Congratulations! You have embarked on the new and exciting adventure of motherhood. The next 40 weeks or so will chart a lot of amazing changes happening to your physical, mental, spiritual and the little life growing inside you. You may be wondering when you can feel your baby’s first kick or when you’ll have your first ultrasound.
Knowing and understanding what you can expect to happen with you and your baby-to-be every week of your pregnancy which marks new developments and milestones help you to cope with your pregnant condition better. Thus learning more about what’s going on and why, inside and out helps.
Entering your first trimester of pregnancy
The first three months of pregnancy is a very critical time. Your baby is growing and developing rapidly, and is most at risk from hazards such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, excessive caffeine, infections, chemicals, radiation, certain medicines, and illnesses, like rubella (German measles). The risk of miscarriage is also high during these three months. By the end of this trimester, all your baby’s organs will be formed and functioning.
Although you may not look pregnant these first three months, your body is going through enormous changes as it accommodates a growing baby. You may experience slight bleeding that could be a sign that the fertilized embryo has implanted in the uterus. The hormonal changes which are preparing your milk ducts to feed your baby would cause your breasts to become tender and sore.
The changes in progesterone level and the extra iron you’re getting from your prenatal vitamins would also cause you constipation. Your tastes and smell can change while you’re pregnant that results in you having unbearable food cravings and aversions. These hormonal changes may also cause your morning sickness for the entire first trimester. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy diet, including adding an adequate amount of folic acid, cutting back on caffeine, avoiding shellfish and uncooked food.
The most important thing you can do for your baby is to be engaged in honest and direct communication with your healthcare provider and start getting yourself informed about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and parenting classes, and others.
Enduring your second trimester
Week 13 to week 28 marks your second trimester. Most expecting women would consider this as the ‘honeymoon period’ because it is the easiest three months of a pregnancy.
Your baby is growing quickly from the size of a peach to the size of a Chinese cabbage. You may start to feel your baby moving, prodding or kicking especially when there are loud noises. Your baby will develop its brain function, opening its eyelids and blinking its eyes. Between your 18th and 22nd week of pregnancy you’ll have an ultrasound scan to see how your baby is progressing. You also can learn the sex of your baby, unless you’d rather be surprised.
As you enter your second trimester of pregnancy, the morning sickness and fatigue that plagued you before should be reducing, leaving you feeling more energetic and like your old self again. Your bump will become more obvious, while big changes are still taking place inside your body. Be prepared with your maternity clothes as you will gain weight more rapidly this trimester.
In this trimester, you may have backaches due to the extra weight that is putting pressure on your back, making it achy and sore. You may also notice that your skin becomes, dry, itchy and scaly, or develop the ‘mask of pregnancy’ which refers to brown marks on the face, while some women may look glowing due to the hormone changes.
The second trimester is also a good time to start planning and preparing for your baby’s arrival while you’re feeling better and your energy is up.
Surviving your final trimester
In this trimester, your baby will grow from the size of a butternut squash to the size of a pumpkin. The increase in size and the cramp space in your womb will lead your baby to give you some serious kicks and pokes in your gut. Your baby will need all the calcium supplies from you to strengthen and harden his bones. Its skin and nails have grown thicker and stronger. The fine hair on its scalp have also grown thicker and more pigmented.
Hooray, you’re meeting your baby soon! Despite the excitement to meet your little one, you might have to endure some discomforts which include backaches, fatigue, and shortness of breath caused by the expanding uterus. You may also experience heartburn as the result of hormonal changes in your body.
Most importantly is that you listen to your body; rest if you need to, get outside or move yourself if you want to. Seek your doctor’s advice if you feel really awful in an unusual way. There are also some simple ways to help you cope with these changes better including walking, practising clean diet, and doing prenatal yoga.
“Being a mother is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you’ve gained from having one.”
Guiding you to become happier and confident parents
Pregnancy is different for every woman. Knowing the changes you might experience, what they mean, and which signs warrant a call to your doctor will help you cope with your consequences better.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could have all this necessary information related to your pregnancy, your baby’s development, suitable activities that you could do as your belly grows bigger, setting reminders for your next Ob-Gyn appointments, plan your meals to meet your nutrition needs and many more — all at your fingertips?
The Mama Net APP is not only loaded with physician verified content that covers a wide-range of topics for antenatal up to caring for your child after birth, as well as how your spouse could contribute as a healthy and responsible father. With the APP, you may track your baby’s growth using the 3D fetal visualization, and record the baby’s daily movement with our ‘Kick Counter’. The APP also provides you a fun and interactive way to optimize your diet and manage your weight besides reminding and recording your healthcare appointments with its ‘Antenatal Planner’. Download the APP and be a part of our community of 100 million Mamas!