Week-by-week guide to pregnancy
What's happening in my body?
You may be struggling to do up your jeans. Your uterus is around the size of a large orange, while your baby is more like the size of an apricot.
You may be feeling a bit bloated, and burping or passing wind – you can blame your hormones for that! (see 'Beating bloating'). The female hormone progesterone is just doing its job, and relaxing the muscles in your womb so that it can expand along with your growing baby. However, in the process, the muscles in your digestive tract also become looser and this can lead to all kinds of symptoms including heartburn. This is particularly likely to strike if you're expecting twins.
You can beat digestive problems ranging from bloating to burping by changing what you eat. Try making yourself six small meals a day, don't eat late at night, eat slowly, sip fluids and avoid smoking and alcohol. It could help to take a short stroll after meals. Some women find that their symptoms crop up after drinking coffee or eating rich, spicy and fatty foods. Try and work out what your triggers are – and then stay well clear! There are more tips here
Early pregnancy symptoms (at 10 weeks)
The countdown has begun until lucky week That's the start of the second trimester, when most of your first trimester symptoms will start to ease off.
Right now, your signs of pregnancy could include:
- extreme tiredness
- nausea – find out about morning sickness remedies
- mood swings
- a metallic taste in your mouth
- sore breasts
- indigestion and heartburn
- new likes and dislikes for food and drink – anyone fancy porridge with pickles? You can read our advice on weird pregnancy cravings here.
- a heightened sense of smell
- a white milky pregnancy discharge from your vagina
- light spotting (see your doctor if you get bleeding in pregnancy)
- cramping, a bit like period pains
- darkened skin on your face or brown patches - this is known as chloasma or the 'mask of pregnancy'.
- greasier, spotty skin
- thicker and shinier hair
- bloating and the feeling of being bloated
There's more too! Tommy's, the baby charity, has a list of 10 common pregnancy complaints with advice on how to manage them.
If any symptoms are worrying you, then talk to your midwife or doctor – they are there to support you.
Miscarriage: the signs and what really happens
Some women have no obvious signs of a miscarriage and only have it diagnosed during a scan. Other women have symptoms that can be intense, including bleeding or spotting, with or without stomach pain or cramps (NHS Choices, a; Miscarriage Association, a). Some pass clots or ‘stringy bits’.
"When symptoms do occur, they don’t always result in a miscarriage and might be part of a normal pregnancy. So if you get them, try not to panic."
Miscarriage symptoms and signs: bleeding
Bleeding can vary from light spotting or brownish discharge to heavy bleeding and bright red blood (Miscarriage Association, a). It might come and go over several days.
Try to remember that light vaginal bleeding is relatively common during the first trimester (the first 12 weeks) and definitely isn’t a sure sign that you're having a miscarriage. One study found that in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, 21% of the women experienced vaginal bleeding and 12% had a miscarriage after that (Everett, ). This means about half of the women who had vaginal bleeding continued having a healthy pregnancy.
Bleeding could be caused by any of the following:
- Implantation: In early pregnancy, you might get some harmless light bleeding (spotting), when the developing embryo plants itself in the wall of your womb. This often happens when your period would have been due.
- Cervical changes: Pregnancy can cause changes to the cervix, and this may cause bleeding, for example after sex.
- Ectopic pregnancy: When a fertilised egg implants outside the womb, such as in the fallopian tube, it can't develop properly. Symptoms are: a sharp, sudden and intense pain in your tummy, feeling very dizzy or fainting, and feeling sick or looking very pale. Call or go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department if you get a combination of those symptoms.
(NHS Choices, ; NHS Choices, b)
If you start bleeding during pregnancy, contact your GP, midwife or the early pregnancy unit at your local hospital as soon as possible. If your symptoms are not severe and your baby is not due for a while, you'll be monitored. Some women may have to stay in hospital for observation (NHS Choices, b).
How will I know what’s causing my bleeding?
You may need to have a vaginal or pelvic examination, an ultrasound scan or blood tests to check your hormone levels. Your doctor will also ask you about other symptoms but sometimes it might not be possible to find out what’s caused the bleeding.
Miscarriage symptoms and signs: stomach pain
Stomach pain might be due to an upset tummy or constipation. Some women experience lower stomach cramps because of the recent implantation of the fertilised egg in the wall of the uterus. You can also get cramps in the early weeks because your womb is stretching and growing (Marcin, ).
If you have bleeding or spotting as well as pain, that may be a sign of miscarriage (Miscarriage Association, a). Contact your GP or early pregnancy unit.
If you have sharp abdominal or one-sided pain or pain in your shoulders, and/or pain when you poo, go to A&E. They’ll give you an emergency scan. It’s especially important to get help if you have had an ectopic pregnancy before (NHS Choices, a; Miscarriage Association, a).
If pregnancy symptoms go away, is that a sign of miscarriage?
The sudden disappearance of pregnancy symptoms like nausea or cravings can also sometimes be a sign of miscarriage. But this doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. Some women don’t get many pregnancy symptoms anyway.
If you’ve been having strong pregnancy symptoms that suddenly reduce or stop well before you’re 12 weeks pregnant, your hormone levels might be dropping. You may want to do another pregnancy test and/or talk to your GP about a scan (Miscarriage Association, a).
Miscarriage: How do you know for certain?
Miscarriage is usually diagnosed or confirmed with an ultrasound scan. It may take more than one scan to confirm it for definite.
In later (second trimester) pregnancy, bleeding, pain and passing a recognisable pregnancy sac or delivering a baby often confirms what has happened without a scan.
Miscarriage: What happens afterwards?
If there's no pregnancy tissue left in the womb, no treatment is required. If there is, your options to remove the tissue are as follows:
- Wait 7 to 14 days after a miscarriage for the tissue to pass naturally. If the pain and bleeding don’t start within that time or are getting worse, you should get another scan and discuss your options.
- Take medication if you don’t want to wait or if waiting hasn’t worked. This might involve using mifepristone first, followed 48 hours later by misoprostol.
- Have tissue surgically removed. This may be advised if you have continuous heavy bleeding, infected pregnancy tissue, or if waiting and medication hasn’t enabled the tissue to pass.
(NHS Choices, c)
Discuss your options with the doctor in charge of your care and read more about available treatments on the NHS Choices website
If your blood group is rhesus negative (RhD negative), you should be offered injections of a medication called anti-D immunoglobin afterwards. This prevents rhesus disease, which is a condition where antibodies in a pregnant woman's blood destroy her baby's blood cells (NHS Choices, d).
Contact your hospital immediately if your bleeding becomes particularly heavy, you develop a high temperature, or you experience severe pain.
You should be advised to take a home pregnancy test after three weeks. If you're still pregnant, you may need further tests to make sure you don't have a molar pregnancy (an abnormal fertilised egg implanted) or an ectopic pregnancy (NHS Choices, ; Miscarriage Association, b).
This page was last reviewed in April
Our support line offers practical and emotional support in many areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood:
We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.
Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby.
For more help and advice on all pregnancy loss, contact The Miscarriage Association
You can read more about miscarriage in our range of articles.
Everett C. () Incidence and outcome of bleeding before the 20th week of pregnancy: prospective study from general practice. Bmj, (), Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ [Accessed 9th April ].
Marcin. () Everything you need to know about implantation cramping. Healthline. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/implantation-cramping [Accessed 9th April ].
Miscarriage Association. (a) Miscarriage – Symptoms and diagnosis at Available from: https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/information/miscarriage/symptoms-diagnosis/ [Accessed 9th April ].
Miscarriage Association. (b) Molar pregnancy. Available from: https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/information/molar-pregnancy/ [Accessed 9th April ].
NHS Choices. () Ectopic pregnancy. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ectopic-pregnancy/ [Accessed 9th April ].
NHS Choices. (a) Miscarriage – symptoms. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/miscarriage/symptoms/ [Accessed 9th April ].
NHS Choices. (b) Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/vaginal-bleeding-pregnant/ [Accessed 9th April ].
NHS Choices. (c) What happens: Miscarriage. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/miscarriage/what-happens/ [Accessed 9th April ].
NHS Choices. (d) Rhesus disease. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rhesus-disease/ [Accessed 9th April ].
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Last Updated on
During pregnancy, a woman may experience a host of symptoms, and they may vary in each woman. However, it has been observed that with time, most of the symptoms may disappear over the course of the pregnancy term to re-appear later. In some cases, some symptoms may not re-appear at all while some may persist till delivery. Pregnancy symptoms may come and go, and it is absolutely normal. However, it is but obvious for any pregnant woman, more so for first-time mothers, to get anxious and worried. To be on the safer side, it is always best to talk to your doctor about it. But, before that, you may read this article to know when the symptoms are normal and when they are concerning.
When Are Changes in Pregnancy Symptoms Normal?
It is said that all pregnancies are not the same, which means that every pregnant woman will not have the same symptoms. Some may experience extreme nausea in the first trimester, some, till the time of delivery, and few may not suffer from nausea throughout their pregnancy. But, usually, a pregnant woman will experience the following symptoms in each trimester
- The first trimester, according to most women, is the most challenging time during pregnancy. It is the period when women (especially first-time mothers) are trying to cope with the changes happening in their bodies. It is the time when they start dealing with pregnancy symptoms like nausea, tender breasts, dizziness, headaches, and cramps.
- The second trimester is supposed to be the “honeymoon” period in pregnancy since most of the symptoms seem to disappear, and most pregnant women are at ease with their pregnancy. However, for some women, it may not be that pleasant a period as they might experience most pregnancy-related symptoms like backaches, bloating, heartburn, depression, anxiety, constipation, etc., which may have started way back in the first trimester. They would also have cravings for certain food items, which at other times might have been non-existent. For a few women, it may be a period when they start disliking a certain food or even the smell of it.
- In the third trimester, women may experience oedema due to water retention, or frequent urination as the uterus increases in size and presses upon the bladder.
All the symptoms in each of the trimester may vary in time, recurrence, and severity. On some days, all symptoms may seem to have disappeared, and the very next day, they may be back with more intensity. For most women, some of the symptoms which they may have experienced in early pregnancy may fade away or become less intense in the last few weeks; some may become even more prominent.
If you’ve been experiencing symptoms that look somewhat like the ones described above, and you get your regular checkups, you most probably have a healthy pregnancy. Now, some women experience changes other than the ones mentioned above, which may be concerning. Let’s take a look at those changes too.
When Are the Changes in Pregnancy Symptoms Concerning?
People often wonder whether pregnancy symptoms come and go before a missed period. Well, it is common for symptoms to appear and disappear from the beginning of pregnancy. And, it is also normal not to experience the same symptoms every single day during the pregnancy term.
To be a little more precise, it is common for pregnancy symptoms to come and go in the first 8 weeks. Symptoms may vary trimester-wise, week-wise, or even day-wise. However, it has been observed that if symptoms disappear all of a sudden, or they fade away, it could signal a risk to your pregnancy. The most alarming symptom some women might notice is no fetal movement.
So, which pregnancy symptoms should you be looking out for to know if they are normal or concerning? Well, most symptoms may disappear and re-appear anytime as the pregnancy progresses. But, the movement of the foetus (which starts somewhere around the 5th month of gestation) should continue until the time of delivery. Apart from this, vaginal bleeding, along with abdominal pain, could also mean an emergency. This could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy, which requires immediate medical intervention. However, it is not always that a sudden end to symptoms during pregnancy is of concern. Talking to your gynaecologist and undergoing tests to rule out problems would be a wise move.
Remember that every pregnancy is different, and so the symptoms will also vary. Sometimes, a pregnancy without any symptoms is as normal as one with severe and intense pregnancy symptoms. The best person to walk you through your pregnancy is your gynaecologist. Therefore, it is important that you consult him/her before drawing any conclusions.
References & Resources:
Weird Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy
How to Know Whether You are Fertile or Not
Early Pregnancy Signs Before Missed Period
Vidisha ChawlaSours: https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/should-you-be-worried-if-your-pregnancy-symptoms-come-and-go/
Pregnant with no pregnancy symptoms
Can I be pregnant and have no pregnancy symptoms?
It's not common to be pregnant and have no pregnancy symptoms, but it's possible. There's nothing predictable about which symptoms a woman will have when she's pregnant, or even if she'll have the same symptoms from one pregnancy to the next.
Some women have morning sickness around the clock, for example, while others feel nauseated only in the mornings and others never get the least bit queasy. Some moms are exhausted from the get-go and others don't feel tired until later in pregnancy, if at all.
Maybe your symptoms are subtle enough that you don't recognize them. Some women (about 1 in ) have a cryptic pregnancy, which means they don't realize that they're pregnant until 20 weeks or sometimes until labor.
If you've had a positive pregnancy test, chances are very good that you're pregnant, even if you have no symptoms. And once you have an early ultrasound and the fetal heartbeat is detected it's undeniable. (You can probably see your baby's heart beating as early as 5 or 6 weeks.)
I'm 5 weeks pregnant and symptoms come and go
By the time they're 5 weeks pregnant, only about half of women have symptoms. It's not unusual at this point to have no pregnancy symptoms or symptoms that come and go. In fact, even women with severe symptoms have stretches when they feel okay, thanks to fluctuations in hormone levels.
Common symptoms at 5 weeks pregnant include:
In a week or so, you may join the 70 percent of women who have pregnancy symptoms by 6 weeks pregnant.
I'm 8 weeks pregnant with no symptoms
Most pregnant women 90 percent of them, in fact have pregnancy symptoms by 8 weeks.
By this point, most women feel tired and may have nausea and vomiting, swollen breasts, and frequent urination.
Other common symptoms at 8 weeks pregnant include:
Not having any pregnancy symptoms at 8 weeks is unusual, but it's not unheard of.
Do some women have no pregnancy symptoms at all?
Yes, it's possible to go your entire pregnancy without having any of the usual symptoms. You'll hear your baby's heartbeat, and you'll feel your baby's movements. But you may be lucky enough to avoid a host of unpleasant symptoms throughout pregnancy.
We don't know why some women have no symptoms, or some symptoms and not others. But it doesn't reflect on the health of the pregnancy.
It can be hard to believe you're pregnant if you don't have any symptoms, though, and some moms-to-be find it stressful. Women in the BabyCenter Community shared their experiences:
"I'm six and a half weeks. Not an ounce of morning sickness. No cravings, no cramping, no exhaustion. I'm so worried because of the lack of symptoms."
"Although I'm only 5 weeks today, I don't feel pregnant and am looking forward to an ultrasound. I know lack of symptoms doesn't mean anything, but I'd love to feel pregnant so it can start to sink in."
"It's worrisome not having any symptoms at all. This is totally normal for a very few lucky ones, though. I guess we should enjoy it."
Does having no symptoms mean I'll have a miscarriage?
Never having pregnancy symptoms doesn't mean you'll have a miscarriage. For some women, it's perfectly normal. But do talk with your caregiver if you had symptoms and they suddenly go away, or if you have concerning symptoms such as bleeding or spotting or abdominal pain. These may be signs of a problem with the pregnancy.
For a rundown of possible pregnancy symptoms and when they're most likely to show up read our article on pregnancy symptoms.
Stop when pregnancy symptoms
Early Pregnancy Loss
What is early pregnancy loss?
An early pregnancy loss is known as a miscarriage. This represents any pregnancy that ends on its own in the first 20 weeks of gestation. Experts estimate that 10% to 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. There are several classifications of miscarriage:
- Complete – when the embryo and surrounding tissues have emptied out of the uterus. It typically involves cramping and bleeding. These resolve quickly, usually in a few days to a week.
- Incomplete or inevitable – when the cervix opens and some tissue is expelled. The embryo or tissue may not completely leave the uterus. This can cause pain and bleeding to persist.
- Missed – when the embryo has died, but it stays in the uterus. You may have no idea that it has happened. It is often discovered when pregnancy symptoms stop, or an ultrasound shows no heartbeat.
- Threatened – when you experience some bleeding and cramping, but the cervix remains closed. A miscarriage may or may not happen.
- Recurrent –when you have 3 or more miscarriages in your first trimester.
Other problems can also result in an early pregnancy loss:
- Chemical pregnancy – This is a very early miscarriage. It usually happens in the first few weeks after conception. Chromosomal abnormalities keep the embryo from developing normally. The tissue is passed from your uterus around the same time that you normally have your period. Many women don’t even know they are pregnant when they have a miscarriage from a chemical pregnancy.
- Blighted ovum – This is also called an embryonic pregnancy. It happens when the fertilized egg implants in the wall of the uterus, but a fetus never develops.
- Ectopic pregnancy – This is when the fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. Often, it implants in the fallopian tube. This can cause serious problems for the mother. Treatment — usually surgery — is needed right away to remove the tissue.
- Molar pregnancy – This is a rare problem that starts with a genetic error during fertilization. This causes abnormal tissue to grow instead of an embryo. It is not a viable pregnancy. But it still causes regular pregnancy symptoms. These include a missed period, positive pregnancy test, and nausea.
Symptoms of early pregnancy loss
The most common symptoms of miscarriage are bleeding and cramping. But they don’t necessarily mean you’re having a miscarriage. Up to one-third of pregnancies come with some bleeding early on. About half of those result in normal pregnancies. If you have any bleeding or cramping in your first trimester, call your doctor.
There are other common signs that indicate you may be having a miscarriage. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away:
- Mild to severe back pain (worse than menstrual cramps).
- Weight loss.
- White-pink mucus discharge from the vagina.
- Contractions (painful, happening every 5 to 20 minutes).
- Tissue that looks like a clot passing from the vagina.
- Sudden decrease in signs of pregnancy.
What causes early pregnancy loss?
In some cases, the cause of your pregnancy loss is unknown. Often, it is a random problem with chromosomes that happens at conception. You might be afraid that you did something that caused your miscarriage. But things like working, exercising, having sex, or morning sickness do not cause miscarriage. Any kind of fall or blow is rarely to blame. The research on the effects of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine is unclear. So there is nothing you could have done to prevent it. It is not the result of anything you did or didn’t do. You should never blame yourself for a miscarriage.
How is early pregnancy loss diagnosed?
Your doctor will start by asking you questions about your symptoms and when they started. He or she will do a physical exam. Your doctor might do an ultrasound. This can reveal if the embryo is still growing, and it can check for a heartbeat. He or she may also order blood tests. These can measure pregnancy hormone levels. This gives your doctor an idea if you are losing the pregnancy.
Can early pregnancy loss be prevented or avoided?
There is no conclusive research that says there is anything you can do to prevent a miscarriage. You didn’t cause it, so you couldn’t have prevented it.
Women who have had a miscarriage are at greater risk of having another one. Your risk also increases as you get older. You are at highest risk when you are age 35 or older. Some medical conditions also increase your risk. These include:
Even if you have one of these conditions, you can’t do anything to avoid having a miscarriage. Many women with these health conditions have healthy pregnancies.
Early pregnancy loss treatment
There are two main types of treatment for miscarriage: non-surgical and surgical.
In many cases, your body passes all of the pregnancy tissue naturally. This could take a few days up to a few weeks. No treatment is needed. If it is taking a long time, your doctor can give you medicine that can help pass the tissue.
The process of passing the tissue can involve heavy bleeding, cramping pain, diarrhea, and nausea. Your doctor may give you pain medicine to help ease your symptoms. If you are in your first trimester, the tissue will be small. It will look like a blood clot. It will not look like a baby.
Your doctor may do an ultrasound or blood tests after you are finished with the miscarriage. This will confirm that the miscarriage is complete and no tissue remains.
Surgical treatment is usually done if there are complications with your miscarriage.
Complications could include:
- An infection.
- Heavy bleeding.
- Any condition that keeps pregnancy tissue inside your uterus.
Common surgical treatments include:
- Vacuum aspiration. In this procedure, a thin tube is inserted into your uterus. It is connected to a suction device. The pregnancy tissue is suctioned out of your body. The procedure is done under local anesthesia. Your doctor can perform it in his or her office.
- Dilation and curettage (D&C). This procedure opens the cervix and uses an instrument to remove the pregnancy tissue. It is usually done under regional or general anesthesia. Your doctor will perform it in a hospital or surgery center.
After treatment, your doctor may recommend you not put anything into your vagina for a few weeks. This includes using tampons and having sex. This helps prevent infection. Signs of infection include:
- heavy bleeding
- severe pain
Call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.
Living with early pregnancy loss
Everyone handles loss differently. Some women may have trouble coping with the feelings that can go along with miscarriage. If you are very upset or feel like you need help, there are resources available. Talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to refer you to a local support group. There are also national resources you can access, such as SHARE: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support. It lists local support groups and offers online resources that could help you.
Questions to ask your doctor
- I’m having symptoms of miscarriage. What are the chances that I will miscarry?
- How will I know what caused my early pregnancy loss?
- Is there an advantage to letting the tissue pass naturally over having a D&C?
- Will a miscarriage affect my ability to get pregnant again?
- How long should I wait after an early pregnancy loss to try to get pregnant again?
Copyright © American Academy of Family Physicians
This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.
Pregnancy week by week: A guide to pregnancy stages
Congratulations, you're pregnant! There's no doubt this is one of the most monumental and memorable times of a woman's life, but it also comes with lots of physical, mental and emotional changes.
If you've found yourself Googling early pregnancy symptoms or "is morning sickness after 12 weeks normal?" (spoiler alert: totally!) or you're just wondering what to expect as pregnancy stages tick by week by week, check out this TODAY Parents pregnancy guide, which we put together with help from Dr. Myra J. Wick, an obstetrician/gynecologist at the Mayo Clinic, and her comprehensive, go-to guide for expecting moms, "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy."
If you're experiencing the first symptoms of pregnancy or wondering when pregnancy symptoms start, you can look forward to week 13, or the start of the second trimester, when early pregnancy symptoms subside. "We call this the honeymoon period, because most women feel well, they are over the nausea, but not so big they feel uncomfortable," Wick says. She adds, however, that "not everyone follows the books," and you should always report any concerns to your provider, paying special attention to things like spotting, heavy cramping and lack of fetal movement.
"Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy" by Dr. Myra J. Wick
Here's a guide to the pregnancy stages and symptoms of pregnancy week by week.
First trimester pregnancy symptoms
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 1
It's a bit of a mind-bender, but you aren't actually pregnant during what doctors call "week one" of pregnancy. Instead, week one starts on the first day of your last menstrual period before you conceived. When doctors speak about pregnancy, they're referring to the 40 weeks after the start of your last period, so your menstrual cycle is actually considered part of the process.
If you're trying to conceive, it makes sense to avoid smoking, alcohol and other drugs, and start taking a prenatal vitamin with at least micrograms of folic acid, which can help reduce the risk of birth defects.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 2
Since conception doesn't usually occur until two weeks from the start date of your last period, you still aren't pregnant during week two, but your body is getting prepped by producing hormones that help you release eggs, a process called ovulation. If you have unprotected sexual intercourse during this time, or attempt to get pregnant using a fertility procedure such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF), your egg can be fertilized, forming a zygote.
If you're charting your basal body temperature, you will notice it rise slightly during ovulation, and if you become pregnant during this time, it will stay high for the duration of the pregnancy.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 3
Let's say the first day of your last period was April 10 and you became pregnant thereafter; that would mean your baby was conceived around April 24, or during week 3. Certain pregnancy tests can detect the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) as early as 6 days after fertilization occurs, but false negatives may occur (meaning the test shows you aren't pregnant, but you actually are). To mitigate disappointment, some doctors advise waiting until you miss your next period to take a test.
When the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tube and buries into the uterine lining, you may notice a small amount of light bleeding, spotting or vaginal discharge caused by implantation.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 4
By this point you may not have noticed any pregnancy symptoms, but things like nausea (also called morning sickness), fatigue, frequent urination and breast tenderness may start up around week four. You may also start to notice the skin around your nipples, called the areola, get darker and develop small bumps called tubercles (because nature is smart that way, their function is to secrete substances that help with breastfeeding later on). Some women also find that mood swings start around this time, and continue throughout pregnancy: They're caused by factors like fatigue, hormonal shifts and simply adjusting to the big news that parenthood is around the corner.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 5
Your body: If you haven't been noticing changes like nausea (which may or may not also include vomiting), frequent urination and exhaustion, most moms-to-be do experience this memorable triad of symptoms during the second month, which starts at week five. "In the first trimester it's normal to just find yourself being really tired and not feeling very well," says Wick.
Your little one: Although still teeny-tiny (about the size of an earring back), he or she is officially called an embryo by your medical team, and is working on developing what will become the brain, spinal cord and blood vessels.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 6
Your body: As hormones cause food to move more slowly through your body, you may continue to notice the digestive distress mentioned above, and possibly even constipation and heartburn. And despite the continuing fatigue, some moms find themselves also plagued by insomnia at various points during pregnancy, starting during the first trimester.
Your little one: It's a busy week for baby, who will triple in size and develop a regular heartbeat that you may be able to spot on an ultrasound.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 7
Your body: Along with nausea, exhaustion and moodiness, some women also experience dizziness and headaches throughout the first trimester, which may be caused by the expansion of veins and arteries as they work to produce more blood.
Your little one: Your kiddo, now one-third of an inch long, is starting to have more definition in the face as well as a visible umbilical cord.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 8
Your body: Your uterus, which started about the size of a closed fist, is now about as big as a grapefruit. Breast tenderness, nausea, and fatigue may be continuing. Although you should contact your provider as soon as you get a positive pregnancy test, many women have their first prenatal visit during week 8.
Your little one: Fingers and toes are starting to form as the hand and foot areas take shape.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 9
Your body: Looking ahead to week 10, for a smaller group of women with certain risk factors, doctors might suggest scheduling chorionic villus sampling (CVS), an optional test typically performed between 10 and 14 weeks that can detect chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome and inherited disorders like cystic fibrosis. This test is typically performed by inserting a catheter through the cervix to collect cells, and does pose a slight risk of miscarriage.
Your little one: Up until now, your developing embryo had a tail that gave him or her a tadpole-like look, but it's starting to shrink.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 10
Your body: Starting at week 10 you might opt to have non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS), instead of a CVS. This is a simple blood test which can tell you the chances of developing certain chromosomal disorders. Both this test and a CVS can reveal your baby's sex if you wish to know it; otherwise, the week ultrasound may be another opportunity to find out. At this point, some women may also notice slightly blurred vision and trouble tolerating contact lenses, which can be caused by the cornea beginning to thicken.
Your little one: Each of the vital organs has started to form, and tooth buds are starting to develop.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 11
Your body: You might notice that your hair and nails are growing a bit more quickly and that you've put on a few pounds (women may gain up to four pounds by the end of the first trimester).
Your little one: At week 11, healthcare providers officially promote your little bean from embryo to fetus. This is also when buds develop that will eventually become his or her external genitalia.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 12
Your body: Up until this point your uterus has fit inside your pelvis, but after this week it will start growing out of your pelvic cavity. You'll start to appear more pregnant, but there's a nice bonus: There will be less pressure on bladder.
Your little one: Fingernails and toenails are now present and the face is becoming more defined.
Second trimester pregnancy symptoms
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 13
Your body: Raise a mocktail! For many women, symptoms of nausea and vomiting start to subside around week 13, or at least sometime during the next few weeks, although Wick says, "Some women may deal with nausea throughout their entire pregnancy." (Hopefully that's not you.) This week you may also notice a new symptom: Shortness of breath, which happens as a result of respiratory changes needed to support your growing baby.
Your little one: There are defined eyes and ears, but eyelids are now closed (as a protective measure) and will stay this way until about week
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 14
Your body: During both the first and second trimester, your blood pressure may decrease slightly from its pre-pregnancy number. This may cause dizzy spells, especially if you become overheated.
Your little one: Fun fact: This is the time when your little fetus begins producing hormones. Also, the prostate gland (in boys) and ovaries (in girls) are developing.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 15
Your body: Maybe you've been spared the oh-so-fun digestive symptoms of heartburn and constipation, but women often tend to notice them around now. Know that the slowdown of your digestion at least has a greater purpose, which is to help deliver important nutrients to your growing babe. Amniocentesis, a procedure where fluid is withdrawn with a needle to check for things like genetic disorders, is usually performed sometime between weeks 15 and
Your little one: Thanks to the continued growth of muscles, this week is when baby will start being able to make a fist.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 16
Your body: Your uterus is movin' on up, but this can cause an unwelcome side effect: You may start to feel off-balance, and continue to experience this as your shape changes.
Your little one: Your wee one's eyes are sensitive to light. Baby hiccups could be starting, although you likely won't feel them yet.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 17
Your body: Around week 17, you may start to feel baby's fluttery little movements; some women mistake them for gas or hunger at first. (Women who've been pregnant before tend to feel them earlier.) But definitely within the next few weeks you'll become aware of them. You'll continue to experience symptoms that are the hallmarks of pregnancy: Slow digestion, frequent urination and increasing breast size.
Your little one: Whether or not he or she will end up loving gymnastics, your baby is doing flips and rolls by this point, and still has space to move around quite a bit.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 18
Your body: Make sure you've got a good moisturizer handy: As your belly grows and stretches, it may begin to itch. Some women experience darkening of the skin and changes in moles (if any look significantly larger or different, check in with a dermatologist).
Your little one: Baby's bones are getting harder and he or she can now hear noises like your heartbeat and even loud sounds that take place outside the womb.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 19
Your body: Right around now is when you may notice a stabbing sensation in your groin or on one side—this is coming from the round ligament, which grows and stretches to support your uterus during pregnancy. Sudden movements may bring it on, so try to change positions slowly (like when you're getting out of bed).
Your little one: This week the vernix appears: It's a slippery, cheese-like coating on baby's body that helps protect skin. Your baby can now produce urine, which is sterile and gets excreted into the surrounding amniotic waters.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 20
Your body: You're at the halfway point! Pat yourself on the back, or, even better, treat yourself to a prenatal massage. At this point women may start to notice low back pain, especially if they were prone to it before they were pregnant. By now you may have gained around 10 pounds total, although it can vary from woman to woman.
Your little one: The skin is developing its distinct layers and although it's the middle mark, baby still likely weighs less than a pound—probably about 10 to 14 ounces. If he or she is in the right position, you can usually learn the sex at your week ultrasound, since the external genitalia have developed enough to be visible.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 21
Your body: You may notice that your breasts are beginning to leak colostrum, which is a watery, yellowish fluid that appears before your regular milk supply is established; if you choose to breastfeed, it will be baby's first food.
Something your doctor will monitor you for after 20 weeks is preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure during pregnancy. "Although many women experience swelling throughout pregnancy, if you have swelling that's accompanied by headache, visual changes, nausea or pain in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen, definitely let your doctor know right away, as these can indicate preeclampsia," says Wick.
Your little one: Helped by the liver and spleen, your baby's bone marrow is now able to make blood cells.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 22
Your body: This week you might start feeling irregular Braxton-Hicks contractions in your abdominal area, which help your body prepare for labor. (They're sometimes called "false labor.") To distinguish them from true contractions, which radiate around both sides of your body, try lying down, changing positions or drinking water. These things will cause Braxton-Hicks to subside, unlike true, regular contractions that grow stronger and indicate labor is approaching.
Your little one: The senses of taste and touch, as well as the reproductive system, are all becoming more developed around this time.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 23
Your body: Pregnant women sometimes find that their sex drive is improved during the second trimester—if this is you, take advantage!
Your little one: Around this time is when the development of the lungs really kicks into high gear.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 24
Your body: During the second trimester, your joints may start to feel softer due to hormone changes that are slowly preparing your body for childbirth. Your lower spine also starts to curve backwards to accommodate your changing shape. These transformations may lead to back and hip pain; both massage and prenatal yoga may help alleviate some discomfort.
Your little one: Babies born on or after week 24 have a greater than chance of survival, thanks to today's innovative neonatal care, but are still very likely to have complications if delivered this early.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 25
Your body: If your blood pressure dropped during your first and second trimesters, you may see it start to return to pre-pregnancy levels.
Your little one: Baby's hands are now fully formed, can be used to explore the womb environment or their own body, although the movements aren't purposeful yet.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 26
Your body: Thanks to the hormone relaxin, which is produced during pregnancy, the muscles that hold up your pelvic bones will continue to soften to prepare for giving birth. It won't necessarily feel "relaxing" though: Many women experience pain in the front of the pelvic area. If it's truly bothersome, consider making an appointment with a physical therapist who specializes in prenatal and postnatal conditions.
Your little one: Footprints, which make a fun hospital souvenir, as well as fingerprints, are now present on your baby, who weighs about 1 ½ pounds.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 27
Your body: You've likely had vaginal discharge throughout your pregnancy, and you may see it pick up around now. As long as it's clear or white and odorless, it's not a cause for alarm, but see your provider if you suspect a yeast infection, which, along with urinary tract infections, you're more prone to during pregnancy.
Your little one: The lungs are getting close to being fully developed, and although it's tough to hear through all the amniotic fluid, your little one could possibly recognize the sound of Mom's voice this week.
Third trimester pregnancy symptoms
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 28
Your body: Welcome to the third and final trimester of pregnancy. After 28 weeks, doctors recommend women start tracking kick counts. "You want to ideally feel 10 movements in two hours, but most babies move enough so their mothers have a sense for the pattern, and if it changes or you aren't feel baby move at all, definitely contact your provider," says Wick.
Your little one: Around this time is when baby's eyes, which were previously sealed shut, start opening and closing.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 29
Your body: Another change that may happen during either this trimester or the second: If you have an innie belly button, it could pop out and turn into an outie. If clothing irritates it, consider covering it with a bandage and don't worry about the change being permanent, it will likely flip back after delivery.
Your little one: This week is right in the middle of baby's most active period, which is usually between 27 and 32 weeks, because they still have room to move around.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 30
Your body: Another unappealing symptom of late pregnancy: Urine leakage, especially when you cough, sneeze or laugh. Performing exercises to strengthen your core and pelvic floor (such as kegels) may help, but you're still experiencing this after delivery, make an appointment with a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy.
Your little one: Time to pack on the pounds, kid: Starting now until delivery, fetal weight gain will be about a half-pound each week.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 31
Your body: Thanks to the hormonal changes, you are likely rocking a lush, awesome mane right now, since hair tends to grow more quickly and fall out less frequently when you're pregnant. You will lose the extra hair after delivery, though, so don't get too attached.
Your little one: The reproductive system is continuing to take shape, as are the lungs, though they still aren't fully ready for life outside the womb (a baby born this early would need to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU).
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 32
Your body: During these last few weeks you've probably been continuing to experience pregnancy symptoms such as heartburn, constipation (and possibly hemorrhoids as a result) and swollen breasts (that may or may not leak colostrum). Keep your eye on the prize: That adorable baby who's on the way.
Your little one: Your baby is still moving around, but the jabs and punches may seem to have lost their oomph, since he or she is getting increasingly crowded. At this point, baby weighs around 4 pounds and the risk of serious post-delivery complications drops quite a bit, so parents tend to breathe a sigh of relief.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 33
Your body: During the third trimester, your ever-softening joints will likely continue to bug you. "Around this time we tend to see joint discomfort in hips, back and nerve pain and just a lot of pelvic discomfort," says Wick. Your muscles also may simply be sore and tired from carrying increased weight, so try to rest frequently if possible.
Your little one: Lots of growth and change takes place after week One cool thing that's now happening: The pupils can dilate and constrict in response to light.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 34
Your body: Late in pregnancy, women may feel occasional sharp pain in the vaginal area as well as general pelvic pressure, but if at any point you're having symptoms such as unrelenting abdominal pain or bleeding, contact your doctor as you may be experiencing a problem with your placenta. "Pelvic pressure is usually normal, but if it's persistent, you're having discharge with it, sometimes it can be a sign of preterm labor, so check in with your doctor," says Wick.
Your little one: This kid now weighs anywhere from 4 ½ to 6 pounds—things are getting real!
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 35
Your body: If you haven't experienced them already, you will likely have Braxton-Hicks contractions this month.
Your little one: Conditions are cramped but your small one is still wiggling around, so keep tracking those movements.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 36
Your body: Leg, ankle and foot swelling are common around this time, as are varicose veins, which may disappear after childbirth. Invest in comfy shoes and hit your partner up for a nightly foot massage.
Your little one: The facial muscles needed for sucking are ready to go and your child might weigh as much as 7 pounds. By this point, most babies have settled into the head-down orientation that's ideal for delivering vaginally.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 37
Your body: Maybe it's nature's way of getting you ready to deliver your baby, but women find themselves pretty uncomfortable during the third trimester, especially towards the end. "By this point there is a lot of pressure on the bladder, you can feel very full, it can be hard to sleep at night, and even the kicking can be uncomfortable if baby is up against the ribs," says Wick.
Your little one: Your bambino's rate of weight gain slows a bit this week, and at the end of this week, your baby will be considered "early term" in medical lingo.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 38
Your body: Your uterus now extends nearly all the way up to the base of your rib cage. Need proof that pregnant women are true superheroes? Consider the fact that during pregnancy, the uterus grows about times in size.
Your little one: Although we think of it as automatic, by now your child has an important set of skills: Breathing, eating and digesting, as well as keeping a normal cardiac rate.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 39
Your body: During these last few weeks, your head-down baby may descend further into your pelvis, thus making breathing feel easier (this is more common for first-time moms). "Lightening," as it's called, doesn't necessarily mean labor is imminent.
Your little one: Many babies the proper amount of fat under his or her skin to help maintain a stable body temperature, although even when an infant is healthy and full-term, you still need to be cautious that they don't become too warm or cold.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 40
Your body: Your due date is this week! Get ready for a flurry of texts and emails from friends checking in, even though only a tiny percentage of women (4%) deliver on the due date. If you haven't gone into labor yet, you'll continue with your prenatal visits and your provider will monitor the health of you and your baby. If you started your pregnancy at a healthy weight, you may have gained anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds by this point.
Your little one: Baby is now considered full-term and although the average weight is 7 ½ to 8 pounds, there is a wide size range for a healthy infant.
New parent? Join the TODAY Parenting Team to share your experiences and learn from the pros.
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6 signs that mean you could be having a miscarriage
- Miscarriages are rarely discussed but occur more commonly than you would suspect.
- Miscarriages happen before 20 weeks of pregnancy, and most women miscarry before they even know they're pregnant.
- Some symptoms of miscarriages can replicate that of a heavy period.
- Not every woman will have symptoms during a miscarriage.
Miscarriages, though not often discussed, are more common than most realize.
According to the March of Dimes website, 10 to 15% of known pregnancies result in a miscarriage, and about 1% of women have repeat miscarriages.
Karin Ajmani, president of healthcare services at Progyny, is a part of the 1% of women who have experienced repeat miscarriages and says that it is one of the worst things to go through.
"After my miscarriages, all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and isolate myself. Everything was all of a sudden gone," she said. "After suffering so many, it came to a point where I would wait until my second sonogram at eight weeks to get excited and hopeful about the pregnancy. I had to play this game with myself and find the silver lining. It was the only thing I could do for myself and my only solace."
Although Ajmani was able to notice the signs of a miscarriage after her initial encounter, Dr. Alan Copperman, medical director at Progyny, told INSIDER that miscarriages can happen without a woman knowing it.
"A miscarriage is a spontaneous loss of pregnancy and is sadly very common," he said. "Miscarriage can occur suddenly or over the span of a few weeks. Some women do not experience any symptoms of a miscarriage at all."
Since there is a chance that you could experience some of the symptoms, here are six things that you should keep an eye out for.
You'll experience spotting or vaginal bleeding.
According to Dr. Copperman, one of the main things that women who are going through a miscarriage will experience is vaginal bleeding.
"Spotting is uncommon in early pregnancy and during the first trimester," he told INSIDER. "Moderate to heavy bleeding similar to your period that is bright red in color, however, may be a sign of miscarriage."
Be sure to consult your OBGYN if this occurs.
You'll experience abdominal cramping.
Since pregnancy prevents women from having a period, abdominal cramps that replicate menstrual cramps could be a sign that you are having a miscarriage.
"Patients suffering a miscarriage may experience significant cramping that may feel similar to menstrual cramps. At times, the pain may be more severe or sharp," Copperman said.
"While cramping may be normal and may simply represent stretching of the pregnant uterus, if persistent, should probably be evaluated by a professional," he continued. "In the presence of bleeding, cramping or abdominal pains may represent efforts of the uterus to stop the bleeding and may not necessarily be a sign of miscarriage."
This pain is commonly compared to having the "worst period of your life" and should raise suspicion during your pregnancy.
Back pain can also be a sign.
Although women endure back pain on the regular during pregnancy, Copperman told INSIDER that this could also be an indicator of a miscarriage.
"Abdominal cramping in patients experiencing a miscarriage can also be perceived as lower back pain," he said. "That being said, many pregnant women report lower back pain, and it does not necessarily represent a problem with the pregnancy."
If you're concerned about the back pain you are experiencing, play it safe and contact your health care provider.
You'll stop experiencing pregnancy symptoms.
According to Copperman, an unexpected sign of a miscarriage is when you stop experiencing pregnancy symptoms.
"Women suffering a miscarriage may experience loss of pregnancy symptoms, including a decrease in nausea and vomiting and breast tenderness," he told INSIDER. "Loss of pregnancy symptoms does not necessarily indicate miscarriage, since many pregnancy symptoms do often improve as pregnancy progresses."
Not every woman's pregnancy is the same. If you feel that your symptoms have subsided earlier than normal, however, head to your OBGYN.
You'll have vaginal discharge.
Though the above symptoms are enough to raise concern, vaginal discharge is a near sure sign of a miscarriage.
"In addition to cramping and bleeding, patients may pass pregnancy tissue, large blood clots, and vaginal fluid as the uterus contracts to expel the contents of the uterus during and after a loss," Copperman explained to INSIDER. "Pregnancy tissue or vaginal discharge/fluids may be white/pinkish in color, in addition to red or brownish blood clots."
Keeping an eye on your body's changes and discharges during your pregnancy is extremely important. If anything seems unusual, you should express your concern to your physician.
You'll experience a hormonal or emotional drop.
Ajmani, who has experienced seven of her own miscarriages, told INSIDER that since your body is hypersensitive to every change during the beginning of your pregnancy, when things start to go the other way, you will begin to panic.
"While your body is going through all of these changes, when you begin to miscarry, your hormones plummet," she said. "It really impacts your emotions and it's a solid two to three days of absolute devastation. All you want to do is curl up in a ball."
Miscarriages can evoke a number of unfamiliar emotions. If you've suffered a miscarriage or know someone who has, there are plenty of support groups around the country. If you are concerned you have suffered a miscarriage, contact your doctor.
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