Birthing simulator model Healthy pregnancy weight gain chart Weekly fetal development chart

Trimesters of Pregnancy What they are and What they Mean


Having a baby can be a joyous time, but it can also be scary. Knowing that your baby is progressing through each stage is vital to help ease a mother’s mind. A fetal progress chart helps keep up with the developing baby compared to where they should be. This can also help the mother better plan for the baby’s arrival. Read below to see the changes that take place in each different trimester of pregnancy.


A normal pregnancy is usually referred to as 40 weeks, however a pregnancy can last anywhere from 37 to 42 weeks. These weeks are usually divided into trimesters. Each trimester is an average of 12 to 14 weeks. There are three trimesters in typical pregnancies. A fetal progress chart or fetal development chart is based of each individual trimester. Different changes take place during each trimester. Read below to learn more about each trimester.

First Trimester

This trimester is characterized by about the first 13 weeks or pregnancy. During this trimester your uterus is about the size of an orange. This trimester is the most crucial when it comes to the development of the fetus. This is the trimester at which majority of miscarriages and birth defects occur. Your body may not resemble that of someone who is having a baby, but on the inside of your body there are major changes that are taking place during this trimester. A weekly fetal development chart can help you see the extreme changes that are happening to your body and the fetus during this time. A healthy pregnancy weight gain chart is also helpful to help new moms understand how much weight they could potentially gain during this trimester.

Second Trimester

The second trimester is the time period around 14 weeks. This trimester tends to be the most comfortable trimester for many expecting mothers. Many unpleasant side effects of the first trimester tend to disappear and wear off during this time. During this trimester your uterus will begin to grow, therefore if you have not yet purchased them, maternity clothes should be on your list. Prenatal development charts show that the fetus grows significantly during this trimester, as you may also feel the baby start to move. Walking and staying fit can help keep you from accumulating extra weight during this time of the pregnancy. Screening test begin during this trimester to ensure the safety of you and the baby. Along with feeling movement during this trimester your baby can begin to hear. This is a good time to start talking to them so they begin to recognize the sound of your voice. Fetal progress charts show that at the end of this trimester your baby is about nine to twelve inches long.

Third Trimester

This is the final trimester, but it can be just as uncomfortable as the first. Typically during the first there is morning sickness to deal with, but during the third trimester there is more physical pain. Any discomfort that pregnant women experience in the second trimester typically continue and are accompanied by new symptoms during the third trimester. Common issues experienced during this trimester include heart burn, shortness of breath and problems sleeping. Screenings will take place before the baby is born, to determine if there are certain strands of bacteria present. If there are, then antibiotics should be administered to prevent the mother form passing this bacteria onto the baby. Travel restrictions are typically enforced, as it is wise to stay close. Any time after 37 weeks is considered a full term pregnancy and the baby can function completely outside of the womb.

With roughly four million babies born each year it’s always nice to understand what to expect whether this is your first child or your fourth. Majority of women are pregnant for the entire nine months, with less than 5% delivering on their actual due date, which makes it easier to use trimesters for pregnancy. A fetal progress chart shows where exactly your baby is considering trimester and monitoring, so that you know your baby will be okay even if you deliver before your 40 weeks.

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