You may not look pregnant but you may be feeling it. Due to the pregnancy hormones flooding your body and preparing you for your pregnancy journey. You are going to feel a lot of aches and pains, fatigue and some women will experience flatulence. Yes, it’s not great but it will pass. Remember, what your body is going through is so incredible! Just think you are growing a baby! The First Trimester lasts from Week 1 to the end of week 13 of pregnancy. Here is a brief list of things of what to expect and the changes your baby goes through.
During First Trimester
Your baby will change from a fertilised cell (Zygote) to an embryo which has planted it’s self in the uterine wall, to a peach sized size bundle of growing limbs and growing internal systems. The organs are staring to take shape, and the baby starts to move.
Around week 6, baby starts to develop his/hers arms, legs, hands and feet. Fingers and toes develop around week 10.
Hair & Nails
The baby’s skin starts to form around week 5 & 8. Hair follicles and nail beds start to form around week 11.
Around week 8, baby’s intestines will begin to form and your baby will of gone through two sets of kidneys (yes, that’s right two sets!) The third and final ones will start to develop later in the pregnancy.
Other First Trimester milestones include formation of baby’s muscles, production of white blood cells to fight germs and development of baby’s vocal cords.
So a lot is happening during those first 13 weeks. Not only will you suffer with morning sickness, tender breasts, mood swings, you may also experience heartburn, constipation, a metallic taste in your mouth, going off your favourite foods, even hating the smell of your partner’s natural smell, headaches but saying that, everyone is different.
Feeling extra ravenous?
Try and be mindful of your calorie intake as you don’t need those extra calories in your first trimester. If you do find yourself gaining more weight that is recommended which is 3 to 4 pounds, don’t worry just focus on getting back on track and doing the things you love during the duration of your pregnancy journey.
For many women, the second trimester is the most comfortable as most early pregnancy symptoms disappear, you feel less queasy and you may be able to feel a bit more energised and be able to smell and taste your food properly without wanting to throw up. Your breasts will be bigger but feel a lot less tender and you’ll start to look pregnant.
The second trimester starts at week 14 and lasts through to the end of week 27.
So as you can imagine, your little one has been very busy developing. By week 18, your baby will weigh as much as a chicken breast and at this stage can even yawn and hiccup. By around week 21, you should be able to feel baby’s arms and legs by baby giving you a few jabs and kicks. By about week 23, the baby will put more weight on. And double his/her weight in the next four weeks by the end of the 2nd trimester you’ll be carrying 2 pound little human in your tummy!
Hair, Skin, Nails
By around week 16 baby’s first tiny hairs begin to sprout, by week 22, baby will have eyelashes and eyebrows too. Baby’s skin is covered in a downy fur coat called lanugo that keeps him/her warm until the baby builds up more fat in the third trimester and by week 19, a greasy layer of oil and dead skin cells called Vernix Caseosa that shields the baby’s skin from the acidic amniotic fluid both of which will shed before birth.
The baby’s digestive system is now fully formed by the end of the first trimester so by now your little one is starting to suck and swallow in preparation for life outside the womb. Baby can even taste the foods you eat via the amniotic fluid. Research has even shown that this can influence baby’s food preference outside the womb so all the more reason to eat a healthy organic pregnancy diet. The baby’s waste system is working hard too. Although he/she still gets nutrition via the placenta, all that swallowing means baby will be peeing a lot.
Baby’s eyes and ears are moving into their correct positions and by week 22, baby has developed his/her senses meaning they can smell, see and hear and those little eyes are beginning to open.
By week 17, the baby’s heart is no longer beating spontaneously, as his/her brain is now regulating his/her heartbeat which you should be able to hear with a stethoscope by week 20. Week 25, capillaries begin to form to carry oxygenated blood through his/her body.
Not only the brain controls the baby’s heartbeat, arms and legs by week 26, your baby’s brain will start blinking those little eyelids.
Changes in your body
In the second trimester, you may still suffer with heartburn and constipation. You also may also suffer with congestion due to mucus build-up which may lead to snoring but there’s over the counter products that will be able to assist you. Mild swelling to ankles and feet (oedema) which I addressed in a previous post if this is the case, keep active, put your feet up when you can and don’t stand for long periods of time and sleep in your left side to rid of fluid build-up. Sensitive gums are another issue you may experience. Make sure you visit your dentist if your gums are bright red and bleed easily as it could be a sign of gingivitis and if not treated can lead to a serious problem.
Leg cramps usually start in the second trimester and can last through to the third. This is due to hormones, weight and a deficiency of calcium or magnesium. So be sure to keep eating a healthy, well balanced pregnancy diet. Dizziness
Dizziness can also occur in the second Trimester as well as the first which is caused by lower blood pressure due to all the extra blood your body is pumping. Just take it easy, eat plenty of small meals and drink plenty of fluids to reduce symptoms.
Round Ligament Pain
You may experience pain in the lower abdomen which is referred to as Round Ligament Pain as the ligaments that support your belly stretch to support your belly’s increasing size.
Varicose Veins and/or Haemorrhoids
Fortunately these should go away after pregnancy that’s if you didn’t have them before you conceived.
All of the above symptoms are normal and temporary. So are feelings of apprehension, irritability, forgetfulness and frustration.
There may be some big changes in the bedroom as pregnancy can cause havoc on your sex life as you and your partner cope with your changing body and mood killing symptoms like fatigue and feeling a bit nauseous. Some ladies find that the extra blood flows to the right spots and find that their sex life is even better. Communication is the key to avoid resentment, so keep talking, through the dry spells and keep nurturing one another, find gratitude in the little things. Kissing and cuddling just as important .
Sex will not hurt the baby or scar the baby emotionally infact, he/she will probably enjoy a little rocking and rolling.
Your appetite will increase and you’ll really start to gain pregnancy weight to support your growing little one. If you started your pregnancy at a normal weight, expect to gain around 1 pound per week which will total 14 pounds you’ll gain through this trimester.
The third trimester begins week 28 all the way through to birth which is roughly around 40 weeks but the baby can decide to come a few weeks earlier than the due date or a few weeks later after the due date. Around 30% of babies are born past the 40 weeks but if you reach 42 weeks you’ll be considered overdue so you’ll be induced if birth doesn’t begin on its own.
Your little one will grow from 2.5 pounds and 16 inches long in week 28 to 6-9 pounds and 18 to 22 inches long in week 40. I know some women may have bigger, heavier babies. The biggest I’ve read about is a whopping 15 pounds! This is absolutely incredible!!? Your baby is growing really fast so don’t be surprised if you get some serious kicks and pokes.
How has the baby developed?
As your baby transforms, cartilage to bone in months 7-8, he/she will be getting all the calcium from you so be sure to eat calcium rich foods.
Hair, skin, nails
Your baby’s skin was see through but by week 32 it will turn opaque. In week 36, your baby will continue to accumulate fat as the baby sheds his/her vernix and lanugo.
In the final weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s first poop which consists of red blood cells, vernix and lanugo starts to build up in the baby’s intestines.
Your baby’s touch receptors will be fully developed around week 29 or week 30. By week 31, your little one will receive signals from all five senses. He/she can perceive light and dark, taste what you’ve consumed and listen to the sound of your voice.
In the third trimester, your baby’s brain will grow faster than ever. He/she can blink, dream and regulate his/her own body temperature amount other things. Around 34 weeks of pregnancy, baby turns southward, settling in to a heads down bottom up position unless your baby is being a little stubborn and stay in the breech position. If this is the case, your Doctor will attempt to manually turn your baby around in week 37.
Changes that may occur in your body
With your baby growing rapidly, you’re probably feeling lots of fetal activity. You may also be experiencing changes in your body as your bump gets bigger and bigger including:
Brixton Hicks Contractions – your body’s way of preparing you for Labour
Varicose veins – which will disappear after birth if you didn’t have them before conceiving
Stretch Marks – Coconut or Argan oil is good
Crazy Vivid Dreams & heightened Intuition – both very normal
Lack of bladder control
With all these pregnancy symptoms and more weighing on you, just remember that in a few weeks you’ll be meeting your beautiful little one.