Your Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week (2024)

Your body experiences a wide range of changes throughout pregnancy, from breast tenderness in the first trimester to backaches in the third trimester. For parents-to-be, these pregnancy-related symptoms can be expected or surprising.

Though every person and every pregnancy is different, some symptoms are more common than others. Use this list of pregnancy symptoms by week to prepare for what might be on the horizon, but don't worry if your pregnancy doesn't follow this precise timeline. Much like life and the new baby you're welcoming, pregnancy can be unpredictable.

Of course, if you have questions or concerns about your pregnancy symptoms, talk to a prenatal health care provider.

Your Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week (1)

Pregnancy Trimesters

Pregnancy is broken down into three trimesters, and symptoms will vary during each one.

  • First Trimester: Weeks 1 to 13
  • Second Trimester: Weeks 14 to 27
  • Third Trimester: Weeks 28 to 40

Pregnancy Symptoms by Week

Are you looking for more information about first trimester pregnancy symptoms? How about second trimester or third trimester pregnancy symptoms? We've got you covered with our week-by-week guide.

Your Pregnancy To-Do Checklist

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Week 1

Since doctors calculate your due date from the first day of your last menstrual period, week one begins with the start of the last period you have before you conceive. That's to say that you're not technically pregnant yet. You can, however, expect to experience your typical menstrual symptoms including bleeding, cramping, sore breasts, mood swings, etc.

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Week 2

Ovulation typically occurs during what's considered week two. Your ovary will release a mature egg that travels into the fallopian tube, where it awaits fertilization with sperm. Symptoms of ovulation can include twinging lower abdominal pain (mittelschmerz), breast tenderness, slippery discharge that resembles egg whites, and increased basal body temperature.

Recognizing the Signs of Ovulation If You're Trying to Get Pregnant

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Week 3

During week three of pregnancy, the fertilized egg implants into the uterine lining. Some people experience mild abdominal cramping or light spotting known as "implantation bleeding." Call a health care provider if you're bleeding heavily or have intense pain; this could indicate an ectopic pregnancy where the embryo implanted outside of the uterus (usually in the fallopian tube).

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Week 4

Your at-home pregnancy test can come back positive as early as this week—congratulations! Breast tenderness, one of the earliest signs of pregnancy in some people, might make your bra feel extra uncomfortable at this time. Some also experience a heightened sense of smell or taste, fatigue, constipation, bloating, and mood swings. But don't worry if you don't have any pregnancy symptoms at all; they might take a few extra weeks to show up.

When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Start?

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Week 5

Hormone-induced mood swings can bring on a lot of feelings starting at week five. Your emotions may change from happy to depressed to angry for no conceivable reason. Other early pregnancy symptoms—like fatigue, breast tenderness, and even nausea—can kick in this early too.

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Week 6

For some, week six brings one of the most dreaded pregnancy symptoms: morning sickness (although it may start further along in your pregnancy or not at all). Your heightened sense of smell can further exacerbate this queasiness, which sets the stage for food cravings and aversions. Morning sickness might stick around until the second trimester, so it's best to find ways to cope now, such as eating smaller meals, consuming ginger, wearing acupressure wristbands, and avoiding triggering foods.

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Week 7

Frequent urination is another early pregnancy symptom. It's caused by a few factors: the pregnancy hormone hCG, increased fluids in your body, your kidneys working extra hard to eliminate waste, and eventually, your growing uterus compressing your bladder. Plan for plenty of bathroom breaks!

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Week 8

For many, pregnancy symptoms appear in full force by now: nausea, breast tenderness, fatigue, frequent urination, mood swings, bloating, etc. Another unusual symptom is extra saliva in your mouth, which sometimes lasts until the end of the first trimester. Headaches are also common thanks, in part, to hormonal surges.

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Week 9

Did you know that pregnancy can affect your digestive system? Pregnancy hormones can change the motility of your intestines, leading them to move more slowly than usual. Many people experience constipation and excess gas, in addition to the nausea that accompanies morning sickness. Plus, as your baby grows, the more your digestive system slows, so talk to a health care provider about stool softeners if needed.

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Week 10

Are you glowing? Some people will experience a radiant "pregnancy glow" as a first trimester symptom, but it's also common to experience hormone-induced acne. You'll also notice your breasts—and your belly—getting bigger each week.

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Week 11

Your growing baby bump might cause aches and cramping around your abdomen. This round ligament pain can be mildly uncomfortable or downright painful. You might also notice a clear or creamy discharge (known as leukorrhea) in your underwear that signals your body is attempting to clear bacteria, which is a normal during pregnancy.

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Week 12

Did you know that blood volume increases by about 50% during pregnancy? One side effect is visible veins on the skin, which are especially noticeable in lighter-skinned people.

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Week 13

As you near the end of the first trimester, many early pregnancy symptoms will diminish. You might start to notice, however, that you feel dizzy throughout the day. You can thank hormonal shifts, reduced blood flow, and lower blood pressure for these dizzy spells. Combat them by hydrating well and changing positions slowly.

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Week 14

You're officially in the second trimester of pregnancy, which most deem to be the "easiest" trimester. Many people report increased appetite, renewed energy, and higher sex drive during the next few weeks. If that's you, take advantage of this "feel good" trimester by starting a doctor-approved fitness routine and preparing your house for the baby.

How Will Second Pregnancy Symptoms Be Different?

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Week 15

The second trimester can also come with a few strange pregnancy symptoms each week. You might experience a stuffy nose (thanks to an increase of blood in the mucus membranes), leg cramps, and sensitive gums. As the hormone relaxin loosens your ligaments, you might also feel extra clumsy at this stage of pregnancy.

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Week 16

About 90% of pregnant people experience a darkening of the skin around the nipples, inner thighs, armpits, and navel. Sometimes the darkening extends to the cheeks and nose (known as "the mask of pregnancy")—especially if you have a darker complexion.

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Week 17

Backaches are very common while expecting (you can thank pregnancy hormones yet again!). And if you're feeling more forgetful than normal, blame the so-called "pregnancy brain" that some experience. As a plus, many expectant parents start feeling their baby kick between weeks 18 and 22, so be on the lookout!

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Week 18

By now, your belly likely looks pregnant (but not always to others). Also, your breasts have begun to increase in size to prepare for making breast milk. Expect to gain weight regularly until delivery (usually about one-half pound to 1 pound per week). Even foot size can increase during pregnancy!

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Week 19

During the second trimester, some pregnant people experience heartburn. This is because pregnancy hormones relax the muscles of your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). If you experience this uncomfortable symptom, try eating smaller meals, staying upright after eating, and avoiding anything acidic, greasy, or spicy. Constipation might also occur as your baby presses against your intestines.

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Week 20

By now, your little one might be kicking up a storm! The first kicks feel like fluttering in your stomach. Also common during this time are leg cramps, dry eyes, and trouble sleeping. If you haven't already, try using a pregnancy pillow for a better night's rest.

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Week 21

Although you might've had round ligament pain for a while, it tends to increase as the baby grows. You may feel sharpness in your hip, groin, and abdomen as they stretch to accommodate your growing uterus.

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Week 22

Pregnancy often results in thicker, shinier hair and fast-growing nails, thanks to increased progesterone and your body stocking up on extra nutrients (so don't forget to continue taking your prenatal vitamin). You might notice your locks feel stronger and more bountiful than usual. But you might also get dry, irritated skin on your stomach, since it's constantly being stretched.

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Week 23

Your ever-growing belly can turn an "innie" belly button into an "outie," but rest assured it will return to its normal state after delivery. During this time, you'll probably continue dealing with leg cramps, brain fog, backaches, increased vagin*l discharge, constipation, headaches, stretch marks, and other second trimester pregnancy symptoms.

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Week 24

While some pregnant people still have high sex drives, others notice a dwindling libido. They might feel too sore and tired to do the deed. Other pregnancy symptoms include tingling hands and bleeding gums, as well as snoring from nasal hypertrophy and pregnancy weight gain.

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Week 25

Do your hands and fingers feel tingly? You may be experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome, which is often a result of normal swelling and fluid retention. This numb sensation should go away after you give birth. In the meantime, avoid sleeping on your hands, and try shaking out your wrists throughout the day.

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Week 26

Sleep might not come easily as you near the third trimester, whether it's because of anxiety, leg cramps, frequent urination, or general discomfort. You might also experience itchiness in your hands and feet. Mild itchiness is usually benign, and it can be treated with antihistamines, ointments, or calming lotions. Intense itching, however, could signal a liver disorder called cholestasis of pregnancy that requries medical care.

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Week 27

As if backaches and leg cramps weren't bad enough, some people get hemorrhoids during the second trimester. These itchy, swollen veins pop up in the rectum because of increased blood flow and pressure, and they can get worse with the straining that often accompanies constipation. Relieve hemorrhoid pain and bleeding with a high fiber diet and plenty of fluid intake, hemorrhoidal ointment, sitz baths, or witch hazel pads.

How to Get Rid of Pregnancy Hemorrhoids

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Week 28

Welcome to the third trimester! As you near the finish line, you may start feeling physically exhausted and generally uncomfortable. Aches and pains are commonplace, and rarely some people will have symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), which happens when the ligaments around the pubic bone become soft and unstable, stretching further apart than normal.

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Week 29

As your body prepares to feed your baby after birth, you might notice yellowish colostrum leaking from your breasts within the next few weeks. This fluid serves as a precursor to mature breast milk, and it helps your little one's body adjust to life outside the womb. Also, blood pressure starts to rise after 28-32 weeks of pregnancy.

What To Know About Leaky Nipples in Pregnancy

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Week 30

If you've experienced itchiness, swelling, aching, and heartburn, it probably hasn't subsided yet. If you have stretch marks like the majority of pregnant people, they are probably getting more pronounced as well. These red, pink, purple, or even dark brown streaks can't be prevented—in fact, they are usually genetically determined—but they'll fade significantly with time.

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Week 31

Perhaps you were thrilled to put first trimester pregnancy symptoms behind you, but now some of them might make a comeback. For some people, they may have never left. For example, your breasts may become tender again as they start producing colostrum; you'll likely need to pee frequently because of the pressure of your uterus against your bladder; and you may become extremely exhausted after only minimal effort. Hang in there.

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Week 32

After 20 weeks of pregnancy, your body might produce "practice" contractions called Braxton Hicks. They're characterized by a sporadic hardening or tightening of the uterus—and they come more often as the pregnancy progresses. Braxton Hicks contractions usually last between 30 seconds and two minutes, and they often come irregularly. While Braxton Hicks are expected, call a health care provider if you experience contractions that get stronger and more frequent, as that can be a sign of premature labor.

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Week 33

Your baby is getting bigger, and they're still pressing against your internal organs. The result? The potential for a leaky bladder, shortness of breath, heartburn, and general discomfort. Also, a lot of people get upper abdominal pain near the top of their uterus around this time, which is a normal symptom of the abdominal wall being stretched by the growing uterus. Talk to your OB if you have concerns it may be something else. Usually this sort of pain is tender to the touch and worse when the baby kicks.

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Week 34

You're getting closer to delivery, but remember: Every day counts for your baby's development during the last few weeks of pregnancy, so you'll want to let your baby continue growing as long as it's medically safe. You may notice some change in the intensity of movement as your baby grows and gets into position for birth, but always contact a health care provider if you have any concerns or notice significantly less movement.

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Week 35

As labor quickly approaches, you'll notice more regular Braxton Hicks contractions. Make sure you know how to differentiate these practice pains from actual contractions. Around this time, many people find that insomnia comes in full force as a third trimester pregnancy symptom.

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Week 36

Your little one is on the move! About two to four weeks before delivery, your baby will begin "dropping" into your lower pelvis (also called lightening or engagement). This move may take some pressure off your internal organs, allowing you to breathe easier.

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Week 37

Your little one's new position might lead to pelvic discomfort and increased abdominal pressure. You might notice a little spotting after sex, but you shouldn't worry: This is probably a result of your sensitive, enlarged cervix. Call a doctor if you're bleeding like a period, though, since this could indicate a problem with the placenta.

What Are the Different Types of Contractions?

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Week 38

Around week 37 or 38, most pregnant people lose their mucus plug. The mucus plug blocks the opening to your cervix to protect your baby from germs. It typically gets released anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks before labor, and it looks like thick pink or blood-tinged discharge.

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Week 39

If your water breaks, you may notice a gush of fluid or a slow trickle. Other early signs of labor include regular contractions, pelvic pressure, dull back pain, and a feeling of restlessness. Early labor tends to last for hours. Many health care providers recommend that first-time parents wait this phase out and head to the hospital when contractions come every four or five minutes, last for one minute, and continue in this pattern for an hour (the 4-1-1 or 5-1-1 rule), but your provider may have a different recommendation for you.

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Week 40

You'll likely keep experiencing pregnancy symptoms like insomnia, swelling, frequent urination, and pelvic discomfort until your baby arrives. If you've scheduled an induction or C-section, it may happen within the next few days or weeks. After 40 weeks, an ultrasound may be recommended to monitor your baby's position, size, and fluid levels to ensure all is still going well.

What to Expect During the 3 Stages of Labor

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Week 41

After 40 weeks, your baby is considered "overdue" as they've passed their due date, but in most cases, this is perfectly fine and it's actually quite common. Even so, an overdue baby can cause some anxiety and restlessness, but hang in there and watch for signs of labor. Your little one will be here soon! Consider using movement (walking, dancing, squatting, etc.) to help the baby engage in the pelvis and improve your chances of going into labor.

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Week 42

Most babies are born within two weeks of their due date (before or after), and while reaching week 42 might be exhausting, it's also pretty uncommon. Most providers advise an induction prior to 42 weeks. In the meantime, continue to take care of yourself—your baby will be in your arms before you know it.

Your Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week (2024)
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