Difference Between Gestation and Pregnancy

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Gestation and Pregnancy

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Childbirth is one of the most anticipated moments of a couple who wishes to start a family. A child, not only brings happiness to the family but also brings joy and joins the family together. The feeling of having a small child love you and trust you is such a heartwarming feeling and it often makes a person succumb to the loving embrace of parenthood. With a baby there is always a feeling of belongingness, it feels like a purpose of our lives to care for the little one and to give them the best that the world has to offer. During the journey of parenthood, we come across many other people who understand us and relate to us and in the process, we develop a bond of friendship and understanding with them. With a baby there is a family that one comes home to, it is such a precious feeling to know that at the end of the day there is always that someone who is waiting for you at home and who will be happy to see you.

The journey of having a family is blissful and so liberating, however, that in no way means that not wanting a kid is bad. Absolutely not. It is a personal choice that people have to make and we need to make sure that we respect the personal choice of everyone. We do not want a feud now do we?

All you need to know about an expecting woman..

This might be more helpful for the men than the women because it greatly explains the different instincts of your partners during the expecting period. We often see the men worrying about the health of their partners after their particular cravings which we all might find a little funny. (Don’t laugh about it in front of your partners, you might have to sleep on the couch.)

  • Bleeding during this period might not be a big concern but it is always good to refer to a good gynaecologist.
  • Mood swings are a common occurrence, it is one of the only ways expecting women tend to express their emotions and it is quite normal for them to do so considering they experience the turbulence of emotions during the pregnancy. Letting some of those emotions might just be the most helpful thing for them.
  • If your partner is excessively cleaning around the house or the nursery let them. It is called the process of nesting where the mothers feel the need to prepare for the baby and decorate the house to their liking. So if at night you do not find them beside you, know that they are away preparing for the welcome of the baby.
  • There might be a lot of changes within the body and it does not mean that it should be frowned upon by you momma. You are bringing a life into this world, small changes are completely alright. The problem with concentration is also alright, you need rest for the fetus and yourself.
  • This is not a surprise that weight gain during the pregnancy is normal, even if it is during the beginning stages. Our bodies are built differently and we all develop in a different manner.
  • Insomnia is another thing that plagues a woman while she carries a baby. Restless nights and frustration tag along with insomnia but hey, everything would be better when you finally get to hold your newborn in your arms.
  • Hairfall, acne, back pain and swollen breasts are some of the other physical changes that a woman undergoes while she is pregnant. It is no surprise that there are changes in the body, but again, not everybody would go through these symptoms. Thus, regular checkups are necessary at the hospital.
  • Food cravings are always a plus. Make sure you keep everything available at the home of your partners or you might have to rush in the middle of the night to bring her some pickle and honey. Not the best combination of foods, but who are we to judge. Let the baby mama be!
  • She might demand a little more attention and she totally deserves it! An expecting woman can be aggressive and also one of the softest people you would see. Of course, her mood swings might give you whiplashes and might make you feel like you are stuck in a loop, but at the same time, she would just be happy with your presence in her life. A mother would appreciate it if her partner is supportive of her and is not afraid to show it.
  • Let her be her own person. Do not make her feel like she is dependent on you. Show her love but not so excessive that you end up making her feel useless. If she wants to do the dishes, let her. If she wants to cook, let her. If she wants to go to the office, let her. No matter how much you think she needs rest, it’s her body and she knows best.

At the end of the day, it is what you wish to do during the pregnancy which matters. It is 38 weeks of carrying a baby in the womb so the mother needs all the love she can get and all the support her family can give her for bringing a blessing in the form of a baby.

How is a Baby Conceived in Humans?

If we are talking about pregnancy and gestation let us also get clear with the process. In humans, a baby is conceived through sexual reproduction where a male and a female unite intimately and as a result of it the baby is produced. But is it just that? No. There is always a broader aspect of the picture. Ovulation is the process where an egg is released from a woman’s ovary into the fallopian tube so it can be fertilized which is prompted by several hormonal changes. So during sex, a male ejaculates around 40 million to one billion sperms, which spins*, yes spins towards the egg in the follicle tube. The faster the sperm the better the chances of pregnancy. Though the sperm can only stay alive for seventy-two hours after which the sperm dies, that is if it hasn’t already made contact with the egg. The process of conceiving a baby is known as fertilization which results in the formation of the zygote, which then divides to develop into an embryo.

*In a recent study, scientists have discovered that sperm do not swim towards the egg but it spins as it is released.

Difference Between Gestation and Pregnancy in Tabular Form

Although the two are often regarded as the same thing there is a just the minute difference between the two.

Properties Gestation Pregnancy
Duration It is counted as the first day of the last menstrual period. Pregnancy occurs after two weeks of the last menstrual period.
Process It occurs in three phases; the ovular period, the embryonic period and the fetal. Pregnancy is the series of changes a woman’s body undergoes throughout the period.
Age Menstrual age. Conceptual age.
Calculated First four weeks belong to the developmental stage. The first two weeks belong to the developmental stage.
Embryonic stage Fifth to tenth weeks Third to eight weeks.
Fetal stage Eleventh to fortieth weeks. Ninth to thirty-eighth weeks.
Accuracy More accurate. Less accurate.

Evaluation: In the table above we learn how similar yet different gestation and pregnancy are. Let us get into the depths of it and understand the whole process in a more detailed view.

Duration: As stated in the given table, we learn how the gestation period is from the first day of the last menstrual period before pregnancy. The gestation period lasts for two hundred and sixty-six days or forty weeks or nine months.

Pregnancy follows shortly after the two weeks of the gestation period. We are mainly aware of the fact that pregnancy is divided into three trimesters for three months each. The first one begins from the last menstruation to the thirteenth week into the pregnancy which is also a very risky time for the fetus to grow healthy. Everybody is built differently thus making it different for every woman to experience various emotions and complications during the first trimester. It is often suggested by the doctors to take as many precautions during this time as possible to avoid a miscarriage. The second trimester begins from the fourteenth week to the twenty-seventh week. It is said to be much easier than the first three months of pregnancy. Although the woman might notice more changes in her body now that the baby would be bigger and growing. During this period, often the people find the gender of the baby if they are willing. And the third and the final trimester begins from the twenty-eighth week to the fortieth week. It must be noted that there would be a lot more difficulty during this phase of pregnancy as the baby grows to considerable weight in the uterus causing pressure on the internal organs which could lead the mamma to feel breathless or cause her to urinate more often. Infants born before the thirty-seventh week are called premature and delivery of a baby after forty-two weeks is a postmature baby.

Process: Gestation occurs in three stages, the ovulation period is the time around the fourteenth day of a twenty-eight-day menstrual cycle counting from the first day of your period. The embryonic period lasts along the eighth week after the fertilization, following which the embryo is called a fetus. It is a short phase lasting up to only seven weeks in all but steady development during this stage brings an enormous change in the embryo. The fetal period is the time from the ninth week to the birth where the complete development of the fetus takes place.

Pregnancy is diagnosed through a urine test but there are other very common symptoms of pregnancy such as sudden weight gain, missing of the periods, vomiting, dizziness, constantly feeling tired, etc. Ultrasonography is an excellent way to determine the age of the fetus. Pregnancy can also be defined as a series of changes that a woman undergoes in her bodily tissues as a result of carrying and developing a fetus inside her.

Purpose: The purpose of calculating the gestation age is to determine the exact time of the birth of the child, as it is more accurate and more elaborate and includes an additional two weeks of time when the woman was not pregnant. It is also known as the menstrual age.

Whereas pregnancy determines the time when the fetus was conceived till the delivery of the fetus.


Although the two may seem very close to being the same thing there are some differences – as we discussed above – that separate pregnancy from gestation. It is safe to say that pregnancy is a part of gestation. The major difference between the two is the time period in which the two are considered. While pregnancy begins from the day the child is conceived, gestation is counted from the first day of the last period which is two weeks before the pregnancy. The term gestation comes from the Latin word Gestare, which means to carry or bear. Thus, gestation literally means carrying a fetus in the womb. There can be several gestations lasting from conception to birth and it develops in three phases. On the other hand, pregnancy is the process and changes that happen in the body of an expecting woman. There can be just one pregnancy at a time which lasts from the fertility to the birth of the baby and the pregnancy is divided into three trimesters in order to regulate and monitor the development of the fetus.

Gestation implies coming to life, the embryo, and the development of the same in the womb. And pregnancy is the period during which a fetus develops inside a woman’s womb or uterus.



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"Difference Between Gestation and Pregnancy." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 24 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-gestation-and-pregnancy-549>.

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