After three minutes of anxious waiting, a little blue line answers one very big question: in approximately nine months your family will soon have a new addition! Confirming that you are pregnant may answer one question but opens the door to so many more that can’t be definitively answered by a pharmacy pregnancy test. With so much information out there, it can be overwhelming to figure out exactly what to expect when you’re expecting.
Growing a human being takes tremendous energy and making sense of what is occurring during your pregnancy shouldn’t be such a chore. To help you better understand your pregnancy we’ve put together a brief guide to give you a quick rundown of the many changes a woman experiences each trimester. From morning sickness to swollen ankles, here’s what is coming your way during the next nine months.
The First Trimester
In the first trimester of your pregnancy, you might not be showing any outward signs of baby’s arrival, but a flurry of activity is going on behind the scenes. From the start of your pregnancy, a surge of pregnancy hormones begins to prepare your body to play house for a growing baby, which comes with a slew of pregnancy-related symptoms.
Only a few weeks in, you may start experiencing these hormonally triggered side effects, including mood swings, breast growth and tenderness, abdominal bloating, and fatigue. By week five, it is likely that you will be well into the dreaded morning sickness phase, and unfortunately, this pregnancy-related nausea doesn’t just strike in the morning. In the last weeks of the first trimester, increasing pressure from a growing baby on your bladder may result in a frequent urge to urinate. Many women also begin to have food cravings and aversions, resulting in panicked late night grocery excursions.
Although these early pregnancy side effects may seem unpleasant, the second trimester usually brings some relief from the more disruptive bodily woes.
The Second Trimester
For many women, lessening nausea and increasing energy mark the beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy. During this time, you may also start to notice an expanding appetite and waistline and a shrinking need to constantly relieve your bladder. However, the second trimester is also when most women begin to experience regular heartburn, constipation, and congestion. You may find that your ankles are swollen and none of your shoes fit. As your pregnancy continues, it is common to feel dizziness, irritability, and forgetfulness. Many women also notice gum sensitivity, skin changes, varicose veins, leg cramps, hemorrhoids, and abdominal achiness during the second trimester.
While none of these side effects are particularly appealing, remember that these symptoms are only temporary and signify that you are well on your way to welcoming your baby into the world!
The Third (and final!) Trimester
You’ve now made it to the homestretch. What more could your body go through at this point? The short answer – a lot – but here are some of the standard third trimester developments.
It may seem impossible for your belly to expand any further, but the third trimester will likely result in a larger size of maternity jeans for you as your body tries to keep up with your baby’s continued growth. A growing baby also means you will begin to experience more and more movement inside your womb. The third trimester also brings a lack of bladder control, so a sneeze may trigger urination. You will likely see more varicose veins and stretch marks and feel more and more clumsy. Many women also start having very interesting dreams through the third trimester. As you get closer to the end of your pregnancy your breasts may begin to leak and you may feel a few contractions. It is also common to experience false labour symptoms. Don’t let this worry you – when you really go into labour, you’ll know it. When baby is ready, you’ll experience bleeding, your water breaking, and contractions that intensify, rather than diminish, the more you move around.
Although this blog discusses some of the common experiences women have during each trimester of pregnancy, keep in mind that like all women, all pregnancies are unique. There may be some changes described here that your body skips and you may notice other symptoms that seem exclusive to you. Even if your mum or sister or best friend experienced cramping, you might not have the same experience. If you ever have any questions about any of your pregnancy symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor, no matter how silly the question may seem.
Now if only there were a quick guide to prepare you for what to expect the next 18 years…
Disclaimer: This post was written for The Oliver’s Madhouse by Glenn Josephik. Glenn is an account representative and the marketing coordinator at MedCorp LLC, the industry leader and premier business source for used portable ultrasound systems. You can follow Glenn Josephik on Google+.