A normal pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks, counting down from the first day of your last normal menstrual cycle. It’s separated into three trimesters that mark general stages of fetal development.
First trimester: During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, your body undergoes major hormonal changes that affect nearly every system of your body. These changes are responsible for stopping your menstrual cycle and causing a variety of symptoms, including:
Second trimester: From weeks 13 to 28 of your pregnancy, your initial symptoms may ease up or disappear completely. As your baby grows bigger, you may begin to experience symptoms related to weight gain, such as lower back pain; you may also start to develop stretch marks, or experience swelling in your ankles, fingers, or face.
Third trimester: From week 29 until you deliver, your baby continues to grow larger every day, taking up more space in your body and leaving less room for your internal organs. Many women experience shortness of breath and the urge to urinate throughout the third trimester.
Prenatal care may begin with preconception counseling or with a pregnancy test, depending on your situation, and continues up to delivery. You’ll undergo a health assessment, a pelvic exam, and have an ultrasound to help establish a due date. As the weeks continue, Dr. Abdelhak will perform regular ultrasound screenings and a variety of tests to assess your health as well as that of your baby’s. Common tests include:
Routine prenatal checkups in non-high risk pregnancies typically occur once a month through the end of the second trimester, twice a month between weeks 28 and 36, and once a week until delivery.
A high-risk pregnancy means that you or your baby require special monitoring or care throughout your pregnancy. Some women have factors that qualify their pregnancies as high-risk from the start. If you’re over the age of 35, obese, or have a chronic condition like diabetes, your pregnancy is considered high-risk.
As an obstetrician who specializes in maternal-fetal medicine, Dr. Abdelhak provides comprehensive prenatal, labor, and delivery care to women with high-risk pregnancies. Working closely with nurse midwife Mallon, he also offers his expertise and full support to high-risk midwifery patients.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!