Women go through a lot during a pregnancy. The most noticeable changes are on the outside but there are changes that go one inside the body as well. During the typical 40 weeks of a pregnancy, the pregnancy stages are divided into three trimesters in order to separate the unique changes happening outside and inside the uterus. Knowing what goes on during these different trimesters allow women to anticipate their body’s needs in order to fully nourish and take care of their growing babies inside their wombs.
The first trimester or the first three months can be nerve wracking especially for first time expectant moms. This is when the body gets ready to shelter a baby and is making changes to accommodate the new occupant. Morning sickness, fatigue, missing periods, urges to urinate and headaches are some of the most common early pregnancy symptoms women experience during the early days of the first trimester. It is also during the first trimester that the most crucial developments are going on inside the mother’s womb. Your baby’s organs are just starting to form during the first trimester. Neural connections, the heart and the brain are some of the organs that develop first during the first few weeks of conception. Fetal growth is also rapid at this stage, from the size of a pin’s head to the size of a hazelnut in just a 8 weeks.
Mothers at this stage usually have their first prenatal checkup and are prescribed with folic acid, calcium and iron as supplements to help nurture the baby inside. Exercise like swimming and walking are also advised.
During the second trimester or the 4th to the 6th month of pregnancy, more changes are still occurring outside and inside the uterus. The baby bump is likely to become more prominent during the 4th month and will continue to grow. Inside, baby is now becoming more active. He is learning to swallow, suck and breathe. His movements will now start to be felt by mom. He can now kick and is happily swimming in his warm sac. Organs and senses continue to mature and develop at this stage. Late in the second trimester, baby will now learn to recognize your voice as his auditory senses develop.
For most mothers at this stage, the morning sickness has passed and an increase in appetite follows. Weird cravings for exotic dishes will begin to surface. At this stage, most mothers go in for a sonogram or ultra sound to see their baby for the first time. At this part of the pregnancy stages, the baby’s sex organs can bee seen during a sonogram so it is now possible to know your baby’s gender!
Organs are now developed and continue to mature during the last trimester of pregnancy. At this stage, it is usually a waiting game for most mothers. During this last trimester, your baby’s chances of surviving outside the womb should he be born prematurely has greatly increased. He is more active and now behaves like a normal infant would outside the womb. He can suck his thumb and wakes or sleeps periodically.
Moms at this stage now complain of back aches and swelling feet due to the increase in weight. Some women also get clumsier due to the shift in their center of gravity.
Pregnancy stages are important because they can gauge the development of the fetus and monitor baby and mom’s health. Knowing which milestones to expect at the different stages can help moms and dads better prepare for their impending parenthood.