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Pregnancy

A couple is happy about a positive pregancy test.

I am pregnant, what happens now? Refer to the check list.

All expectant mothers experience pregnancy-related changes differently. One might feel like she has never felt better, while another might go through a lot of discomfort.

The calendar below illustrates how a pregnancy progresses and what you should take into consideration (source: National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL). More information on foetal dental development on the Finnish Dental Association’s website (in Finnish).

Pregnancy calendar

Weeks Progress Remember!
Conception
About two weeks after menstruation.
Read the instructions on a healthy diet. Quit smoking and consuming alcohol! Ask for advice at your maternity clinic to help with quitting.

Weeks
0–4

A two-week-old embryo is the size of a pinhead.
Do not use any medication during pregnancy without consulting a healthcare professional. Check first with your doctor, nurse or at the pharmacy that the medicine is safe to take.

Weeks
5–8

A two-week-old embryo is the size of a pinhead.

The heart, nose and eyelids, nervous system, spine and umbilical cord begin to develop.

The mother’s well-being will also help the child: eat a healthy diet, get adequate rest and exercise outdoors as much as you can.

Weeks
9–12

A 10-week-old foetus is about 3 cm long and weighs approximately 20 g.

The heartbeats can already be heard. The foetus is floating in amniotic fluid inside a sac formed by foetal membranes, and receives nutrients through the umbilical cord. The foetus already has an upper and a lower jaw, and a budding tongue. The first teeth begin to appear. The general early-pregnancy ultrasound examination is performed during week 10–14, usually transvaginally.

Weeks
13–16

A 14-week-old foetus is about 9 cm long and weighs approximately 100 g. The uterus is about the size of a clenched fist.

The foetus has a large head, roughly half of its entire length. The facial features are beginning to develop. Ears and reproductive organs are developing.

The foetus is practising breathing and swallowing motions. It is kicking, moving its toes and thumbs, and turning its head. However, the mother cannot yet feel these gentle movements.

To be eligible for a maternity grant you must have had a health check-up at a maternity and child health clinic or with a doctor before the end of week 16 of your pregnancy.

Weeks
17–20

An 18-week-old foetus is 25–27 cm long and weighs 250–300 g. The foetus has its own blood circulation, and its heart is beating twice as fast as an adult’s. Soft hair grows on the foetus’ skin, but this so-called lanugo hair will decrease as the pregnancy progresses.

The foetus grows eyebrows.

At this point, the placenta is almost as big as the foetus. It protects the foetus from harmful substances, but cannot filter out everything. The mother might already be able to feel the foetal movements if she has had a baby before.

Now it is time to arrange for family coaching with a public health nurse. Most pregnant women will have an ultrasound between weeks 18 and 21, performed through the abdomen.

Weeks
21–24

A 22-week-old foetus is about 30 cm long and weighs approximately 400–600 g. Its movements can be felt by a first-time mother as well. The heart sounds are clearly audible. At week 24, the base of the uterus is at the level of the navel.

Faster growth of the uterus is often a sign of twins. The foetus is practising sucking, and will often place its thumb in its mouth.

The foetus grows hair and nails. The protective membrane is beginning to develop into skin. For most of the time, the foetus is asleep, but can be woken up by external noises or vibration. A pregnancy that ends before week 22 is considered a miscarriage. A child born between weeks 23 and 24 can stay alive with intensive care, even though it is still very immature. Developmental risks remain great and the course of treatment must often be assessed.

At week 22, you can already apply for maternity, paternity and parental allowance, and a maternity grant (more information at:
Avoid too much stress. Take contractions seriously.

Weeks
25–28

A 26-week-old foetus is about 35 cm long and weighs approximately one kilo. The foetus moves a lot, turning around and kicking, and the movements are also visible on top of the abdomen. The foetus is opening and closing its eyes, and has a strong grip. The uterus is at the level of the navel. The first contractions may be felt as hardening of the abdomen for a few seconds. The foetus already looks like the baby that will be born, but is more fragile. Babies born before week 28 are considered very premature. They are still very immature, and their lungs and many other organs are not yet fully developed.

With intensive care, these babies will often live, and their future prognosis has improved with developments in their treatment.

Remember to listen to your body and get enough rest. Avoid unnecessary stress, particularly if your uterus contracts easily.

Weeks
29–32

A 30-week-old foetus is about 40 cm long and weighs approximately 1.5 kg. The majority of babies born at this stage will survive with intensive care, and the risk of disabilities is already low.

Avoid work that you must do standing up, lifting heavy things, and doing other stressful work.

Weeks
33–36

A 34-week-old foetus is about 47 cm long and weighs approximately 2.7 kg. Its weight is increasing fast. The foetus is moving less than before, because it is running out of room in the uterus. Most children will turn upside down at this point. A waxy layer of vernix is forming on the foetus’ skin. The uterus is at its highest, reaching the ribs. With preterm labour, the preference is to undergo childbirth near a neonatal unit. At week 35, ICU is rarely needed anymore. Babies born before week 37 are considered premature, so the baby and the mother may need the support from the delivery ward for longer than usual.

It is best to get the baby’s things ready at this point. Many hospitals organise pre-arranged visits to their delivery wards.

Weeks
37–40

The uterus moves lower, and the child’s head engages with the pelvis. The number of contractions increases notably. The child is kicking in the womb so vigorously that they can cause a book placed on top of the mother’s tummy to fall off. Most children are 49–52 cm long and weigh 3,000–4,000 g when they are born. On average, children are born in week 40, but this can typically vary by about a week in either direction.

Leave for the hospital if your waters break, you experience pain or bleeding, or when your contractions are coming at regular intervals (see chapter Childbirth). If 10 days have passed since the expected date of delivery, the pregnant woman will visit a hospital’s maternity clinic for an overdue check-up.




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01.11.2018 14:31