Pregnancy is measured in
trimesters from the first day of your last menstrual
period, totaling 40 weeks. The first trimester of pregnancy is week 1
through week 12, or about 3 months. The second
trimester is week 13 to week 27. And the third
trimester of pregnancy spans from week 28 to the
Your baby will change from week to week. For more information about how your baby is
changing each month and about what tests you might think about having, see the
Interactive Tool: From Embryo to Baby in 9 Months .
During the week after
fertilization, the fertilized egg grows into a microscopic ball of cells
implants on the wall of your uterus. This implantation
triggers a series of hormonal and physical changes in your body.
The third through eighth weeks of growth are called the embryonic stage, during
embryo develops most major body organs. During this
process, the embryo is especially vulnerable to damaging substances, such as
alcohol, radiation, and infectious diseases.
Having reached a
little more than 1 in. (2.54 cm) in length by the ninth week of growth, the embryo is called a
fetus. By now, the uterus has grown from about the
size of a fist to about the size of a grapefruit.
The first trimester is a time of amazing development . The embryo starts out looking like a tiny seed, then a tadpole with a tail, and then more human.
If this is your
first pregnancy, you'll begin to feel your fetus move at about 18 to 22 weeks
after your last menstrual period. Although your fetus has been moving for
several weeks, the movements have not been strong enough for you to notice
until now. At first, fetal movements can be so gentle that you may not be sure
what you are feeling.
If you've been pregnant before, you may notice movement
earlier, sometime between weeks 16 and 18.
During this time, the fetus is still building up body fat and starting to put on a lot of weight.
By the end of the second trimester ,
your fetus is about
10 in. (25.4 cm) long and
weighs about 1.5 lb (680 g).