Detailed Week By Week Guide To Pregnancy

Guide to pregnancy is one of the most sought after things among pregnant women. Pregnancy is a coveted and cherished phenomenon in society, traditional and otherwise. Though pregnancy is not unique to human beings, this article exclusively talks about pregnancy in human beings. Pregnancy eventually alters not only the biological and physiological status of women but also their social and family status.

Pregnancy is a clear indication of the fertility of woman and her ability to actively contribute to the process of continuation of family lineage. Pregnancy literally means carrying of a fetus or an embryo by women. Guide to pregnancy helps women understand and cope with changes right from conception to childbirth.

During pregnancy of about 38 to 40 weeks, women undergo a number of internal and external changes. Though external changes in pregnant women are noticed by others, internal changes are known to and experienced by the pregnant women only.

Pregnant women, even in the era of information technology revolution, feel depressed about the mysterious goings on inside their bodies because there still exists widespread ignorance about pregnancy. They do not know what exactly pregnancy is and how to negotiate with the changes taking place inside and outside the body. As a result of this, women demand a guide to pregnancy which serves as a survival kit during pregnancy. It equips them psychologically and physically to face the new situation while preparing to give birth to a new baby.

Pregnancy impacts women in a variety of ways, and the embryos also develop in many different ways. The golden rule of pregnancy is that during pregnancy, women ought to have good health because they have to take care not only of themselves but of the baby to be born as well. Naturally, a majority of women, both pregnant and aspiring to be pregnant, are interested in knowing about the changes they undergo, and for them, here is a week by week guide to pregnancy.

General Changes During Pregnancy

It is well known that no two women can have exactly same experience of pregnancy. However, despite the variations from woman to woman, there are certain changes common to all pregnant women. On that basis one can devise a general week by week guide to pregnancy:

    1st to 4th Week – First week of pregnancy begins from the date of your last period. Fourth week witnesses fertilization of the eggs – when the process of forming a new life begins!

  • 5th to 8th Week – Women miss their period during the fifth week, and begin to suspect that they are pregnant. Visit to a clinic for pregnancy test would confirm pregnancy. This is when the heart of baby begins to beat, to be precise during the sixth week, and pregnant women start developing nausea by the beginning of the seventh week. The embryo or fetus continues to develop, and by the eighth week it has small arms and feet.

  • 9th to 12th Week – During this period, woman’s body constantly grows to accommodate the growing fetus. Though the pregnant woman herself may not notice, her baby-to-be born starts moving inside her body. By the twelfth week, morning sickness is on the decline.

  • 13th to 14th Week – During the 13th week, it becomes possible to determine the probable gender of the baby, though not always with mechanical precision and accuracy. By 14th week, the would-be-mother can listen to her future baby’s heart beat.

  • 15th to 20th Week- As the new baby’s bones begin to harden, during this period, mother starts feeling the baby moving inside her. The baby’s organs start developing, and its gender can be known by ultrasound tests.

  • 21st to 24th Week – Around this time one experiences slight contractions. Baby learns how to breathe, and fat deposits also begin to develop.

  • 25th to 28th Week- By this time baby’s movements become less, and it can sense light and darkness, hear sounds from the outside.

  • 29th to 32nd Week- During this period, its head grows fast, eyes and brain are developed, and by the 32nd week, only lungs remain to be completely developed.

  • 33rd to 36th Week – This is the time when the baby begins opening and closing its eyes, and its fingernails start growing. The baby weighs about 4 pounds and is around 16 inches long, by the 36th week.

  • 37th to 40th Week – This is the climax of pregnancy. There could be child birth anytime during this period. All organs of the baby except lungs are fully developed.

The actual delivery of the baby could be between 38th and 40th week. One must note though that this guide to pregnancy is just a guide, and there is much more to learn about pregnancy.

Best Books on Pregnancy Reviews

Best Pregnancy Books
There are many pregnancy books on the market and below you will find some of my favorites along with links to access them for purchase.

As any pregnant mom will tell you these guides are designed to be there for reassurance that everything is OK and YOUR pregnancy is on track. If you are interested in understanding how your unborn child is developing each week

If you want to know what is actually happening with the changes in YOUR own body than these books can be excellent resources along the way.Read these reviews of the best pregnancy books around and choose a guide or two that will go with you on your journey from conception through labor and eventually the welcome birthing event!

What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 4th edition by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

A perennial New York Times bestseller and one of USA Today‘s 25 most influential books. It’s read by more than 90% of pregnant women who read a pregnancy book. Featuring a new look, a fresh perspective, and a friendlier-than-ever voice. Filled with up-to-date information reflecting not only what’s new in pregnancy, but what’s relevant to pregnant women. Detailed week-by-week fetal development section in the monthly chapters, an expanded chapter on pre-conception, and a brand new one on carrying multiples. Overflowing with tips, helpful hints, and humor (a pregnant woman’s best friend), this new edition is more accessible and easier to use than ever before.

New Active Birth by Janet Balaskas

A pregnancy book that enables you to have the active birth you want. With this book, you can learn to develop all your body’s resources to deal with the instinctive experience of childbirth. Fully updated and extended with new information – including Water Birth and Recovery After Birth. It offers prenatal and postnatal exercises with step by step photographs. It presents a detailed section covering every aspect of Active Birth at home and in the hospital.

Birth Stories by Katrina O’Brien

Share other women’s birth stories with this pregnancy book that tells you like it is. From natural birth at home to unexpected birth in the outdoors to planned Caesareans, these touchingly personal and funny tales illustrate how the method of arrival is less important than the love the child finds when it finally arrives.

The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: The Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything In Between by Ann Douglas

The ultimate guide to conception, birth, and everything in between. Unlike all those other bossy, tell-you-what-to-do titles, this funny, entertaining guide presents parents with all the facts on such hot topics as pain relief during labor, episiotomy, and circumcision, and empowers them to make informed personal choices. It’s packed with tools you won’t find anywhere else, including:

Up the Duff by Kaz Cooke

This pregnancy bible gives you the low-down on pregnancy and birth. Lots of factual information about the babies growth, what to expect etc. Absolutely hilarious.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by Mayo Clinic

Would-be mothers looking for precise, accurate information from a reputable source will appreciate this pregnancy guide from the celebrated Mayo Clinic. week by week accounts of the baby’s development, entries on how pregnancy can be affected by dozens of previous health conditions (such as HIV and diabetes), self-care tips for side effects like nausea and back pain, sidebars that explain the difference between identical and fraternal twins, etc. charts that indicate how to handle “troublesome signs and symptoms” during each three-week period. Another stellar feature is the book’s even-handed series of “decision guides,” which help parents make those hard (and even guilt-inducing) choices about breastfeeding, circumcision and whether or not to go back to work.

Your Pregnancy Bible by Dr Anne Deans

This pregnancy book gives practical and reassuring advice during pregnancy. Written by a team of specialists, filled with everything parents need to know about the optimum environment for a developing baby and safeguarding the mother. The book contains special fold-out sections on each of the trimesters and the birth process, week-by-week images of the developing baby, sympathetically illustrated chapters dealing with all aspects of pre-natal care, labor preparation, delivery experiences and care of the newborn, as well as comprehensive reference sections on medical treatments and procedures in both pregnancy and the post-natal period.

Conception, Pregnancy and Birth by Dr Miriam Stoppard

A comprehensive pregnancy guide to everything from conception to birth. Widely accepted as the definitive guide to pregnancy and childbirth. Stunning photography and information covers the latest developments in pregnancy and birth, from up-to-date research on how your stress levels can affect your unborn baby to developments in delivering your baby. Miriam Stoppard, MD is one of today’s most popular medical personalities and has published over 40 titles.

Feeding the Bump by Lisa Neal

A pregnancy book that clearly outlines pregnancy nutrition. Divided chronologically into pre-conception, first, second and third trimesters and postpartum/breast-feeding. Provides women with all the information they need about their own and their unborn child’s nutritional requirements and the best way to fulfill them. Tried and true remedies for common complaints such as morning sickness and heartburn, along with more than 100 easy-to-follow and absolutely delicious recipes. This is a must-have resource for all women wanting to maximize their unborn child’s health, and their own, through what they eat.

Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy

McCarthy applies her in-your-face manner and blue humor to the subject of pregnancy and childbirth in this little piece of fun. She recounts her journey to motherhood with utter abandon; discussing topics that those other books tend to treat too gently, such as enemas, pubic hair growth, and sex in the ninth month. Women who find these topics too embarrassing to bring up now have a place to read about them in a frank and open discussion. Like a gossipy girlfriend, McCarthy brings you in and makes you laugh; there’s a certain comfort in knowing that even a sex symbol gets stretch marks and balloons to 200 pounds during pregnancy.

Bonding with Your Bump by Dr Miriam Stoppard

A guide-book about falling in love with your baby before birth. Presents advice and guidance on how to fall in love with your baby before birth. Building that special relationship with your baby starts before birth. Forming a close, early bond can make a real difference to your baby’s wellbeing, your feelings as a parent and in creating a loving environment for when baby arrives. up-to-the-minute research with enlightened and compassionate wisdom explains why mother-baby bonding is so vital. Learn to understand and cherish your unborn baby. This book guides you through this extraordinary time: from hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time, to the first magical days post birth.

The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood Editors: Joanne Stone MD, Keith Eddleman MD

The Pregnancy Bible covers the complete sequence of fetal development in utero week by week. Full color photography with many life-size photos which are reproduced from state-of-the-art ultrasound images. Written in an easy-to-understand style that will especially appeal to first-time parents.With 300,000 copies sold, it is the most attractive and complete guide to this important event in parents’ lives. Includes authoritative information about the latest developments affecting the well-being of an expectant mother and her baby. Specifically, these include:

  • New CDC recommendations about mercury and fish
  • Update on nuchal translucency screening
  • Update on screening for genetic disorders
  • Updated information about loss rates after amniocentesis
  • New information about 3D/4D ultrasound
  • Recent trends in cesarean delivery “on demand”
  • Update on Downs syndrome screening.

The Natural Way to a Better Pregnancy by Naish & Roberts

An easy-to-follow pregnancy guide to pre-conception health. Did you know that the food you eat, the environment you live in and the lifestyle you lead in the months before you conceive a child can have a profound effect on the wellbeing of your baby? Preconception health care, as outlined in this book, can prevent miscarriage, premature and stillbirths, congenital abnormalities and has a better than 80 per cent success rate in the treatment of infertility. Did you know that by following its simple principles, you can actively help ensure your baby will be content and alert, won’t suffer from colic, feeding problems or other common ailments, and will be less likely to suffer from allergies, asthma or behavioral problems? Complete, easy-to-follow guide to preconception health for BOTH prospective parents. Written by a Naturopath, herbalist, hypnotherapist and bestselling author who runs Australia’s only clinic dedicated to helping people conceive happy, healthy babies naturally.

The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger

One of the most celebrated British authors on the sociological and anthropological aspects of birth, breast feeding, and early parenthood. This book guides readers seeking a woman-centered birth experience through the newly researched alternatives now available. five major sections: Early Weeks, Physical and Emotional Changes, Anticipating the Birth, the Experience of Birth, and You and Your Newborn, Candid information about what mothers need to know, ranging from ways to navigate the technical landscape of hospital births to making the personal choices of a water home birth. Encourages readers to construct a birth plan, make their own space, and choose an effective birth companion. With revised appendices and 300 updated photographs, drawings, and diagrams, this guide is a valuable resource for all.

The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book by Marjorie Greenfield

Dr. Marjorie Greenfield draws from her experiences as an obstetrician and working mom and from more than a hundred interviews with mothers ranging from factory workers to high-powered attorneys, to create a unique resource for working women. This up-to-date guide addresses all the subjects you would expect to find in an authoritative book on pregnancy plus issues of special concern to the 60 to 80 percent of women who hold jobs during their pregnancies:

Is my workplace safe for my developing baby?
When should I tell my employer that I am expecting?
How can I handle the discomforts of pregnancy when I need to work?
What laws will protect me when I take medical leave?

The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy: The Surprising Unbiased Truth about Foods You Should be Eating During Pregnancy but Probably Aren’t by Jonny Bowden PH.D. C.N.S., Allison Tannis MS

Eat the best foods for your baby’s development! Nutrition is never more critical than during pregnancy. What you choose to put on your plate affects you and your baby’s health not just in utero but for years to come. Backed up by the latest nutritional research, this guide debunks pregnancy food myths and uncovers a number of surprising food choices that are superfoods for expectant mothers. This one-of-a-kind nutrition reference guide is also packed with helpful quick-reference charts and sidebars, highlighting healthy (but no less delicious!) substitutes for commonly craved foods like ice cream and potato chips. You’ll also discover the most up-to-date research regarding pregnancy dilemmas, such as how to get more omega-3s from fish in your diet while avoiding mercury. Its pregnancy nutrition made easy!

Babycare Before Birth by Zita West

A pregnancy book that shares the wisdom of a fertility expert and midwife. Bringing together fascinating new research that shows during pregnancy a woman can make a dramatic difference to her unborn baby’s health, well-being, development, and all-round future potential by making small adjustments to her diet and lifestyle, this amazing book explains how to give your baby the best possible start in life.

What to Expect: Eating Well When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

Provides moms-to-be with a realistic approach to navigating healthily and deliciously through the nine months of pregnancy-at home, in the office, over the holidays, in restaurants. Thorough chapters are devoted to nutrition, weight gain, food safety, the postpartum diet, and how to eat when trying to conceive again. 150 contemporary, tasty, and healthy recipes that feed mom and baby well, take little time to prepare, and are gentle on queasy tummies. Comes with a light, reader-friendly tone while delivering the most up-to-date information.

What to Expect Before You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

In the same fresh, contemporary voice that has made the 4th edition of What to Expect When You’re Expecting so successful, Murkoff explains the whys and wherefores of getting your body ready for pregnancy, including pregnancy prep for both moms and dads to be. Filled with information on exercise, diet, pinpointing ovulation, lifestyle, workplace, and insurance changes you’ll want to consider, and how to keep your relationship strong when you’re focused on baby making all the time. There are tips for older couples; when to look for help from a fertility specialist–including the latest on fertility drugs and procedures–plus a complete fertility planner.

Eating for Pregnancy: The Essential Nutrition Guide and Cookbook for Today’s Mothers-to-Be by Catherine Jones, Rose Ann Hudson

A volume that combines both recipes and nutritional advice aimed specifically at the mother-to-be. Balancing optimum and unnecessary weight gain with the required dietary needs for a healthy lifestyle. Addresses the requirements of diabetic, vegetarian and vegan diets. A chapter is dedicated to the vegetarian diet. Each section contains recommended pantry items for the recipes. Makes full use of convenience and semi-prepared ingredients to provide simple yet flavorful dishes. Advice on vitamins, health hazards and goals. Each recipe is preceded with the nutritional goal for baby and mother-to-be and followed by tips for cooking, storage, health, special diets as well as complete meal ideas, variations and the approximate nutritional content.

The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition, & Other Holistic Choices by Aviva Jill Romm M.D.

Reading this book is like having your own personal herbalist and midwife at your side. One of the first books to explore botanical medicine and pregnancy. Follows the woman’s journey from conception to birth, focusing on natural health. Describes herbs that can promote and maintain a healthy pregnancy (along with those you should avoid during your term) and the basics of a healthy diet, with an emphasis on natural foods. Complete guide for the woman who envisions a safe pregnancy without technological intervention, as nature intended.

Online Pregnancy Test – Are Online Pregnancy Test Accurate?

What exactly a pregnancy test on the internet does is a question that many women ask. How handy would it be to find out online if you’re pregnant? This means no trips to the store to purchase pregnancy tests, no expensive tests to purchase repeatedly until the day you find out that you are expecting, and no hassle. There’s no urinating in a cup or on a stick and waiting for the results to pop up if you can just go online and take a pregnancy test. However, most women don’t know what an online pregnancy test even is.

An online pregnancy test is one you can take on the internet, whether you use your home computer, laptop, tablet, or even your smart phone. These tests are available everywhere on the internet. To find thousands of them to try free of charge, all you have to do is perform a quick internet search using the terms, “Online Pregnancy Test” to receive hundreds of thousands of results.

These tests ask you questions. You provide the most accurate answer to the test to get the most accurate possible results. For example, an online test might ask you if you are feeling more tired than usual, if you have to use the bathroom more frequently than usual, or if you feel nauseous or turned off by the sight of certain foods. Each is a typical early pregnancy symptom. By calculating your answers to its questions, online tests can help you determine whether or not you are pregnant.

Are Online Pregnancy Tests Real?
The existence of an online pregnancy test is very real. Website owners use some of the most common early pregnancy symptoms to help determine whether or not you could be expecting a child. Typically, these tests ask you about all the possible early pregnancy symptoms there are, calculating your answers to determine pregnancy. However, that doesn’t mean this is the test for everyone.

Early pregnancy symptoms are often very similar to premenstrual symptoms. This means that what you are currently experiencing might not be anything more than just a sign your period is near. For example, tender breasts, bloating, food cravings or aversions, nausea, moodiness, fatigue, and excessive exhaustion are all common signs that your period is quickly approaching. They are also signs of pregnancy. The biggest tell-tale symptom of pregnancy this early on is the absence of your period on the day it is expected to arrive. If you haven’t missed your period yet, you might take an online pregnancy test that tells you that you are expecting a child simply because you have all or many of the early pregnancy symptoms that are also associated with your oncoming period.

For this reason, it’s best to wait until after your period fails to arrive to take a pregnancy test. This is a more concrete piece of evidence than a little bloating and fatigue, which are common for many reasons. Online tests are very real, but that doesn’t make them very accurate or reliable.

Are Online Pregnancy Tests Accurate?
You have about a 50 percent chance of accuracy using an online pregnancy test. This is not a very high accuracy rating considering you are either pregnant or you are not pregnant. Unfortunately, the internet simply cannot tell you whether or not you are pregnant. That would be highly convenient and welcome by most women, but it’s not possible this day and age.

If you choose to take an online pregnancy test, you might be careful with your results. It’s only 50 percent accurate and at best, a good guess. However, you can use these tests for fun or to answer any questions you might have. For example, an online pregnancy test might give you an idea whether or not you are pregnant by asking certain questions. If you typically don’t suffer from premenstrual cramps or symptoms but suddenly you are, you might validate your suspicions that you are pregnant.

The only want to know for sure whether or not you are pregnant is to visit your doctor and have a blood test performed. You can also take a home pregnancy test. These are 99 percent accurate when used beginning the day that you expect your period to make its monthly appearance. Some work a little early depending on the sensitivity of your test, which might mean you can find out a little bit earlier whether or not you are expecting a baby.

Are Online Pregnancy Tests Reliable?
In short, the answer is no. Online pregnancy tests are not reliable. They do not do anything except use your answers to certain questions to determine whether or not there is a chance you might be pregnant. The only way to tell you are pregnant with complete reliability is with testing. You can test at home using an at-home pregnancy test designed to measure the amount of hCG, or the pregnancy hormone, present in your blood. You can also receive a blood test at your doctor’s office that will determine whether or not you are pregnant. These are the only reliable ways to tell whether or not you are pregnant.

Even a missed period can mean something other than pregnancy, making it less than reliable. While it is the most common symptom of a pregnancy, it’s not always a reliable method. For this reason, it’s pretty obvious why an online test is not particularly accurate.

There’s nothing wrong with taking an online test to see what it has to say if you can remember that the result is not reliable. In fact, you might take one test on one website only to find out that a pregnancy test on another site says something completely different. Don’t take these tests seriously. Take them for fun and take them lightly. If you want a reliable answer as to whether or not you are pregnant, take an at-home test and see your doctor for a blood test. These are the most reliable, most accurate methods of determining pregnancy.