How many months are in a pregnancy? The answer is not as clear as you might think. It depends on how you count. When you are pregnant the next step would be finding for a good food for pregnancy.
If you count from conception to birth, the answer is three months. But if you count from conception to the end of the first trimester, it is six months. And if you count from conception to the end of the second trimester, it is nine months. And so on.
How many months are in a pregnancy? Everyone knows the answer to the question, but it’s actually not quite right. The number of months in a pregnancy is determined by how far along you are when you get pregnant, and how long it takes to get pregnant.
If you get pregnant at six months, your baby will be born six months old. This is true for all humans, no matter what their starting age. If you’re 6 years old when you get pregnant, your baby will be 6 years old. If you’re 60 years old when you get pregnant, your baby will also be 60 years old.
If you got pregnant at 12 weeks instead of six months, your baby would be born 12 weeks later than normal. But since 12 weeks after conception is still the equivalent of 6 months, this would have no effect on its age.
People who aren’t pregnant rarely ask. But, in fact, there is a fundamental question about pregnancy that no one ever asks.
It’s not a question of how many months are in a pregnancy, but when the baby is born. This is a matter of timing, not duration. There are at least three different ways a baby can be born: a few weeks early, a few weeks late, or on time. A couple can decide to have their baby on time and have the normal nine-pound average size baby, or they can wait until week 36 and have an 8 pounder. Either way, the timing has nothing to do with gestation.
In fact, it turns out that if you wait until week 33 and have an eight pounder, the odds of it being premature are exactly the same as if you had waited until week 36 and had an eight-pounder.
One thing that surprises people about gestation days is that each one is one month. But it isn’t. We say a pregnancy lasts nine months, but how many of those months are really nine?
The first few months aren’t nine. They are more like five or six. The first month is nearly two weeks long, but the first day of the first month is not the first day of the actual pregnancy. The first day of the actual pregnancy is when your doctor can tell he has found something to worry about. The first day of your first month, on the other hand, doesn’t matter at all. If you are pregnant, you already are pregnant. You have been pregnant for a week already, and so have your baby. But you aren’t expecting until after the doctor tells you so.
If you want to figure out how long a pregnancy is, it helps to realize that there is no such thing as a pregnancy. A pregnancy is the period of time from the last menstrual period to birth. There is no such thing as a pre-pregnancy or a post-pregnancy.
And yet people do talk about pregnancy as though it were an entity, something you go through. We know what it means to be pregnant, but we don’t know what it means to be pre-pregnant or post-pregnant.
Pregnancy is a long time. It is not just the nine months that most women worry about, but the longer period before that. When you are pregnant, your life changes for nine months and then changes again for another nine. If you go back and count forward from the day after the last prenatal test, it takes about half a year to return to normal life: you get your period and your normal weight and all your hair and so on, and then you go through those nine months.
Pregnancy is actually closer to 35 months than to 9 months. The first month of pregnancy is actually called “the first trimester”; it does not end until the 14th week of pregnancy, or about 5 months in. (When you are pregnant, you can’t see the first trimester; it’s not visible until pretty late in pregnancy.) But anyhow, it is often hard to remember what happened before the first trimester: the second trimester lasts 12 weeks; the third trimester 14 weeks; and so on. You can usually tell which one you’re in by counting backwards from the day after your due date; if you’re in week 13 of your pregnancy, that means your due date was 36 weeks ago.
The third trimester lasts until the birth of the baby. That’s when things start getting weird.