Prenatal Care Calendar
The following information is for educational purposes and is not meant to replace a visit to your healthcare provider. It is important to see a doctor during all stages of your pregnancy.
The First Trimester
The first thirteen weeks of pregnancy are known as the "First Trimester." Here is a rundown of the growth patterns in your baby as well as the effects you will notice in yourself. During the First Trimester your baby will have grown about 3 inches in length. All of his/her major organs will have developed. During this trimester, you will have all of your Prenatal blood work drawn including blood type, antibody screen, complete blood count, thyroid test, screening for infections, Cystic Fibrosis or Hemoglobin Electrophoresis and a Pap Smear test. You will have the option of having a Nuchal Translucency Test for Down Syndrome during your 12th week.
The noticeable sign or symptom that you are pregnant may be breast tenderness, and nausea or vomiting. You will have little, if any, weight gain. Your baby is still in the embryo stage. The organs are just starting to form.
The embryo now becomes a fetus. The arms, hands, and legs start to form. Other organs such as the liver and stomach, are developing. You may slowly start to gain weight, and may tire more easily. Your diet is very important, and you may already be taking prenatal vitamins.
By this time, your baby is about 3 inches long and weighs about an ounce. His or her arms and legs begin to move, but you still will not feel them. Sexual organs are developing now. Your clothes may begin to feel tight, as the uterus begins to grow. There may be a weight gain of three to four pounds by now.
The Second Trimester
The Second Trimester or the Middle Months, runs from your fourteenth through your twenty-sixth week of pregnancy. During this time, your baby will grow to about 14 inches and weigh about 1 1/2 pounds. The nausea and vomiting you were experiencing in the First Trimester should have resolved by now. During this trimester, you will have the option of having a Quad Screen for Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and Trisomy 18.
By this time, your baby will be 8 to 10 inches long with the weight of about 6 ounces. This is the month you begin to show. You may even begin to feel the baby moving.
Your baby will have grown to about 12 inches and weigh about 1 pound. You may feel more distinct fetal movement, and your partner may also be able to feel the baby move with his hand. If you have any ultrasound done at this time, you may even see your baby sucking his or her thumb! You may also find out the sex of your baby
At this point, your baby weighs about 1 1/2 pounds and is about 14 inches long. He or she is fully formed now, but needs more time to grow and mature. Remember to eat properly and take care of yourself since you are now going to enter the final three months of pregnancy.
The Third Trimester
The last three to four months of your pregnancy is when your baby gains the most weight. By your due date, he or she may weigh between 6 to 9 pounds. You may find yourself more tired during this time. You should have everything ready at home for the big day. During this trimester, you will be tested for Gestational Diabetes and Group Beta Strep. If your blood type is Rh negative (ex. O-, A-, B- or AB-), you will receive your first of two Rhogam shots. The second shot will be given after delivery.
Your baby is now about 15 inches and weighs only 2 to 2 1/2 pounds. There may be some swelling of your ankles. If this occurs, let your doctor know. Keeping your feet elevated, when possible, may help any accompanying discomfort.
Your baby should be growing rapidly. He or she now weighs about 4 pounds and is about 16 inches long. You should feel your baby moving. If you think he or she is moving less than normal, immediately notify your doctor.
You have made it!! This is the home stretch! During these last four weeks you may still gain about 1/2 a pound per week. You may even have noticed your baby drop. You should see your doctor at least once a week, and maybe more, if needed. You have now completed a term pregnancy and you will deliver your new baby very soon. Hopefully, this will be a very rewarding and positive experience for you and your family!