There are milestones throughout a pregnancy. Some are physically noticeable and others happen and pregnant women have no idea they occurred. Understanding the changes in pregnancy is important to enjoying those 40 weeks of gestation while baby is growing strong for the trip to the outside world.

How pregnant am I when the cervix closes?
The cervix does not physically close during pregnancy. A mucous plug starts forming as soon as the blastocysts implants in the uterus. This plug is fully formed in about 5 to 7 days. The plug will protect the uterus and growing fetus from infection.

How pregnant am I when the baby starts to kick?
The fetus starts to move and kick well before the 13th week of gestation. This movement if often called quickening. You may not be able to feel these movements until the 18th or 20th week of pregnancy if it is your first pregnancy.

How pregnant am I when I feel the baby move?
Mothers have reported feeling baby move as early as the 13th week of gestation. If this is not the first pregnancy, feeling baby move may happen sooner. First-time moms may have to wait until week 18 or 20.

How pregnant am I when we can tell the gender?
The baby’s gender starts to develop quickly in the 3rd month of pregnancy. By the end of the 4th month or the 16th to 17th week, an ultrasound technician may be able to zero in on the sexual organs to determine the sex. This is dependent upon the fetus being in the right position at the time of ultrasound.

How pregnant am I when I have the first ultrasound?
The first ultrasound typically takes place after the 16th week of gestation. In some cases, ultrasounds are scheduled earlier or later. If HCG levels are higher than normal after the pregnancy blood test, the obstetrician may schedule an ultrasound as early as six weeks to rule out twins or more.

How pregnant am I when my water breaks?
The bag of waters will not break, in a normal pregnancy, until the last week of the final trimester. This is the 39th to 40th week of gestation. If the bag of waters does not break at this time, obstetricians may wait until the 42nd week for natural labor to begin. After that time, induction will begin and the doctor may physical break the bag of waters. Women can go into labor without the bag of waters breaking. In this case, water will often break in the hospital during labor.

How pregnant am I when I give birth?
A full-term pregnancy lasts 38 to 40 weeks for singlets. Twins and other multiples strive for the 34th week of pregnancy to ensure the babies are fully developed. If signs of pre-term labor show up early, there are medications doctors can prescribe to stop labor for a short period of time.