One of the most exciting aspects of pregnancy, especially for first-time moms, can be watching their belly grow as the pregnancy progresses. It is common for women to want to know what they should expect through the next 9 months. Unfortunately, there is no set formula for the mother's belly size. Many factors can come into play, from the size of the mother and baby to the position the baby is carried in. The following are estimates based on the average experience; however, each mother's pregnancy will progress differently, and her doctor should ensure the baby's health throughout the process regardless of varying sizes.
Months One through Three
During the first 3 months, the baby begins developing a brain, spinal cord, internal organs and skin, as well as wrists, ankles and facial features. By the end of the third month, the mother may begin to notice a small, smooth bulge above her pelvic bone.
During the fourth month, the baby begins to develop hair, lashes and eyebrows and should be 6 to 7 inches long and a quarter of a pound to half a pound in weight. The mother's "baby bump" may become more pronounced.
Throughout the fifth month, the baby will grow to approximately 10 to 12 oz and about 10 inches long. This is the time when most women begin to show enough for others to notice the pregnancy.
During the sixth month, the baby reaches just over a foot long and weighs about 1 1/2 lbs. The mother's belly will be noticeably pregnant.
By the seventh month, the baby should weigh around 3 lbs and measure 18 inches long. The mother's belly will begin rapidly expanding during the coming months.
The baby is rapidly putting on weight during the final months and will probably weigh 4 to 5 lbs by the end of the eighth month. The mother will notice her belly becoming larger and possibly affecting her mobility.
The baby will gain about half a pound a week during the last month of pregnancy. The mother may feel uncomfortable and experience heartburn and increased pressure on her bladder during the final month.
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