Pregnancy is an exciting time in one’s life, however, it comes with its fair share of hitches. It can be a hard time, especially for first time mothers who have no idea what to expect during those 9 months. No matter how well you plan the arrival of your little one, you might still be unprepared for the changes your body will go through.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of what you might go through during your pregnancy.

Fetal development/Stanford Health Clinic

First Trimester

The first trimester is from 0-12 weeks. Hormone levels in your body change to begin nourishing the baby even before tests confirm it. You might already be around 6 weeks pregnant when you find out! In the coming weeks, you might expect:

  • Bleeding
    Bleeding is normal in the first trimester. Around 25% of the women have slight bleeding or spotting. However, if the blood flow is heavy you should consult a doctor at the earliest. These might be signs of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
  • Tender and swollen breasts
    Due to the hormonal changes in your body, you might have sore breasts. This is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. The hormones are basically preparing the milk ducts for lactation and this might last for a couple of weeks.
  • Nausea or Vomitting
    Morning sickness is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. This is also triggered by the hormonal changes in the body and can occur at any time during the day or night.
  • Increased Urination
    As the amount of blood increases in your body, the kidneys produce extra fluid that ends up in the bladder. The amount of urine produced by the body increases by 25% after conception. This usually reaches its peak by 9-16 weeks after which is settles down.
  • Heartburn and food aversion
    Pregnancy hormones relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus causing the stomach acid to travel up, hence causing heartburn. You can also become sensitive to certain odors and change your taste. You can crave food you didn’t like before and hate the ones you liked.
  • Constipation
    High levels of progesterone in the body can slow down the peristalsis of the gastro-intestinal tract, leading to constipation. Increasing the fiber uptake might relieve the problem, however, prevent taking iron supplements until your constipation as resolved as they might add to the problem.
  • Mood swings
    The changing hormones in your body lead to mood swings in most woman. It’s natural and will resolve once your body adapts to the new hormonal levels.
Second Trimester

This usually lasts from 13-28 weeks. According to most women, this is the most comfortable of all three trimesters. By this time your body has adapted to the changes and there’s still time in the baby’s delivery. Most of the early pregnancy symptoms disappear and your energy levels start increasing. There should be lesser fatigue as compared to the first trimester. The baby bump also starts showing, however, it’s still not that prominent.

Third Trimester

The third trimester lasts from 28 weeks until delivery, which is usually around 40 weeks. Your baby bump grows and you might feel more tired and fatigued. The baby positions itself to be delivered and you can feel it moving in your womb. Other symptoms might include:

  • Backache
    The increasing weight might put strain on your back, causing it to ache. To ease the pressure, sit straight using something that provides good back support. Sleeping on the side with a pillow between the legs might also help.
  • Enlarged breasts
    By this time, your breasts might’ve grown up one or two cups. Closer to the due date, you might start lactating and see a yellowish fluid oozing out. This is colostrum, containing antibodies and other nutrients, required by the baby for the first few days after delivery.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
    You might start getting slight contractions to prepare you for the labor. As the delivery time comes closer, the intensity of the contractions increases and the time between them becomes lesser and lesser. When they’re approximately 4 minutes apart and your cervix is dilated enough, congratulations, you’re ready to deliver!

Any bleeding during the last months of pregnancy can be a serious issue. It might be a sign of miscarriage, placenta previa- the placenta covers the cervix, placental abruption or early labor. A doctor should be contacted immediately.

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