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Your body goes through an exciting series of changes during the nine months of pregnancy. You can carry on with most of your daily activities, but try to get some “me time” to rest and enjoy the journey. Here’s what you can expect from week to week.

In your first three months you probably won’t look significantly pregnant – but lots is going on inside you physically and emotionally! Unless you have a lot of nausea and vomiting, you will probably put on about 0.9-1.8kg in your first trimester – of which 650g will be your baby’s weight.
  • Week 1 – The first day of your last menstrual period, from which your doctor will estimate your due date. Pregnancy usually lasts around 40 weeks.
  • Week 2 – Your ovaries have begun to ripen an egg which will be released into the fallopian tube (ovulation) roughly 12-16 days before the start of your next period. Start taking a folic acid supplement and continue for the rest of the trimester.
  • Week 3 – You have conceived! Your egg has been fertilised with a single sperm and your baby’s genetic makeup is in place.
  • Week 4 – Your uterus is starting to grow and the texture of your cervix is changing. You might have some ‘breakthrough bleeding’ when the fertilised egg embeds itself in the uterus lining.
  • Week 5 – You have missed your period and a home pregnancy test should confirm that you are pregnant. Once this is confirmed, make an appointment with your doctor.
  • Week 6 – Your breasts may feel full and tender. The areolas may become darker and you may see bluish veins just under the skin.
  • Week 7 – You may start to experience ‘morning sickness’ and feel extremely tired. At this stage your heart rate increases sharply and your metabolic rate rises by up to 25%.
  • Week 8 – You can have your first antenatal visit anytime between now and Week 12. This consists of a physical examination, blood pressure check, routine tests and possibly an ultrasound scan to confirm your due date.
  • Week 9 – Your uterus has doubled in size since conceiving and you may start to notice your waistline growing.
  • Week 10 – Hormonal changes may make you feel more emotional and irritable and you may experience a spot ‘breakout’. Relax, it will pass! You may also need to go to the toilet more often and you may also feel faint or dizzy due to blood pressure changes.
  • Week 11 – Your hands and feet may feel warmer and you may feel thirstier than usual. This is your body’s way of telling you it needs extra fluids.
  • Week 12 – If you have had morning sickness, you should start to feel better now. You might be offered the nuchal translucency test which screens for Down’s syndrome.
  • Week 13 – Your baby’s vital organs and skeletal structure are complete! Now it’s time to grow…
You will probably feel very well and start to look pregnant. Expect to gain about 5.4kg this trimester, of which about 900g will be baby weight.
  • Week 14 – Increased progesterone levels and your growing uterus may lead to constipation, so drink lots of water and eat lots of fibre-rich fruit and vegetables. Although morning sickness is usually over by now, you may start to crave certain foods and go off others.
  • Week 15 – By now you will probably be battling to fit into your normal pants. If you are over 35, you may be offered an Amniocentesis which is a test for chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Week 16 – At your second antenatal check-up your blood pressure will be checked and you’ll be able to hear your baby’s heart beating via ultrasound.
  • Week 17 – You may be able to feel your baby moving for the first time – small flutters at first.
  • Week 18 – Your energy levels are back to normal. Gentle lovemaking is perfectly safe during pregnancy – speak to your doctor if you have any concerns.
  • Week 19 – You may notice the darker areas of your skin becoming darker and you may develop darker patches on your skin (chloasma). Your hair may also appear thicker as the natural shedding cycle is put on hold.
  • Week 20 – If this is your first baby, you should feel him/her move from 20-24 weeks (earlier if it’s not). Your next antenatal check is due now.
  • Week 21 – You may be perspiring more than usual as a result of the extra weight gain.
  • Week 22 – Your breasts may be starting to leak colostrum, which precedes your actual milk. Your nipples will also start producing a moisturising substance that will protect them during breastfeeding.
  • Week 23 – You could start to suffer from indigestion and heartburn. Try eating several small snacks a day rather than fewer large meals and try to take a gentle walk after meals. As your pelvic floor muscles stretch, you may occasionally leak urine when laughing or coughing.
  • Week 24 – Go for your next antenatal check and start practising pelvic floor exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Week 25 – Your heart and kidneys are working overtime and you may start to feel short of breath. It’s also common to experience backache, pressure in the pelvis and cramps in the legs. Watching your posture and try to rest. It’s a good idea to attend an antenatal/childbirth class to prepare for the birth and connect with other moms-to-be.
  • Week 26 – Stretch marks may start to appear on your stomach and breasts.
  • Week 27 – Your abdomen is quite large by now, though that depends on your own size, whether you have been pregnant before, and how much amniotic fluid surrounds your baby.
You may feel great in your last three months or somewhat exhausted and anxious – this is completely normal. Expect to gain another 4.5-5.4kg during this last trimester, of which 3-3.6kg is due to your baby.
  • Week 28 – Your uterus will now be pushing up against the bottom of your ribcage which may be uncomfortable, and your belly button may be sticking out.
  • Week 29 – Your legs may be feeling heavy and you may notice varicose veins or spider veins developing. Put your legs up when sitting and wear pressure stockings if necessary to help relieve pain and pressure.
  • Week 30 – Back pain and breathlessness are common as your baby grows.
  • Week 31 – You may feel distracted and forgetful as your baby takes up more of your concentration.
  • Week 32 – You will keep gaining weight and your uterus will soon reach its highest point – about 12cm above your belly button.
  • Week 33 – If this is your first baby, s/he may have moved into the head-down position, which will make it easier for you to breathe and help relieve your indigestion.
  • Week 34 – Tests on blood pressure and urine will be carried out at each antenatal check. You may find that your hands and feet are starting to swell due to fluid retention, and your nipples and breasts will enlarge. Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Week 35 – You may experience pain in your pelvic area due to the pregnancy hormone relaxin, coupled with your baby’s weight, which cause your pelvic joints to expand in readiness for the birth.
  • Week 36 – You may be dreaming a lot and having very vivid dreams.
  • Week 37 – Your baby’s size and position will be checked at each antenatal visit. You may start to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. These are ‘practice contractions’ where your stomach hardens for a few seconds then relaxes.
  • Week 38 – Your weight gain will level off and you may look a little flushed as your circulation works harder than ever.
  • Week 39 – Your uterus is taking up all the space in your pelvis and much of your abdomen, so you may feel very uncomfortable.
  • Week 40 – This is the week your baby is due, but only around 5% of babies are born on the estimated delivery date. You could give birth two weeks earlier or later.