Maternal Changes During Pregnancy

Image Caption : Uterus Size through Pregnancy Compared to Fruits. The uterus is a thick-walled elastic muscular organ and enlarges greatly during pregnancy. Before pregnancy the uterus is about the size of an orange. Twelve weeks into the pregnancy the uterus is the size of a grapefruit. At 24 weeks it's as big as a papaya and at term it's the size of a watermelon.


So you're going to have a baby! Whether you are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, you will want to give your baby a healthy start.

You need to have regular visits with your healthcare provider. These prenatal care visits are very important for your baby and yourself. Some things you might do when you are pregnant could hurt your baby, such as smoking or drinking. Some medicines can also be a problem, even ones that a doctor prescribed. You will need to drink plenty of fluids and eat a healthy diet. You may also be tired and need more rest.

Your body will change as your baby grows during the nine months of your pregnancy. Don't hesitate to call your health care provider if you think you have a problem or something is bothering or worrying you.

Maternal Changes During Pregnancy

A full-term pregnancy lasts approximately 270 days (approximately 38.5 weeks) from conception to birth. Because it is easier to remember the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP) than to estimate the date of conception, obstetricians set the due date as 284 days (approximately 40.5 weeks) from the LMP. This assumes that conception occurred on day 14 of the woman's cycle, which is usually a good approximation. The 40 weeks of an average pregnancy are usually discussed in terms of three trimesters, each approximately 13 weeks. During the second and third trimesters, the pre-pregnancy uterus-about the size of a fist-grows dramatically to contain the fetus, causing a number of anatomical changes in the mother (Figure).

Size of Uterus throughout Pregnancy

This figure shows a woman’s body and marks the size of the uterus as it grows throughout pregnancy.

The uterus grows throughout pregnancy to accommodate the fetus.

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