Pregnancy: You & Your Baby

  The length of each of these foods is a rough guide to the length of your growing baby throughout your pregnancy. 

4First Trimester

Right from the beginning, your body is very busy. Once fertilization of an egg has taken place, the egg starts to divide as it travel down the fallopian tube, towards the uterus.  The lining of the uterus has  already thickened and is ready for the egg to implant into it.  The levels of hCG will rise which  prevents a period from taking place.


Most women will be aware of a missed period by now and might be starting to experience some of the symptoms of pregnancy, which can include:

  • nausea and sickness
  • tiredness
  • sore and swollen breasts
  • strong sense of smell and/or taste
  • needing to wee more frequently
  • you might go off certain food and drinks

your baby…

  • looks like a tadpole
  • the neural tube is formed, which will become the spinal cord and brain
  • the heart forms and develops into 4 chambers and starts to circulate
    blood around the body

8your baby…

limb buds start to develop

the stomach is formed

the head is formed

veins can now be seen beneath the skin

the placenta develops

the tail begins to disappear and the hands becoming noticeable


  • your metabolism will speed up and your blood volume will start
    to increase to meet the demands of pregnancy. This increased blood volume could give you headaches.
  • your uterus is about the size of a grapefruit, which could cause lower backache
  • you be feeling quite rough and tired

10your baby…

  • The nose,  mouth and lips are almost developed and the
    eyes are at the front of the face
  • The testes or ovaries develop and the
    ovaries will begin to produce eggs
  • The limbs are getting longer


your baby…

  • your embryo now becomes a fetus – this means that the critical part of
    your baby’s development is now complete
  • your baby’s mouth can open and close and he can swallow
  • reflexes are developing so your baby can move
  • your baby’s brain is developing into to halves
  • fingernails start to grow
  • your baby is now fully formed


  • your boobs and waist may feel bigger
  • your uterus moves above the pubic bone so a bump could start to develop
  • your energy might start to increase

Second Trimester

As the early pregnancy symptoms start to disappear, you could be feeling really well again. Some women feel like they are glowing during the second trimester, with more energy as well as the excitement of telling more people about your pregnancy.

Things to think about: look into antenatal classes for your third trimester, think about where you want to give birth, keeping fit in pregnancy and relaxing in pregnancy.


your baby…

  • the spine straightens out and the neck uncurls further
  • the taste buds are formed


have probably had your first scan now so you might be feeling more relieved and you might be telling more people about your pregnancy

16your baby…

  • hair starts to grow
  • skin starts to thicken
  • starts to make regular breathing movements


  • might have more energy now and you might feel like you are glowing as your bump grows and you don’t feel the need to crawl into bed as soon as you finish work
  • you might feel like doing more if you are feeling better – that could be having a social life again, exercising again or you might also want to start something pregnancy related like yoga, pilates, aquanatal or aerobics
  • might also be feeling hot – with an increased sex drive


your baby…

  • the lungs are developing further as the brionchioles and alveoli form
  • your baby may now be larger than the placenta
  • your baby can move his arms and legs vigorously
  • the milk teeth buds are created
  • eyes and ears are in the correct place
  • could start to hiccup
  • fingerprints are forming
  • eyes are developing and the eye lids are fused together
  • cartilage starts to form bone


  • there might be fluttering in your bump now – that is your baby kicking and floating about
  • might be experiencing some back and hip ache now, as your bump starts to grow – yoga, pilates and physio sessions could help

your baby…

  • the nerves start to develop
  • a scan can probably show the sex of your baby now
  • your baby starts to be covered in vernix


  • you may have had your second scan now
  • your baby could be very active now – with kicks and somersaults


your baby…

  • there will be more hiccups and yawns
  • the body and leg growth will have caught up with the head
  • the buds for the adult teeth are now developing
  • the nostrils are starting to open up
  • starts to lay down more fat now
  • the meconium starts to develop in the gut
  • the bones in the inner ear are developing so your baby is more responsive to sounds
  • the nervous system is developing so your baby is more active


your baby…

  • more brain development has taken place and hand coordination has improved – your baby may start to make a fist and sucking its thumb
  • the eyelids start to open so your baby can become aware of light


  • as your baby’s growth is rapid, your bump might grow quickly so – backache could start to
    kick-in at this point and you could start to feel a bit unsteady as your shape changes 
  • heartburn can start to affect you
  • you might feel like you are unable to breathe in deeply

Third Trimester

This could be the time when you well and truly feel like you are making a human being, as your bump gets bigger and your baby kicks and wriggles. It can be a great time to bond with your baby but tiredness and nausea can creep in again for some women.

Things to think about: attend good antenatal classes so you get the best birth preparation for you.

30your baby…

  • probably has a sleep-wake pattern
  • the brain is no longer smooth – it is folding to accommodate the millions and
    millions of brain cells
  • The teeth buds have developed separate layers of enamel and dentine
  • The layer of vernix on your baby’s skin thickens


  • might be having weird dreams – this can be common in pregnancy
  • you might start to feel a little more tired and achy again now – a swim, resting and yoga or pilates can continue to help


your baby…

  • is aware of your heartbeat, breathing and stomach sounds
    along with the blood moving through the umbilical cord
  • loud noises can startle your baby
  • is awake for longer periods
  • he is becoming more aware of himself – he can touch his face,
    hold the umbilical cord and suck his thumb, as the sucking reflex is also developing
  • your baby is almost full term now. He is fully formed although his lungs may need to develop a bit more and he just needs to grow and add a layer of fat.


  • you might start to experience some discomfort in your pelvis, as your joints start to loosen for labour. If this is painful, it can help to see a physiotherapist and simple things such as: sleeping with a pillow between your knees, trying not to stand on one leg to get dressed, avoid using a shopping trolley as this can put pressure on your pelvis
  • your baby may be engaging into your pelvis now which may ease your heartburn and make your breathing a little easier
  • your boobs might start to leak some breastmilk
  • you might be experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions as your body starts to get ready for labour
  • this is a great time to think about the position of your baby – to help your baby stay on the left of your bump, try not to lean back to often and lie on your left side when you rest/sleep
  • use your birthball – sitting on it and leaning over it can ease backache and encourage your baby to stay in a good position for labour

40More than half of all babies are born before their due date but labour will start when your baby is ready – that said you might be feeling huge and very ready to meet your baby now. You won’t have long to wait.

If you are concerned about your baby – even if it is just a feeling you have, get yourself checked out at your nearest pregnancy assessment unit

Try to enjoy this time off work before your baby arrives – nap, read, go for cake, see a movie, get a massage. If you are feeling anxious or worried about birth or being induced – practise your breathing to relax and stay calm and speak with your midwife. You can also contact me at Birth, Baby & Family for a peptalk or last-minute preparation for labour and/or induction. I provide face-to-face, phone and online support.

You may even be experiencing some signs of labour, especially if this is not your first pregnancy. You could be having:

  • Braxton Hicks, which tend to come on when you are relaxed in the evening
  • more vaginal discharge, which could be your mucous plug starting to come away
  • cramping – this could be your body getting ready for labour
  • low backache – this can be a sign of early labour

birth baby family practice newcastle and tynesideJanine Smith | a specialist in pregnancy, birth and parent support

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antenatal teacher, doula, baby massage instructor, postnatal group leader, parent coach, writer of words, mum, wife and friend I am a warm, sensitive, straight-talking, down to earth mum, wife, friend and practitioner; I am a professional listener – people often feel very comfortable opening up to me about their experiences, fears, challenges and struggles – and I also know a thing or two about pregnancy, birth, babies and supporting parents.