh-LOSS-struhm)
  • Your belly button may stick out
  • Trouble sleeping
  • The baby “dropping,” or moving lower in your abdomen
  • Contractions, which can be a sign of real or false labor

As you near your due date, your cervix becomes thinner and softer (called effacing). This is a normal, natural process that helps the birth canal to open during the birthing process. Your doctor will check your progress with a vaginal exam as you near your due date. Get excited — the final countdown has begun!

How long is a human pregnancy?

The average length of human gestation is 280 days, or 40 weeks, from the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period. The medical term for the due date is estimated date of confinement (EDC). However, only about four per cent of women actually give birth on their EDC.

How long is a woman pregnant?

Pregnancy is typically broken into three periods, or trimesters, each of about three months. Obstetricians define each trimester as lasting for 14 weeks, resulting in a total duration of 42 weeks, although the average duration of pregnancy is actually about 40 weeks.

How many weeks is a normal human pregnancy?

Childbirth usually occurs about 38 weeks after conception; in women who have a menstrual cycle length of four weeks, this is approximately40 weeks from the start of the last normal menstrual period (LNMP). Human pregnancy is the most studied of all mammalian pregnancies.

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