Anticipating Baby Weeks 1 – 4 During these weeks your baby is barely the size of a pen point. But don’t worry, development progresses rapidly. You may start feeling symptoms similar to those you experience during your period such as fatigue, moodiness and breast tenderness. Time to hit the books! Stock up on all the pregnancy and childbirth books you need at our Gift Shop, located in the main lobby of our Bluebonnet hospital. Weeks 5 – 8 Your baby’s size is close to that of a grain of rice. Don’t let the size fool you — your baby has experienced some major developments! At six weeks your baby’s heart begins to beat and organs are beginning to form. You may notice that you have either gained or lost a few pounds. This is normal as your body is adjusting to pregnancy. This is the time to make your first appointment with your OB/GYN. Click here to find an OB/GYN delivering at Baton Rouge General. Weeks 9 – 13 It’s hard to tell just from your waistline, but by week nine your baby is the size of a raspberry. Your baby’s body systems, such as circulatory, nervous, reproductive and digestive systems, are fully formed during this time. The most critical stage of development is now complete. Take time to listen to your body. If you feel tired, RELAX! Weeks 14 – 18 By now, your baby is about the length of a medium-sized banana and weighs around three ounces! By week 16 you should be able to determine the gender of your baby. If you want to know, you can contact your doctor for details. At this time you should begin feeling your baby’s movements. These movements will feel like a fluttering sensation. This is a good time for you to start sleeping on your side to help increase the blood flow to the baby. Come visit us! Now is the time to schedule your tour of the Birth Center at Baton Rouge General. Register for the Tour for Two (or More!). Weeks 19 – 22 By this time your baby will be dreaming about the wonderful life that awaits. It is at this stage in your pregnancy that your baby begins to dream while sleeping. Around week 20, due to the pressure of your growing baby, your “innie” will most likely become an “outtie.” For those attached to their innies, don’t worry—most will go back following delivery. Begin thinking about whether or not you want to breastfeed. Register for the Breastfeeding Basics class, and don’t forget, our Corner Pharmacy has all the breastfeeding supplies you might need. Weeks 23 – 27 Your baby has fingerprints by week 25. This is also the time that your baby can begin to hear external noises. Fill your home with relaxing sounds, and talk to your baby frequently since they can already recognize mom’s voice. You might begin to experience Braxton Hicks Contractions, the sudden tightening and relaxing of your uterus, which should be painless and irregular. Don’t worry, this is your body’s way of practicing for the big event! It’s time to start thinking about the arrival of your newborn. Register for the Childbirth Preparation class. Weeks 28 – 31 You are not going to believe how big your baby is already! By this stage most babies are more than a foot in length and weigh more than two pounds. Your baby’s movements begin to increase and grow stronger. At this stage your baby has a grip that is powerful enough to hold onto your finger. As you and your baby grow, calcium is in great demand. Make sure you watch your diet and include plenty of calcium, protein and iron. This is the time to register for the Baby Care Basics class! Weeks 32 – 35 Make sure that you have an infant car seat securely installed to take your new baby home from the hospital. This will also give you time to drive around and make sure that the seat is positioned just right for you to see what your baby is up to. The Braxton Hicks contractions you have been experiencing, which should be painless and irregular, intensify these final weeks. If you haven’t already, now is the time to register for the Breastfeeding Basics class. One thing to determine before you deliver is who your baby’s pediatrician will be. Click here to see a list of pediatricians on staff at Baton Rouge General. Weeks 36 – 40 This is the time to pack a suitcase! Use the checklist included in this guide to help you remember everything you will need. You may begin to feel off balance as your baby settles and gets ready for birth. Be careful and remember to take things slow. This is the month that you have been waiting for. Spend time relaxing and enjoy your last weeks of pregnancy.