From the moment you get that positive pregnancy test until your baby is in your arms, you’ll experience a whirlwind of physical and emotional changes. And while the entire nine-month journey is exciting, there are some truly standout experiences that reflect the wonder of this special time.
Every month has its highlights, from those first-month pregnancy indications to the powerful baby kicks you’ll be feeling at 5 months pregnant. Let’s take a month-by-month look at some of the most exciting pregnancy milestones.
Implantation is when the fertilized egg attaches itself to its new home in the uterine lining. This usually happens around two weeks after you’ve conceived, and you may experience spotting—which may be one of the first indications of pregnancy.
Finding out you’re pregnant
While you may be dealing with fatigue and morning sickness, getting confirmation that a bundle of joy is on the way can fill you with unprecedented feelings of happiness and anticipation. Start taking a prenatal vitamin to help support your baby’s health and development.
First prenatal appointment
Even if you may be in the throes of some uncomfortable hormone-related pregnancy experiences, the first prenatal doctor’s appointment is an exciting event. One of the best parts? Receiving an estimated due date.
During the visit, your doctor will review your medical history and lifestyle. You’ll likely have a breast and pelvic exam, as well as undergo some blood and urine tests. Bring all your questions! This is an opportunity to get accurate answers to all your concerns and gain insights into what you might expect in the coming months.
Hearing your baby’s heartbeat
Your little one is growing so fast. At the end of your eighth week, your baby is no longer considered an embryo; they have reached the fetal stage. The baby’s lungs, ears, arms, and legs are developing and have tiny webbed fingers and toes. Their eyes begin to form, and the early foundations of the brain and spinal cord take shape. Your baby’s heart is beating, and you may be able to hear it if you have a vaginal ultrasound at your doctor’s appointment.
Breasts may leak colostrum
From the beginning, your larger, more sensitive breasts may have been a signal that a baby is on the way. By month three, you may also begin leaking colostrum, a thick, sticky yellow, clear, or white fluid known as the “first milk.” It may leak throughout your pregnancy and the first few days after giving birth. Colostrum is packed with proteins and antibodies that can benefit your baby; it will be their first meal before your mature breast milk supply comes in.
Baby’s internal systems are formed
Your baby’s heart, liver, circulatory, and urinary systems are formed. Those tiny fingers and toes that you’ll be holding soon enough are also developed. And get ready for those cute giggles and gurgles—your little one’s vocal cords are starting to develop.
Bitty baby bump
At the end of month four, some mamas-to-be may start to show. But every woman is different, and if you’re not sporting a noticeable bump yet, which can be common for first-time moms, that’s OK. It will come soon enough.
Are you having a boy or a girl? Your baby’s genitalia is fully formed, so if you’ve been eagerly waiting to discover your little one’s gender, your next ultrasound appointment might reveal that exciting news.
At 4 months pregnant, you may have that bright, rosy, luminous skin known as the “pregnancy glow.” Thank the hormones and extra blood your body is producing for that radiant look.
Your baby is getting stronger and more active. You may feel like a tiny gymnast or soccer player is in your belly. Their lungs are still developing, but their footprints and fingerprints are now formed, and they’re even starting to grow hair on their head.
Noticeable pregnancy belly
You may have a visible baby bump at 5 months pregnant. At your prenatal appointments, your doctor will probably start measuring your belly from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus in centimeters.
You’re at the halfway mark! Along with that hormonally driven pregnancy glow, you may also be enjoying shinier and thicker hair and stronger nails.
Baby growth spurt
When you’re 6 months pregnant, your little one is experiencing a remarkable growth spurt. Your baby’s lungs are formed but still developing, their brain is gaining weight, and those fat reserves are starting to plump up.
While your baby is getting bigger, likely so is your belly. Treat yourself to some new maternity clothes. If you’re not noticeably pregnant, don’t worry. You may show later if this is your first pregnancy, if your baby is in a certain position, or if you have strong abdominal muscles.
Last month’s small kicks may have become powerful punts, punches, and jabs.
Baby can hear outside sounds
While your baby could already hear your breath and heartbeat, they are beginning to hear and recognize sounds outside. Talk with your baby, sing lullabies, and invite your partner to join in. You might just feel your baby respond with little movements.
Braxton Hicks contractions—not the real deal
Braxton Hicks contractions, also called “false labor,” are typical during the last trimester. They are unpredictable, irregular contractions that may last up to two minutes. Unlike actual labor, they don’t ramp up in intensity or frequency. If you ever feel concerned or suspect you might be in actual labor, call your doctor.
By month 8, your nesting instinct may be in full swing. This unique experience is characterized by an overwhelming desire to clean, organize, and prepare the home for the baby’s arrival. Whether you’re arranging your little one’s nursery or decluttering the garage, make sure you’re doing it safely. Avoid lifting heavy objects and using strong cleaning chemicals.
Getting in ready position
Toward the end of the month, your baby may start to move into a head-down position. This may also happen during month nine. Your baby is preparing for go-time! You may find breathing easier as the pressure is off your diaphragm.
Welcoming your baby
While labor may not be the most physically comfortable milestone, it is the one you have been waiting for. As you deliver your baby, you transition from pregnancy to parenthood, experiencing one of life’s most magical and miraculous milestones.
When you’re pregnant, every day brings new developments as your baby grows. And once your little one is here, the adventure of parenthood begins, with a lifetime of wonderful new milestones to reach.