It is usual to count your pregnancy in months but you will find that your health professionals will probably count your pregnancy progression and milestones in weeks. A regular pregnancy is counted as 40 weeks however confusion can arise in that the pregnancy is counted from the first day of your last menstrual period rather than the actual date of conception.
If you have regular menstrual periods, you will actually conceive in what health professionals call week three. This means that when your pregnancy is being described as four weeks along, you will actually only have conceived two weeks ago.
Most pregnancy milestones are counted in weeks – for example, at four weeks the cells divide into two groups, one to make the placenta and one the baby. At six weeks the baby’s heart begins to beat. Between sixteen and twenty weeks there is rapid development and at this stage your baby may hiccup strongly enough that you can feel it! Between twenty-nine and forty weeks most of your baby’s major organs are complete and the focus is now on finishing lung development. By thirty-seven weeks old your baby is considered full-term, and can almost certainly be safely born, however research finds that it is ideal to deliver after thirty-nine weeks.
Ultrasound scans are extremely efficient at dating your pregnancy however when you are told you are twelve weeks pregnant bear in mind that you have actually only been ‘pregnant’ for ten weeks!
Baby Arabia refers to pregnancy in months but also in weeks so that you can keep clear on the milestones and development of your growing baby. Consider your first trimester as weeks one to thirteen, the first three months; your second trimester as weeks fourteen to twenty-seven, months four to six and your third trimester is measured as weeks twenty-eight to forty, months seven to nine.
It is not always an exact science as not all women have regular menstrual periods, but a dating scan will give you a very close idea of how advanced your pregnancy is so you can watch out for those exciting milestones, and understand what you may be experiencing at each stage of your pregnancy.