Pregnancy is an exciting time of big life changes, new experiences, and the glow of new life. It’s also a time when your body goes through lots of transformations. Don’t be alarmed. Your body is preparing to carry your baby and its important to have an idea of what to expect.
Here is an outline of what changes you can expect to experience as your pregnancy progresses.
Your First Trimester
Your pregnancy due date (expected day of delivery) is calculated by adding 280 days (40 weeks) to the first day of your last menstrual period. The fetus begins developing at the time of conception, and your body begins producing pregnancy hormones.
As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, this is the time to cut any unhealthy habits and start taking prenatal vitamins. You may also want to take folic acid supplements, which are important for fetal brain development.
Note that every pregnancy is different, and your experience may vary.
Early on, your egg is fertilized and implanting in your uterus. You may experience mild cramping and extra vaginal discharge. There may be breast tenderness, tiredness, and nausea. Eventually, morning sickness may hit you full on, so it’s important to keep hydrated with water.
Between weeks 8 and 10, your uterus will start growing, your breasts are tender, and your body is producing more blood. You’ll eventually begin to gain a few pounds. Working out during pregnancy’s are actually recommended but consult your doctor before any activities.
You may start to notice Dark patches on your face and neck, called chloasma or the mask of pregnancy, this may start to appear later in the trimester. And Your breasts will start getting larger later in the trimester as the first stages of breast milk, begin to fill them.
Your Second Trimester
Your body changes a lot throughout your second trimester. Going from feeling excited to overwhelmed is not unusual.
Your doctor will see you once every 4 weeks to measure the baby’s growth, check the heartbeat, and perform blood or urine tests to make sure that you and the baby are healthy. Your doctor may suggest a blood test for genetic disorders, called a maternal serum screen or quad screen And If you have a family history of genetic defects, like Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, or spina bifida, your doctor may recommend additional testing. About halfway through, an ultrasound can tell you the baby’s sex. You may start to feel like your allergies are acting up a bit midway through the trimester.
Some trouble sleeping at night may happen due to normal pregnancy discomforts like urinating often, heartburn, and leg cramps.
Your doctor will likely schedule a blood sugar test between weeks 24 and 28 to see if you have gestational diabetes.
By the end of your second trimester, your belly would have formed a little bump and people will have started to notice that you’re pregnant. For many people, these weeks are enjoyable, with only small discomforts.
Your Third Trimester
Home stretch mama! You’ll begin to gain significant weight during your third trimester as your baby continues to grow.
As you begin to approach labor, your doctor will do a physical exam to see if your cervix is thinning or beginning to open. The baby will be moving a lot now, so those Doctor visits become more frequent.
You may start to notice discomforts like constipation and hemorrhoids.
Midway through the trimester, you might experience some leaking, As well as Feeling very tired at this point, from trouble sleeping and other normal pregnancy aches and pains.
As your body prepares for labor, you may start having Braxton-Hicks (false) contractions.
Your belly button will eventually be tender or have turned into an “outie.” You might also feel short of breath as your uterus presses against your rib cage. And Around week 37, you may pass your mucus plug, which blocks your cervix to keep out unwanted bacteria. Losing the plug means you’re one step closer to labor. Your cervix should be getting ready for birth by thinning and opening. Braxton-Hicks contractions may get more intense as labor gets closer.
Motherhood isn’t easy, but its important to know what to expect so that it wont feel so overwhelming.