Your Pregnancy MD is written by Obstetrician, James W. Brann, M.D., to guide you from expected to your unexpected pregnancy changes. Learn about your pregnancy week by week, your symptoms and changes from conception to birth, and expert approved tips for a healthy pregnancy.
Congratulations! In roughly nine months, you are going to be a new mother. Although you won’t look pregnant in the first trimester, you will definitely feel it. From morning sickness to fatigue to breast tenderness, the first 13 weeks of pregnancy is often the most challenging. The higher levels of hormones can wreck havoc on your body, your mood, and your life.
Morning sickness – or pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting – is the hallmark of the first trimester. This pregnancy symptom makes its appearance around 6 weeks pregnant, and it won’t go away until the very end of the first trimester. Some moms-to-be will feel nauseous for the first three months; others are constantly vomiting. You may feel like your nausea will never end, but morning sickness will pass in time.
Other pregnancy symptoms that you’ll battle in the first trimester include fatigue, breast changes, frequent urination, dizziness and fainting, heartburn and gastrointestinal discomfort, excessive salivation, and mood swings.
While you struggle with your first trimester pregnancy symptoms, your baby is developing fast and furiously. Your baby will develop more in the first trimester than at any other time during pregnancy. In the first 13 weeks, all of your baby’s major organs (brain, heart, lungs, liver, and spinal cord) are developing; his or her facial characteristics (nose, ears, mouth) will take shape; and his or her arms and legs are forming.
Welcome to your second trimester of pregnancy. You are most likely feeling much better now than the first trimester. Your baby is growing quickly, the organs are beginning to function, eyebrows are forming, the skin is covered with vernix, the genitals are develop and fine hair is covering the body. This is the trimester that you will feel your baby move and predict the baby’s gender.
During this time your body starts to change shape and you will experience new changes and discomforts. We will discuss the most common expected changes and give advice.
In the third trimester of pregnancy both you and your baby continue to grow. You may put on another 10 pounds before delivery. If your baby is born early in the third trimester it can survive in the outside world.
Keep in mind, though, that a full-term baby is between week 37 and 42. Did you know that term pregnancy is now divided into early term (37 to 38 weeks-6 days), full term (39 weeks to 40 weeks-6 days) and late term (41 weeks to 41 weeks-6 days)?
Do you think you are going into labor? Learn the signs of false versus true labor during the third trimester. Learn when labor starts and about the baby’s apgar score test.