Over the course of your pregnancy, you will experience nine months of changes. You’re growing a baby and your body changes in the process. Your well-being and emotions may also go through different phases. Fortunately, there are midwives, doctors and nurses who can help you through this intense time. They will look after your health issues and support you with organisational challenges. Even if you encounter financial problems or in psychologically stressful situations, a large network of advisors is at your side if you need help.

When will your baby be born? This question cannot be answered so easily and precisely. Your doctor or midwife will first calculate a tentative due date. This happens right after they confirm your pregnancy. This due date is then written on page 6 in your maternity record (Mutterpass). It is possible, however, that the entry will be corrected again during a subsequent check-up. Sometimes an ultrasound scan clearly shows that the pregnancy is further along or less advanced than first thought. Only in very few cases the baby is born on exactly this day.

The baby needs a total of about 280 days to fully develop. Pregnancy covers this period and is divided into three phases. The term for this is ‘trimester’. Each trimester lasts 13 weeks.

The first trimester is the period from the 1st to the 13th week of pregnancy. During this time, pregnant bodies adjust to pregnancy. Many people suffer from particularly severe pregnancy side effects. All the baby's major organs also form in this trimester. It is therefore particularly sensitive and at risk from toxic substances at this time. It is during this delicate phase of pregnancy that miscarriages occur most frequently.

The period from the 14th to the 26th week of pregnancy is called the second trimester. During this period, the initial pregnancy symptoms decrease for many pregnant people. They feel fitter and are happy to feel the baby's movements for the first time. Since this phase of pregnancy is usually more comfortable, you should use it for important errands. If you aren’t yet under the care of a midwife, you should start looking for one early in your second trimester.

The third and final trimester begins at the 27th week of pregnancy. You should start a childbirth preparation course now at the latest so that you can be well prepared for childbirth.

Theoretically, the birth will take place during the 40th week of pregnancy. But babies are rarely on time. Most babies are born in the two weeks before or after their due date. You’ll have a check-up every two days after the 40th week of pregnancy. A decision must be made no later than 14 days after the expected date as to whether labour should be medically induced. The doctor or midwife who will be caring for you during delivery will talk to you about this. Be sure to ask them any questions that are on your mind and let them inform you about the process. This will help you make the best decision about what is best for you and your baby.

Pregnancy can be a very wonderful time in life. However, many people also have a number of questions and concerns. No one has to feel alone with this. There are many support services for pregnant people and couples, whether it’s for emotional issues or financial worries. For example, you can go to a pregnancy counseling centre or couples counseling. Pregnancy counselling centres can also help you with domestic abuse. If you are not sure if you want to become a mother, then you are also in good hands at pregnancy conflict counselling.

When preparing for a baby, many people first think of cribs and baby clothes. Besides preparing your home, it is also helpful if you already settle or prepare important organisational matters beforehand. Then you can just enjoy your time with your baby. If the new situation is overwhelming, it will take a lot of stress off you and those around you to keep track of all the postpartum paperwork and registrations. This is also an opportunity for your partner to take some of the pressure off you during pregnancy. For example, first steps can be the paternity acknowledgment (Vaterschaftsanerkennung) and the clarification of custody if you aren’t married. Of course, during pregnancy you also have to decide which birthplace is right for you. Then take some time to think about how you want the birth to go. If you know a lot about the process and talk to your midwife or doctors about your ideas, you can have a birth that is as self-determined as possible.