40 Weeks of Pregnancy - A Week-by-Week Overview | Fit Pregnancy

40 Weeks

Our step-by-step timeline and checklist for navigating your pregnancy.


Week 11.

Your cravings may run the gamut from cheeseburgers to chalk (really!). Weird nonfood cravings are known as pica and can reflect a deficiency in your diet. This week, nearly all of the fetus's organs are beginning to function, and genitals begin to take on male or female form.

What to do now:


  • Call your doctor if you're experiencing pica.
  • Make an appointment if you're having the nuchal translucency test, which screens for Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities. The test must be done between 11 and 14 weeks.

Read more about being 11 weeks pregnant.


Week 12.

Your uterus has begun to expand outside the protective pelvic bones. It will increase in size by almost 1,000 times by the end of your pregnancy! You may really be starting to show now, especially if it's not your first baby.

What to do now:


  • From now on, steer clear of any activities that pose the risk of a fall or abdominal trauma, such as horseback riding. Also avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on your back—your growing fetus can place too much weight on a major vein, causing reduced blood flow to the uterus.

Read more about being 12 weeks pregnant.


Week 13.

Now that you've finished your first trimester, you can start eating for two—a little. Plan on gaining about 12 pounds during the next 14 or so weeks.

What to do now:


  • To support your baby's growth without gaining too much weight, aim to get 300 extra calories a day from healthy foods.
  • Start shopping for maternity clothes. Many shops have belly bumps to mimic your girth in later pregnancy.

Read more about being 13 weeks pregnant.


Week 14.

Your renewed energy (and end to morning sickness) may lull you into thinking you can take on a marathon, but follow this guideline: Work out only so hard that you can carry on a conversation without getting out of breath.

What to do now:


  • Sign up for prenatal yoga, Pilates, swimming or other exercise class.

Read more about being 14 weeks pregnant.


Week 15.

The "window of opportunity" for many important screening and diagnostic tests opens this week, should you decide to undergo them.

What to do now:


  • Make an appointment for the multiple marker test or amniocentesis.The former screens for chromosomal abnormalities, including Down syndrome; neural-tube defects such as spina bifida; and other defects. The latter can diagnose chromosomal and other abnormalities. Both are typically performed between weeks 15 and 20.

Read more about being 15 weeks pregnant.


Week 16.

Sometime between 16 and 22 weeks, you'll start to feel your baby move.

What to do now:


  • Decide whether you want to find out your baby's sex. Many doctors do a detailed ultrasound between 16 and 20 weeks, at which time gender often can be determined.

Read more about being 16 weeks pregnant.


Week 17.

Your sleep may be marked by vivid and bizarre dreams, often reflecting anxiety you might have about childbirth and parenthood.

What to do now:


  • Invest in a good body pillow to help you get your Z's.
  • Look into childbirth education classes; they fill up quickly. Ditto for doulas.

Read more about being 17 weeks pregnant.


Week 18.

Just when you thought you couldn't possibly take any more pee breaks, you do. It's inevitable: As your baby grows, your bladder shrinks (or so it seems).

What to do now:


  • Drink plenty of fluids (not coffee or tea, which are diuretics) during the day, but limit them toward bedtime.

Read more about being 18 weeks pregnant.


Week 19.

Now that you're feeling better, it's time to spend some quality time with your partner. So have sex! Unless you're having complications, it's safe for most women throughout pregnancy.

What to do now:


  • Take advantage of your waning baby-free days: see a movie, go to dinner, take walks together. No babysitter required.

Read more about being 19 weeks pregnant.


Week 20.

You're halfway there, which means your uterus has reached your navel! The nesting urge is probably kicking in. Have fun with it, but don't go overboard and exhaust yourself.

What to do now:


  • If you're planning to have the nursery painted or new carpet installed, get it done soon so the room has a chance to air out before the baby arrives.

Read more about being 20 weeks pregnant.



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