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Development

What's happening to you and your child.

Your body will experience changes the further you are in your pregnancy. Don't be alarmed though, as it is a natural process. Just make sure you know what to expect.

First trimester. Weeks 1-11

What happens to your body:

  • You'll experience at least some of these symptoms:
  • Missed period
  • Sore, tender or tingling breasts
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Mood changes
  • Need to go to pass urine more often
  • Tiredness
  • Period-like pains in your tummy
  • Morning sickness
  • Your nipples and the surrounding area (areola) darken and become itchy
  • Breasts feel fuller and more sensitive
  • Sense of smell sharpens

What happens to your child:

  • Weeks 1-4. The cells of your fertilised egg are multiplying quickly
  • Weeks 5-8. Your child develops to the size of a grape. Small buds appear which begin to develop into limbs. Their tiny heart is beating
  • Weeks 9-12. Your child is fully formed. They're about 7 cm long and can yawn, swallow and suck their fingers

Second Trimester. 12-23 weeks

What happens to your body:

  • After 12-14 weeks, you may find your morning sickness and tiredness begin to recede. You may feel more energetic and ‘well'
  • From 18 weeks you may feel fluttering feelings in your tummy. By about week 20, you'll start to feel very definite movements
  • Your breasts may be getting bigger, so make sure you get fitted for a bigger bra to keep comfortable

What happens to your child:

  • 15-20 weeks. At 14 weeks, they're about 8cm. Your child is very rapidly getting bigger. By 16 weeks, they're about 11.5 cm
  • They have hair, eyebrows and lashes. They can make a fist and grip. They even have fingerprints
  • Your midwife or gynaecologist will now be able to use an ultrasound device to detect their heartbeat
  • 21-24 weeks. They've developed a daily routine of sleeping and waking and moving around quite a bit when awake
  • 23 weeks. They're 28 cm long and covered in fine hair


Third trimester. Week 24+

What happens to your body:

  • 26 weeks. As your bump gets bigger and higher up, your tummy button may actually pop out (it'll pop back into place after your baby's birth)
  • You may find it difficult to sleep at night because that's when your baby is most active
  • You may find your breasts are much bigger

What happens to your child:

  • 24-30 weeks. They respond to touch and sound, which can be a lot of fun. You'll even feel it when they get hiccups
  • 26 weeks. Their eyes open for the first time: they will have light brown or dark brown eyes
  • 30 weeks. They're about 40 cm long
  • 31 weeks. Your child is still only half their birth weight, so they've got a lot of growing to do
  • Your child's organs are fully formed and their immune system's starting to develop
  • Their skin is much less wrinkled, thanks to the fat their body is storing in preparation for those first days in the outside world

35 - 40 weeks

What happens to your body:

  • You might start noticing ‘Braxton Hicks' contractions. These are when your womb does practice contractions for birth
  • Your energy levels decrease and you get breathless easily
  • It's a good idea to listen to your body and get as much rest as possible

What happens to your child:

  • Your child is becoming noticeably heavier by the day
  • From 36 weeks their head may be ‘engaged'. For first-time mums this is when the head moves down into your pelvis. However, some babies and subsequent babies don't do this until labour starts
  • Your child now has very little room to move, although as you'll be aware, they can still kick and punch
  • Your child is gaining about 230 g a week and is about 48-55 cm long

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It's normal to have some aches and pains during your pregnancy. But you don't always have to grin and bear it.

Pregnancy symptoms

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