This page is also available in: български български, Ελληνικά Ελληνικά, Magyar Magyar, Español Español, Italiano Italiano, Srpski Srpski

Pregnancy and labor are the two of the most important events in your life. Both these deserve some careful and thorough preparations.

The more you learn about pregnancy, labor and parenthood, the more comfortable you will feel about all the bodily and lifestyle changes that come along.

Attending your pregnancy classes, and regular visits to your doctor, reading books, and speaking to experienced parents are some of the options to help you prepare for your newborn.

The first trimester of pregnancy is marked by an invisible, yet amazing transformation. Your body is going through enormous changes as it accommodates a growing fetus. A grand adventure is about to begin.

The estimated due date (EDD) is calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period and determines your baby’s gestational age throughout the pregnancy so that the baby’s growth can be tracked. It also provides a timeline for certain tests that can be performed. However, only about 1 in 20 women give birth on their exact due dates.

Week 3

Congratulations! If your egg was successfully fertilized by your partner’s sperm, the beginnings of the embryo is real, although it is very small (about the size of a pin head).

For the moment, it is just a group of about 100 cells multiplying and growing rapidly. The outer layer of cells will become the placenta, and the inner layer will become the embryo.

During the weeks following conception, your uterus will begin to support the growth of the placenta and the fetus. You will experience a significant increase in hormone levels that are accompanied by some of the pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue or morning sickness. Some odors may be more bothersome now and provoke queasiness.

Week 4

You are probably expecting your period this week, and if it does not occur, it might be one of the first signs that you are pregnant.

You are probably expecting your period this week, and if it does not occur, it might be one of the first signs that you are pregnant.

If you already know you are pregnant, you found out the news earlier than most women probably do and you might be totally excited, or you might be still getting used to the idea.

As the embryo implants itself in your uterus, you may notice light spotting, but don’t worry this is totally normal. There is a chance you might not feel any different yet, but the amniotic cavity, which will be filled with fluid, and the placenta, which will bring oxygen and nutrients to nourish your baby, are already forming in your uterus.

Call your doctor to schedule your first prenatal visit.

Even though your baby-to-be is still tiny, he is already undergoing important developments at week 4 of pregnancy, so start taking a prenatal vitamin. Look for one with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid and remember to take it daily. We know you’ve got a lot on your mind, but since folic acid is proven to help prevent certain birth defects, this is super important!

Your baby

From fertilization to week 12, the fetus is called an embryo.

In the first 4 weeks of early pregnancy, the embryo is attached to a tiny yolk sac which provides nourishment. Subsequently, the placenta will be fully formed and will take over the transfer of nutrients to the embryo.

The embryo is surrounded by fluid inside the amniotic sac. It is the outer layer of this sac that develops into the placenta.

Cells from the placenta grow deep into the lining of the womb, establishing a rich blood supply so the baby receives all the oxygen and nutrients it needs.

The embryo itself is formed from cells that differentiate into three layers called germ layers.

The top layer, the ectoderm, will give rise to the baby’s outermost layer of skin, central and peripheral nervous systems, eyes, inner ears and many connective tissues.
Your baby’s heart and  circulatory system will form in the middle layer of cells, the mesoderm. This layer of cells will also serve as the foundation for your baby’s bones, muscles, kidneys and much of the reproductive system.

The inner layer of cells, the endoderm will become a simple tube lined with mucous membranes. Your baby’s lungs, intestines and bladder will develop here.