Weekly Pregnancy Stages

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Pregnancy Stages: Weeks 21-40

Congrats! You’ve made it to the second half of the weekly pregnancy stages. In the first half, your baby was rapidly growing and was just beginning to look human. In the coming weeks, your baby will be gaining weight and coming into proportion. You’ll leave behind the morning sickness and experience other discomforts related to hormone imbalances and weight gain. You will soon begin to feel like your baby is using your belly as a gymnasium, which could be painful at times. But don’t worry — it won’t be long before your little one comes into this world.

Week 21

By now, everyone can tell that you’re pregnant. Your baby belly has added about an extra 15 pounds and you’re gaining more every week. You’re eating for two now and probably feel hungrier than usual. Your baby is now around 27 cm long and about 360 g. His or her eyelids are now fully formed. The taste buds are also developed and your baby can even taste the flavours of what you’re eating!

Week 22

By week 22, you should be able to feel your baby move even more frequently since he or she is now almost one pound. However, you may experience some uncomfortable symptoms at this time, such as swollen feet or ankles. If this occurs, keep your feet elevated and wear supportive shoes. Your baby’s senses are developing this week, which means he or she will start to rub their face, neck or legs.

Week 23

During week 23, you may experience vaginal discharge due to the increased amount of blood flow. This week, your baby reaches about 30 cm long and weighs about 500 g. Since skin is developed before fat, your baby’s skin is still loose, but is forming pigment to create a skin colour.

Week 24

As your due date approaches, you may experience sporadic and painless contractions, called Braxton Hicks contractions. Your baby has grown to about 600 g. If your baby were born prematurely at this stage, there is a chance he or she would survive; however, they may have troubles breathing. Your baby is continuing to develop his or her lungs, brain and taste buds. During this time, your doctor may perform a glucose screening test to check for diabetes. In some cases, pregnant women do not produce enough insulin to regulate sugar levels.

Week 25

At this stage of pregnancy, you may start experiencing a different set of symptoms. It’s easier during pregnancy to get dehydrated and your skin may be dry and itchy. Your baby is now the size of a rutabaga. He or she will slowly start gaining fat and will look more human in ultrasounds.

Week 26

Your baby is now about two pounds and 35 cm long. He or she has developed quickly, and as a result, you’ve likely gained at least 20 pounds. If your baby were born at this stage, there’s a higher chance of him or her surviving than weeks before. Your baby’s eyelids have been closed up until this week. Now your baby can open his or her eyelids and even blink!

Week 27

By week 27, your baby is about 37 cm long. Your baby’s movements are more powerful now and some of the movements you feel could be from baby hiccups. Hiccups during this stage are common since your baby’s lungs are still developing. Even though your baby has yet to enter this world, he or she has already established a wake and sleep schedule. You may want to rest when the baby is resting to sync your schedules.

Week 28

You’ve made it to the third trimester! Around the 28th week, you may be experiencing constipation due to the uterus putting pressure on your colon. You will still be experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. Your baby is about a centimeter longer than last week and is now about two and a half pounds. By now, your baby’s heart should be beating very quickly. Now is a great time to use the baby doppler. As opposed to the first half of your pregnancy, hearing the baby now should be a lot easier for you and your partner.

Week 29

By now, you are probably experiencing symptoms that are caused by changing hormones. You may have mood swings or skin rashes. You may wish to use compression socks to minimize varicose veins. Your baby is now about 39 cm and may weigh close to two pounds. The cute baby kicks you felt weeks ago may have turned into powerful and painful kicks. Try to remember that this is a sign that your baby is healthy.

Week 30

Since you’ve gained a lot of weight at this point, it’s important to practice good posture to prevent back pain. In the last few weekly pregnancy stages, you should be taking it easy. Your baby is about three pounds now and will continue to gain fat. As the fat develops, your baby’s wrinkles will minimize. At this stage, babies are practicing breathing and getting ready to breathe outside of the womb.

Week 31

As your pregnancy nears, you may increasingly feel discomfort. The significant weight gain may be causing back pain and sleeping may become difficult. Since your breasts are preparing for lactation, they may begin leaking a yellow liquid. Your baby is about 40 cm long now. Your baby’s growth, in terms of length, will slow down in the coming weeks. He or she will instead continue to gain weight and will appear more human every day. Their body is now in proportion.

Week 32

If your baby’s kicking was becoming painful, you will be relieved this week. You will notice less movement because your baby has become big and has less room to move inside the womb. Your baby’s brain is still developing and his or her bones are still soft. Your baby may have moved closer to the pelvis and may have their head down to get ready for birth.

Week 33

You are still continuing to gain weight — about a pound per week. If your baby’s sleeping cycle doesn’t match yours, you may be dealing with insomnia. Your baby is growing layers of fat and his or her bones are becoming stronger. The skull will remain flexible until birth. Your baby is about 44 cm long now.

Week 34

In the 34th week, you will feel a sense of relief, as there will be less pressure on your chest and lungs. This discomfort will be traded for increased swelling — whether hands, legs or feet. Keep relaxed and hydrated during this period. Your baby’s lungs are still developing, but the rest of his or her organs are matured. Your baby now has the facial features that will make him or her a unique human. Your baby is now around five pounds and the fat is continuing to build.

Week 35

Delivery is only a few weeks away and you should start preparing if you haven’t already. Some women begin Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles and make delivery easier. At this stage, you will have gained up to 29 pounds and you’re probably anxious for the big day. If your baby is born during this week, or any week before the 40th, it’s very likely that he or she will survive and be healthy. Most of the development is done by this time, but your baby will continue to put on weight. He or she is now around six pounds.

Week 36

You’re very close to delivery and should be seeing your doctor weekly to ensure everything is okay. The symptoms you’ve been experiencing for the past few weeks are still present.

Week 37

You’ve reached your last pregnancy stages! Most women give birth between week 37 and week 40, so you could be meeting your little one any time now! You will be experiencing an increased pressure on your pelvic bones. Your breasts should be beginning to secrete and may be sensitive. As your due date approaches, your baby is slowing down his or her growth.

Week 38

During the 38th week, you may feel anxiety in anticipation of your baby’s birth. Although this is normal, it’s best to minimize stress. You will continue to feel pelvic pressure and back pain. By now, your baby should be in position and ready for birth.

Week 39

By week 39, you are likely experiencing extreme discomfort. But don’t worry — it’s all going to be over soon and when you see your little baby, it will all be worth it. You will still probably be experiencing fake labour contractions. If your baby is born this week, his or her organs will be able to function. Your baby could weigh up to seven pounds at this point.

Week 40

Congrats! It’s been a long road, but you’ve finally made it to your last week of pregnancy. Since the baby has grown for 40 weeks now, he or she will be too large to move around like before, so you may feel movements even less. All the organs are functioning and the lungs and brain will develop into and after birth. Since you could be giving birth any day, take it very easy this week. The gift you’ve been anxiously anticipating for nine months is almost here!

If your bundle of joy hasn’t come into the world by the 40th week, don’t
worry; he or she may be taking their time. It’s important to have regular
doctor’s visits during your pregnancy to ensure you and your baby are
healthy. Share this post to help other pregnant women know what to expect
and comment below how many weeks along you are and what you’re
experiencing.

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