Routine Antenatal Care

Week-by-week guide to your pregnancy

The First Trimester

Week 3 – 4

The embryo is about the size of a grain of rice, as it attaches to the uterus.

Week 4 – 5 The body structures are starting to develop.

Week 5 – 6 The head is beginning to form and the heart is beating. This can be seen on an ultrasound scan.

Week 6 – 8 All internal organs are formed and the embryo is now about 1 inch long. The limbs, which look like tiny buds are now visible.

Week 10 -11 The foetus moves around (although you will not be able to feel it yet); eyes are formed; fingers and toes are forming.

Week 12 – 13 External genitals are forming; facial features are distinguishable, muscles are increasing in strength, movements are becoming more vigorous.

The Second Trimester

Week 14 – 16

The foetus is fully formed, has all vital organs and is gaining weight fast. It can stretch, turn its head, open its mouth, yawn and frown.

Week 18 First movement may be felt by the mother as the foetus kicks, bumps, twists, turn and pushes against the uterus wall.

Week 20 Teeth are starting to form in the jawbone and hair is growing. The foetus is now about 10 inches long. Your doctor will conduct an ultrasound screen to detect abnormalities.

Week 24 Fingernails have formed, thumb sucking and hiccups begin. The eyes open occasionally. He is now about 13 inches.

Week 27 Body fat is forming, the body is coated with waxy vernix, which prevents its skins from becoming soggy in the amniotic fluid. He is about 14.5 inches now.

The Third Trimester

Week 28

The foetus almost completely fills the uterus and may turn head down. You feel much kicking and fluttering of feet and hands.

Week 32 All parts are now developed and the lungs are maturing.

Week 36 The head will probably engage now if this if your first baby. Its cord is slippery, making it unlikely to knot during constant twisting and turning.

Week 40 Most babies are pointing head down by now; the head is the heaviest part of the body and its weight can stimulate labour. You are ready for birth anytime. Congratulations on the arrival of your little bundle of joy!

Antenatal classes in NUH

Our Antenatal classes aim to provide you with comprehensive information that you would need to prepare for your pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood. Our team of experienced midwife, physiotherapist and lactation consultant will guide you in coping with your pregnancy and preparing for childbirth.

You can register for the class with our clinic staff or contact Women’s Clinic at 6772 2002.


Every woman should have a well-balanced diet during her pregnancy. This provides the pregnant woman the necessary nutrients and energy to accommodate the body’s changes throughout the pregnancy, as well as provides the baby with the essential elements required to grow.

There are certain foods one should avoid in pregnancy largely to decrease the risk of food poisoning or because they can be potentially dangerous to the baby.


Always ask your obstetrician before taking any sort of health supplements. Beware of pharmaceutical claims of being able to turn your little one into a ‘Baby Einstein’ with just a pop of a pill! Read the labelling carefully and always bring it to your obstetrician’s attention before consumption.

Not many women are aware that the most common prescription of health supplements are folate and iron. It would be good to take their folate vitamins from 3 months prior to their conception date. This reduces the occurrence of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, significantly. Some women may also want to take calcium supplements while others have also gone on to taking DHA supplements during their third trimester and well into their breastfeeding period.


Exercising will help improve your health and well-being. It is recommended to do 30 minutes of moderate exercises on most of the days or everyday. You should stop all exercises if you experience any of the following symptoms: vagina bleeding, dizziness, headache, chest pain, muscle weakness, calf pain or swelling, decreased fetal movement or amniotic fluid leakage.

Rest and Sleep

It is important to get sufficient rest and sleep. Backache may occur at any time during your pregnancy and the pain is often worse at night, especially with the constant turning and tossing, which will interfere with your much needed sleep.

Lying in the lateral recumbent position, with the knees and hips bent will provide relief. You can also place a pillow between your knees to reduce the weight on your back.

Common complaints: backache, swelling and bleeding gums

On the average, women gain about 9-11kg during their pregnancy. Backache is most commonly felt in the second half of the pregnancy as our posture changes to accommodate the growing uterus. Stretching, weakness and separation of abdominal muscles further impede neutral posture and place even more strain on our back muscles.

Many gravid women experience congestion of the mucous membranes of the nasal mucosa and sinuses, thought to be related to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. This can cause significant, and sometimes uncomfortable, nasal and sinus congestion. Nose bleeds are not common during pregnancy but bleeding gums are common due to gingival changes.

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