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Pregnancy Weekly

Pregnancy Week by Week

Pregnancy is a transformative journey that spans approximately 40 weeks. During this remarkable period, a woman’s body undergoes profound changes to accommodate the growth and development of a new life. Each week brings forth a unique set of milestones and challenges, shaping the physical, emotional, and psychological experiences of both the mother and the baby.

Week 1-4: Conception and Implantation

  • Week 1: Pregnancy begins with conception, when a sperm fertilizes an egg in the fallopian tube.
  • Week 2: The fertilized egg, now known as a zygote, travels through the fallopian tube towards the uterus.
  • Week 3: The zygote undergoes cell division, forming a blastocyst. The blastocyst implants into the lining of the uterus, a process known as implantation.
  • Week 4: The blastocyst continues to develop, forming an embryo and a placenta. The placenta is responsible for nutrient exchange between the mother and the developing baby.

Week 5-8: Embryonic Development

  • Week 5: The embryo’s heart begins to beat.
  • Week 6: The embryo’s major organs, including the brain, lungs, and kidneys, begin to form.
  • Week 7: The embryo’s limbs and facial features start to develop.
  • Week 8: The embryo is now referred to as a fetus.

Week 9-12: Fetal Growth and Movement

  • Week 9: The fetus’s fingers and toes become visible.
  • Week 10: The fetus begins to move its arms and legs.
  • Week 11: The fetus’s external genitalia begin to develop.
  • Week 12: The fetus is approximately 2 inches long and weighs about 1 ounce.

Week 13-16: Rapid Fetal Growth

  • Week 13: The fetus’s bones begin to harden.
  • Week 14: The fetus’s eyes open.
  • Week 15: The fetus’s hair begins to grow.
  • Week 16: The fetus’s heartbeat can be heard through a stethoscope.

Week 17-20: Fetal Movement and Sensory Development

  • Week 17: The fetus begins to respond to sound.
  • Week 18: The fetus’s movements become stronger and more frequent.
  • Week 19: The fetus’s skin becomes covered in a fine layer of hair called lanugo.
  • Week 20: The fetus is approximately 10 inches long and weighs about 1 pound.

Week 21-24: Fetal Growth and Maturation

  • Week 21: The fetus’s eyebrows and eyelashes become visible.
  • Week 22: The fetus’s lungs begin to produce surfactant, a substance that helps the lungs expand.
  • Week 23: The fetus’s taste buds develop.
  • Week 24: The fetus is approximately 12 inches long and weighs about 1.5 pounds.

Week 25-28: Fetal Weight Gain and Development

  • Week 25: The fetus’s fat deposits begin to increase.
  • Week 26: The fetus’s eyelids open and close.
  • Week 27: The fetus’s brain undergoes rapid development.
  • Week 28: The fetus is approximately 14 inches long and weighs about 2 pounds.

Week 29-32: Fetal Growth and Preparation for Birth

  • Week 29: The fetus’s fingernails and toenails become visible.
  • Week 30: The fetus’s lungs continue to mature.
  • Week 31: The fetus’s head begins to engage in the pelvis.
  • Week 32: The fetus is approximately 16 inches long and weighs about 3 pounds.

Week 33-36: Fetal Maturation and Positioning

  • Week 33: The fetus’s skin becomes smoother.
  • Week 34: The fetus’s lungs are almost fully developed.
  • Week 35: The fetus’s head is usually engaged in the pelvis.
  • Week 36: The fetus is approximately 18 inches long and weighs about 5 pounds.

Week 37-40: Final Preparations and Labor

  • Week 37: The fetus’s immune system is fully developed.
  • Week 38: The fetus’s lungs are fully mature.
  • Week 39: The fetus’s head is usually fully engaged in the pelvis.
  • Week 40: The fetus is approximately 20 inches long and weighs about 7 pounds. Labor typically begins around this time, but it can vary from woman to woman.

Physical Changes in the Mother

Throughout pregnancy, the mother’s body undergoes significant physical changes to accommodate the growing baby. These changes include:

  • Breast enlargement: The breasts begin to prepare for breastfeeding.
  • Uterine growth: The uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby.
  • Weight gain: The mother typically gains 25-35 pounds during pregnancy.
  • Increased blood volume: The blood volume increases by about 50% to meet the demands of the growing baby.
  • Hormonal changes: Pregnancy hormones cause a variety of physical and emotional changes.

Emotional Changes in the Mother

Pregnancy can also trigger a range of emotional changes in the mother, including:

  • Mood swings: Pregnancy hormones can cause mood swings, irritability, and anxiety.
  • Fatigue: The mother may experience increased fatigue due to the physical demands of pregnancy.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Morning sickness is a common symptom of pregnancy.
  • Increased urination: The mother may need to urinate more frequently as the uterus expands.
  • Back pain: The mother may experience back pain due to the increased weight of the baby.

Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is essential for ensuring the health of both the mother and the baby. Regular prenatal appointments allow the healthcare provider to monitor the mother’s health, assess the baby’s growth and development, and provide guidance on nutrition, exercise, and other aspects of pregnancy.


Pregnancy is a remarkable journey that involves profound physical, emotional, and psychological changes for both the mother and the baby. Each week brings forth new milestones and challenges, shaping the unique experience of this transformative period. By understanding the week-by-week progression of pregnancy, expectant mothers can better prepare for the joys and challenges that lie ahead.

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