Stages of Pregnancy

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The journey of pregnancy brings changes for you and your baby with each week that goes by. Day by day your baby grows and your body is changing. You are surely curious to know how your baby is developing so you can feel you are even more connected to him throughout this journey.

Usually pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks, from the first day of your last menstrual period to the actual birth of the baby. This period is divided into three stages that last for about 13 weeks each and are called trimesters. Explore each trimester of pregnancy and enjoy this wonderful experience.

First trimester – First 12 weeks of pregnancy.

This is the most vital trimester for your baby’s development. The first trimester starts in the first day of your last normal menstruation cycle. The actual conception of the baby takes place in week 2. The acknowledgement of your pregnancy usually starts with the first pregnancy symptoms.

The chances of having a miscarriage are higher during this trimester so you should take care of yourself and learn to relax. Your body will go through big changes and you will be on a hormonal rollercoaster. Start taking prenatal vitamins and avoiding alcohol and any harmful substances. Reduce your caffeine intake and learn what you should eat and what you should avoid.

The symptoms that you will start to experience during this trimester are: extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, swollen breasts, food cravings, food aversions, constipation, more frequent urination, mood swings, headaches, water retention and others.

By the end of the first trimester:
– all of your baby’s organs will be developed
– your baby’s face will have developed features
– your baby’s external sex organs will develop and you can usually find out if your baby is a boy or a girl
– the nerves and muscles of your baby are working together
– your baby will be about 3 inches long and will weight almost an ounce

Second trimester – Weeks 13 to 27.

The second trimester is usually easier for women than the first one. You should show the following symptoms: less fatigue, less nausea, gain weight faster, your belly will grow faster, back and abdomen pain, darker skin around your nipples, stretch marks, carpal tunnel syndrome, water retention and swelling of hands, feet and face, development of linea nigra which is a dark line running from your belly button to your pubic hairline.

By the end of the second trimester:
– you will be able to feel your baby move
– your baby has fingerprints and footprints
– hair begins to grow
– your baby has a regular sleep cycle
– the baby stores fat
– his marrow begins to make blood cells
– your baby is about 12 inches long and weighs around 1 and a half pounds.

Third trimester – Starts with week 28, until labor.

This is the final stage of pregnancy. You will experience during this trimester the following symptoms: more rapid weight gain, pressure on your internal organs from the bigger weight of your baby, which will put pressure on your internal organs and result in difficulty while breathing and more frequent urination.

By the end of 38 weeks the pregnancy has reached full term. The baby’s organs are now able to function on their own and the baby will gradually turn in your belly with his head down so he can be ready for birth. At birth the baby will be around 20 inches long and will weigh between 6 and 9 pounds usually.

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