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What Is a Normal Pregnancy?

By Patti Kate
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A normal pregnancy is typically described as a gestation period that incurs no major obstacles or difficulties for the unborn fetus or mother's general health. Conversely, any complications that might put the baby or mother at a high risk would mean the pregnancy was not "normal." During a normal pregnancy, the expectant mother will visit her obstetrician typically on a monthly basis during the first several months. During the last trimester, she may be advised to see her physician more frequently, which is also typical in a normal pregnancy.

During the course of a normal pregnancy, the expectant mother will have a blood pressure reading that falls into the average range. She will have a healthy target weight as well. As the fetus develops in the womb, the mother will expect to gain weight accordingly. In a normal pregnancy, the mother will show no signs of spotting, heavy pregnancy cramps, or vaginal discharge that warrants suspicion.

In pregnancy, the woman will have an average core body temperature with no major fluctuations. Other than typical minor discomfort, there will be no major physical distress signals or adverse signs. During the stages of pregnancy, she may have periodic laboratory work, such as a urine analysis and blood test. If the mother and unborn child are in good health and the pregnancy is normal, blood and urine samples will show no signs of disease or problematic conditions.

To ensure a healthy pregnancy, the obstetrician will want to rule out the presence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or hepatitis. The normal pregnancy will have no presence of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). The mother will not have iron deficiencies or signs of anemia. She will typically be tested for function of her thyroid gland. Functioning should be at peak levels for the pregnancy to be considered "normal."

Nearing the third trimester, it is normal procedure to test the unborn child for birth defects and conditions. These procedures are typically done on an optional basis at the mother's request. If she is at risk for having a Down Syndrome baby, due to the mother's age for example, she may want to be tested.

Throughout this process, soon-to-be parents may consult experts beyond obstetricians, such as pregnancy nutritionists, who help ensure that the mother is eating a healthy diet that is helping their child grow at an appropriate rate. In most cases, these experts simply help pregnant people ensure that their diet is providing all the necessary nutrients to their unborn child. In other cases, however, a nutritionist can make critical interventions to ensure that a mother is not eating foods that might create complications in the mother’s pregnancy.

If the due date passes and delivery is considerably late, this would not typify a normal pregnancy. This is because, as the baby continues to grow in weight and size, the placenta may diminish and be unable to support the fetus. Therefore, if the pregnancy is considered to be healthy and normal, the baby will be delivered no later than several days to a week past due date.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By discographer — On Sep 05, 2014

@donasmrs-- Don't feel bad. Personally, I feel that pregnancy is a strange situation for the body anyway. And there are so many changes that take place that normally would be abnormal, but are expected during pregnancy. Nausea, fatigue, increased hunger are some of them. Even mild itching and constipation at times is considered normal due to hormonal changes.

By donasmrs — On Sep 04, 2014

For some people, it's impossible to have a normal pregnancy without treatment and care. I have diabetes and if I ever get pregnant, I will have to be extra careful about my diet and medications to keep my blood sugar levels normal.

By literally45 — On Sep 04, 2014

Neither my brother nor I were normal pregnancies. My brother was born fairly late. My mom had to have induced labor three weeks after the due date. And he was a heavy baby as well.

As for me, my mother had a blood allergy and had a high risk pregnancy. In fact, her doctor did not expect me to make it.

Despite these complications however, we were born healthy and have grown up to be fairly health individuals. I think many pregnant women experience one complication or another while pregnant. Not everyone has a perfectly healthy or normal pregnancy.

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