What To Really Expect In Pregnancy

Week 18 By this point, your baby is going to be pushing on your uterus and the large veins along the back of your abdomen. That’s… Trista - July 23, 2019

Week 18

By this point, your baby is going to be pushing on your uterus and the large veins along the back of your abdomen. That’s going to make it uncomfortable to lie on your back, so you’re going to want to start sleeping on your side. Because of the pressure against these large veins, you could start feeling more lightheaded than usual.

This is because your baby is about the size of an artichoke now, weighing about 6.7 ounces. Now is the time you’ll start experiencing swollen hands and feet, and even more backaches. You’ll begin to notice varicose veins as well, and there will be some cramping in your legs. Instead of weird dreams, you might have trouble falling asleep, and those baby kicks are going to get even stronger.


Week 19

During your mid-pregnancy ultrasound, you’re going to see a lot of your baby’s features, who’s now the size of a mango. The sex of your baby will be natural to determine too so that you can plan ahead.

The hormones start to ramp up again, and the uncomfortable symptoms are going to return. The honeymoon couldn’t last forever. First, you’re going to start feeling some abdominal aches and pains as your baby continues to grow. You’ll also experience some dizziness as all of your blood vessels are focused on providing nutrients to your baby. As your baby keeps growing, you’re going to feel some hip pain too as your pelvis starts to widen.


Week 20

You’re halfway there! Just another twenty weeks, and you’re ready to pop! Perhaps knowing the sex of your baby will give you an idea of what names you should start thinking of. Maybe you could begin to compiling those wish lists too as to what gear you’re going to need when the baby’s born. At this stage, your baby is roughly the size of a banana.

Although your energy and sex drive are high, the vaginal discharge is going to come back, and it’s pretty much going to stick around until you’re ready to deliver. The leg cramps are going to get pretty bad too, as well as heartburn and indigestion. Your feet will swell even more with water retention, and you’ll experience shortness of breath due to the baby’s growth pushing up on your diaphragm and lungs.

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Week 21

Don’t worry if you don’t have a name for you endive-sized baby yet. You may just want to wait until they’re born and get to know them a little better before you pick the perfect name. You’ll probably be thinking about how to get your home ready for a new baby as well, and it can seem like a lot to take in. But don’t rush the process, you still have time.

The most common symptoms you’ll experience are going to give you a preview for what to expect in your third trimester, including heartburn and indigestion, leaky boobs, dry, itchy skin, stretch marks, and Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions are your uterus’ way of preparing for labor, kind of like warming up before a big race.


Week 21

Just when you thought you couldn’t get any bigger, your baby has developed into the size of a coconut. The stretch marks are only going to get worse from here on out, we’re afraid, so keep some enriching lotion on hand to stop them from itching.

By this time, your belly button is going to pop out, which can be embarrassing for some mothers. It’s no need for concern, as right after labor, it will go back in. Your libido is going to get even higher as your hormones start to rage, but you’re also going to have some increased vaginal discharge. Your hands and feet are going to feel swollen too, and the backaches are going to be a constant. Expect some hair growth also, but not in the places that you want.


Week 23

At this point, your baby is the size of a grapefruit and has started listening to what’s going on in the outside world. That means they can hear you talking to them. Many mothers choose this moment to get those headphones and press them to their bellies so that their babies can listen to some music.

The swollen ankles and feet are never really going to go away at this point, so you’re going to have to get used to dealing with them. Braxton Hicks contractions are going to be a constant too; pay attention to them to make sure that they go away quickly. If not, you may need to head to the hospital. Along with backaches, you should also expect some bleeding or swollen gums, so switch to a soft toothbrush in the meantime.


Week 24

At the size of a cantaloupe, you probably don’t think your baby can get much bigger, but remember that you still have sixteen more weeks left. At this size, your baby roughly weighs about 1.3 pounds now, so they still have a lot of growing left to do.

The symptoms at this time are more of the same: swollen ankles and feet, backaches, leg cramps, and stretch marks. The dark line in the middle of your belly is going to get even darker at this point, so don’t be overwhelmed at its sudden appearance.


Week 25

It can be a little scary to think of the actual delivery process, seeing how big you’re getting, but remember that you’re not doing this alone. Your baby is going to get much bigger than the cauliflower-size that they are now, but your body has been practicing for that moment. Just focus on remaining calm and staying healthy.

Symptoms at this point include trouble sleeping, Braxton Hicks contractions, heartburn, gas, bloating, and frequent urination. Many mothers report having some constipation during this time, as well as the presence of hemorrhoids. The swelling of varicose veins in your legs also translates to the ones in your derriere, so find the best way to ease your discomfort in any way you can.

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Week 26

It’s like kale! At least, that’s the new size of your baby anyway. To think that a few weeks ago, it was just the size of a lemon. That’s a lot of growth in a short amount of time, don’t you think? It can be terrifying to believe that your baby could get even bigger.

The symptoms you’ll have at this point are merely matters of discomfort. You’ll have trouble sleeping and experience some mild swelling in your hands and feet. The headaches are going to be a daily thing too, so try to stay hydrated to keep them away. What’s called “pregnancy brain” translated to a little bit of forgetfulness, but you could also just have a lot on your mind. Braxton Hicks contractions are a constant too, but you should keep an eye out for high blood pressure. This is normal, so don’t worry, as long as it doesn’t get too high.

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Week 27

Here is the end of your second trimester. You’re on the home stretch now towards the end of your pregnancy, so hang in there! Your baby is roughly the size of a head of lettuce now so when those kicks happen, you’re definitely going to feel them.

Some of the symptoms in this week are going to be a little embarrassing, like needing to pee all the time, or accidentally urinating on yourself. This is because your baby is putting a lot of pressure on your bladder, making it a lot smaller than it’s used to being. Other regular symptoms include leg cramps, backaches, constipation and hemorrhoids, and changes in your hair, skin, and nails.

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Week 28

Eggplant status! Or as the British like to call it: aubergine! Your baby has done a lot of development up to this point, so give yourself some credit by winding down. You might feel like you should get a lot of housework done, but now is the time to relax. Sit back with some hot tea and listen to some soothing music. You need to give your body a rest from all the hard work it’s been doing.

The most common things you’ll experience are having difficulty falling or staying asleep, having shortness of breath, and Braxton Hicks contractions. Your breasts may start to leak as well, which can be embarrassing if you’re out in public. That’s just your body’s way of preparing for breastfeeding.


Week 29

Now is the time you want to start keeping a packed bag by the door as you could actually deliver at any time. Make an emergency plan ahead of time so that everyone knows what to do if your baby decides to come early. Or if they arrive on time. Or if they come late. It’s challenging to predict anything at this point.

Now that your baby’s grown as long as they’re going to be, about the size of acorn squash, they’re going to start putting on weight and plumping up. This is going to make them swell even more and put more pressure on your internal organs. Headaches, pain in the back, hips, and legs, hemorrhoids, and constipation are going to get a little worse. Your belly will feel a little itchy too since the skin is getting so thin. And if you thought you were peeing a lot before now, you’re going to urinate even more often.

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Week 30

Now the length of a zucchini, your baby is probably making you feel like a walking beach ball at this point. Now everyone is going to be able to see just how pregnant you are, so don’t be surprised if they reach out and touch your belly. Which, in and of itself, is pretty creepy.

When you do manage to fall asleep, you might notice that your dreams are going to get pretty weird again. Practice some relaxation techniques to help you get over these moments, as they can actually be quite vivid. You’ll also experience some general discomfort that you can’t really get rid of, and your lung capacity is going to shrink even more. Take your time getting up those stairs, it’s not a race.


Week 31

By this point, your baby’s senses are fully developed, which is pretty impressive for a person that’s the length of a stalk of asparagus. Let’s hope that once they’re old enough, you can actually get them to eat the asparagus on their plate rather than play with it.

Your baby should weigh about 3.3 pounds at this point, which is taking up a lot of room inside your body. That’s why you’ll notice that you have shortness of breath after doing the simplest of activities, so don’t treat it as if you’re out of shape. Your nails are going to become a little brittle too and break really easily. Your breasts will also continue to leak, and your Braxton Hicks contractions are going to be a steady reminder that your body is practicing for the big day. Of course, what would the thirty-first week be without continually needing to go to the bathroom and enduring backaches all day?


Week 32

Who doesn’t love acorn squashes? You should because that’s the size of your baby right now. Your baby may or may not turn into the head-down position at this point as they get ready to enter the real world. If not, don’t worry. They still have a few weeks before them.

Your symptoms are going to become a little more intense, such as heartburn and contractions. The latter is going to occur more frequently and feel even stronger than before. However, if they don’t go away, then you’re likely going into real labor and should get to a hospital immediately. Your nipples are also going to get darker too as they prepare for making more breast milk, and you’ll experience some vaginal discharge. This is normal, but what isn’t normal is seeing a mucus plug. This also means that your baby is making an early appearance.

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Week 33

Sitting back and relaxing is the last thing on your mind at this point. It’s normal for anxiety to take a toll on your everyday life as you struggle to get comfortable with how big your baby is (it’s celery at this point). To be honest, there’s probably a lot of other planning you need to do as well, such as practicing your escape run to the hospital should the inevitable happen early.

One of the primary symptoms at this point is discomfort. You’re going to feel hot all over as your metabolic rate goes through the roof. The headaches are going to come back, so avoid stress and dehydration as much as possible. You’re going to feel a little forgetful at times and also feel a little clumsy as you waddle around your home.

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Week 34

Squash, squash, and more squash. That’s the current size of your baby, but your organs are likely feeling squashed too with how fast they’re growing. You can ease the stress of the situation by singing to your baby, as they’re capable of recognizing your voice at this point.

Your symptoms from this point until the delivery date are going to be constant, so don’t expect any changes or for any of them to go away. Your vision is going to get a little blurry, fatigue is going to kick back into gear, and the abdominal pressure is going to get higher. Your feet and ankles will swell again, and constipation + hemorrhoids are going to rear their ugly heads once more.


Week 35

At thirty-five weeks, you’re going to have to get some last-minute preparation in before the baby comes. Now that the baby is the size of a pineapple, you have to make sure that the crib is ready, your friends and family are in on your hospital plan, and that you have maternity leave from work. It can sometimes feel like you’re running around like a chicken with no head.

The usual suspects of symptoms include the frequent urge to pee, so make sure that you’re also staying hydrated at this time. Constipation is going to get worse, and your hips and pelvis are going to feel sore as your baby starts to descend towards the birth canal. Your Braxton Hicks contractions are going to increase in number and frequency too, so keep an eye on that.

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Week 36

You’re in the last month! Congratulations on making it all through those months of being pregnant and horrible symptoms. You’re on the home stretch. Many mothers can give birth at any point during this week or the 40th week, so don’t expect your baby, now the size of a papaya, to stick to your schedule.

Because the baby is lower in your abdomen, there is some relief to your lungs, so you’ll find it much easier to breathe. However, that comes with the price of more pelvic discomfort as your body comes to terms with this huge baby wanting to get out. The descent of the baby may also trigger some heartburn, and you may start to notice some changes in your vaginal discharge. Keep a careful eye on them; if it starts to look watery, then your water has, and you’re ready to give birth.

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Week 37

Now that you’re at this point, it feels like your baby is never going to come. Give them time and exercise patience. They’re about the size of a head of romaine lettuce, so they’re really taking up a lot of space inside you. You may find that you have the urge to clean more often and tidy up the house; this is called “nesting” and is pretty standard in pregnant mothers during this time in their pregnancy.

A lot of your symptoms at this time can be confused with labor. You’ll notice a bit of spotting, but call your doctor if it ends up being more than just a few drops of blood. The abdominal pressure is going to increase even more, and contractions are going to be so strong and so often, that you’ll have trouble falling asleep at night.
What signs of labor should you look for? If you see your mucus plug or start experiencing severe nausea and/or diarrhea, then you may be going into early labor. The typical signs of labor are your water breaking, regular contractions, and some back pain.

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Week 38

Just when you thought your baby couldn’t get any bigger, they prove you wrong. They’re the size of winter melon, and they’re probably ready to get out of there. Your baby is going to be sitting very low on your pelvis, which can put pressure on the nerves there. If you feel some jolts of tingling pain in your legs, that’s what’s causing it.

The contractions are going to get more and more intense at this point, and the discomfort is going to get a little worse. It really could happen any day now, so keep a sharp eye on the rest of your symptoms. Your belly’s going to feel a little itchy again as the baby grows those last few inches and moves further down. You may also experience some anxiety since you have no idea when this baby is going to make an appearance, so keep yourself distracted with fun activities.


Week 39

It’s not Halloween, but your baby has taken on the size of a pumpkin within your uterus. You’ve come to full term… yet it can feel agonizing as your baby continues to sit inside… not doing anything. Some babies remain inside even past the due date too, so it’s not something you can rush.

The pressure on your pelvis is going to become intense since this is usually the time a baby turns around with his head pointed towards your birth canal. And because they’re sitting so low, you’re going to feel some lightning-sharp pains in your crotch as well. Your urge to nest may feel strong too, and this is the time when most mothers notice their mucus plug is discharged.

If you want to induce labor at this point, you can engage in lots of walking to give gravity a chance to pull on your baby to force your cervix to dilate. Alternatively, you could also look into acupuncture to stimulate blood flow throughout the body so that your cervix dilates on its own.

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Week 40

40 weeks! 40 whole weeks and your baby should be the size of a watermelon. That’s no joke because that “watermelon” is going to be coming out of you any day now. The worst thing you can do is panic, so keep your support system around you to keep you calm at all times. Now would be an excellent time to add that waterproof cover over your mattress, as your water could break at any point in time.

Symptoms are going to include some terrible leg cramps as your uterus goes into overdrive on trying to get this baby out. Don’t let the anxiety get to you either; try some meditation. The contractions you’ve been used to for the past few months are going to start feeling really real, so they’re going to interfere with your sleep schedule. Try to get as many hours as you can, though, because you’re going to need all that energy for the delivery.