Stages of Pregnancy: Pregnancy Trimesters
What Happens During the Trimesters of Pregnancy
When you are a mother to be you become a bit anxious, and you want to know exactly what is going to happen to your body. You also want to know what is going to happen to your baby every week that passes. Each doctor uses different parameters to determine the start and end dates of each trimester. So, the easiest way is to divide the trimesters into thirteen weeks; most practitioners add on an extra week to be on the safe side, this would total to forty weeks. Here it is the summary of the well-known weeks that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists came up with:
First Trimester of Pregnancy
0 weeks–13 and 6/7 weeks (Months 1–3)
The first trimester of your pregnancy begins on the first day of your last period, and it lasts until the thirteen weeks. The second good news is that you will not have a period for a while because your uterus is getting ready for ovulation and your body is preparing for pregnancy, so now you can begin your countdown for the arrival of your little one.
There will be a lot of changes happening during the first three months. The fertilized egg divides itself into different layers of cells, and it implants itself into the wall of your womb, and it begins to develop. After this happens these layers of cells turn into an embryo.
During the first trimester, your baby will grow at a faster pace than the other trimesters. At six weeks, your doctor will be able to hear your babies heartbeat, and at the end of the 12th week, your babies bones, organs, and muscles will be formed. Now, your bundle of joy looks like a small human being. And he or she will begin to practice how to swallow.
When can I schedule the first appointment with my OB/GYN?
Now, one the first and most important decisions that you will be making is choosing the right doctor for you. One that you know that you can trust, that he or she will be respecting your decisions, and you can come to an understanding with. Another factor to take into account is your doctors approach in medicine. For instance, if you find a doctor that favors performing C-Sections rather than waiting for nature to take its course, and if this is not what you want. Then, I strongly suggest that you continue your search because in my experience the memory of every pregnancy stays in your mind and heart. It is a very emotional time for you, and pregnancy is overwhelming enough to be in the hands of a doctor that you do not agree with nor trust. So, with this being said, you should make the appointment when you are on your 8th or 10th week.
Keeping your little one safe
1. You should take prenatal vitamins that part of its content is Folic Acid and Vitamin D.
It is quite important for you to choose the right prenatal vitamins for you and your baby. I typically advocate for purchasing an organic brand because it would give you a higher guarantee of the purity of the ingredients that the pills were made with. But do try to research and read what other moms have said about the prenatal vitamins that you are thinking of choosing and research as much as you can about the company that manufactured the product. This will take away a source of anxiety. It does not really matter if this is your first or third pregnancy. Each pregnancy has its own story, and the same worries that you had on your first will still be there on your third pregnancy. The ideal time for you to begin taking your prenatal vitamins is three months prior to conception, but if this is not the case for you, then do not trouble yourself, it is never too late to begin taking your prenatal vitamins.
2. How does folic acid help you and your baby?
The function of folic acid is to reduce your little ones risk of neural tube defects.
3. The importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D aids your baby in developing healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. It also helps to normalize the levels of calcium and phosphate that is your body. It is crucial for you to keep your bones and teeth healthy because the last thing that you want is to have a Calcium deficiency because it could impede or weaken your little one’s bones, teeth, and muscle development.
4. Exercise as often as you can
It does not help your health or your babies if you lead a sedentary life. Having a sedentary life increases the risk of gaining too much weight, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and varicose veins. Not exercising during your pregnancy increases the likelihood of you having shortness of breath and a stronger pain in your lower back.
If you exercised before you were pregnant, it is advised that you continue doing the same, but listen to your body on a daily basis because the way you feel might change on a daily basis. If you feel like you need to slow down then do it. But, before you begin, please talk to your doctor so that he or she is aware of the type of exercise that you would like to do because he or she might recommend something different.
But if you do not exercise before you were pregnant, it is never too late to begin. What matters is for you to stay active. Try to look for tips that would work best for you, so that you start at a gradual pace. It is recommended for you to exercise thirty minutes a day up to four times a week.
Second Trimester of Pregnancy
Your second trimester begins at the fourteenth week after your last menstrual period, and it lasts through the twenty-seventh week of your pregnancy.
Week 14: You gradually get your energy back and for almost every mom to be is the end of morning sickness. Now, if you would like to begin to workout then do it until you can have a conversation with another person without losing your breath.
Week 15: This week can be quite overwhelming because it is the time when you would be able to screen and do diagnostic tests.
Week 16: This is when you begin feeling your baby move.
Week 17: This is when you will begin having vivid and very odd dreams. Most of the time those dreams are about the anxiety of becoming a parent.
Week 18: You will still be going to the restroom at all times because guess what? You feel like your bladder is going to burst at all times.
Week 19: Now it is the time to have sex because your sex drive makes a comeback and I guarantee you that you will have so much fun.
Week 20: You are almost halfway there, now your uterus has reached your navel. You might start with the urge nest, which means you will be very busy cleaning your home from head to bottom.
Week 21: For women over thirty-five there is an increased risk of developing chronic high blood pressure or diabetes, you are also at a higher risk of being diagnosed with preeclampsia, but this usually happens until you get to the third trimester.
Week 22: This is when your little one is close to a pound.
Week 23: During this week, your doctor may say that you try not to make long-distance trips. This is because he or she may be worried that you go into labor.
Week 24: Now, if you are over thirty and you have a long family history of diabetes, and you are Hispanic or overweight then there is a higher risk of you developing gestational diabetes. You need to be extra careful because it does not show any symptoms.
Week 25: Now could be the time when heartburn and leg cramps may show up at your door.
Week 26: Do not be alarmed, when this week begins your baby will be sleeping for a longer period of time. And so, if he or she does not move as before, then it is entirely normal. But, if you are worried, do not hesitate to call your doctor.
Week 27: At this point, you will be gaining almost one pound per week, but this means that you should be consuming three hundred calories per day.
Third Trimester of Pregnancy
This trimester begins on the twenty-eighth week, and it ends when you go into labor.
Week 28: Now it is the time when a pre-labor coach named Braxton Hicks contractions will come knocking at your door. You will feel like your tummy begins to get hard around your abdomen area. But rest assured that this is entirely normal.
Week 29: Your belly will be the size of a basketball, and your baby will become sensitive to light and sound. This means that if you play music that you enjoy, he or she may begin to move and who knows even dance!
Week 30: This is when you may feel increasingly breathless as your belly gets bigger, but you will be able to breath better when your little one drops lower at the level of your pelvis.
Week 31: During this week you may notice that your baby does not kick as hard, due to the fact that the space inside your womb becomes tighter, this is nothing to worry about.
Week 32: Now it the time for you to have your baby shower and get all of those beautiful presents from family and friends.
Week 33: Always keep in mind to aim to have a vaginal birth, but you also have to take into account that sometimes things do not turn out the way you would like them to and you know what, that is okay. What matters is the wellbeing of your baby.
Week 34: At this point, you may be extremely anxious, and you want to buy every single baby item that you see in stores and making your husband clean your home until it shines. So all that you truly need is a car seat, a bassinet or something similar, diapers and necessary baby clothes.
Week 35: During this week it may be a good idea to have your doctor check if you have Group B Streptococcus bacteria. This type of bacteria colonizes itself in the vagina, and if you do not treat it , it can infect your baby when he or she is born.
Week 36: Now, it is the week that your baby drops even lower to prepare for delivery. At this point, it becomes more comfortable for you to breathe, but your bathroom breaks will come at a more frequent pace.
Week 37: On this week your breasts might be leaking colostrum which it will be your babies food as soon as your baby is in your arms.
Week 38: At this point, you are considered full-term, and the lanugo that covered your little one’s body will begin to fade away.
Week 39: If you’re still working, don’t beat yourself up if you decide to go on leave a little earlier than you planned.
Week 40: If you have not gone into labor yet, then your OB/GYN will be monitoring very closely. Some doctors will let their patients go over two weeks after their due date, but there is a higher likelihood that your doctor will decide that it is best to induce labor.
Suffice to say that motherhood it is the most wonderful, unforgettable and overwhelming experience that will change your life forever. You will know what it means to love someone so much, that you would give everything for their well-being in a second.
Looking for a week-by-week guide to pregnancy? click here>
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