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How Far Along Are You? Months, Lunar Months, Weeks, Days, Trimesters

Months? Lunar months? Weeks? Days? Trimesters?
How far along am I anyway?

If you are confused, you’re not alone. While most people talk about pregnancy being 9 months long (divided into three trimesters), most health care providers refer to a pregnancy as being 40 weeks long, starting with your last known menstrual period. You might like to know that this is also equal to 280 days, or 10 Lunar Months. Phew!

OK, so when is my due date?

The traditional way to calculate a due date is to add 9 months from the first day of the LNMP (last normal menstrual period) and then add seven days.

For example:

  1. Your LNMP was Feb 1
  2. Add nine months, bringing you to November 1.
  3. Add seven days, bringing you to your due date of November 8
  4. Thus, your due date becomes November 8!

Some people prefer to do it this way:

  1. Your LNMP was Feb 1
  2. Add 1 day
  3. On your calendar, count forward 40 weeks to determine your due date. Making matters even worse, many women do not have typical 28-day cycles. Practitioners may adjust the EDD to reflect the shorter or longer cycle length.

Remember, calculation of your due date is certainly not precise (after all, women get pregnant in all the months of the calendar, some of which have 28, 29, 30 and 31 days!). Also, all women do not have a ‘typical’ 28 day cycle! This is why your due date is usually referred to as your EDD or Estimated Due Date! Use our Due Date Calculator to estimate your due date.

As if it wasn’t already hard enough, some women may be unable to recall their LNMP or may have very irregular or infrequent cycles. When you visit your care provider, try to give as close an estimate as possible. The closer the estimate, the less likely both you and your practitioner will worry or experience stress if your baby does not come on the EDD. Only about five percent of expecting moms deliver on their EDD anyway!

An experienced practitioner may also rely on physical clues to determine the baby’s due date. Most of these clues are most evident within the first two months of pregnancy. They include:

  • Examination of uterine size
  • Identification of audible fetal heart tones by doppler
  • Ultrasound examination prior to 26 weeks from LNMP

This all sounds fine, but if you calculate the due date from LNMP, aren’t you counting weeks before conception?

Although it may be confusing at first, health care providers begin counting the pregnancy from day one of the LNMP. Yes, before you even conceived!

Months

Measured as nine months on the calendar — starting one week after your LNMP.

Trimesters

Three periods of three months each. Months 1 – 3 are the first trimester, months 4 – 6 are the second trimester, and months 7 – 9 are the third trimester.

Lunar Months

Prenatal development is often measured in lunar months. Each lunar month consists of 28 days, organized into four weeks of seven days each. That means a pregnancy is 10 lunar months long!

Weeks

40 weeks from the start of your LNMP. Gestation is 38 weeks from conception to birth.

Days

280 days from your LNMP. No matter what method is used to determine EDD.

No matter how you measure your pregnancy, even the best estimated due date can be inaccurate. Your baby will be born when he or she is ready!

Pregnancy Week 1

Did you know that a pregnancy is typically 280 days long, starting from the day after the first day of your menstrual period? The first day of your last menstrual period starts ‘lunar month one’ of your pregnancy. It also starts the first of the fourty weeks of pregnancy! Confused about lunar months, calendar months and weeks? Your not alone! Click here to learn more.

Prenatal Care

Your very first — and perhaps most important — job in your new role as mom-to-be is to take excellent care of yourself. Your little one is counting on you!

Stay away from alcohol, cigarettes (even second-hand), drugs, and medications (including herbal ones).

If you aren’t already, start taking prenatal vitamins regularly. They’re chock full of just the nutrition pregnant women need, including folic acid, a vitamin that helps prevent birth defects. Folic acid is also found in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and juices, enriched breads and cereals, and more. Eat well to ensure 39 more weeks of growing anticipation and great health!

If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to visit with your doctor or midwife so you can plan and begin your healthy journey through pregnancy.

How You Might Be Feeling

You haven’t yet ovulated this month, but you may be pregnant (well, technically speaking anyways)! The typical pregnancy lasts for 280 days, or 40 weeks (also known as 10 lunar months). Your doctor starts counting that time from the day after the first day of your last known menstrual period. That means you can be considered officially pregnant right now, even though you haven’t yet conceived! Confused? You’re not alone!

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Pregnancy Week 2

Advice for Mom

One week has passed since the start of your last menstrual period. Do you chart your cycles to know when you ovulate? In a few days, your ovaries will open and release an egg! If you are using ovulation prediction kits, this may be when you should start testing. Be sure to read the package insert carefully.

Make sure you are getting enough calcium. Dairy products and leafy green vegetables are good sources. It is very important to stay away from alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and medications (including herbal ones) if you are trying to conceive. On average, ovulation occurs at this time, but it is different for every woman. Now is the time to ‘babydance’ as the egg gets ready to travel down the fallopian tube.

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Pregnancy Week 3

It is now two weeks from your last menstrual period. Conception may occur today! Well, at least in the previous few or next few days, depending on the length of your cycle. The egg and sperm will meet, creating a single cell organism called a zygote will start to divide. You may want to start preparing for the psychological part of pregnancy now. Around now, if the egg was fertilized, it will drop into your uterus. Now that the fertilized egg (or zygote) is in your uterus, fluid will enter dividing it into two. One will be the placenta, the other will be the baby.

Advice for Mom

If you are pregnant or trying to conceive and haven’t already found a doctor or midwife, you should begin looking now. Make sure you feel a sense of trust and comfort with your health care provider, to have an informative and healthy pregnancy. A blood pregnancy test may show positive as early as today.

Pregnancy Week 4

The cells making up the ovum are beginning to differentiate and specialize in areas of development. Some cells will make up the embryo; others the amniotic sac and placenta etc. The ovum, which has been floating around in your uterus, will implant into the wall of the uterus. Now comes an exciting time of rapid growth! The amniotic sac, amniotic cavity and yolk sac are developing. The placenta is beginning to form now too.

Advice for Mom
Many women do not experience any symptoms this early. But you may start experiencing some early symptoms of pregnancy such as:

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Frequent Urination
  • Nausea vomiting – Morning Sickness
  • Heartburn Indigestion Flatulence bloating
  • Craving and aversions to certain foods
  • Breast tenderness soreness, and enlargement the areola (pigmented area that surrounds the nipple) will darken

If you are feeling weepy, irrational or have mood swings, take heart — this is perfectly normal!

A home pregnancy test may show positive, but you may want to wait a few days for more accurate results. Some women will wrap a positive test result up as a gift to their partner!

Morning sickness could set in anytime now: you might not know you’re pregnant yet, but your body sure does! To ease the symptoms of this common problem, remember to:

  • Keep crackers, hard candy, or other bland food in your purse for frequent snacking, which may help settle your stomach
  • Avoid nausea-triggering odors.
  • Eat smaller meals and eat frequently throughout the day. An empty stomach often triggers nausea
  • Take your prenatal vitamins with food or before going to bed, rather than in the morning or on an empty stomach when nausea may be worse

Pregnancy Week 5

Even though you may not even know you are pregnant for sure yet, you are starting Lunar month 2. The next month is crucial in the development of the baby’s nervous system and heart. Chorionic villi, the tissue lining the placenta, begins to develop. The ovum is now called an embryo and is about 1/10 of an inch long. The amniotic sac is now visible on an ultrasound and contains only a drop of fluid.

Take good care of your baby by taking good care of yourself. Be sure you are taking your Folic Acid as your baby will need it while his brain and spinal cord are beginning to develop.

Advice for Mom

If you are feeling really tired, it’s normal! Listen to your body and get lots of rest. Exciting things are going on!

If you own a cat, you’d better have someone else take over cleaning out the litter box to avoid toxoplasmosis.

Pregnancy Week 6

The baby’s heart begins to beat. But don’t be discouraged if it cannot be heard yet — this usually happens later.

Peek-a-boo! The baby’s eyes and inner ears are starting to develop. It is about now that your baby’s major organs (heart, lungs liver, spleen, and kidneys) are beginning to develop. Your baby’s digestive system is becoming more refined as the stomach and intestines develop. Remember the Folic Acid you should be taking? Well, since the Neural tube (later known as spinal cord) begins to fuse, folic acid is important in preventing neural tube defects.

Advice for Mom

Some women experience an increase in vaginal discharge. While this is normal, please call your health care provider if it causes burning, itching, or odor. Some other new symptoms you may feel include:

  • Morning Sickness (if your morning sickness is severe, you may have Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) )
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Clothing will feel tighter
  • Slightly enlarged abdomen

Pregnancy Week 7

Welcome to the start of week seven! Your baby is now called an embryo, is at 4 weeks gestation and measures about 1/4 inch. The embryo continues to develop rapidly — the rate of growth is phenomenal really. The embryo resembles a little tadpole now; with a head, arm and leg ‘buds’, a trunk and a tail. He is curled up with his head on his chest.

Advice for Mom

Wearing out a track to the bathroom? You may find you are having to urinate a lot more now.

Mild, infrequent headaches are common throughout pregnancy, but if a headache persists, or is accompanied by blurred vision, dizziness, or fainting, please report it to your doctor immediately.

Smoking during pregnancy is known to be detrimental to your baby’s health and is associated with miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight. If you are a smoker and haven’t already quit, there’s no better time to stop.

Pamper yourself a little. relax, put your feet up, and let others help you around the house.

Pregnancy Week 8

This week, your baby is at 5 weeks gestation and measures about 1/3 inch. An ultrasound can usually detect a fetal heartbeat around this time. If you have an ultrasound scheduled, you may want to ask about pictures or a video tape of it!

Your baby’s oral and nasal cavities are forming, the cerebellum and spleen begin to develop and the baby’s facial features are becoming more defined. If you are going for an ultrasound around now, you should get a good view of the baby’s profile!

Your baby’s head to rump is now approximately 9mm. Although all the major organs have formed, they are not fully developed. Your baby’s upper lip is likely formed. Also, the upper limbs bend at elbow and what will be the baby’s fingers are developing.

Advice for Mom

Make sure you are eating properly and getting lots of rest — helping that baby grow is hard work!

Medications (even vitamins or herbal medications & teas) can be harmful. Please check with your doctor before taking anything.

Some cramping can be normal throughout pregnancy as the uterus contacts and enlarges. But please check with your doctor if it becomes painful or severe.

Your hormones may cause moodiness, and you may be noticing changes in your breasts about now.

Pregnancy Week 9

You are starting Lunar Month 3! The baby is at 6 weeks gestation and is about 1/2 inch.

Here’s looking at you kid! The eyelids are beginning to form and pigment has formed in the retina.

Cute little button nose! The tip of your baby’s nose is now distinct.

Boy or girl??? Who knows, but the buds of genitals are beginning to form. Now your baby’s trunk is elongating and straightening out some. Your baby has graduated from being called an embryo and is now called a fetus!

Advice for Mom

Did you know that dental problems can occur during pregnancy? A visit to your dentist may be in order, but make sure you let them know you are pregnant before any ex-rays or medications are given to you.

Pregnancy Week 10

The baby is at 7 weeks gestation and is about 18-20 mm (3/4 inch) long. A Doppler may pick up the baby’s heart beat! But don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear it yet — it’s still early.

The fetus’ upper limbs are growing longer and are bent at the elbows. The fingers are more distinct now too.

Sex?? The fetus’ testes or ovaries are distinguishable now, but you may not be able to tell until the second trimester. Did you know that the baby’s intestines form outside baby first (on the umbilical cord) because they can’t fit inside?

Advice for Mom

Your breasts may be sore, and if you are suffering from “morning sickness” you probably haven’t been able to keep down a decent meal in the past few weeks. You may not be feeling up to doing much, but now is the time, if you haven’t already, to begin an exercise program for pregnancy. Maybe Yoga is for you? Always check with your doctor though before beginning any program.

Pregnancy Week 11

The baby is at 8 weeks gestation and is about 30 mm (1 1/4 inch) long. Your baby is free floating in amniotic fluid now. He is kicking and moving about in your uterus! You are not likely feel a kick until around the 18th week though. The baby’s genitalia now shows male characteristics if your baby is a boy. The placenta and umbilical cord are completely formed and functional.

Advice for Mom

Eating healthy throughout pregnancy is so important. Skim milk, whole grains, soy products and fruits/veggies provide much needed vitamins, calcium and protein. Take Popeye’s advice and eat your spinach!

Heartburn? Try to eat small meals and avoid gassy foods. Or you might want to try this tip — have a glass of buttermilk or some yogurt 1/2 hour before your regular meal. If this doesn’t work, ask your doctor for advice on antacids.

Constipation? Unfortunately it is something many women have at one time or another while pregnant. Drink plenty of fluids and eat high fiber foods. Avoid laxatives of any kind unless prescribed by your doctor.

Pregnancy Week 12

The baby is at 9 weeks gestation and is about 5 cm (almost 2 inches) long. By the end of the first trimester, the fetus really looks like a little baby! Your baby has advanced to the stage that its brain can transmit messages.

Advice for Mom

If you’re pregnant and working, learn your rights now. What maternity benefits are available? Job security? Unfortunately, some employers will still try to take advantage of you.

Make sure you are getting enough rest. Listen to your body and slow down when you are tired. Reduce the risk of bladder infections by getting Vitamin C, urinating frequently, and drinking eight glasses of water daily. Remember, aspirin, prescription medication and even excessive vitamins can be harmful: ask your doctor before taking anything.

Pregnancy Week 13

Your baby is now at 10 weeks gestation and is almost 2 1/2 inches long. If your baby is a girl, the Clitoris and labia major are formed. If it’s a boy, the glands, penis and scrotum are formed. Your baby is forming urine discharging it into the amniotic cavity. Drink lots of liquids. your baby is now swallowing and absorbing fluids. By now, early fingernails are developing. Your baby’s vocal cords have formed in the voice box and the heart is completely developed.

Advice for Mom

Do your Kegels!! They will help with childbirth and after.

If Morning Sickness hasn’t settled already, it may this week. Try eating small frequent meals consisting of whole grains, fruits and vegetables to help with any symptoms you have. If you’re lucky, you will not experience morning sickness at all!

Pregnancy Week 14

Your baby is now at 11 weeks gestation and is about 2 1/2 inches from crown to rump (3 1/2 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 1 ounce.

Remember when we told you about the intestines forming outside the body? Well, they are now contained within the abdomen.

Your baby can smile now!

Advice for Mom

If you haven’t already, you may want to consider buying some maternity clothes for yourself. It will help you feel better about your changing shape while providing style and comfort! You can look good!

Morning Sickness may be settling down this week, although many women do experience it longer than others.

If you’re over 35, your doctor may offer amniocentesis. It is usually scheduled between 14 -18 weeks from the start of your last menstrual period.

Traveling by car? Weather it’s a trip around the block, across town or across the country, always wear your seat belt.

Pregnancy Week 15

It is now 14 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 12 weeks gestation and is about 8.7 cm from crown to rump (11 cm or 4 1/2 inches head to toe) and weighs 45 gm.

Great News! The risk of miscarriage is now reduced substantially.

Lanugo, a soft downy hair, is beginning to grow and cover the baby’s body

Advice for Mom

Pregnancy requires that you take in about 60-80 grams of protein per day. Make sure you are getting enough.

You may want to discuss the ‘Triple Screen Test’ with your doctor. If you decide to have this test, the best time to do it is between 16 and 18 weeks from your last menstrual period.

Pregnancy Week 16

Congratulations — you are in the second trimester! Your baby is now at 13 weeks gestation and is about 4 inches long from crown to rump (5 inches head to toe) and weighs about 1 1/2 ounces.

About now, a small amount of hair is growing on your baby’s head and eyelashes and eyebrows start to emerge.

Your uterus is approximately half way from your pubic bone to the umbilicus.

Advice for Mom

Your uterus may practice contracting about now. These are called Braxton Hicks contractions. They usually just feel like a tightening around your midsection. If you have more than 5 in an hour or experience severe backache or cramping, contact your doctor.

You may have trouble concentrating, you might drop things, forget things. Sometimes you feel “not all there”. If you are feeling angry or emotional, it is normal!

Pregnancy Week 17

Your baby is now at 14 weeks gestation and is about 4 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (5 1/2 inches head to toe) and weighs about 3 ounces. Your baby can now move his or her limbs and the movements become coordinated. From now on, the baby will continue to grow and refine his or her features. The baby has fingernails, toenails and its own unique fingerprints and footprints!

Your baby’s eyes are now more forward rather than to the side of the head. Slow eye movements begin about now. As your baby continues to grow rapidly, he adds blinking to his list of reflexes.

Advice for Mom

Have you heard of cholasma (‘the mask of pregnancy’)? This is where irregular pigment deposits can occur on your face. Avoid sunbathing as this can emphasize this temporary condition.

You may start to feel some swelling in your hands and feet. Combat this by drinking lots of fluids.

Pregnancy Week 18

Your baby is now at 15 weeks gestation and is about 5 inches long from crown to rump (6 1/4 inches head to toe) and weighs about 4 or 5 ounces. Your baby may be sucking his thumb and swallowing small amounts of amniotic fluid about now.

Advice for Mom

You may notice your breasts enlarging — many women have an increase of one or two cup sizes. A good support bra is a wonderful investment now. Keep in mind though that your breasts and rib cage may change even more.

You should be scheduled for an ultrasound within the next few week. Ask if you can bring a video tape to tape it! Imagine showing those home movies!

Now is also good time to take a tour of the birthing center or hospital. Ask about labor routines, visiting restrictions and rooming in.

Pregnancy Week 19

It is now 18 weeks from your last menstrual period Your baby is now at 16 weeks gestation and is almost 5 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (7 inches from head to toe).

A cheesy coating called vernix is beginning to form on your baby to protect his skin from the amniotic fluid. Your baby’s body growth is now catching up to his or her head. Believe it or not, if your baby is a girl, early ovaries contain early follicles with early eggs.

Advice for Mom

Many women have trouble sleeping at night about now.

Even if you were very athletic before your pregnancy, you maybe should avoid activities such as jogging, water-skiing, diving, downhill skiing, bicycling, and contact sports. A nice brisk walk is a better choice now. Talk to your doctor about other options.

Pregnancy Week 20

You’re halfway there now!

It is now 19 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 17 weeks gestation and is almost 6 inches long from crown to rump (8 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 8 ounces.

Did you know that your baby receives his nutrients 1-2 hours after you eat? If you feel gentle rhythmic movements in your abdomen, chances are your baby has the hiccups! This is nothing to be concerned about.

Advice for Mom

You may want to start thinking about how you will feed your baby — which is best for you both — breast or bottle?

Although your libido may lessen with pregnancy, unless your doctor says no (due to bleeding or possible pre-term labor), you can say yes!

If you are experiencing leg cramps at night, try taking a calcium supplement that does not contain phosphorus since it is believed that an excess of phosphorus and a shortage of calcium may be the cause of the leg cramps.

Heartburn is very common now as your stomach is getting compressed. Eating small, frequent meals may help. Please check with your doctor before taking any antacids.

Pregnancy Week 21

It is now 20 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 18 weeks gestation and is almost 6 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (9 1/2 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 10 ounces.

Double trouble? If you are carrying multiples, it has usually be detected by now. Why? Your uterus grows larger than expected, iron levels drop and you feel lots of movement.Two heartbeats may be heard.

If your baby is a girl, the uterus is formed and development of the vagina has begun.

Advice for Mom

You’re halfway there! If you are suffering from hemorrhoids, your not alone, it is very common in and after pregnancy.

It’s not unusual to feel like you have wobbly hips during pregnancy. Hormones cause the ligaments and cartilage to relax and the bones of the pelvis to spread in preparation for delivery.

Remember that there is no safe level of alcohol for use in pregnancy, so it’s best to avoid it all together.

Pregnancy Week 22

It is now 21 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 19 weeks gestation and is almost 7 inches long from crown to rump and weighs about 14 ounces. During the next few weeks, your baby will grow to about 10 inches long and reach half of the length it will have at birth.

Advice for Mom

If you haven’t already, now’s a good time to register for a childbirth education program or a refresher course.

If you have been exercising during your pregnancy, keep it up despite feeling a bit awkward or bulky. Swimming is a wonderful choice!

One of the most common complaints of pregnancy is backaches. A support may do wonders for you! While backaches are common in pregnancy, a dull, low backache, especially if it comes and goes or develops a pattern, may be a sign of pre-term labor. A call to your doctors office is in order.

A body pillow can be your best friend! Many women find that sleeping with a body pillow along side them and between their legs can ease their fatigued body and lead to a more restful nights sleep.

Pregnancy Week 23

It is now 22 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 20 weeks gestation and is almost 7 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (10 1/2 inches from head to toe) and weighs about one pound!

Your baby is starting to develop ‘brown fat’ — this specialized fatty tissue keeps your baby warm. About now, your baby is developing a strong grasp reflex.

Advice for Mom

To avoid hemorrhoids and constipation, increase your fiber intake and drink lots of water.

When women become mothers, it affects the whole family in many ways. Be proud of your transition! As the baby grows bigger and stronger, you may be able to see his or her vigorous kicks as well as feel them!

Itchy belly? Join the club! Pregnant bellies are itchy bellies and they can become increasingly itchier as the skin is stretched across the abdomen. Lotions or “butters” may bring relief. If you are itchy all over, check with your doctor.

Pregnancy Week 24

It is now 23 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 21 weeks gestation and is almost 8 inches long from crown to rump (11inches from head to toe).

Your baby is taking iron and calcium from you. Make sure you are getting enough! Your baby can hear your heartbeat and the rumblings in your tummy now.

Chomp! The buds for baby’s permanent teeth are forming.

Advice for Mom

Although it will be a while before your baby is mobile, it’s not too early to think about child-proofing your home.

Worried about labor and childbirth? That’s very normal! If you prepare your mind and your body now, you should be able to reduce your anxiety some. Prenatal classes are wonderful, as is reading about labour & delivery.

Don’t hold it in! Did you know that making a habit out of not urinating when you feel the need increases the risk that your enflamed bladder may irritate the uterus and set off contractions?

Pregnancy Week 25

It is now 24 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 22 weeks gestation and is almost 8 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (111/2 inches from head to toe).

Baby’s skin is wrinkled, translucent, and pink to red. If you could see your baby, you could see her bones, organs and vessels. Your baby will start to develop tiny air sacs called alveoli in the lungs and will start to make primitive breathing movements. Your care provider may do a cervical check to assess for risk of preterm labor.

Advice for Mom

You might want to give some thoughts now as to whether or not to circumcise your baby if it is a boy. Discuss the pros and cons with your Doctor. Circumcision is not recommended as a routine procedure.

Sciatica (lower back and leg pain) is common in pregnancy. The pain may pass as the baby changes position, or it may linger until you’ve delivered. A support, rest and a heating pad applied locally may help.

In your wildest dreams! Many women have bizarre and vivid dreams during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Week 26

It is now 25 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 23 weeks gestation and is almost 8 3/4 inches long from crown to rump (11 3/4 inches from head to toe).

Sudden noises may cause your baby to startle — responses have been reported when baby hears a loud noise.

Your baby’s bowel now contains some meconium, a dark green tar-like substance that will be excreted during the first few days after birth.

Advice for Mom

Your uterus should measure about 9 1/2 – 10 inches and be about 3 finger-breadths above your belly button. The linea nigra is a black line that might appear from your pubic bone to navel. This is normal and will lighten about 3 months postpartum.

While most women dread stretch marks, you should be proud of them! They’re like a badge of honour and are symbolic of your baby’s road map to life.

To avoid varicose veins, some women try a support, maternity hose and/or frequent walks to increase circulation.

Pregnancy Week 27

It is now 26 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 24 weeks gestation and is almost 9 inches long from crown to rump (12 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 1 pound 12 ounces.

Your baby’s lungs begin to manufacture surfactant, a substance that keeps lung tissue from sticking to itself. Your baby is developing taste buds and they appear on the tongue and inside the baby’s little cheeks. Your baby’s higher brain functions are becoming more sophisticated. Your baby can perceive light, smell and taste now since they eyelids and nostrils have opened.

Advice for Mom

You’re doctor will likely test for gestational diabetes about this time. Although the test can be time consuming, it is easy and important! Take a good book with you to your appointment.

Pregnancy Week 28

It is now 27 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 25 weeks gestation and is almost 9 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (12 1/2 inches from head to toe).

Have someone listen to your belly! Your baby’s heart beat may be detectable against the side where your baby’s back (a firm ridge) can be felt.

Advice for Mom

Remember, this is not the time to diet or cut down on fluid intake. Continue eating balanced meals and drinking 8 glasses of water each day.

Be aware of preterm labor symptoms: menstrual-like cramps if more than 5 per hour, “come and go” low backache, sudden change in vaginal discharge, or leaking of fluid. If in doubt, check with your doctor.

Birth plans are becoming more and more popular. A birth plan may deal with a wide variety of topics depending on the patients, the practitioner, and the hospital involved.

Some women experience leaking of urine during pregnancy. Do kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pubic floor.

Home or hospital birth? Doctor or midwife? There are so many choices — and it seems everyone will give you their opinion on what they think is best! But you are the only one who can decide what is right for you and your baby.

Pregnancy Week 29

You are starting lunar month eight! It is now 28 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 26 weeks gestation and is almost 10 inches long from crown to rump (13 inches from head to toe). Your baby is beginning to shed the lanugo and the downy hair remains only of the back and shoulders.

Advice for Mom

Many women have trouble sleeping during the third trimester because it is hard to get comfortable. Try sleeping on your left side with a pillow between your knees and under your stomach.

Hormonal changes may cause grouchiness — just remember, you’re coming down the home stretch!

Since blood volume has doubled by now, your requirements for iron are high — make sure you are getting enough. If you are Rh negative, now is about the time to get your RhoGAM injection and Rh titer.

You’ll be needing a car seat very soon. A car seat is a very important investment and careful thought should go into buying a safe one. It’s also a good time to start researching other baby needs too, and here’s a handy checklist to help you!

Pregnancy Week 30

It is now 29 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 27 weeks gestation and is almost 10 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (13 1/2 inches from head to toe).

Although your baby’s lungs are developed enough to breathe air fairly efficiently, he or she would tire rapidly. During the next few weeks, your immunities will be transferred to your baby enabling him or her to fight off infections after birth.

Advice for Mom

Some providers recommend perineum massage daily to avoid lacerations and episiotomys. Talk to your doctor to see what he or she recommends.

Notify your doctor of any contractions, backache, visual disturbances, swelling, or headaches.

Discuss the topics of pain relief and anesthesia with your doctor before labour begins. Many women go through childbirth without medication, but relief of pain through medication is an acceptable option, and in some cases, the preferred one. And remember, it’s O.K. to change your mind when you’re in labour — if you’ve talked about the option ahead of time, your better able to make the best choice for you.

The medical community agrees — there is no question but that given normal circumstances, breastfeeding is best. Some women, however, are unable to breastfeed for one reason or another. Be sure to talk to your doctor and find out about lactation consultants etc. in your area.

Pregnancy Week 31

It is now 30 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 28 weeks gestation and is almost 10 3/4 inches long from crown to rump (14 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 3 pounds.

Your baby’s fingernails have now grown out to the tips of the fingers. Most babies need their nails trimmed soon after birth. While some moms use baby nail trimmers, other moms prefer to bite off their baby’s nails.

By using their hands on your belly, your doctor will likely be able to pinpoint the location of your baby’s head, back, and buttocks for you. Ask about this at your next visit.

Your baby’s skin is slightly wrinkled and the eyes are wide open now.

Advice for Mom

Vaginal itching may be a sign of a yeast or other infection. Discuss any symptoms with your doctor as soon as possible. Do not administer any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Absentminded? You are definitely not alone! It’s just one of those normal occurrences in pregnancy.

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Pregnancy Week 32

It is now 31 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 29 weeks gestation and is almost 11 inches long from crown to rump (14 1/2 inches from head to toe).

If your baby was born now, he or she could survive but may face respiratory distress, trouble stabilizing temperature and glucose, and feeding problems.

Many babies will be getting into position for birth, most likely with his or her head down. But if your baby is still head up (or breech), don’t worry, there is still time for him or her to turn.

Advice for Mom

Even if you are planning a home birth, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are pre-registered at the hospital or birthing center near your home. Begin working with your support person to prepare for labor. Relaxation, massage, and focus exercises can be practiced.

If you have gestational diabetes, make sure you are testing your blood sugars and stay with the diet your doctor prescribed.

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Pregnancy Week 33

Your baby may comfort himself by sucking thumb. His grasp is well developed and he may even grasp the umbilical cord at times. Your baby’s brain and nerves are continuing to develop and direct bodily functions. Your baby is starting to prepare for life outside the womb by storing iron in his or her liver. These iron stores will last until your baby is about four months old.

Advice for Mom

Talk to your baby as he or she is able to hear sound and is getting accustomed to family and other familiar voices. Some moms even read to their babies now!

Some doctors will perform an internal exam to check for early cervical changes. While they can be quite uncomfortable for you, they will not harm the baby.

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Pregnancy Week 34

It is now 33 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 31 weeks gestation and is almost 11 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (16 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 4 pounds 5 ounces.

Your baby’s eyes are developed and the pupil will now constrict if light is shined in their eye. When your baby is most active (many are most active right when you want to sleep!), you should be able to feel about 10 movements in one hour. If not, drink a glass of juice or milk and count for one more hour. Call your doctor if your baby hasn’t moved 10 times in 2 hours.

The vernix on the baby’s skin is thick and the lanugo is almost completely gone. Your baby’s rate of growth will slow down some but still be steady as he or she continues to put on weight and fill out.

Advice for Mom

Although an increase in vaginal discharge is common now, be cautious that it is not leaking of amniotic fluid. Your Doctor can do a simple test to be sure.

Braxton-Hicks contractions will likely continue to occur but without regularity or pain. If you experience pain, contact your doctor.

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Pregnancy Week 35

It is now 34 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 32 weeks gestation and is almost 12 inches long from crown to rump (16 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 4 pounds 11 ounces.

Your baby is likely beginning to develop sleeping patterns. Although it’s still early, if your baby was born now, he or she would have an excellent chance for survival with the provision of warmth, respiratory support and good care

Advice for Mom

You may be feeling anxious and excited about the labor and delivery. Be very careful when taking a bath or a shower late in pregnancy. Your expanding belly can make you somewhat ungainly and this could lead to slips or falls.

Did you know that breastfed babies are less subject to illness in the first year of life?

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Pregnancy Week 36

It is now 35 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 33 weeks gestation and is almost 12 1/4 inches long from crown to rump (16 1/2 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 5 pounds.

Since your baby is done taking most of the iron he or she needs, your hemoglobin (iron) is coming back up. If labor started, it probably wouldn’t be medically stopped as your baby has an excellent chance now.

Advice for Mom

Lightening may occur at any time now as your baby drops into your pelvis.

Start planning for postpartum now. Get some support teams in place for housekeeping, meals, and laundry. The best advice is don’t be proud and accept any help that is offered!

Don’t forget that expectant fathers also have needs! They sometimes doubt their parenting skills and wonder what life will be like once the baby arrives. Support and communication are very important.

Some cultures have baby showers before the baby is born. Others wait until after the baby is born.

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Pregnancy Week 37

You are staring Lunar Month 10! It is now 36 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 34 weeks gestation and is almost 12 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (17 1/2 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 5 pounds, 9 ounces. This month marks the most rapid weight gain for your baby — about 1/2 – 3/4 lb. per week.

Advice for Mom

You will probably be scheduled for weekly visits to your doctor as your baby’s arrival is not too far off now!

Be sure to report any symptoms of pre-eclampsia to your doctor — excessive water retention, headaches, visual disturbance, or abdominal pain. Be sure to discuss labor and delivery options/routines with your doctor. Issues could include IVs, fetal monitoring, positions, episiotomy, drugs, shaves, and enemas.

Your uterus has grown from about 3 inches to about 12 inches in diameter to hold your baby. Your doctor may perform more frequent cervical checks, although labor is hard to predict. Cervical thinning (effacement), softening and some early dilatation may be occurring .

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Pregnancy Week 38

It is now 37 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 35 weeks gestation and is almost 13 inches long from crown to rump (17 1/2 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 6 pounds.

Although your due date is still a couple of weeks away, your baby would be considered ‘full term’ if he or she was born now. The fluid in the amniotic sac has increased from one drop to about one liter! The placenta has grown to about seven inches in diameter and weighs about two pounds.

Advice for Mom

Research baby-related products carefully. Talk to other moms about what products they could or couldn’t do without, and have a look at our checklist.

Pack your bags! Even if you are planning a home birth, pack a few essentials in case you need to go to the hospital. Check out our checklist to help you decide what to pack.

Bloody show (mucous plug – which is thick mucous) may occur any time now, but it does not mean that labor is imminent. It is normal and due to changes in the cervix.

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Pregnancy Week 39

It is now 38 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 36 weeks gestation and is almost 13 1/2 inches long from crown to rump (18 1/2 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 6 1/2 pounds.

Your baby’s lungs are mature and the baby continues to practice breathing in preparation for his or her first breath of air. The umbilical cord is about 20 inches long and will support your baby through birth until the lungs take over.

Advice for Mom

Rest, rest, rest! You’ll appreciate why in a couple of weeks.

Worried about your membranes (‘water’) breaking in public? Try to relax — the rupture of membranes before labor begins occurs in less than 15% of pregnancies. When they do break, the flow of amniotic fluid is not likely to be heavy since the baby’s head acts a bit like a cork in a bottle, blocking the opening to the uterus.

Having trouble sleeping now? It’s quite common at this stage of pregnancy.

Prepare a list of phone numbers – family and friends you will want to call with your news. Be sure to pack it in your labor bag.

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Pregnancy Week 40

It is now 39 weeks from your last menstrual period. Your baby is now at 37 weeks gestation and is almost 14 inches long from crown to rump (19 inches from head to toe) and weighs about 7 pounds.

The vernix that covered your baby’s body is mostly gone now.

WOW! Your baby has grown from one tiny little cell to over 200 million! Your baby will be born when he or he is ready — maybe as much as two weeks from now. Only a very small percentage (about 5%) of babies are born on their due date.

Advice for Mom

If you are planning to breastfeed, remember it is not instinctual. Remember that it might take a little time for you and your baby to adjust to each other. Seek support and guidance.

Note any passing of fluid and notify your doctor immediately.

Congratulations! You will be holding your baby in your arms in no time!

Find out what to expect for your first week home with your baby!

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Pregnancy Due Date Calculator

Now you know your estimated due date!
What is all this talk about months, lunar months, weeks, days and trimesters?

If you are confused, you’re not alone. While most people talk about pregnancy being 9 months long (divided into three trimesters), most health care providers refer to a pregnancy as being 40 weeks long, starting with your last known menstrual period. You might like to know that this is also equal to 280 days, or 10 Lunar Months. Phew! Read More…