Most people realize that pregnancy lasts nine months or 40 weeks. These weeks are not created equal. You will experience vast changes in your body as your baby grows and develops. Once you prepare yourself for the pregnancy stages, you won’t be as surprised when–at 10 weeks–you burst into tears at the slightest provocation.
A pregnancy has three trimesters, each approximately three months long. You will experience many hormonal changes during the first trimester as your body prepares for the baby. All the hormonal changes result in various symptoms, such as tiredness, tender breasts, morning sickness, food cravings, heartburn, constipation and mood swings. Mood swings are at their worst during your sixth through 10th week, according to the Baby Center website.
The second trimester will usually feel like a dream compared to the first. You are starting to feel like yourself again. You are not as tired and nauseated as you were before. Your abdomen will start getting bigger; you will start to show. At the end of the second trimester, you will feel your baby move.
The third trimester is going to be more uncomfortable for you than the second was because your baby is growing and putting pressure on various organs. You may have difficulty breathing, and you will almost certainly have to urinate more often. You might have some trouble sleeping. When it is close to delivery, you will feel the baby “drop,” meaning she has moved lower in your abdomen.
Changing Your Routine
Your may find it helpful to change your routine to make the first trimester easier, according to the Medicine Net website. If you feel fatigued, try to take a nap in the afternoon or go to bed earlier at night. Eat frequent and small meals to help you manage the nausea. Throughout your pregnancy, listen to your body. If you feel bad while exercising, for example, stop. If you notice something out of the ordinary occurring, such as bleeding, call your doctor.
When you are four weeks along, your baby’s brain, spinal cord and heart are forming. Your baby at this stage is an embryo and is 1/25 of an inch long. By eight weeks, all the major organs have begun to form. Arms and legs and growing, and fingers and toes are emerging. Your baby is now a fetus, is looking more like a person and is 1 inch long.
At 12 weeks, an ultrasound can tell you if you are having a boy or a girl. Your baby continues to grow during the second trimester. Your baby can now hear you if you talk or sing to him. Your baby, at the halfway point of your pregnancy, is 6 inches long and weighs 9 oz.
By week 32, your baby can kick you with force. Your baby is opening and closing her eyes and is practicing breathing movements. Weight gain for your baby becomes more rapid. As the baby grows, the kicks will be less forceful, because she doesn’t have as much room. Instead, you will feel more stretching movements. Your baby is full term at 37 weeks, and your due date is nearing.
While you are pregnant, it is vital that you get prenatal care, eat nutritious foods and take a prenatal vitamin so that you get all the nutrients and minerals you need. This is essential for the baby’s growth and development, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Talk to your doctor about any medications you may be taking. Get regular exercise that suits your fitness level. Walking 30 minutes total a day is a good barometer.
- pregnant woman image by Valentin Mosichev from Fotolia.com