Stages of pregnancy by month

Pregnancy can be different from woman to woman, and even for the same mother from one pregnancy to the next. The stages of pregnancy are typically described in three-month periods known as trimesters. A woman will experience a lot of symptoms during her first trimester as she adjusts to the hormonal changes of pregnancy, which affect nearly every organ in her body. Early in pregnancy, a woman's breasts will feel more tender and swollen, another side effect of rising pregnancy hormone levels. In addition, a pregnant woman's heart will be working even harder, increasing the volume of blood it pumps to supply the uterus with the additional blood it needs to supply the fetus and elevating her pulse rate.
Besides the physical changes in a woman's body, she will also experience emotional highs and lows in the early months of her pregnancy and throughout it. After the eighth week of pregnancy and until birth occurs, a developing baby is called a fetus. During the third month of pregnancy, bones and muscles begin to grow, buds for future teeth appear, and fingers and toes grow. By the second trimester, some of the unpleasant effects of early pregnancy may lessen or disappear as the body adjusts to its changing hormone levels.

Somewhere between the 16th and 18th week of pregnancy a first-time mother may feel the first fluttering movements of the fetus known as quickening, Burch said. By the fourth month of pregnancy, eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails and the neck all form, and the skin has a wrinkled appearance.
In the fifth month of pregnancy, the fetus is more active and a woman may be able to feel its movements. By the sixth month of pregnancy, hair begins to grow, the eyes begin to open and the brain is rapidly developing. By the seventh month of pregnancy, the fetus kicks and stretches, and can even respond to light and sound, like music, Burch said. The ninth month is the home stretch of pregnancy and the fetus is getting ready for birth by turning into a head-down position in a woman's pelvis. Some pregnancy symptoms last for several weeks or months, while other discomforts are temporary or don't affect every woman who is expecting. Once the embryo is implanted, the cells start to grow eventually becoming the fetus and the placenta, which is tissue that can transport oxygen, nutrients and hormones from the mother's blood to the developing fetus throughout pregnancy.
The pregnancy may not be showing much on the outside of her body, but inside many changes are taking place.

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