How your baby grows
- Tiny limb buds appear. These grow into your baby's arms and legs.
- Your baby's heart and lungs begin to form. By the 22nd day, the heart starts to beat.
- Your baby's neural tube begins to form. This becomes the brain and spinal cord.
- By the end of the first month, your baby is about 1/4 inch long.
- Your body is making lots of hormones that help your baby to grow. Hormones can make you feel moody or cranky.
- Your breasts may get bigger. They may hurt and tingle.
- You may feel sick to your stomach. This is called morning sickness, even though it can happen any time of day. Try eating crackers and smaller meals.
- You may crave some foods or hate foods you usually like.
- You may feel tired. Rest when you can.
- Your baby's major body organs, like the brain, the heart and lungs, are forming.
- The placenta is working. The placenta grows in your uterus and supplies the baby with food and oxygen through the umbilical cord.
- Your baby's ears, ankles, wrists, fingers and toes are formed. Eyelids form and grow but are sealed shut.
- By the end of the second month, your baby is about 1 inch long and still weighs less than 1/3 ounce.
- Your breasts may still be sore and are getting bigger. Your nipples and the area around them begin to get dark.
- You have to go to the bathroom more often because your uterus is growing and pressing on your bladder.
- You may still have morning sickness.
- You may feel tired and need to rest more often.
- Your body makes more blood.
- Your baby's fingernails and toenails are formed.
- Your baby's mouth has 20 buds that become baby teeth.
- Fine hairs begin to form on your baby’s skin.
- You can hear your baby's heartbeat for the first time. Ask your provider to let you listen.
- By the end of the third month, your baby is about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long and weighs about 1 ounce.
- You may still feel tired and have morning sickness.
- You may have headaches and get lightheaded or dizzy. If these symptoms don't go away, tell your health care provider. Talk to your provider before you take any medicine for a headache.
- You may have gained 2 to 4 pounds by now. Your clothes may begin to feel tight.
- Your baby moves, kicks and swallows.
- Your baby's skin is pink and see-through.
- The placenta keeps providing food for the baby. But it also can pass along bad things that you take in, like alcohol, nicotine and other drugs.
- By the end of the fourth month, your baby is about 6 to 7 inches long and weighs about 4 to 5 ounces.
- You may be more hungry as your morning sickness goes away. You also may have more energy. But you may start to have heartburn. Try eating four or five smaller meals each day instead of three larger ones. And don't eat spicy food.
- Near the end of this month, you may feel your baby move for the first time.
- You gain about 1 pound a week.Your belly begins to show. You may need to wear maternity clothes and bigger bras now.
- It's OK for you and your partner to have sex if you want. It won't hurt the baby. You may have to try new positions as your belly gets bigger. Do what's comfortable for you.
- Your baby becomes more active. He can turn from side to side and sometimes head over heels.
- Your baby goes to sleep and wakes up.
- Your baby grows a lot during this month.
- By the end of the fifth month, your baby is about 10 inches long and weighs 1/2 to 1 pound.
- You should feel the baby move inside you this month. If you don't, tell your health care provider.
- Your heart beats faster.
- You may need eight or more hours of sleep each night. Rest and take breaks during the day if you can. Don't push yourself.
- Your baby's skin is red and wrinkled. It's covered with fine, soft hair.
- Your baby can kick strongly now.
- Your baby's eyes are almost completely formed. Soon they can start to open and close.
- By the end of the sixth month, your baby is about 12 inches long and weighs 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.
- The skin on your belly may itch. You may see stretch marks. Use lotion and wear loose clothes.
- Your back may hurt. Don't stand for long periods of time. And don't lift heavy things.
- You may feel pain down the sides of your belly as your uterus gets bigger.
- You may have constipation. Drink more water or fruit juice. Eat more foods with fiber, like fruits and vegetables.
- You can still have sex, but stop if you feel pain or cramping.
- Your baby can open and close her eyes and suck her thumb.
- Your baby kicks and stretches.
- Your baby responds to light and sound.
- You will definitely feel your baby moving. As your baby grows, the movements may feel different. For example, you may feel a "rolling" sensation.
- By the end of the seventh month, your baby is about 15 to 16 inches long and weighs about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds.
- Your ankles and feet may swell. Try lying down and putting your feet up. If your hands and face swell suddenly, call your health care provider.
- You may get stretch marks on your belly and breasts as they get bigger.
- You may have contractions. This is OK, but call your health care provider if you have more than five contractions in one hour.
- As your belly gets bigger, it may get harder to keep your balance. This makes it easier to fall. Be careful!
- You may have trouble sleeping because your baby moves a lot. Try sleeping on your side or with extra pillows.
- You may also sweat more than usual.
- Your baby is getting bigger. He can kick strongly and roll around. You may see the shape of his elbow or heel against your belly.
- Your baby's fingernails have grown to the tips of his fingers.
- Your baby's brain and lungs are still growing.
- By the end of the eighth month, your baby is about 18 to 19 inches long and weighs about 4 to 5 pounds.
- You may feel stronger contractions this month.
- Colostrum may leak from your breasts. This is the fluid that comes out of your breasts before your breast milk comes in. Wear breast pads in your bra to help with leaking.
- You may have trouble breathing as the baby pushes on your lungs. Slow down and try to sit and stand up straight.
- Your baby may crowd your stomach. Try eating four or five smaller meals during the day.
- You should gain about one pound a week this month.
- Your baby's lungs are ready to work on their own.
- Your baby gains about 1/2 pound a week.
- Your baby moves to a head-down position and rests lower in your belly. You will still feel your baby's movements.
- By the end of the ninth month, your baby is 19 to 21 inches long and weighs 6 to 9 pounds.
- Your belly button may stick out.
- Your breathing should be easier once the baby moves down. But you may need to go to the bathroom more often because the baby is pressing on your bladder.
- You may be uncomfortable because of the pressure and weight of the baby. Rest often.
- Your feet and ankles may swell. Put your feet up. Try to stay in a cool place.
- Your cervix opens up (dilates) and thins out (effaces) as it prepares for birth.
- You may not gain any weight this month. You may even lose 1 or 2 pounds.
- You will feel your baby move until you deliver.
Most common questions
How do you know you're pregnant?
Knowing the signs of pregnancy can help you tell if you’re pregnant. Here are some signs that you might be pregnant:
If you have any of these pregnancy signs and think you may be pregnant, go to your health care provider. The sooner you know you're pregnant, the sooner you can begin prenatal checkups and start taking good care of yourself and your growing baby.
Is my baby moving enough?
You'll start feeling your baby's kicks at around the 28th week of pregnancy. By this time, your baby's movements are usually well established and some health care providers recommend keeping track of these movements.
- Track kick counts at about the same time each day when your baby is active.
- Track kick counts shortly after you've eaten a meal (when your baby may be most active).
- Sit or lay on your side, place your hands on your belly and monitor baby's movement.
- Mark every movement down on a piece of paper. Don't count baby's hiccups.
Keep counting until you've felt 10 movements from baby. If baby doesn't move 10 times within 1 hour, try again later that day. Call your health provider if your baby's movement seems unusual or you've tried more than once that day and can't feel baby move 10 times or more during 1 hour.
When will I start feeling my baby move?
Popcorn popping. A little fish swimming. Bubbles. Butterflies. Tickles. These are common words used by women to describe their baby's first movements. Also known as "quickening," it's a reassuring sign that your baby is OK and growing. This milestone typically starts sometime between 18 to 25 weeks into pregnancy. For first-time moms, it may occur closer to 25 weeks, and for second- or third-time moms, it may happen much sooner.
At first it may be difficult to tell the difference between gas and your baby moving. You might not feel movement as early as you are expecting to feel it, but you'll notice a pattern soon. You'll start to learn when the baby is most active and what seems to get her moving.
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