A normal pregnancy lasts nine months. Each three-month period of pregnancy is called a trimester. During each trimester, the fetus grows and develops. There are specific prenatal tests to monitor both the mother's health and fetal health during each trimester.
With modern technology, health professionals can
- Detect birth defects
- Identify problems that may affect childbirth
- Correct some kinds of fetal problems before the baby is born
- How Your Baby Grows (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
- Prenatal Development: How Your Baby Grows During Pregnancy (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) Available in Spanish
- Stages of Pregnancy (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Available in Spanish
- Your Baby's Development: The First Trimester (American Academy of Family Physicians)
- Your Baby's Development: The Second Trimester (American Academy of Family Physicians)
- Your Baby's Development: The Third Trimester (American Academy of Family Physicians)
Diagnosis and Tests
Treatments and Therapies
- Prenatal Surgery: Helping Babies Before Birth (Nemours Foundation)
- What Are the Risks of Preeclampsia and Eclampsia to the Fetus? (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
- Detecting Kidney and Urinary Tract Abnormalities Before Birth (National Kidney Foundation)
- Detection of a Heart Defect in the Fetus (American Heart Association)
- Fetal Circulation (American Heart Association)
- Fetal Conditions, Abnormalities and Diagnoses (Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center)
- Fetal Heart (Texas Heart Institute) Available in Spanish
- Fundal Height: An Accurate Indicator of Fetal Growth? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Hydrops Fetalis/Erythroblastosis Fetalis (Children's Hospital and Health System, Wisconsin)
- Intrauterine Growth Restriction (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
Statistics and Research
- Surgery on Fetus Reduces Complications of Spina Bifida (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Choline supplementation in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: a...
- Article: Large-for-Gestational-Age Ultrasound Diagnosis and Risk for Cesarean Delivery in Women...
- Article: Chronic inflammation of the placenta: definition, classification, pathogenesis, and clinical...
- Fetal Health and Development -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation Available in Spanish
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Available in Spanish