Pregnancy occurs when an egg is fertilized by sperm, forming a bundle of cells (zygote) that eventually develop into a fetus. The average pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, but normal term can range from 37-42 weeks. A pregnancy is often divided into 3 trimesters of fourteen weeks each. The 1st trimester is when symptoms such as cramping, fatigue and/or morning sickness may occur. During the 2nd trimester, early symptoms decrease and fetal movements will become more noticeable. During the 3rd trimester, the fetus will turn its head downward in preparation for labor and delivery.
Common indications of pregnancy may include fatigue, nausea, food cravings, increased urination, tender breasts, and a missed period. A pregnancy test can be done at home or at a doctor's office for confirmation. Ultrasounds and prenatal visits are important and allow mothers and doctors to monitor the health of mother and baby. Most pregnancies go to full term and experience no issues. Tests are available to determine some aspects of the baby's health while still in utero. If you are pregnant or looking to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your risks and what to do to ensure your baby's health.