A typical pregnancy lasts roughly 40 weeks, dependent on when labor begins. These 40 weeks are split into three trimesters and each trimester is unique.
- The first trimester: conception- 13 weeks The first trimester of pregnancy is marked by increased urination, fatigue, food cravings, nausea and high emotion. The increase of blood volume increases the need to urinate and is one of the first signs of pregnancy that many women notice. Hormones increase dramatically during this time too and can result in breast tenderness, mood swings and morning sickness. Eating small frequent meals, drinking plenty of fluids and getting adequate rest will help with many of the symptoms. Towards the end of this trimester, you will feel better physically and nausea should decrease. Knowing you are pregnant but not being able to feel the baby move yet and not looking the part of the mom-to-be can cause anxiety at this point but try not to worry; you’ll be wearing elastic waistbands in no time.
- The second trimester: 14 weeks – 25 weeks The second trimester sees a return of energy and the start of a growing baby bump. Although your energy may be higher, remember to take it easy and to take care of yourself. Drinking plenty of fluids is still important and will help manage some of the second trimester symptoms, such as leg cramps and urinary tract infections. Shortness of breath is common in this trimester as the baby grows and your organs are rearranged to make room. Doctor’s appointments will occur about every 4 weeks and will normally be a no-fuss affair. Towards the middle of this trimester, an ultrasound will be able to reveal whether it is a boy or girl moving around in there. Also around this time, fetal movements can be felt. Starting out as small flutters or “popcorn popping”, these movements will be full fledged kicks before the end of this trimester.
- The third trimester: 26 weeks- 41 weeks The third trimester is normally summed up in one word: uncomfortable. With the baby gaining weight daily and taking up more space, breathing becomes harder and bathroom trips become more frequent. Fetal movements may become less frequent as there is less space to move around but will be more pronounced and you may be able to see them instead of just feeling them. Ligaments and joints may hurt at this time as the baby settles in and your ankle and feet may swell. Take time to put your feet up and relax and continue drinking lots of water. As this trimester wraps up, doctor’s appointments will occur every one- two weeks and will consist of measuring your belly and checking the baby’s position. Remember to enjoy this time, even with the discomforts it may bring and to take some time for yourself and your spouse before a new little person joins the family.
Resources: Saint Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City and The Mayo Clinic