Ultimate Guide: Week by Week Pregnancy
Are you expecting? Congratulations! Becoming a mom is one of life’s greatest joys, and it’s so exciting to be bringing new life into this world. It can also be overwhelming with all the decisions that need to be made and questions you have about pregnancy. That's why we've created The Ultimate Guide: Week by Week Pregnancy, which is designed to make your journey easier with everything in one place. We'll provide information on what changes are happening both in your body and baby during each stage of development, as well as tips for managing common discomforts along the way. With support from our guide, you'll find yourself better prepared and more confident in motherhood ahead.
1-3 months or under 12 weeks
Weeks 1-2 Pregnant
Your body is working hard gearing up for ovulation and preparing for fertilization. It's extremely hard to pinpoint the precise moment pregnancy happens (when sperm meets egg) so to have a standard guideline your first day of your last period is used as a start line.
Weeks 3-4 Pregnant
At week 3 you are officially pregnant - congratulations! However, at this point, likely, that you will not get a positive result on a pregnancy test for a few weeks. Surging hormones may trigger a heightened sense of smell, often one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Your baby is currently the size of a poppy seed * Did you know sex is determined at the moment of fertilization?
Weeks 5-6 Pregnant
Your HCG hormone levels will now be high enough to take that pregnancy test. Baby will grow to the size of a sweet pea drawing these weeks. Signs of pregnancy may become obvious with tender breasts, bouts of nausea and affected sense of smell.
Weeks 7- 8 Pregnant
Feeling sluggish is common around this time and rest is key. While you may not see a baby bump yet you may gain a little weight. Your baby has grown to the size of a blueberry. If you haven't already, now is a great time to engage with a health professional for your pregnancy care. Around this time they will suggest your first ultrasound, the first glimpse at your baby! * No litterbox duty for the rest of your pregnancy, cat feces can habour a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis.
Week 9-10 Pregnant
As week by week pregnancy progresses your diet becomes more important, helping your energy levels and helping to grow your baby who is now the size of a prune. Baby has officially at this stage graduated from an embryo to a fetus. A varied diet is important at this stage, as well as plenty of fluid. Be vigilant with your food, avoiding raw or undercooked meat, soft cheeses etc. Your chosen health professional will guide you here.
Weeks 11-12 Pregnant
As the baby is busy growing your breast may have also increased in size, if so now is the time to be fitted for a Hotmilk Maternity bra. You may feel hungrier as your appetite gears up to nourish your body and baby. Your lower abdomen may start to protrude a bit as the baby is now the size of a small lime and those close to you may start noticing your pregnancy. Often the 12 week marks a time when expecting mothers share the news with loved ones, however, there is no hard and fast rule, it's your motherhood journey so do it your way.
3-6 Months or 13-24 weeks
Weeks 13-14 Pregnant
Your baby is getting chubbier each day and maybe starting to sprout hair, and around the size of an orange. If you want to find out the sex of your baby, around this time you can get an ultrasound done. If you are lucky, babies won't have their legs crossed! Your pregnant belly is normal no matter how big or small it is, every woman carries their baby differently so avoid making comparisons.
Weeks 15 - 16 Pregnant
At this point it may be very obvious you are pregnant and you couldn't hide it even if you wanted to as the baby is around the size of a large pear. Your ribcage will be expanding and you may find your bra band feels a little firm, changing to a Hotmilk Maternity bra with its 6 eyes and hooks allows you to extend the band as you continue through your pregnancy, now is the perfect time to invest in quality maternity bras. *Gentle exercise such as prenatal Yoga or Pilates is great for loosening the spine and muscle tension you may be experiencing. Hotmilk Lingerie Activewear range is perfect for this
Week 17-18 Pregnant
Your baby is big enough now that you may feel them twisting and turning, often described as a butterfly feeling in the belly. What a magical feeling when your baby becomes very real! Back pain can become more frequent at this point, swimming can help with this.*Your baby is now truly one of a kind, with unique fingerprints on those tiny little fingertips.
Week 19-20 Pregnant
You are approaching the midway point, you may notice your hair growing faster and your nails stronger all thanks to the pregnancy hormones racing around. If you have found out the sex of your baby, now is the perfect time for a gender reveal for loved ones if you decide to. Most women feel healthy, strong and glowing at the midway point. However, some expecting parents decide to keep the gender a secret for themselves. There is no hard and fast rule, like everything in parenthood, it is your unique journey to do your way. *Thumb sucking is often seen on ultrasounds as babies practice their sucking reflexes.
Week 21-22 Pregnant
Pregnancy swelling can begin to rear its ugly head at this stage, take every opportunity to rest with your feet elevated to reduce swelling. You may also notice your shoes are getting tighter, pregnant women's feet can grow up to a size bigger during pregnancy. Baby is now weighing in at around 1 pound and is the size of a small doll. *Often movement is now obvious enough for your partner to feel, helping connect them to your baby.
Week 23-24 Pregnant
Get ready for a major growth spurt as your baby will likely double in size over the next month or two. Your antenatal appointments will become regular at this point tracking your pregnancy and baby's development. Stretch marks and linea nigra (the dark line running down your belly) become more common than not at this point. Skin colourations may occur due to pregnancy hormones. *Stretch mark oils don't necessarily mean you won't end up with permanent marks, but they do help tender dry skin and massaging your skin with beautiful oils feels amazing
6-9 Months or 25-40 weeks Pregnant
Week 25-26 Pregnant
Your pregnant belly by this point will look like you are hiding a soccer ball under your shirt! Looking after yourself by keeping up your fluids and maintaining a healthy varied diet is important as you start to lack energy. Prenatal massage by a qualified therapist is a blissful way to relieve muscle and back tension, or even a regular foot rub for a partner or friend. *Now is the time to check in with yourself mentally as well. Hormones run havoc on expecting mothers so it's important to talk with your midwife, obstetrician or healthcare provider openly and honestly.
Weeks 27-28 Pregnant
Your baby is around the size of an eggplant and can now open their eyes, fluttering brand-new eyelashes that have just developed. Sleeping at this point can start to get more uncomfortable, a pregnancy pillow or pillow between the knees can help. Breasts may feel heavy and uncomfortable at night, but the Hotmilk Lingerie My Necessity Sleep Bra is perfect for light support with no seams.
Weeks 29-30 Pregnant
Your baby's brain is getting more sophisticated and so they will become more active, often late at night or when you're trying to sleep! You will find you are running to the bathroom more frequently as the baby starts to press on your bladder, Hotmilk Leakproof Briefs will provide confidence. You may also start to find yourself short of breath as the baby is now the size of a cauliflower * now is the time to start your antenatal classes
Weeks 31-32 Pregnant
Your baby now has all their major organs fully developed except for the lungs and will be practising the skills they need to thrive outside the womb, swallowing, sucking, kicking and breathing. Baby at this point will be weighing around 3-4 pounds and hopefully be turning to settle in head down in preparation for birth. *Babies can flip to head down right up to the last moment naturally or with a little help from your midwife.
Weeks 34-35 Pregnant
You may be feeling Braxton Hicks contractions at this point, this is your body's way of preparing for birth. They feel like a tightening sensation that begins at the top of our uterus and spreads downwards, lasting around 15-30 seconds, although they can last longer. * No one likes a last-minute panic, now is the time to have your bag packed and ready. Hotmilk Lingerie Hospital Bag Guide will help you find the perfect nursing bra essentials in your first few weeks of breastfeeding.
Weeks 35-36 Pregnant
Studies have shown your baby's ears extra sharp in the last few weeks, and may even recognise your voice or favourite songs. Baby is the size of a Melon, around 6 pounds and 18-19 inches long. You may find as the baby's head drops you develop the pregnancy waddle, this is your connective tissue and pelvic bones loosening getting ready for the baby to arrive. *Tracking baby's movements is important, if you notice a decrease or usual change contact your midwife or health provider immediately.
Week 37-38 Pregnant
Your baby's lungs have strengthened and vocal cords developed, weighing about 7 pounds room is getting tight. You may notice breast swelling again or starting to leak colostrum, now is the perfect time to get your nursing bras stored, Hotmilk Multifit Nursing bras such as Warrior or My Necessity allow flexibility with a changing cup in those first few weeks. Hotmilk Bamboo Nursing pads will help with leaky breasts. *Gentle movement can help with labour, so a stroll around the neighbourhood.
Week 39-40 Pregnant
Your little one is fully prepped for life outside the womb, it's now a waiting game. Days and hours can drag, and loved ones wait expectantly like kids before Christmas. Remember to enjoy those last few moments with your baby snuggled in your belly, whatever your pregnancy journey was, it is a miracle in itself. Try to relax when it is go-time, while you will be excited to meet your little one, the first phase of labour can take a while so relax and save your strength for later. With your prepped hospital bag with all your essentials, it's time to deliver your baby.
*1 in 3 pregnancies hit the 41-week mark.
This week-by-week pregnancy overview is simply a guide, it is important to remember every expecting mother will experience something slightly different. Some will have lesser symptoms some greater, build your support network and consult with your professional medical team throughout your motherhood journey for the best experience possible.