A normal pregnancy usually lasts approximately 40 weeks, although it is considered normal for the baby to be born between 37 and 42 weeks. Pregnancy represents a series of changes in the woman’s body to establish the conditions that allow the fetus’s well-being until birth. During this stage, it is possible to notice some symptoms in the future mother that change according to the baby’s development and that, in turn, can indicate whether the process is going well or not.
Being confident of the time that the pregnancy lasts helps to maintain better control of it, both of the condition of the woman and that of the fetus, since certain aspects of the baby’s development are expected according to the weeks that are carried, in addition, to be prepared when gestation is nearing term. For this reason, if you want to know how many weeks a normal pregnancy lasts, in the following FastlyHeal article, we offer you this information in detail.
Table of Contents
Symptoms of a pregnancy
Although some of the symptoms of being pregnant can also be caused by different causes, if you recently had sexual intercourse, one of the leading indicators is a delay in menstruation; however, a delay in the period may be due to another condition, and it is essential to identify other changes that may occur. Generally, from the second and third week, the first symptoms of pregnancy begin to become evident, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- The urge to urinate constantly.
- Fatigue or tiredness throughout the day.
- Changes in the breasts, such as increased size and increased sensitivity.
- Headaches or lower back pain.
- Smell sensitivity can cause dislike for certain smells and foods.
How many weeks is a woman’s pregnancy
It is expected that when confirming that you have a pregnancy, future parents want to know how many weeks a normal pregnancy lasts. This time can vary a little from one woman to another, depending on her genetics, the number of children in gestation. If she is a first-time, it can be extended, or if she has already had children, it could be shorter, among others.
Most pregnancies usually last 40 weeks, but it is considered normal for the baby to be born in 37 to 42 weeks; however, this duration can be shortened if the number of children has increased.
In multiple pregnancies, if it develops appropriately and without complications, the expected time to term is 37 weeks for twins, 34 weeks for triplets, and 32 weeks for a quadruple pregnancy, requiring frequent medical control and supervision by the high risk of preterm birth in these types of gestation.
On the other hand, if you want to calculate the probable date of delivery, you have to know the final day of the last menstruation and add 40 weeks, but keep in mind that this is only an approximation since it would be necessary to know the ovulation period or the exact day of fertilization. An ultrasound is a more reliable way to determine the gestation time during the first trimester. After this trimester, other data can be used, such as the size of the uterus and the sound of the fetus’s heartbeat.
Determining the weeks of pregnancy helps to better control the development of the fetus and its vital signs, especially in the weeks following delivery, when the heart rate and the development of the lungs must be expected for the survival of the baby after birth. Also, to prevent complications or be prepared for any surgical intervention.
Preterm labor and prolonged pregnancy
When the pregnancy ends before 37 weeks, it is known as premature or preterm labor, accounting for 6% to 12% of births. Most of these cases occur between weeks 34 and 37, and with adequate prenatal care, the possibility of survival is high and with minimal or no sequelae. However, premature births before 34 weeks are at higher risk. In such circumstances, the doctor may choose to delay it by administering certain medications and other drugs to stimulate the rapid development of the baby’s organs.
As it is premature birth and the fetus has not fulfilled the normal development of its body, there is a risk of respiratory or gastrointestinal problems, cerebral palsy, difficulty regulating body temperature, and gaining weight, among others.
If, on the other hand, the delivery has not occurred before 42 weeks of gestation, it is designated as a prolonged pregnancy, the incidence of which is 4% to 17% of births. However, you must be sure that it is not a miscalculation of the beginning of pregnancy, for example, if you suffer from irregular menstrual cycles. After performing a series of tests, the specialist will decide whether it is necessary to induce labor or perform a cesarean section.
As the functions of the placenta are linked to last the time necessary in the development of the fetus, after this, it begins to weaken and age. The primary complications of this condition for the mother include increased effort in labor, vaginal trauma if the baby increases in size, postpartum hemorrhage, and susceptibility to infection. While the baby may have the neonatal aspiration of the meconium, which could obstruct the respiratory tract, brain damage, nutritional deficit, postmaturity syndrome, abnormal heart rate, fetal acidosis, decreased movement, trauma during delivery, such as shoulder dystocia or a brachial plexus injury.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to How many weeks does a normal pregnancy last, we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.