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STAGES OF PREGNENCY

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Every stage of pregnancy brings different issues and concerns. Here’s a roadmap to the first three months of your pregnancy journey. When you’re pregnant for the very 1st time, you have lots of questions to ask. We’ve compiled some helpful information about how your little one is developing and growing and what you as a parent-to-be can expect, along with some tips and advice for this important period!

1st Trimester

Welcome to the first trimester of pregnancy. The first trimester is from week 1 to the end of week 12. After you announce your pregnancy, the first question you’ll probably be asked is “When are you due?” At your first prenatal visit, your health care provider will help you determine an expected delivery date (EDD). Your EDD is 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP).

To the outside world, you’ll look much the same as usual – there’s no tell-tale bump to give the game away. But inside, extraordinary things are happening.

Finding out you’re pregnant can be exciting and overwhelm, but it’s very normal to have worries too. More than 1 in 10 mothers feel anxious during pregnancy. It’s easy to get things out of proportion, as you could feel physically and emotionally exhausted, because of all the pregnancy hormones zipping around your body. Don’t bottle things up – talk to your health care provider or doctor.

Fetal growth and development in 1st trimester

Each month inside your ovaries, a group of eggs starts to grow in small, fluid-filled sacs that are called follicles. Eventually, one of the eggs erupts from the follicle (ovulation). It usually happens about 2 weeks before your next period. After the egg leaves the follicle, the follicle develops into a thing called the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum releases a hormone that helps thicken the lining of your uterus, getting it ready for the egg.

After the egg is released, it moves into the fallopian tube. It stays there for about 24 hours, waiting for a single sperm to fertilize it. All this happens, on average, about 2 weeks before your next period.

The fertilized egg stays in the fallopian tube for about 3 to 4 days. But within 24 hours of being fertilized, it starts dividing fast into many cells. It keeps dividing as it moves slowly through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Its next job is to attach to the lining of uterus. This is called implantation.

Some women notice spotting for 1 or 2 days around the time of implantation. The lining of the uterus gets thicker and the cervix is sealed by a plug of mucus. It will stay in place until the baby is ready to be born. Within 3 weeks, the cells begin to grow as clumps, and the baby’s first nerve cells have already formed.

What a Mother feels in 1st trimester

Pregnancy is different for every mother. Some women glow with good health during those first 3 months; others feel uncomfortable. Here are some of the changes you might notice throughout this period.

  • Tender breasts are one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy. They’re triggered by hormonal changes, which are getting your milk ducts ready to feed your baby. Your breasts will probably be sore throughout the first trimester.
     
  • Constipation is common during pregnancy. Almost three out of four pregnant women will experience constipation in their 1st trimester. Eat more fiber and drink extra fluids to keep things moving more smoothly. Physical activities can also help.
     
  • Fatigue and tiredness are also experienced by many women in this trimester. Your body is working hard to hold a growing baby. That’s why you’ll get tired more easily than usual. Take naps or rest when you need to during the day. Also, try to take enough iron.

Like this the more early signs and symptoms of early pregnancy might included

  • Discharging
  • Food likes and dislikes
  • Peeing a lot
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn

2ND Trimester

The second trimester of your pregnancy is from week 13 to week 28 – about months four, five, and six. You may also have more energy than you did in the first trimester. This will come as a great relief if you have been struggling with sickness, tiredness, or anxiety about getting through the 1st trimester.

Most mothers find that the second trimester is a lot more peaceful than the first, but it’s still important to be informed about your pregnancy during the second trimester. Understanding your pregnancy trimester by trimester can help you make informed decisions and prepare for the big changes in the future.

Fetal growth and development in 2nd trimester

In this trimester, baby grows larger and stronger. Your baby’s fingers and toes are well-defined in this trimester. Their eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails, and hair are formed, and teeth and bones are becoming more solid.

The nervous system is starting to function at this point. The reproductive organs and genitalia are now fully developed, and your doctor or midwife can see on ultrasound if you are having a baby boy or a baby girl.

Your baby’s skin is covered with a whitish coating called vernix caseosa. You may begin to feel your baby move, since they are developing muscles and exercising them.

By the end of this trimester, your baby will be about 13 to 16 inches long and weigh about 2 to 3 pounds. Fetal development during these months includes the following: The fetus kicks, moves and can turn from side to side.

Your baby may respond to sounds by moving or increasing the pulse, and you may notice jerking motions if baby hiccups.

What a Mother feels in 2nd trimester

During this trimester of pregnancy, you might experience physical changes.

  • Growing belly and breasts is the 1st physical change you may notice in 2nd trimester of your pregnancy. As your uterus expands to make space for the baby, your belly grows. Your breasts will also gradually continue to increase in size. A supportive bra with wide straps or a sports bra is a must.
     
  • Skin changes are the second most common physical change you may have in this second trimester. Hormonal changes during pregnancy stimulate an increase in pigment-bearing cells (melanin) in your skin. As a result, you might notice brown patches on your face (melasma). You might also see a dark line down your abdomen (linea nigra). These skin changes are common and usually, fade after delivery. You might also notice reddish-brown, black, silver, or purple lines along your abdomen, breasts, buttocks, or thighs (stretch marks). Although stretch marks can’t be prevented, most eventually fade in intensity.
     
  • Vaginal discharge is also very common in this trimester. You might notice a sticky, clear, or white vaginal discharge. This is normal. Contact your doctor if the discharge becomes strong-smelling, unusual in color, or if it’s accompanied by pain, soreness, or itching in your vaginal area. This could indicate a vaginal infection.

There are many more changes you might notice in your body in this trimester e.g.

  • Dizziness
  • Legs cramps
  • Urinary infections
  • Dental problems

3rd Trimester

The third trimester begins in week 29 of pregnancy and lasts until you give birth, which may be around week 40 of pregnancy. In other words, your third trimester lasts from month 7 through month 9 of pregnancy. During this trimester, your baby grows, develops, and starts to change position to get ready for birth.

Now that you’ve entered the third trimester, you’re in the home stretch of your pregnancy. You’ve only got a few more weeks to go, but this part of your pregnancy can be the most challenging than the first two ones.

Fetal growth and development in 3rd trimester

Fetal development continues during this trimester. Your baby will open his or her eyes, gain more weight, and prepare for delivery. The fetus starts to position itself head-down. By the end of 3rd trimester, the fetus is about 19 to 21 inches long and weighs about 6 to 9 pounds.

During the beginning of the third trimester, you may feel lots of kicks, squirms, flips, hiccups, and other movements. Your baby starts having regular sleep and wake cycles, and you will notice the difference in inactivity. You may also notice your baby responding to bright light as well as sound.

At 32 weeks your baby has grown this much that there is much less space to move around. You can feel the difference in your baby’s movements, which are more like wriggling and twisting.

After week 37, your baby has fully grown. Term babies often weigh 7 to 8 pounds and are 18 to 21 inches long, measuring from crown to rump in this week.

What a mother feels in 3rd trimester

During the third trimester, you may be feeling excited or impatient to finally meet your baby after a long journey. In this trimester, your body goes through tremendous physical changes. You may think of baby names and start preparing your finances for this new and cute addition.

You will probably gain about 5 kilograms during this stage. Much of this weight will be from your baby, but you will also gain extra weight from the amniotic fluid, the placenta, your breasts, blood, and your uterus.

You will need to have more frequent parental checkups during this time – about 4 weekly until 36 weeks, then 2 weekly after that. Your doctor or healthcare provider will continue to observe your condition to make sure all is going well.

Like 1st and 2nd trimester you might feel these different physical changes in 3rd trimester

Muscle pain is common in this trimester. This can indicate low calcium. Talk to your healthcare provider or midwife about a calcium supplement, avoid getting overtired, elevate your feet, be physically active, take a warm bath and stretch your lower leg area before going to bed.

Heartburn may also a big change of this trimester. Eat small, frequent meals, avoid fried, fatty, and spicy foods, drink lots of water between meals, elevate your head and shoulders while resting, do not bend or lie down immediately after having a meal. It may help you a lot to get rid of heartburn.

You may feel Difficulty in sleep in third trimester. Practice regular sleep habits and be physically active. Try to take a warm, relaxing bath and using extra pillows for support before going to bed.

There some more changes you might feel in your body like,

  • Shortness of breath
  • Peeing a lot
  • Swollen feet and hands
  • Dry itchy skin

Hope this article will help you to understand all the physical changes of your body and baby development and growth in all trimesters. Take care of yourself, because you and your baby deserve it. 



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