Pregnancy can feel like it lasts an eternity! Just ask any pregnant woman and she will most likely tell you it feels like she is pregnant forever. While a full term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks or roughly 10 months and can feel like a lifetime, the ability for a fetus to grow and develop in that time period is quite remarkable. Their organs, skin, hair, digestive system and so many other important parts grow and mature enought to be ready for life on the outside of the womb!
Understanding the stages of pregnancy and what to expect can help get you through all of the difficulties and body vchanges while being pregnant! That being said pregnancy is generally divided into three stages.
The Three Stages of Pregnancy
- Germinal Stage- This stage marks the very beginning of pregnancy and begins when the sperm cell meets the egg cell and forms a zygote. Thirty six hours after conception the zygote begins to divide into a ball of cells that gravitates through the fallopian tubes and makes it’s way to the uterus. Once in the uterus which is around 7 days after conception, implantation occurs. Implantation is when the ball of cells starts to become embedded in the uterine wall. If the implantation process fails the pregnancy is lost, if it is a success tissue which becomes the placenta begins to form so your body can then enter the next stage of pregnancy. The placenta in turn plays a very big roll throughout your pregnancy. It is responsible for removing waste away from the fetus and also passing nutrients and oxygen to the fetus from the mother’s blood which are esstential for growth.The germinal stage generally last about 2 weeks from the time of conecption.
- Embryonic Stage- This next stage begins at the end of the germinal stage and lasts until 2 months after conception. This stage is perhaps the most crucial and also the most fragile stage for your growing fetus. During this stage that ball of cells transforms into an embryo. All of the major organs form during this stage and can be greatly affected by viruses, radiation, drugs and other impurities. In fact these are all very dangerous to the developing embryo and can cause birth defects or mutations resulting in abnormal growth of these vital organs. The crazy part is that while all of this crucial development is taking place the embryo is only about an inch long when it reaches the end of the embryonic stage!
- Fetal Stage- This is the last satge of fetal development and begins at the end of the embryonic stage and lasts until birth. Roughly one month into thie fetal stage the sex organ of the baby begins to develop and take shape allowing for the parents to find out the sex of the baby. The bones and muscles develop during this stage as does fat insulation take place. The brain also increases in size and the digestive and respiratory stsytems are able to function on their own.
Pregnancy and all of it’s stages is a beautiful thing. You are creating a new life that will make it’s way into the world when this last stage has reached it’s end. The health, nutrition and wellness of the pregnant women is so important to each of these stages of pregnancy and will create lasting effects on each as well.