Stages of Pregnancy
There are 3 basic stages of pregnancy; namely, the first trimester, the second trimester, and the third trimester. Each stage of pregnancy can have very different emotional experiences for the mother. Every stage of pregnancy also affects the mother with very different physical changes as well. This article will explain the emotional and physical changes most woman feel during each of the stages of pregnancy.
The first trimester is counted from the first day of your last menstrual cycle until the 16th week of pregnancy. A wave of emotions can hit you during these months. Disbelief that you are going to add another person into your life can be a common emotion. Excitement and joy of being pregnant can hit you during this stage of pregnancy. Also, anxiety about money and the idea that your life will be changed forever usually hits you sometime in the first stage of pregnancy.
The physical changes are not so subtle. While most women do not start showing that they are pregnant in the first stage of pregnancy, they often exhibit other signs. The first is nausea. Many pregnant women experience nausea or morning sickness during this stage. Almost all women experience exhaustion during the first stage of pregnancy. With hormones raging, your body is physically worn out. Your breasts can become tender, sore and usually become more full.
The second trimester stage of pregnancy is counted from the 16th week to the 28th week. Emotions tend to focus more on what you need to prepare for the baby. Most women, although certainly not all, get more excited about the idea of having a baby. They enjoy talking to other parents about their experiences and enjoy listening to baby stories. While periods of doubt can still creep up in this stage of pregnancy, much of the emotion is that of happiness and excitement. As well, an increase in sexual desire most often occurs during this stage. Women tend to want sex more often and often have sexual fantasies.
The physical changes that can occur during this stage of pregnancy become more obvious to outsiders. In this stage of pregnancy you can often feel the baby move. Your stomach protrudes as the baby grows bigger. The areola darkens at this time, and most women get that radiant pregnancy glow. In this stage of pregnancy you often get your appetite back as the morning sickness and nausea seem to disappear.
The third trimester can seem like the longest stage of pregnancy. It is counted from the 28th week to the 40th week. While it lasts 16 weeks like the other stages of pregnancy, it seems to drag on, especially towards the end of the stage. Often times the exhaustion returns, along with an occasional burst of energy to compel you to clean and prepare for baby’s arrival. This is known as “nesting,” and when it occurs, unless you are on bedrest, don’t fight it. These bursts of energy will be helpful in getting things done.
There are a lot of emotions during this stage of pregnancy. A lot of women in this stage of pregnancy are worried about the baby’s health. They are nervous and anxious about the pain labor is going to bring. Exhaustion comes back in two forms — Physical exhaustion from growing bigger and emotional exhaustion with being pregnant. Most women, especially towards the last few weeks, are tired of being pregnant and just want the baby out of them. It is completely normal to feel this way. Most women during this stage of pregnancy seem to focus more on themselves and their baby rather than others.
The physical changes in this stage of pregnancy can be quite uncomfortable. Your belly will grow much larger in this stage of pregnancy. Sleeping can be very awkward for you and highly uncomfortable. Use pillows to help prop yourself up at night. Women also have more vaginal discharge and can feel Braxton Hicks contractions by the 7th month. As the baby grows, more pressure is put onto your lungs, making you short of breath. Back pain can occur, as your back helps support the extra weight of your stomach. Frequent urination can be very common as well.
As you can see, each stage of pregnancy is truly a unique experience. If you are pregnant or are supporting someone who is, enjoy the stages of pregnancy while you can. It will be over before you know it.
Pregnancy Week By Week
Pregnancy is a miraculous, but often scary, part of life. Part of the trepidation of pregnancy is not knowing what happens to your body during your nine months of life creation. Below is your pregnancy, week by week. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and fetal development varies.
Pregnancy Week By Week 1-4: Conception occurs. Week 1 starts at your last menstrual period, and week 4 marks the fertilization of the egg.
Pregnancy Week By Week 5-8: Your period is late, and you might suspect that you’re pregnant. Now would be the time to take a pregnancy test, which would be fairly accurate by this stage. By week 6, your baby’s heartbeat has begun. By week 7, morning sickness might have set in. By week 8, arms and legs will start to develop.
Pregnancy Week By Week 9-12: At this stage, your body continues to adjust to changes. In week 10, the baby begins to move inside the womb, although it’s not yet noticeable. By the following week, it’s officially called a fetus. Week 12, morning sickness begins to subside.
Pregnancy Week By Week 13-16: In week 13, it’s possible to determine the baby’s gender, although with a moderate degree of accuracy. In week 14, you should be able to hear baby’s heartbeat via Doppler. You might notice that the baby is sucking his or her thumb on an ultrasound in week 15. At the end of this period, you might feel the baby moving as his bones begin to harden.
Pregnancy Week By Week 17-20: By now, the organs are really beginning to develop. Ultrasound becomes more accurate in determining gender. The baby is covered with fine hair called lanugo.
Pregnancy Week By Week 21-24: By week 21, your baby practices its breathing for when he or she is born. You might start feeling minor contractions. By week 24, your baby begins to deposit brown fat in order to regulate its temperature in preparation for birth.
Pregnancy Week By Week 24-28: The uterus is beginning to get crowded, and baby’s movements aren’t as wild as before. The baby can sense lightness and darkness in the uterus, and can also hear sounds from the outside world. It’s akin to hearing sounds while submerged in a swimming pool.
Pregnancy Week By Week 29-32: Baby’s head is growing in proportion to its body. The eyes begin to move in its socket. The brain is growing rapidly. By week 32, the only major organ not fully developing is the lungs.
Pregnancy Week By Week 33-36: By week 33, the baby can close and open its eyes. Its fingernails grow to the tips, and might even need a cutting by birth! By week 36, the baby can weigh up to 4 pounds and be as long as 16 inches.
Pregnancy Week By Week 37-40: The major organs have been fully developed for a little while now, and the lungs prepare for birth by secreting surfactant to help its expansion at birth. The baby can come at any point in this stage. Actual deliver can vary as many as 2 weeks before or after your expected due date. The time has come to deliver…good luck!