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Gianna Care is a non profit organisation that is committed to providing compassion, accurate information and support to anyone facing a pregnancy or in need after an abortion. We believe there is a great need in Ireland for women and their families to be given every support necessary when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. We believe every client should be treated with the utmost respect and dignity and all of the information we receive is held in strict confidence.

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What are the stages of your pregnancy?

Stages of pregnancy - ultrasound

What are the stages of your pregnancy?

Finding out you’re pregnant can be a stressful and emotional time for any woman. Making decisions in a panic is never a good idea. There is nothing more important than making sure you are fully informed about your pregnancy and about your pregnancy options. Are you experiencing pregnancy symptoms? Have you taken a pregnancy test yet? Are you worried and considering abortion? In order to make an informed decision, you need to be aware of all of the support available to you. Furthermore, you can schedule a free ultrasound with Gianna Care, which will be very helpful in finding out how far along you are. Finally, if you want to know more about your pregnancy, keep reading to discover more about the different stages of pregnancy and fetal development.


Pregnancy begins when a male sperm cell fuses with an egg cell inside a woman’s fallopian tube. At the moment of fusion, also known as fertilisation or conception, a new and unique genetic code is formed which determines gender, hair colour and eye colour of the baby (at this time called a zygote).

First trimester

There are three stages of pregnancy, which are also called trimesters. Hormonal changes take place in your body at this time and while the symptoms vary, you may experience effects such as nausea, vomiting and increased sleepiness. Hormonal changes can also slow down your digestion causing bloating and gas. As your uterus is growing and pressing against your bladder you may experience an increased need to urinate more often. Additionally, your breasts may feel more tender and swollen. As your body increases blood flow in order to supply more blood to the uterus, this may result in a ‘pregnancy glow’ as more blood is circulated to the face. You may also experience some mood swings at this time.

After one month of pregnancy the embryo will be the side of a pea and in the second month, the size of a kidney bean. By the end of the second month, all major organs are taking shape. At around 6 weeks, the baby’s heartbeat can be heard with an ultrasound.

At three months, the baby (at this stage technically called a fetus) is around 7 to 8 centimetres long. By the end of the third month, the fingers and toes have been formed along with the muscles and intestines. The baby’s unique fingerprints have also started to form.

Second trimester

By the time of the second trimester, your body has become more used to the new hormones and nausea may decrease. During this time your pregnancy will start to become more visible in your belly.

In the fourth month of pregnancy, the fingernail, eyebrows and eyelashes form. The developing baby can also swallow and hear. The baby is about 13 centimetres long. Between 16 to 18 weeks you may start to feel the baby moving.

During the fifth month, the baby sleeps and wakes in regular cycles. The baby is about 27 centimetres long. Between weeks 17 to 20 the baby may start to suck its thumb if its hand floats to its mouth. During 18 to 22 week period, an ultrasound may reveal the sex of the baby.

In the sixth month, the hair of the baby grows and its eyes start to open. The baby weighs around 660 grams at this time.

Third trimester

During the last of three stages of pregnancy, some women experience swelling in their ankles, hands and feet and face as the body retains more fluid. Additionally, pressure on your bladder may cause an increased need to urinate. It is also possible that you may experience some backaches and pain in your hips and pelvis as your joints relax to prepare for delivery.

At seven months, the baby is kicking and responding to light and sound. The baby is more than 40 centimetres long. The baby can open and close its eyes. During the eight-month the baby is gaining weight very quickly, the bones harden, the skull is soft and flexible. The baby can also hiccup and weighs around 2.2kg.

During the ninth month, the baby is getting ready for birth and generally positioned head-down in your pelvis.

Schedule a free ultrasound

As mentioned above, the ultrasound can detect a baby’s heartbeat as early as 6 weeks. If you’re unsure about your decision, at Gianna Care, we recommend scheduling a free ultrasound which can be helpful in dating your pregnancy and making a more informed choice. Click the button below to contact us and schedule a free ultrasound today:

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