From conception to birth, there are a lot of milestones in a woman’s pregnancy, but some weeks hold higher significance than others. Following are the weeks where milestones occur, and cautions that are advised.
Around week 8 is when the baby goes from embryo to fetus. What this means varies from person to person; the meaning is tied to personal belief systems. For some, “life” starts at the fetus stage. For others, “life” starts with implantation. Where the fetus/embryo conversation is most important is in the states where abortion laws have changed. If an unwanted pregnancy is a concern, knowing the time change from embryo to fetus is important. If there are no concerns about unwanted pregnancy or when the concept of “life” begins, week 8 holds no significance other than just another week of pregnancy.
A baby born prematurely at week 22 has a good chance of surviving outside the womb, however, the new parents can expect complications. While medical intervention can save the baby’s life, there still is a risk of disabilities due to premature birth.
The risk of disabilities due to premature birth greatly decrease between weeks 26-28. While risks are still present, with the proper medical care and intervention, new parents can breathe a lot easier if the baby is born during this time.
Technically week 40 is when the baby is “supposed” to be born, but no two pregnancies are alike, and babies have a tendency to be born when they prefer. This could be at 37 weeks. This could be at 41 weeks. Additionally, the due date is calculated on the best guestimate of the start of the pregnancy – timing that can be difficult to pin down as the “start” date is through the date of the last missed cycle. The suspected due date could be a week or two off in either direction. That being said, the baby is considered full-term at 37 weeks and if born, is not considered premature.
The Six Weeks Post Birth
The 6-8 weeks after the birth are called the postpartum period. During this time (and after) the mother may experience postpartum depression and the baby may become jaundiced. The mother is recovering from the birth and the new parents – and any existing siblings – are struggling to adapt to new routines and lack of sleep. Extra care and support for the entire family are needed during this time.
HealthBanks for the Weeks Beyond the Birth
While some weeks hold developmental milestones or health markers, every week of a pregnancy is important. After the birth, every moment of that life is precious. That is why we are committed to helping families get through more than 80 possible diseases that can occur between birth and the senior years. By cord blood and tissue banking, starting at just $19.99/month, parents can give their child the gift of life twice. Once at the birth, and again if needed by having their own genetic and fully compatible cells on hand to help cure diseases like some cancers. Learn more by exploring our website.
Reviewed by Paul V. Holland, MD