Your Unique Pregnancy Journey
From Conception to Childbirth
Your remarkable journey from conception to childbirth is deeply personal and extraordinary. Every woman's pregnancy is unique, with a distinct progression and diverse characteristics.
On this page, you'll discover valuable insights into your baby’s development throughout your pregnancy, along with information regarding the essential and recommended scans and tests conducted at specific milestones.
Dr Mandana Masters embraces the diversity of your pregnancy journey, as no two women or pregnancies are exactly the same!
First Trimester (1-12 weeks)
In the initial weeks of your pregnancy journey, your baby is in its earliest stages of growth.
By week 8, your baby is officially termed a foetus, signifying the beginning of its leg development, spinal cord formation, and nervous system maturation.
Upon reaching week 12, the foetus is fully formed, with all its organs, muscles, and bones in place. Although your baby is beginning to move, it's too small for you to feel these motions.
Flu Shots: Given the heightened risk of flu-related complications during pregnancy, subsidised flu shots are provided by the government. These vaccines can be administered at any point during your pregnancy, often coinciding with the first trimester.
Recommended Scans & Check-ups
Home Pregnancy Test: Most tests are effective from around week 4.
Visit Your GP or Midwife: Seek guidance and support from your GP or midwife as early as possible. They can facilitate essential blood tests and provide referrals for further assessments.
Appointments with Dr Master (First 8-9 weeks):
Dating Scan (8 weeks): This scan determines the stage of your pregnancy and helps establish a due date.
Blood Test (7-12 weeks): This test assesses iron levels, and vitamin D and checks for potential infections affecting you and your baby.
Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) (10 weeks): This highly sensitive test can detect Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.
Ultrasound Scan (11-13 weeks): This is a scan to ensure that your baby is growing well and confirm your due date along with some other key checks including anatomy of your baby and nuchal translucency. At 13 weeks we can now recognise or suspect any structural abnormalities in the foetus.
Routine Appointment (14 weeks): Routine appointment to discuss blood results and ultrasound findings.
Third Trimester (28-40 weeks)
At around 28 weeks of your pregnancy journey, your baby becomes increasingly active, with noticeable movements.
By 32 weeks, your baby typically positions itself with its head down, preparing for birth. Its brain and nervous system are nearly fully developed, and its bones are beginning to harden. The softness of its skull bones aids in the journey through the birth canal.
At about 36 weeks, your baby can breathe independently, with fully developed lungs, and has learned to suckle, preparing for feeding post-birth.
By week 37, your baby is ready to enter the world. If you have not had spontaneous labour by 41 weeks then you may require an induction of labour.
Ensure your hospital bag is packed and prepared.
At 15 weeks, your baby's senses are developing, allowing it to hear sounds, including your voice and heartbeat. It can even recognise light. By this stage, it boasts unique fingerprints, weighs approximately 70 grams, and sports fine, soft hair called lanugo.
At 20 weeks, you've reached the halfway point of your pregnancy, and you may start feeling your baby's movements. At this gestation, you will have a second ultrasound to check the baby’s anatomy, placental location and cervical length.
By week 24, your baby's vital organs and lungs are primarily developed, and it now has a chance of survival if born preterm.
At 28 weeks you will have further blood tests to check for gestational diabetes and review of iron and vitamin D level again.
Whooping Cough (Pertussis Vaccine) (20-34 weeks): Administering this vaccine during this period enables the transfer of antibodies from you to your baby.
Influenza Vaccine: As the risk of flu complications is higher during pregnancy, subsidised flu shots are available and can be administered seasonally.
Recommended Scans & Check-Ups
Obstetrician Visits Every 2 Weeks (28-36 weeks): Dr Master continues to monitor your pregnancy progress every 2 weeks.
Weekly Obstetrician Visits (from 36 weeks): These weekly visits include measuring your uterus size and checking your baby's position to ensure a smooth progression. There will usually be a growth US at 36 weeks to check the size of the baby before birth.