Motherhood is indeed the most important and the most anticipated part of a woman’s life that almost all women wants to experience at least once in their lifetime. Since women are the ones that bring new life to this world they have to be very careful of their overall well being, not only physically, but also mentally. All that includes enough exercise, eating a well-balanced meal and taking supplements when needed.  They also undergo significant changes mentally, too much stress that in some women may lead to them resorting to means like smoking and drinking, which can adversely affect the growth of the fetus. In rare cases, it can also cause birth abnormalities.

Pregnancy is said to start from the first day of a woman’s last period, which is roughly two weeks ahead of when conception actually occurs. Pregnancy occurs in three stages:

1. First trimester (weeks 1-12) 

2. Second trimester (weeks 13-27)

3. Third trimester (weeks 28-40)

Period of Conception & Implantation

  • Conception 

Each month when after a woman has had a period, two weeks after that (on average), one egg is released from the ovaries; this is known as ovulation. The released egg then travels towards the fallopian tube and waits for 12-24 hours for a sperm cell to fertilize it. If there are no sperm cells, the egg starts to wither and die and is passed out of the body with the next period. However, if there is a sperm cell present and it penetrates the egg and fertilizes it, it combines and becomes one cell, this process is known as conception.  

When the egg has fertilized the sex of the baby is already determined; if the sperm has an X chromosome, the baby will be a girl, and if the sperm has a Y chromosome, the baby will be a boy.

  • Implantation

Within a day of the egg being fertilized, it starts rapidly dividing while dividing it travels down the fallopian tube towards the uterus; this takes about 3-4 days in total. Once the fertilized egg reaches the uterus, it attaches itself to the wall of the uterus, which, due to the presence of certain chemicals and hormones, becomes soft, thick, and spongy, so that is becoming a bed of sorts for the growing fetus. After the implantation stage, a woman might experience some light spotting for 1 to 2 days, which is normal. After the implantation stage, when the fertilized egg had successfully attached itself to the uterus lining or the placenta, within weeks it starts to grow rapidly into a fetus, the placenta acts as a medium through which it gets the required nutrients from the mother.

Three Stages of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a long process, and it can feel different to different women. It usually lasts until 40 weeks, approximately nine months. A woman is said to be pregnant starting from the first day of the last period, conception happens two weeks after that. Pregnancy is divided into three stages.

1. First trimester (weeks 1-12) 

2. Second trimester (weeks 13-27)

3. Third trimester (weeks 28-40)

 Each stage represents some major developmental changes in the baby, as well as the effects of pregnancy on the body of the mother.

First trimester (weeks 1-12) 

The first trimester is a period of roughly 1 to 12 weeks. This is the initial stage that is of utmost importance to the baby’s growth. The baby is referred to as an Embryo at this stage, and it lasts till the eighth week. After the eighth week till the birth of the baby, it is referred to as a Fetus. During the first trimester, most of the important organs like the brain, the heart, and spinal cord, nerves, arms, legs start to form. Towards the end of the first trimester, the embryo’s genitals are also formed. 

It is during this stage that the mother experiences early morning sickness, food cravings, and weakness.

  • Week 1 – Week 12

– Changes in Women’s Body

When a woman gets pregnant, all the natural bodily functions that occurred before that, they stop completely. For example, there are no more periods, and so no more ovulation.

– Changes in Women’s Emotional & Physical Health 

During the first trimester, a mother goes through various changes, not only physical but emotional as well. Pregnant women experience constant fatigue during this state, coupled with irritability, mood swings, morning sickness, heartburn, certain food cravings, etc. All these are indicators of early pregnancy.

– The Daily Routine

As mentioned earlier, the body of a pregnant woman goes through various changes, and to help overcome them, women are encouraged to make some changes in their daily routine. For example, if they experience fatigue, they can go to bed a little earlier than usual; they can as a way to provide better nutrition to the baby opt for frequent small meals instead of 3 big meals, which in turn also helps curb heartburn. They can also incorporate light exercise into their daily routine along with yoga.

– Baby’s condition :

  • 4th week

At four weeks, the baby’s heart, brain, and spinal cord begin to form, as well as its arms and legs. At four weeks, its weight is about 28 grams, and it is around 1/25 inches long. 

  • 8th week

By the eighth week, the embryo becomes a Fetus, and all the major organs have been developed, the heart begins to beat during the eighth week, the genitals are formed as well as the arms and legs begin to grow. The face of the baby begins to take a definite shape, and the umbilical cord is also visible at this stage. The weight of the baby during the eighth week is 2.5 grams, and it is about 1 inch long.

  • 12th week

The 12th week marks the end of the first trimester, towards the end of the first trimester all the major developments have already occurred, the baby’s nerves and brain have all developed, the genitals are fully developed, and it can now be distinguished if the baby is a girl or a boy. Since the baby’s eyes are also developed along with that, the eyelids also develop during this stage, to protect the eyes. However, the baby would not be able to open them until the 7th month.

Second trimester (weeks 13-27)

The second trimester occurs from the 13 through the 27th week. During this stage, the mother’s body is well adjusted to all the changes that were experienced during the first trimester, the mother can experience an increase in her energy, and there are no more early morning sickness. Also, the baby bump starts to show at this stage. As for the baby, it grows to about 4 to 5 inches and can now swallow and suck.

  • Week 13 – Week 28

– Changes in Women’s Body

During the second trimester the woman’s body well adjusts to the various hormonal changes that occurred in the earlier stages of pregnancy, the morning sickness ceases, and there is more energy, and also, the mother experiences better sleep quality. It is during this stage that the baby bump is visible, and the mother can feel the baby move.

– Changes in Women’s Emotional & Physical Health

During the second trimester, the woman’s body undergoes some major physical changes like swelling of the legs, also known as Edema, which can be eased with exercising and moving around more. The mother also experiences stretch marks around the stomach, breasts, thighs. There is also the darkening of certain areas of her face like the forehead, upper lip, and nose, which is known as Melasma (chloasma), as well as darkening of the areolas. The mother also experiences back pain, thigh, and abdominal pain during this stage. 

– The Daily Routine

The mother can ease some of the discomforts like swelling in legs by elevating them and not standing in one place for too long. Alternatively, walks and general exercising can also be accommodated in the daily routine.

– Baby’s condition

  • 16th week

At sixteen weeks, the baby starts to swallow and suck and can even taste food through the amniotic fluid. The baby’s nails and skin begin to develop. The baby begins to have its first bowel movements due to the formation of Meconium in its GI tract. The baby at this stage is 4-5 inches long and weighs around 85 grams.

  • 20th week

All the major developments continue to happen during the 20th week as well. During this week the baby’s nails are fully developed along with the eyebrows and eyelashes. The baby moves around a lot by this stage, and it is noticeable by the mother. The baby’s skin is also covered in minute feather-like hairs, and it can even swallow and hear sounds. The baby at this stage is about 6 inches long and weighs approximately 255 grams.

  • 24th week

The baby continues to grow, and by the 24th week, even more, development can be seen. The baby at 24 weeks forms tastes buds on its tongue. It has a regular sleep cycle, and if it is a boy, the testicles and scrotum forms, and if it is a girl, its uterus and ovaries form along with the eggs. The baby at 24 weeks also develops bone marrow so that it can make blood cells; it also starts to develop finger and footprints. The baby’s head starts growing hair, and at this stage, it also has a pair of lungs that will come in use later once it is born. At this stage, the baby is about 650 grams and is 12 inches long.

Third trimester (weeks 28-40)

This is the final stage of pregnancy, leading up to the actual birth of the baby. The discomforts and changes that were experienced during the second trimester continue in this stage, and they also worsen. As the baby continues to grow. As a result, the uterus also grows bigger in size, putting a lot of pressure on the lungs, making it difficult for the mother to breathe. The mother experiences tiredness at this stage, just like in the first trimester. 

  • Week 29 – Week 40

– Changes in Women’s Body

Some big changes occur during this stage, as a result of the growing baby, the uterus also grows bigger, and it pushes up and puts a lot of pressure on the mother’s lungs which makes it difficult for her to breathe properly, along with the lungs the growing uterus also puts a lot of pressure on the bladder which might lead to the need for frequent urination. The tiredness the mother experienced during the first trimester returns during this final stage of pregnancy.

– Changes in Women’s Emotional & Physical Health

As the baby grows fast, the mother’s body experiences further changes. The mother at this stage experiences leaky breasts where a white fluid comes out of the nipples, which are an indication of the body getting ready to feed the baby. The mother feels the baby drops lower in the pelvis area; there also might be contractions and shortness of breath, as well as heartburn and swelling in the legs.

– The Daily Routine

At this stage the mother can cut back on drinking more fluids than necessary so that there are less frequent bathroom visits, keeping pillows between the legs or on the front and back can help with finding a better sleep position.

– Baby’s Condition :

  • 32nd week

At 32 weeks, the baby’s eyes can open and close, and it can hear and see. The tiny hairs on the baby’s body are shed during this stage. The baby makes frequent moves and kicks a lot than before. The baby develops bones from the cartilage. At 32 weeks, the baby is about 1-2 kilograms and is about 15-17 inches long.

  • 36th week

At 36 weeks the baby continues to grow and gain weight rapidly, as the baby is growing, there is less room for it in the womb. At this stage, the baby weighs about two and a half kilo and is about 16-19 inches long.

The Final week

As the due date nears, the baby turns its head downwards towards the cervix, ready to be born. The average weight of the baby at birth is about two and a half to 4 kilograms, and 19 to 21 inches long. Here’s another useful guide for new mommies to help you understand the common physical changes during the pregnancy.


Pregnancy usually lasts for about 40 weeks and is made up of three major stages or trimesters. As the term ”Trimester” suggests, each of these three stages lasts for three months each. During each trimester both the mother and the baby go through various changes. Pregnancy is indeed a turning point in a woman’s life as it is not an easy task to be able to go through all those dramatic physical and emotional changes. It is a different experience for every woman, and it even varies in women that have had multiple pregnancies. But in the end, the ability to bring new life to this Earth and to be able to nurture and care for it does make up for all the difficulties and discomfort that a woman goes through. 

Reference Links

  • Week by Week Trimester: Reference from
  • Period of Conception and Three Stages of Pregnancy: Reference from
  • Baby’s Condition During Every Stage: Reference from