Stages of Pregnancy: What to Expect
Congratulations! You've discovered you're pregnant! Here is a guide of what you can expect while you're expecting...
In the beginning you might discover that you're pregnant after a positive pregnancy test, or you may have already known by other means such as:
Morning sickness — Although it is called morning sickness, it can be at any time of the day and could last from a day, to your whole pregnancy.
Smell aversion — This was my first indication before I did a test. I had a super sense of smell and it would in turn, make me feel nauseous – the worst super power ever.
Light cramping — the closer you get to your expected period day, you are likely to feel light but consistent period-like cramps. This is likely the embryo implanting in your womb.
More tired than usual — Making a baby (especially in the early stages where your body is doing a lot of prep work) is tiring! So you're likely to feel it a little.
Achy boobs — Your breasts will feel tender to the touch. As I've got older and had two children, mine do that anyway at every aunt flow visit but if that's unusual for you, it could be a sign that bigger things are happening!
Headache — With all of these new hormones circulating your body and working hard to produce new life, you're likely to have a bit of a headache while your body gets used to it all.
THE FIRST TRIMESTER
I find that this is everyone's least favorite stage. You're likely to be tired, nauseous, irritable and usually you have to feel all of this while trying to keep your pregnancy a secret until the second trimester. From the moment you find out that you're pregnant, it's a good idea to start taking pregnancy supplements that contain folic acid for the healthy development of your baby's brain. You can take these throughout your entire pregnancy if you like, just make sure that you take them for the first trimester as baby is going through all the important stages of building functioning organs as well as growth. The first trimester can be a tough time for new moms and moms that may have experienced loss in the past, as there is no way to make sure that baby is doing alright in there until at least 7 weeks when you can get an early pregnancy sonogram. If you opt to get one of these early pregnancy sonograms to give you peace of mind, they are performed internally.
THE SECOND TRIMESTER
Usually this is everyone's favorite trimester as you can tell the world that you're pregnant if you like and you're finally going to start to have a bump and not just feel a bit chubbier than usual. If it's your first pregnancy and you're of an average weight then your bump will usually start to show up around 15 – 20 weeks however, if this is not your first pregnancy your bump can start to show as early as 10 weeks, as all of your stomach muscles have done the stretching before so its not such hard work on the body to grow. It does also mean that your pelvis muscles will remember that they have been stretched before and could mean that they are weaker so, like me, you may end up with Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) — where it can feel a bit painful to walk, as your hip bones feel as if they're rubbing on each other (ouch). If you're going to have SPD or other ligament stretching issues they may start to show up around the end of the second trimester. If you're still felt nauseous during this stage try eating smaller amounts and often, to try and combat throwing up your meals and actually keeping something down. In this trimester you should start to feel baby move for the first time — for first time moms it could be around the 20-week mark and it will feel little gas bubbles floating about inside you. It may be hard to recognize at first but you will soon come to recognize the feeling as your little one. If you choose to, you can find out the gender of your baby from 16 weeks onward if you opt for another sonogram.
THE THIRD TRIMESTER
You may have had enough by now and feeling the full effects of having a (now quite large) human inside of you. Your walking will slow down in this trimester and you may gain a 'waddle'. This stage is for trying to take it easy and looking out for the first signs of labor. This is also the time when (if you haven't already) you can go out and buy some things ready for your new bundle. Figure out his/her name and just have fun putting their room/crib together. For great ideas on getting ready for your new baby, check out other useful articles from MomsBeyond on what to expect when labor starts and what items moms can't be without!
If you have any questions that have not already been answered in the article, our moms on MomsBeyond will try and answer any questions you have. We are here and happy to help!
Disclaimer — Before taking any supplements or medication while pregnant please seek advice from your doctor first on whether it is okay to do so.