Understanding The Stages Of Pregnancy

Finding out you are pregnant can be one of the most exciting events in your life. However, if this is your first pregnancy, you might have a lot of questions about your pregnancy and what is going on with your body.

There are different stages of pregnancy and your body will go through many different things throughout these different stages. The more you know about them and the more you understand about your body’s changes, the better your pregnancy will be.

First trimester – the first trimester is one of the most important stages of pregnancy and the baby’s development. However, this is often the most overlooked as far as prenatal care goes. One reason for this is that many women do not know that they are pregnant. Another reason is because during the first trimester you are typically not showing and it is easy to not really “feel” pregnant yet.

The first trimester (from 0-12 weeks) your body will begin many changes as your baby begins to grow in your womb. In addition to the baby growing, your body will have to prepare and adapt to being pregnant. You will begin to notice changes in your breasts. They will grow larger and may seem to swell or feel sore and/or engorged. Your aureoles may also grow larger. If you experience discomfort in your breasts, you may need to wear a supportive bra to help relieve this.

You will also experience many different mood changes. This is a common side effect of pregnancy as you have many different hormone changes and while it is perfectly normal, it is the part of pregnancy that leaves many women feeling out of control of themselves. You may cry for no apparent reason at all or be more sensitive to things than you were before. You may also have mixed feelings about your pregnancy and your new baby but this is all perfectly normal.

You will also feel more tired than usual and you might need more sleep than before. Be sure to get plenty of rest at night and eat healthy foods so that you keep your energy throughout the day. Don’t feel bad if you need to take a nap during the day. Your body is going through a lot that you can’t see.

Some other signs and symptoms you may have are nausea and vomiting, increased urination, dizziness, leg cramps, increased heart rate, increased saliva, varicose veins and gastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn.

Second trimester – Once you get to the second trimester (13-28 weeks) most of your first trimester symptoms will fade. This is one of the most enjoyable stages of pregnancy for most women. You will likely get your energy back and you might be feeling pretty good. Many of your early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea may disappear but you may get some new symptoms.

You will likely be starting to show in your belly by this point and your regular clothes may be starting to get tight. You will no longer be able to wear your jeans and this can be frustrating. It is a good idea to try to invest in some nice maternity clothes to help you feel better about not fitting into your favorite clothes anymore.

Third trimester – In the third trimester (29-40 weeks), things sometimes start to get rough again. You have added weight, your belly is larger and you likely don’t fit into any of your old clothes anymore. You may have heartburn and gas – along with many other uncomfortable symptoms and you can have swelling in your feet and hands. But you can feel your growing baby, moving inside and you are probably getting very excited about your new addition that is almost ready to make his or her way into the world.

In this stage of pregnancy, you may have swelling, increased temperature and more. You may feel the frequent urge to urinate and you may have a hard time finding a comfortable sleeping position due to your growing abdomen.

You should now feel a little more comfortable with the stages of pregnancy that you have to look forward to. There is still a lot to learn so be sure you get as much information as possible and keep regular doctor’s checkups. Eat a healthy diet and get proper exercise and you can expect to have a happy, healthy pregnancy. Good luck!

Originally posted 2011-08-02 05:51:07.

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