A typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, it is divided into Three Stages: First, Second and Third Trimester.
A lot happens during this time and every trimester is explained so you know what to expect and when to expect it.
First Trimester (Week 1-13)
What To Expect During The First Trimester :
- You’ve just found out you’re pregnant either by a doctor or a home pregnancy test.
- Start taking Prenatal Vitamins, a lot of people will tell you about brands and kinds, no need to worry they’re all almost the same. Piece of advice? Do not buy in bulk. Some Prenatal Vitamins might not sit well with you; I tried four kinds and the ones that did not make me queasy or constipated was a generic brand of Prenatal Gummies.
- Quit Smoking and/or Drinking if those are part of your lifestyle whether social or daily activities.
Because the use of drugs during pregnancy including cannabis is on the rise I feel obligated to share with you the following resources.
For more information regarding the facts around addiction please visit: Addiction and Pregnancy: A Guide for Mothers
Details regarding the use of cannabis in pregnancy please check out: Cannabis Use on the Rise Among Pregnant Women
- Start or continue Light Exercise at least 3 times a week. Do not start a new insane regimen, or diet. This is not the time for losing weight and restricting your food intake. A walk to the park, some yoga or pilates are good safe exercises for pregnant women.
- You will be exhausted so rest and sleep as much as you can. Your body is working really hard.
- Once you have a confirmed pregnancy by an OB you will start being subjected to Prenatal Tests which may include Genetic testing from you and your partner or sperm donor to ensure the health of the fetus.
The most difficult thing I went through during the first trimester was the ligament pains, basically it was like period cramps, only a thousand times worse.
This lasted for around 4 to 6 weeks ( I found out I was pregnant very early).
In my experience, I slept my first trimester away. I would get home from work and nap for up to 4 hours, then dinner, a shower and back to bed.
I was anxious all of the time, I had no morning sickness but I was nauseous most of the time. Nothing seemed to settle my stomach.
I ate loaded baked potato everyday or like two months straight with ginger ale. Anything else didn’t sit well with me.
Pregnancy didn’t much agree with my body for the first trimester.
Second Trimester (Week 14-28)
What To Expect During The Second Trimester :
- You may announce the pregnancy now if you haven’t done so, the risk of miscarriage drops to 3%.
- If you have chosen to know the gender of the baby it will be possible at around 16 weeks. You may already know if you’ve had the blood test done for the gender.
- The acclaimed horrid Glucose Test, which checks for Gestation Diabetes, will be happening any time between week 14 and week 28, I had mine at 22 weeks of gestation. Many moms told me it was horrible and gross, but in my experience, it was like flat soda (pop).
- After all blood tests and the glucose test comes Anomaly Scan. This is just and Ultrasound Test in which they will measure the growth of the baby, the size of every part to make sure there isn’t anything amiss. This test checks for Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida amongst other abnormalities.
- Start buttering, ‘lotioning’, oiling up now if you haven’t already started. It will help with your growing belly and stretching skin. Drinking water also helps maintain you not only hydrated but increases skin elasticity.
- Set up your Maternity Leave with your employer, typically it’s a 13 week period but it varies. If you still have not, then start planning your Baby Shower or assign someone to get it done for you.
- Create a Baby Registry, you can choose one, two or more registries depending on what you want or what you need before baby’s arrival.
- Pick a baby name or start looking, time goes by after the second trimester and before you know it you’re at the hospital with a brand new baby in your arms.
- Also, start looking into Child Care if you’ll be going back to work.
During the second trimester expect to start to feel back to ‘normal’. Typically around this time you will get a burst of energy.
I know I did! I felt on top of the world. It was great. As far as I can remember, the second trimester was by far the easiest for me. I wasn’t nauseous anymore, I wasn’t as tired and I started showing a baby bump.
Third Trimester (Week 29-40)
What To Expect During The Third Trimester :
- Get signed up for Lamaze Classes. I did this and it was the best decision. It prepared me for birth and I went home with more than enough information about labor, delivery and how to care for a newborn.
- Connect with other moms for advice and support. There are many blogs, facebook pages and online forums for new moms. The one I look to and everyone talks about is Kellymom.com
- Choose a Hospital for Delivery, preferably one close to home or work for convenience. Also, choose a Pediatrician, you will need to set up an appointment before you’re discharged from the hospital after delivery. The hospital needs this information so they can send any tests or records over to them.
- Set up the Nursery, wash the baby’s clothes and sheets. Stock up on baby products as you’ll be recovering at home and the last thing you want is to go shopping in the middle of the night because you ran out of wipes. You can also subscribe to deliveries on Amazon.
- Have your Hospital Bag ready and by the door, go to my post about Hospital Bag Must Haves for more details about what you will need.
- Pre Register at Hospital ( it will make things go by faster when you go into labor). Make plans for other children and/or pets ( on-call sitter or family member) and last but not least install the Car Seat.
Your Body During Pregnancy
What To Expect During Pregnancy ( Body-Wise)
When it comes to body changes pregnancy is at the top of the chain. From conception to birth, your body will be experiencing al0t of firsts.
- Weight Gain: you will be gaining weight from the beginning. It will be on and off but you should be gaining about 35-40 pound on average… at least in terms of being realistic.
Have in mind that everybody is different so you may be gaining more or less.
Try to eat healthy food, avoiding processed foods as much as you can but indulge now and then. Also, light exercise is also recommended for a healthy pregnancy and managed weight gain.
- Darker Pigmentation: Some moms, like myself, experience darker pigmentation during pregnancy. This darker pigmentation brought on during pregnancy can be seen around your underarms, pubic area, face and in most cases the nipples ( areola) .
- Thicker Hair: Your hair may become thicker or darker during pregnancy, and when I mention hair, I mean all of your hair… This may be particularly problematic for pubic hair as it can mean that if you shave or wax, the hair in that area will grow thicker and can cause bumps, ingrown hair and this can lead to infected hair follicles.
I experienced this phenomenon first hand. Prior to my pregnancy, I had a ‘Brazilian Wax’ every 6 weeks. Unfortunately, my skin did not agree once I became pregnant. I began to experience bump and boils under the waxed skin.
So, if you wax or shave beware that this can happen to you. My advice, cease all forms of hair removal immediately. Trim with scissors as is less abrasive on the skin and exfoliate at least once a week to prevent ingrown hairs.
- Stretch Marks: although obvious that stretch marks may appear in pregnancy, this can be avoided. You may use oil and creams and drink a lot of water to help your skins elasticity during pregnancy to avoid stretch marks.
- Acne: Although rare, due to hormonal changes, your skin may become acne prone. This can happen at any point during your pregnancy. A way to help soothe your skin is to avoid harsh chemicals, peels and masks. Try to stick to natural, alcohol-free products.
- Swelling / Circulation: While your body gains weight and changes to accommodate your growing baby and belly, it will decrease circulation to your lower extremities so it is recommended to use compression socks, elevation your feet and hydration.
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