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Pregnancy Week By Week

Pregnancy Week by Week: A Comprehensive Guide

Pregnancy is an extraordinary journey that brings about profound physical, emotional, and psychological changes in a woman’s life. To navigate this transformative experience, it is essential to understand the developmental milestones of your growing baby. This week-by-week guide provides a detailed overview of the remarkable changes that occur throughout pregnancy, from conception to birth.

Week 1: The Beginning

Pregnancy officially begins with the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP), even though conception has not yet occurred. During this week, your body prepares for the potential fertilization of an egg.

Week 2: Conception

Around 14 days after your LMP, ovulation occurs, releasing an egg from one of your ovaries. If the egg is fertilized by a sperm cell, it begins its journey down the fallopian tube towards the uterus.

Week 3: Implantation

The fertilized egg, now called a blastocyst, travels through the fallopian tube and implants itself into the lining of the uterus. This process takes approximately 6-12 days.

Week 4: Early Embryonic Development

The blastocyst begins to differentiate into three distinct layers: the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. These layers will eventually give rise to all the organs and tissues of the developing baby.

Week 5: Heartbeat Begins

The embryo’s heart begins to beat, although it is too faint to be detected with a stethoscope. The embryo is now about the size of a poppy seed.

Week 6: Fetal Development

The embryo’s major organs, including the brain, spinal cord, and heart, continue to develop. The embryo is now about the size of a lentil.

Week 7: Ultrasound Confirmation

A transvaginal ultrasound can now confirm the presence of a gestational sac and a fetal pole, indicating the presence of a pregnancy.

Week 8: Embryo to Fetus

The embryo is now officially called a fetus. Its limbs begin to develop, and its facial features become more distinct.

Week 9: Rapid Growth

The fetus grows rapidly during this week, reaching about the size of a grape. Its arms and legs continue to lengthen, and its fingers and toes begin to form.

Week 10: End of the Embryonic Period

The embryonic period ends at the end of week 10. The fetus is now fully formed, with all its major organs and systems in place.

Week 11: Fetal Movements

The fetus begins to make small, involuntary movements, which can be detected by an ultrasound.

Week 12: Gender Determination

An ultrasound can now determine the sex of the baby, although it may not be accurate in all cases.

Week 13: Rapid Fetal Growth

The fetus continues to grow rapidly, reaching about the size of a peach. Its bones begin to harden, and its hair starts to grow.

Week 14: Fetal Hearing

The fetus can now hear sounds from outside the womb, including the mother’s voice.

Week 15: Fetal Movements

The mother may begin to feel the fetus’s movements, known as quickening.

Week 16: Fetal Skin Development

The fetus’s skin begins to develop a protective layer called vernix caseosa.

Week 17: Fetal Activity

The fetus becomes more active, moving and kicking frequently.

Week 18: Fetal Fat Deposition

The fetus begins to deposit fat, which will help regulate its body temperature after birth.

Week 19: Fetal Growth Spurt

The fetus experiences a growth spurt, reaching about the size of a mango.

Week 20: Fetal Reflexes

The fetus develops reflexes, such as sucking and grasping.

Week 21: Fetal Eyelids Open

The fetus’s eyelids open, although they remain closed most of the time.

Week 22: Fetal Hearing Development

The fetus’s hearing becomes more sensitive, and it can distinguish between different sounds.

Week 23: Fetal Taste Buds

The fetus develops taste buds and can taste the flavors of the amniotic fluid.

Week 24: Fetal Lung Development

The fetus’s lungs begin to produce surfactant, a substance that helps them expand after birth.

Week 25: Fetal Growth Spurt

The fetus experiences another growth spurt, reaching about the size of a cantaloupe.

Week 26: Fetal Breathing Movements

The fetus begins to practice breathing movements, although it is still receiving oxygen from the placenta.

Week 27: Fetal Brain Development

The fetus’s brain continues to develop rapidly, and its neural connections become more complex.

Week 28: Fetal Eye Color

The fetus’s eye color begins to develop, although it may change after birth.

Week 29: Fetal Fat Storage

The fetus continues to store fat, which will provide energy after birth.

Week 30: Fetal Growth Spurt

The fetus experiences a significant growth spurt, reaching about the size of a coconut.

Week 31: Fetal Position

The fetus begins to turn head-down in preparation for birth.

Week 32: Fetal Lung Maturity

The fetus’s lungs are almost fully mature and capable of functioning on their own.

Week 33: Fetal Brain Activity

The fetus’s brain activity becomes more organized, and it begins to respond to external stimuli.

Week 34: Fetal Growth Slowdown

The fetus’s growth slows down as it prepares for birth.

Week 35: Fetal Weight Gain

The fetus continues to gain weight, reaching about 5-6 pounds.

Week 36: Fetal Lung Fluid

The fetus’s lungs begin to produce less fluid, which helps them expand after birth.

Week 37: Fetal Head Engagement

The fetus’s head may engage in the mother’s pelvis, which can cause discomfort.

Week 38: Fetal Readiness

The fetus is now fully developed and ready for birth.

Week 39: Fetal Position

The fetus may turn head-down or remain in a breech position.

Week 40: Due Date

The average length of pregnancy is 40 weeks from the first day of the LMP. However, only about 5% of babies are born on their due date.

Beyond Week 40: Post-Term Pregnancy

If the baby is not born by 42 weeks, it is considered a post-term pregnancy. This may require additional monitoring and interventions.


Pregnancy is a remarkable journey filled with physical, emotional, and psychological changes. Understanding the developmental milestones of your growing baby can help you navigate this transformative experience with confidence and joy. By embracing each week with knowledge and anticipation, you can create a lasting bond with your precious little one.

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