By about 32 weeks, the baby is usually lying with their head pointing downwards, ready for birth. This is known as cephalic presentation.
If your baby is not lying head down at this stage, it’s not a cause for concern – there’s still time for them to turn.
The amount of amniotic fluid in your uterus is increasing, and your baby is still swallowing fluid and passing it out as urine.
Being active and fit during pregnancy will help you adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It can also help you cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth.
Find out about bump-friendly exercise.
Some women develop pelvic pain in pregnancy. This is not harmful to your baby, but it can cause severe pain and make it difficult for you to get around.
Find out about ways to tackle pelvic pain in pregnancy.
Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for you and your baby. It’s never too early to start thinking about how you’re going to feed your baby, and you do not have to make up your mind until your baby is born.
Your baby’s eyes can focus now. The lungs are developing rapidly, but your baby would not be fully able to breathe on their own until about 36 weeks.
Your midwife and doctors will offer to check your blood pressure at every appointment. This is because high blood pressure can be harmful for women and their babies, and can be an early sign of pre-eclampsia.
Find out about the risks of high blood pressure in pregnancy. Other signs of pre-eclampsia include bad headache, vision problems and pain below your ribs.
Knowing what to expect in the first few days of breastfeeding your baby can help to get breastfeeding off to a good start.
The baby’s eyelids open for the first time around now and they will soon start blinking. It’s not until some weeks after the birth that your baby’s eyes become the colour they will stay.
Pregnancy and birth can weaken the muscles of the pelvic floor and you may notice you leak pee when you cough, sneeze or strain your stomach muscles.
Your pelvic floor is made up of layers of muscles inside your body that stretch like a hammock from the pubic bone (in front) to the end of the backbone.
Pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen the muscles so they work better.
By the time you’re 24 weeks pregnant, the baby has a chance of survival if they are born. Most babies born before this time cannot live because their lungs and other vital organs are not developed enough.
The care that can now be given in baby (neonatal) units means more and more babies born early do survive. But for babies born around this time, there are increased risks of disability.
Find out about premature labour and birth and special care for babies.
Some women get thrush in pregnancy. Having thrush when you’re pregnant can be irritating but it won’t harm your baby. Your midwife can recommend treatment.
See your doctor or midwife if you have any pain when you pee. This could be sign of a urinary tract infection that needs treating.
It is normal to have more vaginal discharge in pregnancy. It’s usually thin, clear or milky white and should not smell unpleasant.
If it’s smelly, you feel itchy or sore, or have pain when you pee, contact your midwife as these could be signs of an infection. Vaginal discharge in pregnancy – what’s normal and what’s not.
You may have backache in pregnancy as your womb gets heavier and pregnancy hormones affect the ligaments in your body, which can put a strain on your lower back.
Around this time, your baby will start to hear – they may hear muted sounds from the outside world and any noises your digestive system makes, as well as the sound of your voice and heart.
The eyes also start to become sensitive to light. Even though your baby’s eyes are closed, they may register a bright light outside your tummy.
At 14 weeks, the baby is about 85mm long from head to bottom.
Around now, the baby begins to swallow little bits of amniotic fluid, which pass into the stomach. The kidneys start to work and the swallowed fluid passes back into the amniotic fluid as urine.
How much weight you put on in pregnancy depends on your weight before you get pregnant. Most women gain between 10kg and 12.5kg. But gaining too much or too little may cause health problems for you or your baby.
By 7 weeks, the embryo has grown to about 10mm long from head to bottom. This measurement is called the crown-rump length.
The brain is growing rapidly and this results in the head growing faster than the rest of the body. The embryo has a large forehead, and the eyes and ears continue to develop.
The inner ears start to develop, but the outer ears on the sides of the head will not appear for a couple more weeks.
The limb buds start to form cartilage, which will develop into the bones of the legs and arms. The arm buds get longer and the ends flatten out – these will become the hands.
Nerve cells continue to multiply and develop as the brain and spinal cord (the nervous system) starts to take shape.
Your womb has grown to the size of a lemon by the time you’re around 7 or 8 weeks pregnant.
You’re probably feeling tired. Your breasts might feel sore and enlarged, and you may need to pee more often than usual.
Some pregnant women start to feel sick or tired, or have other minor pregnancy problems for a few weeks around this time.
By the time you’re 6 to 7 weeks pregnant, there’s a large bulge where the heart is and a bump at the head end of the neural tube. This bump will become the brain and head.
The embryo is curved and has a tail, and looks a bit like a small tadpole. The heart can sometimes be seen beating on a vaginal ultrasound scan at this stage.
The developing arms and legs become visible as small swellings (limb buds). Little dimples on the side of the head will become the ears, and there are thickenings where the eyes will be.
By now, the embryo is covered with a thin layer of see-through skin.
The baby’s nervous system is already developing, and the foundations for its major organs are in place. At this stage, the embryo is around 2mm long.
The heart is forming as a simple tube-like structure. The baby already has some of its own blood vessels and blood begins to circulate.
A string of these blood vessels connects the baby and mother, and will become the umbilical cord.
At the same time, the embryo’s outer layer of cells develops a groove and folds to form a hollow tube called the neural tube. This will become the baby’s brain and spinal cord.
Defects in one end (the “tail end”) of the neural tube lead to spina bifida. Defects in the “head end” lead to anencephaly, when the bones of the skull do not form properly.
Folic acid prevents spina bifida. You should start taking it as soon as you find out you’re pregnant (even before you get pregnant, if possible).
Depending on how long your period, you should start getting for the actual getting pregnant or sperm to meet egg.
It may be a good idea to start using your ovulation kit, every morning from now so that you don’t miss the best time to get pregnant.
note to self: add ovulation calculator