Prenatal care is important for the health of both mother and baby. Common prenatal tests include ultrasound, amniocentesis, screening for group B strep and chronic villus sampling. Prenatal care also helps detect health conditions related to pregnancy, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Read more: Pregnancy: Prenatal Care and Tests Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Stages of Pregnancy: Week by Week
See pictures on the various stages of pregnancy. See and learn what changes a woman's body goes through and view fetal images of...
13 Early Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy
What are the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy? Can you know before your missed period? Read about nausea and vomiting...
Pregnancy Exercises: Safe Workouts Like Prenatal Yoga, Kegels
Pregnancy exercises and workouts for moms-to-be include Kegel exercises and prenatal yoga. A prenatal workout is an important...
Pregnancy: Multiple Births, Twins, Triplets, and More
Multiple births occur when a woman bears twins, triplets, or even more babies during pregnancy. More multiples are born today...
Fetal Development Stages: Embryo to Fetus, in Weeks
Take a peek inside the womb to see the stages of fetal development. Learn how embryos develop and grow during pregnancy. See week...
Pregnancy Myths and Facts Quiz
Being pregnant is a delicate time for both mother and baby. Take this pregnancy myths and facts quiz to separate the myths and...
Am I Pregnant? Test Your Early Pregnancy IQ
What are early pregnancy symptoms? In some women, symptoms range from a missed period to feeling lightheaded. Others may...
Picture of Tubal Pregnancy
A pregnancy that is not in the usual place within the uterus but is located in the Fallopian tube. See a picture of Tubal...
Picture of First Trimester (4 Weeks)
The Baby at 4 Weeks. Your baby's brain and spinal cord have begun to form. See a picture of First Trimester (4 Weeks) and learn...
Picture of First Trimester (8 Weeks)
The Baby at 8 Weeks. All major organs and external body structures have begun to form. See a picture of First Trimester (8 Weeks)...
Picture of First Trimester (12 Weeks)
The Baby at 12 Weeks. The nerves and muscles begin to work together. See a picture of First Trimester (12 Weeks) and learn more...
Related Disease Conditions
Bleeding During Pregnancy (First Trimester)
Bleeding during pregnancy is never normal. Causes of bleeding during the first trimester of a pregnancy may be caused by implantation bleeding, ectopic or tubal pregnancy, subchorionic hemorrhaging, infections, and miscarriage. Bleeding during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy can be caused by a variety of factors.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Signs
Pregnancy symptoms can vary from woman to woman, and not all women experience the same symptoms. When women do experience pregnancy symptoms they may include symptoms include missed menstrual period, mood changes, headaches, lower back pain, fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness, and heartburn. Signs and symptoms in late pregnancy include leg swelling and shortness of breath. Options for relief of pregnancy symptoms include exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes.
Cramps but No Period
Having cramps but no period can occur because of conditions other than your monthly menstrual cycle. They may feel like period cramps of the lower abdomen when you are not due for your period and produce no blood. These 12 diseases and conditions are examples of what can cause abdominal cramping when not on period.
Is It Normal to Have Pain on Your Left Side During Pregnancy?
Left side pain is a common symptom that affects many women during pregnancy. Learn what causes it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
Group B Strep
Group B strep are bacteria called Streptococcus agalactiae that may sometimes cause infections both in a pregnant woman and her baby. Symptoms include fever, seizures, heart rate abnormalities, breathing problems, and fussiness. Intravenous antibiotics are used to treat group B strep infections.
Pregnancy (Week by Week, Trimesters)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but others include breast swelling and tenderness, nausea and sometimes vomiting, fatigue, and bloating. Second trimester symptoms include backache, weight gain, itching, and possible stretch marks. Third trimester symptoms are additional weight gain, heartburn, hemorrhoids, swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face, breast tenderness, and trouble sleeping. Eating a healthy diet, getting a moderate amount of exercise, also are recommended for a healthy pregnancy. Information about the week by week growth of your baby in the womb are provided.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. E. coli, a type of bacteria that lives in the bowel and near the anus, causes most UTIs. UTI symptoms include pain, abdominal pain, mild fever, urinary urgency and frequency. Treatment involves a course of antibiotics.
When Should I Be Concerned About Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?
Pelvic pain in pregnancy is a common issue that affects many women. Learn what causes pelvic pain in pregnancy, how doctors diagnose pelvic pain in pregnancy, and what you can do to treat pelvic pain in pregnancy.
Ectopic Pregnancy (Tubal Pregnancy)
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy located outside the inner lining of the uterus. The majority of ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tube. Signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy may include abdominal pain, lack of menstrual period (amenorrhea), vaginal bleeding, fainting, dizziness, and low blood pressure. Treatment options for an ectopic pregnancy include observation, medication, or surgery.
What Is a Positive Beta hCG Level?
A positive beta human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) level usually means that you are pregnant. Pregnancy tests detect the hCG hormone in the blood and urine. The beta hCG levels are also measured using a test known as quantitative hCG testing.
Placenta previa is a condition during pregnancy when the placenta lies low in the uterus either partly or completely blocking the uterus. Women with placenta previa generally deliver their baby via cesarean delivery. There are several types of placenta previa: 1) a low-lying placenta, 2) a partial placenta previa, and 3) a total placenta previa, which covers and blocks the cervical opening. Women who are at risk of placenta previa are women who have delivered a previous baby by cesarean section, and are also at risk of placenta accreta, placenta increta, or placenta percreta.
Fetal Movement (Quickening): Feeling Baby Kick
Pregnancy can be one of the most joyous time in a couple's life. Learn what your baby's first movements may feel like week by week, how often you may feel them, what time of day the baby is most active, and what to do if you feel your baby is not moving as much as you feel it should be moving.
What Does High White Blood Cell Count Mean When Pregnant?
What does a high white blood cell count mean when you are pregnant? How do you get white blood cell count tested? Learn about what a high white blood cell count means in pregnant women and what to do if you have a high white blood cell count.
Embryo vs. Fetus (Differences Between Stages Week by Week)
The embryonic stage of pregnancy occurs from the moment of conception until the 11th week pregnancy, or first trimester. During this time the embryo develops major body structures, for example, the organs, heart, and main blood vessels. At this stage the baby's heart begins to beat. The fetal stage, or second trimester is next, and begins during the 11th week of pregnancy, and continues through to week #40. During this time the baby's organs and structures continue to develop, the fetus' gender can be identified, and fetal movement begins. The fetus is about 2 pounds by the 27th week. During the third trimester the baby is the size, and has the characteristics of a newborn. The greatest risk of miscarriage is during the very early stages of pregnancy before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
Can Sperm Survive in Menstrual Blood?
Sperm can survive in a woman’s reproductive system for up to 5 days whether the woman is menstruating or not. Thus, even if a woman has sex during her period, sperm from ejaculation may remain inside her reproductive system and may fertilize the egg if ovulation occurs.
Gestational Diabetes (Diabetes during Pregnancy))
Learning how to avoid gestational diabetes is possible and maintaining a healthy weight and diet before and during pregnancy can help. Discover risk factors, tests and treatments for, and signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes.
Pregnancy Planning (Tips)
Pregnancy planning is an important step in preparation for starting or expanding a family. Planning for a pregnancy includes taking prenatal vitamins, eating healthy for you and your baby, disease prevention (for both parents and baby) to prevent birth defects and infections, avoiding certain medications that may be harmful to your baby, how much weight gain is healthy exercise safety and pregnancy, travel during pregnancy.
Preeclampsia and Eclampsia
Preeclampsia is a condition in pregnant women marked by high blood pressure and a high level of protein in the urine. Eclampsia occurs when preeclampsia goes untreated. Eclampsia can cause coma and death of the mother and baby. Preeclampsia symptoms include rapid weight gain, abdominal pain, headaches, blood in the urine, dizziness, and excessive vomiting and nausea. The only real cure for preeclampsia and eclampsia is the birth of the baby.
Cystic fibrosis is a disease of the mucus and sweat glands. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease. The outcome of the disease leaves the body malnourished, with bulky and fouls smelling stools, vitamin insufficiency, gas, painful or swollen abdomen, infertility, susceptible to heat emergencies, and respiratory failure. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis, treatment of symptoms is used to manage the disease.
What Should I Be Feeling at 9 Weeks Pregnant?
In the ninth week of pregnancy, a woman is at the end of the first trimester. In the ninth week of pregnancy, a woman may be feeling dizziness, fatigue, lethargy, morning sickness, heartburn, constipation, food cravings and other symptoms.
Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes have not had the condition prior to becoming pregnant. Usually, gestational diabetes has no symptoms or signs and of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can cause insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, hypoglycemia, and diabetic ketoacidosis. Treatment of gestational diabetes is managing the condition by checking your blood sugar as recommended, diet changes, getting enough exercise, and monitoring your baby's growth.
Is It Normal to Have Yellow Discharge During Pregnancy?
Normal vaginal discharge is typically thin, clear or white. Vaginal discharge during pregnancy that is yellow, green, gray, red or frothy could be a sign of infection and may require medical treatment.
Care Before and During Pregnancy--Prenatal Care
Second Source article from Government
Can Hormonal Imbalance Affect Pregnancy?
Hormonal imbalance is a common issue that affects many people. Learn the signs of hormonal imbalance, how it affects pregnancy, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
Stillbirth (Stillborn Baby)
About 1% of pregnancies overall result in stillbirth, meaning that there are about 24,000 stillborn births each year in the U.S. A number of diseases and conditions as well as problems with the pregnancy or health of the mother can all be causes of stillbirth. The most common symptom of stillbirth is not feeling the baby moving or kicking.
Can You Feel the Baby at 13 Weeks?
You will mostly start to feel your baby moving around between the 18th and 20th week of your pregnancy. Although seasoned mommies may feel a baby flutter as early as 13 weeks, first-time moms may not feel their baby move until the 25th week.
Can You Feel Baby At 15 Weeks?
At 15 weeks, you have crossed the pesky first-trimester pregnancy woes and are well into the golden trimester or 4th month of pregnancy. If it is your first pregnancy, it will take 20 weeks or longer to feel the baby's movements.
Pregnancy Diet (Menu Plans)
When a woman is pregnant, she needs more vitamins, minerals, and other foods in her diet to stay healthy and deliver a healthy baby. A healthy pregnancy diet menu plan should consist of lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats (unless you are vegan or vegetarian), and dairy. Examples of healthy pregnancy diet meal plans include holistic pregnancy diet, vegan or vegetarian diet, and low-carb diets. Begin your healthy eating plan around three months before you begin trying to conceive, and follow the same eating plan until after you have stopped breastfeeding. If you are overweight or obese, being pregnant is not the right time to try to lose weight. Discuss your options with your health care professional.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is an abnormality of motor function and postural tone acquired at an early age (even before birth). Cerebral palsy is generally caused by brain trauma. Types of cerebral palsy include: spastic, dyskinetic (dystonic or choreoathetoid), hypotonic, and mixed types. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, and treatment is generally managing the symptoms of the condition.
Anencephaly is a neural tube defect that prevents abnormal development of the brain and bones of the skull, and are missing large areas of the brain; some may have and incomplete skull. Ancecephaly affects the thinking, hearing, vision, emotion, and coordination areas of the brain. A combination of genetic and environmental factors are believed to to cause this condition. There is no treatment for anencephaly.
What Should I Expect at 11 Weeks Pregnant?
At 11 weeks, you are almost done with the tiring first trimester and are about to enter the second trimester or “golden period” of pregnancy. The signs of pregnancy around 11 weeks include nausea and vomiting, mood swings, altered taste sensation, sore breasts, indigestion and heartburn, dizziness, vaginal discharge, facial changes and skin changes.
How Do Fibroids Affect Pregnancy?
What are fibroids, and how do they affect pregnancy? Learn the signs of fibroids, what causes them, how doctors diagnose them, and what you can do to treat them during your pregnancy.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease)
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) or brittle bone disease, is an inherited (genetic) disorder that results in abnormal bone formation, which causes the bones to break (fracture) easily. There are eight types of osteogenesis imperfecta. Osteogenesis imperfecta symptoms include skeletal deformity, frequent broken bones, and hearing problems. Tests diagnose osteogenesis imperfecta. Treatment for brittle bone disease is to manage symptoms. There is no cure for osteogenesis imperfecta.
Pregnancy Changes and Body Discomforts
Pregnancy can bring challenges like weight gain, stretch marks, varicose veins, heartburn, constipation, hemorrhoids, problems sleeping, and wondering if it is safe to have sex while pregnant. Learn how to manage and move through these challenges during pregnancy.
Can You See Trisomy 18 on an Ultrasound?
A fetal ultrasound during pregnancy can show features that are suggestive of trisomy 18, and the detection rate is about 90% during 14-21 weeks of pregnancy. However, an ultrasound may not detect abnormalities until late into the second trimester.
A common form of short stature, achondroplasia (dwarfism) is a genetic condition causing a disorder of bone growth. Complications of achondroplasia that need monitoring include (this is not all inclusive) stenosis and compression of the spinal cord, a large opening under the skull, lordosis, kyphosis, spinal stenosis, hydrocephalus, middle ear infections, obesity, and dental crowning. Achondroplasia is caused by mutations of the FGFR3 gene.
When Should You Be Worried About Fetal Movement?
During your third trimester, you should be able to feel about 10 fetal movements within 2 hours. Paying attention to the patterns of your baby’s movements will help you notice if there’s a change in frequency.
Cystic hygroma is a birth defect that may be apparent while a fetus is still in the womb. It is a malformation of the lymphatic system. Symptoms and signs of cystic hygroma may include breathing difficulties, feeding problems, sleep apnea, and failure to thrive. Treatment usually consists of surgery. The prognosis of cystic hygroma is variable, ranging from good to poor, depending on a variety of factors.
When Can You Find Out How Many Weeks Pregnant You Are?
A woman can find out how many weeks pregnant she is at any time during pregnancy. There are several ways to calculate how many weeks pregnant a woman is and the estimated due date or estimated date of delivery (EDD). Some ways are more accurate than others.
Spina Bifida (Anencephaly, Neural Tube Defects) in Babies and Adults
Spina bifida is the most common neural tube defect in the United States. There are four types of spina bifida; 1) occulta, 2) closed neural tube defects, 3) meningocele, and 4) myelomeningocele. The cause of spina bifida is not known. Theories include genetic, nutritional, and environmental factors. Lack of folic acid during pregnancy is highly suspected. Symptoms of spina bifida vary from individual to individual. Treatment depends on the type of spanina bifida the person suffers.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
Consuming alcohol during pregnancy may cause fetal alcohol syndrome, a group of conditions associated with mental, growth, and physical problems. Children with fetal alcohol syndrome may have a small head, short stature, low IQ, and abnormal facial features. Early intervention programs can lessen the impact of motor, cognitive, and language impairments.
What Is a Limited Obstetrical Ultrasound?
An obstetric ultrasound or sonography is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of a baby inside the mother’s womb. It also shows pictures of the mother's uterus and ovaries. An obstetric ultrasound is an important part of ante-natal (before the delivery of the baby) care.
Pregnancy and Drugs (Prescription and OTC)
Taking prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs or supplements should be discussed with your doctor. There are some medications that have been found to cause no problems in pregnancy, however, medications such as Accutane for acne, should never be taken during pregnancy.
Hunter Syndrome (Mucopolysaccharidosis II, MPS II)
Hunter syndrome (mucopolysaccharidosis II, MPS II) is an inherited or genetic disease. Signs and symptoms of Hunter syndrome include diarrhea, voice changes, facial changes, and distended abdomen. Treatment for Hunter syndrome is geared toward symptoms of the disease with idursulfase or Elaprase (enzyme replacement therapy).
What Should I Be Feeling at 18 Weeks Pregnant?
The 18th week of pregnancy is a crucial stage in the development of the fetus. The mother is in the second trimester and starts experiencing the important milestones of pregnancy. The mother can feel the baby’s first movement inside her uterus. This is known as quickening.
Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip
Cleft palate and cleft lip are facial and oral defects that occur early in pregnancy. A cleft lip is a split of the two sides of the upper lip, and a cleft palate is a split in the roof of the mouth. Cleft lip the fourth most common birth defect in the U.S. Repair of a cleft palate or cleft lip may require multiple surgeries.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Pregnancy (STDs)
When you are pregnant, many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be especially harmful to you and your baby. These STDs include herpes, HIV/AIDS, genital warts (HPV), hepatitis B, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Symptoms include bumps, sores, warts, swelling, itching, or redness in the genital region. Treatment of STDs while pregnant depends on how far along you are in the pregnancy and the progression of the infection.
What Should I Be Feeling at 19 Weeks of Pregnancy?
The 19th week of pregnancy or the 5th month of pregnancy is when most of the major organs and organ systems have formed in the fetus. The formed organ system continues to grow and form its respective shapes in the following months. The weight of the fetus increases each month to become a baby that can survive outside of the uterus.
What Should I Expect at 5 Weeks Pregnant? 13 Changes
The fifth week of pregnancy is usually the time when you have just discovered that you are pregnant. This is the time when you have missed your periods, and you take a urine pregnancy test that turns out to be positive.
Preeclampsia (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension)
Preeclampsia is related to increased blood pressure and protein in the mother's urine. Preeclampsia typically begins after the 20th week of pregnancy. When preeclampsia causes seizures, it is termed "eclampsia" and is the second leading cause of maternal death of in the US. Preeclampsia is the leading cause of fetal complications. Risk factors for preeclampsia include high blood pressure, obesity, multiple births, and women with preexisting medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or scleroderma. Pregnancy planning and lifestyle changes may reduce the risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy.
Canavan disease is an inherited genetic disorder that typically causes death before 10 years of age. Signs and symptoms of the disease include developmental delays, loss of muscle tone, enlargement of the head, and severe feeding problems. The disease is most prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. There is no treatment for the disease.
Can the Flu Shot Harm My Unborn Baby?
Getting the flu shot will not harm your unborn baby at any stage of pregnancy. The flu shot is both safe and recommended to protect you and your baby from the virus. Don’t however, get the nasal spray vaccine, which is not recommended for pregnant women.
What Are Signs of Fetal Distress?
During pregnancy, fetal stress or fetal distress is a sign that your baby isn’t well in your womb. The major sign of pregnancy fetal stress is abnormal fetal heart rate.
What Happens in the Third Trimester Pregnancy?
In the third trimester, you and your baby undergo many changes. In the third trimester, you may experience acid reflux, trouble breathing, tender breasts, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, edema, low blood pressure and other symptoms.
How Do You Do an Obstetric Ultrasound?
Cervical cryotherapy is a medical procedure that involves freezing and destroying the abnormal tissue in the cervix (the lower part of the uterus). The procedure may cause some discomfort. Women report some cramping or pressure and a sensation of cold in the vaginal area. Some women do not feel any discomfort or pain during the procedure. It is generally a relatively painless procedure with little or no scarring in the area treated.
What Causes a Cleft Palate During Pregnancy?
A cleft palate is a facial defect in babies that occurs when they are developing inside the womb. A baby’s facial features develop in the first 3 months. Their lips form first, followed by the mouth and palate. Clefts occur if the tissues and cells don’t form in the right way.
Why Do Pregnant Women Pee So Much?
There are several reasons like hormone changes and uterus growth, why you might begin feeling more need to pee when you are pregnant.
When Should You Have an Obstetric Ultrasound?
There are no special precautions that you need to take before coming for the ultrasound. You might be asked to drink water up to six glasses or until you feel like peeing. You would not be allowed to go to the washroom before you get your ultrasound done. Your full bladder helps the doctor to visualize your baby more clearly.
How Do You Diagnose Spinal Muscular Atrophy?
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic condition that results in weakness and wasting of muscles in infants. For diagnosing spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), certain tests are carried out to check if your child has this condition.
What Vitamins and Supplements Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?
You should always clear it with your obstetrician before taking any vitamins or supplements while pregnant.
Local ResourcesFind a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
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- Eating Fish in Moderation During Pregnancy Benefits Fetus: Study
- Smoking While Pregnant May Weaken Baby's Bones
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- Folic Acid Won't Curb Dangerous Pregnancy Complication
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- Fish Oil Pills During Pregnancy Might Mean Stronger, Healthier Kids
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- States Should Help Struggling Teen Moms, Poll Finds
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- Here's to a Healthy Pregnancy
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- FDA Tells NYC Doctor to Stop Marketing Controversial Fertility Treatment
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- Task Force: Screen for Gestational Diabetes After 24 Weeks of Pregnancy
- Common Pesticide Linked to Birth Defect, Study Suggests