How Many Weeks Of Pregnancy Are There?
Just how many weeks of pregnancy are there really? It’s confusing right? You’re pregnant for 40 weeks, however there’s 4 weeks to a month and you’re pregnant for 9 months. The math just doesn’t add up! However the fact is, you’re pregnant for 280 days or 40 weeks. According to HealthDirect,your baby is considered full-term from 37 weeks. And most women go into labour anywhere between 37 weeks and 41 weeks.
During Your Pregnancy
Our bodies really are incredible aren’t they? Because during those 280 days, or 40ish weeks of pregnancy, your baby will grow from a minute cluster of cells into a beautiful newborn baby, anywhere from 3kg to 4.5kgs. The average newborn baby measures approximately 50 cm from head to toe, however your baby’s length can be anywhere between 46 cm to 56 cm long. And your baby’s head circumference will range from 33 cm to 37 cm, the average being 35cm. The perfect size for fitting in my gorgeous newborn baby props, if you’re planning on having baby photos 😉
Interesting Facts on Pregnancy
Your Body Gets Bigger!
- Did you know that before pregnancy, the average size of a woman’s uterus is about the size of an apple? However, by the end of the pregnancy, or 280ish days, it’s the size of a watermelon! The uterus can increase up to 500 times its original size.
- A woman’s blood volume increases by as much as 50%. This increase helps supply oxygenated blood to your growing baby.
- To help with all the additional blood, your heart also increases in size.
- That’s not all that gets bigger! If you think your feet are bigger post-pregnancy, you’re not going crazy! Many women’s feet, mine included, grow as much as an extra shoe size during pregnancy. As if having size 9 feet before pregnancy wasn’t hard enough!
- And of course your breasts get bigger too! And then after your baby is born, they grow a few more cup sizes when your milk comes in! When I had my babies, my breasts would enter the room a good 2 minutes before the rest of me. Not. Even. Kidding.
Your Baby Grows Into A Person!
- Your baby can hear sounds from around 18 weeks and by 25 weeks your baby can respond to your voice in the womb. So, it really is never too early to start reading to your baby. And probably time to tone down any colourful language you may be fond of using.
- If it’s not your first pregnancy, you may feel your baby kicking at about 16 weeks. The tiny little flutterings you start to feel are actually your baby kicking (I used to remember these as little air-bubbles popping in my tummy). If this is your first pregnancy, you may not notice these tiny kicks until around 18-19 weeks. But once you do, it’s the most exciting feeling in the world!
- The shortest pregnancy recorded was just 21 weeks and 5 days. Miraculously, especially for 1988, this little baby boy survived and grew into a healthy adult.
You’re NOT Going Crazy!
- Weird food cravings are normal during pregnancy and often, your body will crave the nutrients that it needs.
- A women’s sense of smell is heightened during the first trimester of pregnancy. This explains the sudden onset of nausea around certain smelling foods and could be nature’s way of telling you to avoid certain foods.
- You may have crazy and vivid dreams. Although there’s no explanation for the sudden onset of bizarre dreams, many women report having them during their pregnancy.
- Hormones make you crazy! And that’s okay and totally normal. And it’s also why people should NEVER mess with a pregnant woman! However, it is estimated that about 20 per cent of pregnant women experience mood swings, depression and anxiety. So if you’re worried, please seek help from your health professional.
The Annoying Stuff
- Acne! Just when you thought you’d grown out of the pimply teenage stage, it’s back! Some women experience acne during their pregnancy. The culprit is those pesky hormones, though thankfully, the acne generally disappears after the first 3 months of pregnancy.
- Breathlessness! This is caused from your ever-expanding uterus causing your diaphragm to run out of room during inhalation. However, once baby moves down into your pelvis you will once again, breathe easy.
- More hair! And not in all the good places either! Some women experience excessive hair growth on their face, arms and on their head. Whilst a full head of hair can be great, some women discover that hair colour no longer stick and their hair becomes unmanageable. When I was pregnant, perms didn’t take to my hair. Which in all honesty, was a blessing in disguise. Damn you 90’s hairdos!
- You may also find that you lose all that extra hair after your baby arrives. So don’t panic, you’re just losing 9 months worth of hair all in one go.
- Some women suffer agonising heartburn during pregnancy. And while the old wives tale suggested this meant the baby would have lots of hair, researchers now believe this may be true. This is because certain hormones which are elevated during pregnancy and result in heartburn, are also believed to increase hair growth. I on the other-hand, had no heartburn at all. Not a bit. And I had the most beautiful, most baldest babies you ever did see 🙂
The Cool Stuff About Pregnancy
- If you’re carrying a girl, then your daughter will develop all the eggs she will ever produce while in the womb. So, when you think about it, you’re actually carrying your future grandbabies! How cool is that?
- Babies can breathe underwater! From around 27 weeks your baby will begin to “breathe” in the womb. Although baby’s lungs aren’t taking in any oxygen, they begin to move in and out.
- Glowing skin! Because you have extra blood coursing through your body, it causes certain parts of your body to literally glow. Your face and cheeks may appear pinker, making you look all glowy and gorgeous 🙂
- Your placenta is growing all the time! It’s your baby’s defence mechanism, source of nourishment and by the time your baby arrives, it weighs about a sixth of your baby’s weight.
- Your metabolism actually increases as you grow that baby. In fact, you’re now burning an additional 900 kilojoules per day growing that beautiful baby of yours. Which also helps to burn off all that crazy food you’re craving for. Ice cream and fries anyone?
- Babies can cry in the womb! According to scientists, it’s not because your baby is upset, they’re merely practicing for then they arrive. And most babies are expert criers by the time they arrive.
- When you’re at full term in your pregnancy, your placenta will produce more oestrogen in one day than a non-pregnant woman would produce in three years! No wonder we feel crazy right?
- Your baby’s fingerprints are already developed by the end of the first trimester of your pregnancy. Amazing!
- Babies can actually be born with teeth! Research shows that 1 in 2000 babies will be born with teeth each year.
If you’d like to see some amazing photos of a baby’s development inutero, please check out this link.
Documenting Your Pregnancy
All pregnancies are different. For instance, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I put on so much weight and could NOT stop eating! And I mean, I put on 25+kg! That’s almost another person! I refused to get on the scales during my final weeks of pregnancy. However, with my son I suffered morning sickness and only put on 14kg. I was also running around after a hyperactive toddler so that may have made a difference. So, you may like to think about keeping a diary during your pregnancy to keep track of the differences in your body.
Another way to document your pregnancy is with photographs. Photos are a wonderful way to remember this special and crazy hormonal time. Some women choose to take weekly photos, so they can observe the changes happening in their body. Others choose to wait until they’re almost full term and book a maternity session with a professional photographer. A maternity session is a lovely way to show off your fabulous baby belly. Maternity sessions are best booked early and the shoot itself is done around the 34-36 week mark. So, should you have your baby early, you haven’t missed the opportunity to document those last weeks of your pregnancy. A pregnancy diary and maternity shoot can be a lovely reminder of your baby’s journey earthside.
Thanks for reading my blog, ‘How Many Weeks Of Pregnancy Is There?’
‘How Many Weeks Of Pregnancy Is There?’ – Alison
Alison, of Alison Cooke Photography is a Brisbane wedding, portrait and newborn photographer in north Brisbane. She is also an award-winning member of the AIPP with over 20 years’ experience in the wedding, family and portrait industry. And, Alison is a communications specialist, writer and freelance public relations specialist. You can view more communications work here.
And if you’d still like to know more, you can always call for a chat on 0418 882 778.