Pregnancy week by week pregnancy development can help you keep track of your baby’s physical and mental growth from conception through birth. As you progress through your pregnancy, the various stages of development will be marked in your baby’s life by changes in his or her appearance, behavior, and even the sounds that he or she makes. While it’s important to remember that no two pregnancies are exactly alike and every baby develops at his or her own pace, following this guide can help you keep track of how much your baby grows during each week of pregnancy.

1) Just breathe

Breath is essential to life, which makes your unborn baby’s vital sign a good early indicator of his or her well-being. Your practitioner will monitor you and your baby throughout your pregnancy, but it’s always a good idea to be vigilant about what you can do yourself to make sure both of you are healthy. Pay attention to your own body—if there are any physical changes that worry you, talk with your doctor as soon as possible.

2) It does get easier

Pregnancy is difficult. It’s like getting punched in the stomach for months on end, but at least it gets easier with time. If you’re currently in your first trimester, prepare yourself for a whole lot of fatigue, nausea and… constipation? Oh yeah, don’t forget about that last one!

3) Not every pregnancy is the same

For example, my first pregnancy was one of those textbook pregnancies that everyone talks about. My second pregnancy, however, involved extreme nausea for months on end. In other words, it wasn’t textbook at all! Thankfully, you can avoid some of these curveballs if you know what to expect during your pregnancy week by week. Here are a few things that might come as a surprise to pregnant moms-to-be (but probably shouldn’t).

4) Discomfort isn’t only in your head

Many new moms-to-be obsess over pain and discomfort, but it’s important to know that many discomforts are pretty normal. Take heartburn or constipation—you may feel like you’re in labor when you have one of these issues, but they’re totally treatable. The good news is, pregnancy week by week brings a lot of comfort with its symptoms.

5) Birth plans aren’t realistic

For example, you might decide that you’ll go into labor naturally and have your baby at home without any pain medication. And while it’s fine to plan for a natural childbirth, it’s not realistic to expect one. This is especially true if it’s your first child.

6) Bond with your partner even more

Pregnancy can be an emotional roller coaster for some couples, but you can strengthen your relationship with your partner through working together and understanding what to expect. If you’re interested in strengthening your bond during pregnancy, check out our guide to pregnancy week by week . It’s designed to help you learn how to understand what’s happening as it happens so that you feel more connected and prepared. There are also some helpful tips about handling morning sickness or partner stress, for example.

7) Fertility technology exists for a reason

People are born when they’re supposed to be born. Still, it can be fun and exciting to see your little miracle in action on a sonogram or via an early blood test. Here are nine things that happened during my pregnancy that I hadn’t expected—and some of them really surprised me!

8) Everyone gets nervous on the big day

your wedding day. Just don’t let those nerves ruin everything. You and your fiancé will be just fine, as long as you plan ahead, follow some key advice from couples who have been there, and stay positive. Here are nine things you can do to calm your nerves on your wedding day—and help ensure that it is one of the happiest days of your life!

9) Celebrate what you can

It may seem like there are lots of things you can’t do during pregnancy—but that’s just not true. As long as your doctor says it’s OK, celebrate what you can, rather than feeling guilty about what you can’t. For example, indulge in a little gelato or chocolate (just a little), do something that makes you feel beautiful, and treat yourself to a massage. Don’t feel bad—you deserve it!

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