Expecting to meet your baby is one of the happiest and most joyful times in women`s life. So many things to take care of starting from picking a name, choosing those tiny cute clothes, etc. It is important to understand that pregnancy is an individual experience. While some women glow from within with good health during first trimester; others may feel absolutely miserable. Second trimester of pregnancy is considered the easiest time, while the third trimester is being a final lap before meeting you baby and is the time your body gets ready to give birth soon. Below you can find more detailed information about changes, which your body is going to undergo, and symptoms you may have during each trimester.
A normal pregnancy lasts for nine months (40 weeks), counting from the first day of your last normal period. These weeks are grouped into 3 trimesters. During your pregnancy, it is important to find out which foods you should consume, what medications you should avoid and if the odd symptoms you’ve been having are pregnancy signs.
Your body undergoes many changes such as hormonal changes. This change can affect almost every organ system in your body. They may trigger symptoms even in the very first weeks of pregnancy. Missing period is a clear sign that you are pregnant.
Other changes may include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Tender, swollen breasts (nipples might also stick out)
- Morning sickness
- Cravings or distaste for certain foods
- Mood swings
- Need to pass urine more often
- Weight gain or loss
Changes to your daily routine should be made as your body changes such as going to bed earlier or eating frequent, small meals. Most of these pregnancy symptoms will go away as your pregnancy progresses. Some women might not even feel any discomfort at all. If you’ve been pregnant before, you may feel different this time around as each pregnancy is different.
SECOND TRIMESTER (WEEK 13-WEEK 28)
Many women find the second trimester easier than the first. However, it is just as important to stay informed about your pregnancy during this trimester.
Symptoms like nausea and fatigue are starting to disperse. On the other hand, other more noticeable changes to your body are occurring. Your abdomen starts to expand as the baby continues to grow. Before this trimester is over, you will feel your baby starting to move!
As your body changes to make room for your growing baby, you may experience:
- Body aches (back, abdomen, groin, or thigh pain)
- Stretch marks (abdomen, breasts, thighs, or buttocks)
- Darkening of the skin around your nipples
- A line on the skin tracing from belly button to pubic hairline
- Patches of darker skin (usually over the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lip. Patches often match on both sides of the face and is sometimes called the mask of pregnancy)
- Numb or tingling hands (carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Itching on the abdomen, palms, and soles of the feet ( If you have nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice or fatigue combined with itching, call your doctor immediately as these can be signs of a serious liver problem.)
- Swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face. (If you notice any sudden or extreme swelling or if you gain a lot of weight really quickly, call your doctor right away as this could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
THIRD TRIMESTER (WEEK 29-WEEK 40)
Some of the same discomforts you experienced in your second trimester will continue. On top of that, many women find that breathing becomes difficult and notice they have to go to the bathroom even more often. This is due to the fact that your baby is getting bigger and it is putting more pressure on your organs.
New body changes you might notice in this trimester are:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face (any sudden or extreme swelling or if you gain a lot of weight really quickly, call your doctor immediately as it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.)
- Tender breasts (may leak watery pre-milk called colostrum)
- Belly button may stick out
- Trouble sleeping
- Baby moving lower in your abdomen
- Contractions (a sign of real or false labor)
As your due date approaches, your cervix becomes thinner and softer (effacing). This process is natural and it helps the birth canal to open during the birthing process. Your doctor will check your progress with a vaginal exam as you approach your due date.