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10 Feb 2012
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Pregnancy is the process in which a fetus grows and develops inside a female's uterus.

Usually lasting between 38–40 weeks, pregnancy is typically divided into three stages:

First trimester (weeks 1–12)

  • Fertilization occurs
  • The embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus
  • Morning sickness (nausea) can occur during this stage


Second trimester (weeks 13–28)

  • The fetus grows and develops major organs and body systems
  • Weight gain will occur during this stage


Third trimester (weeks 14–40)

  • The fetus continues to grow and develop, and will change position, dropping into the lower pelvic area in preparation for birth
  • The majority of weight gain will occur at this stage


For information about nutrition during pregnancy, see: Ministry of Health – Food & Nutrition Guidelines for Health Pregnant Women.


For more information about maternity care and services in New Zealand, see: Healthpages – Pregnancy & Childbirth Services.




Video: Pregnancy, Weeks 1–4



Video: NHS – Antenatal classes




Ministry of Health – Pregnancy
Ministry of Health – Pregnancy Services
Pregnancy Help Inc.



NHS – Pregnancy Guide



The New Zealand Medical Journal
British Medical Journal



FORUMS – Forum – Forum




The information above is of a general nature and is designed to provide you with an overview of the topic, with links to local and international resources that may be of interest.  We do our best to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date.

You should always, however, seek specific professional medical advice, treatment and care appropriate to you, and as such we strongly recommend you consult with your general practitioner first.



Updated April 2012
Image credit: Louisa Stokes