Your pregnancy is a unique and personal journey that encompasses joyous milestones, critical health check-ups, and nurturing your emotional and spiritual well-being. Each step, from confirming your pregnancy to preparing for birth and beyond, plays a pivotal role in ensuring a healthy experience for both you and your baby. 

As a Muslim woman navigating through pregnancy, here is an overview of what to expect week by week: 

  • Weeks 1-4: Conception occurs and the embryo begins to develop. You might not yet know you’re pregnant, but your body is already working hard to nourish and grow your baby.
  • Weeks 5-8: Major organs start forming, including the heart, brain, and spinal cord. This is also when you might experience early pregnancy symptoms like nausea and fatigue.
  • Weeks 9-12: Your baby’s facial features begin to develop, and the baby is growing quickly. Your first ultrasound scan might be scheduled around this period.
  • Weeks 13-16: The baby’s movements might start, although you may not feel them yet. This is a good time to start thinking about prenatal classes and preparing for the changes ahead.
  • Weeks 17-20: The soul enters the body at around 120 days, which roughly corresponds to the 17th week of pregnancy. This period often influences decisions related to prenatal care. You might have the option to find out your baby’s gender during your mid-pregnancy scan, usually around 18-20 weeks. 
  • Weeks 21-24: Movements become more noticeable. Your baby’s senses start to develop, and you may start feeling more energetic.
  • Weeks 25-28: Your baby can now open and close their eyes and is starting to gain more weight. You might have additional scans and glucose tolerance tests around this time.
  • Weeks 29-32: Your baby’s bones are fully formed but still soft. You may notice more defined movements and see a specialist such as a midwife or obstetrician more frequently.
  • Weeks 33-36: Your baby is getting ready for birth by turning upside-down. Packing your hospital bag and making any final preparations can be useful during this period.
  • Weeks 37-40: The baby is considered full-term by the end of this period and can arrive at any time. Make sure you have all your plans and support systems in place.

For scans, you typically have a dating scan around 8-14 weeks and an anomaly scan around 18-20 weeks. These scans monitor your baby’s development and help plan for a safe pregnancy and birth. Additional ultrasound examinations may be recommended if there is an increased risk of foetal malformations to ensure the well-being of both mother and baby during pregnancy.

Understanding these stages can help you feel more prepared and connected to the changes happening in your body and your growing baby. For more personalized information and care, consultant your local healthcare professionals.

ٱللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَحْمِلُ كُلُّ أُنثَىٰ وَمَا تَغِيضُ ٱلْأَرْحَامُ وَمَا تَزْدَادُ ۖ وَكُلُّ شَىْءٍ عِندَهُۥ بِمِقْدَارٍ

Allah knows what every female bears and what increases and decreases in the wombs. And with Him everything is determined with precision.

Ar-Ra’d 13:8

Shari’i Stages of Pregnancy: 

In Islamic teachings, the stages of pregnancy, or shari’i stages, are divided into three distinct periods: 

  • First 40 days: The initial stage where the fertilized egg is considered a nutfah (a drop of fluid).
  • Second 40 days: The alaqah stage, where the embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus and is akin to a clinging clot.
  • Third 40 days: The mudghah stage, where the embryo is recognized as a lump of chewed flesh before the ensoulment occurs around the 120th day (17 weeks).
  • Post 120 days: The ensoulment stage. The soul is breathed into the foetus around this time, and the embryo develops further into a recognizably human form.

These stages not only reflect the physical development of the foetus but also underscore spiritual and ethical considerations regarding the sanctity of life and the permissible actions at each stage. These stages play a significant role in the understanding and management of pregnancy, influencing decisions related to foetal health and prenatal care.  

It is also important to remember that the knowledge of the unseen, including certain knowledge about the foetus, is known only to Allah (SWT). This reinforces the importance of relying on both medical expertise and faith during your journey. The verse in particular tells us that only Allah knows whether the egg will be fertilized or not, whether the baby will be born before or after nine months, whether the pregnancy will end with delivery or miscarriage, and whether there will be one baby or more from conception. We are therefore encouraged to embrace medical advancements while maintaining a trust in Allah’s wisdom and mercy.