The duration of pregnancy can fall from 37 weeks to 42 weeks. Thus, expectant moms often have a 5-week period when their unborn angel could arrive at any time. Of course, it is quite normal. If a mother gives birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy, her kid is known as premature that needs extra care. But, a pregnancy that lasts longer than 42 weeks is defined as a prolonged pregnancy which may bring a higher risk of complications. The length of pregnancy is grouped into 3 main trimesters. Today, let’s find out what’s happening to both you and your baby in such 3 stages.
The duration of pregnancy – The first trimester (from week 1 to week 12)
During the first trimester, your body is likely to undergo many changes. At that time, hormonal changes have a strong influence on almost every organ system in the body. Such the major changes may even trigger symptoms in the very first weeks of pregnancy. One of the clearest signs that you are getting pregnant is that your period stops. Other symptoms may include:
- Tender and swollen breasts. Your nipples can also stick out.
- Extreme tiredness
- Morning sickness
- Cravings or distaste for some certain foods
- Constipation (trouble having bowel movements)
- Mood swings
- Frequent urination
- Weight gain or loss
Things to notice
As your body changes, this does mean that you should make changes to your daily routine, too. Fortunately, these uncomfortable signs will go away as your pregnancy progresses. Eventually, some mamas-to-be cannot feel any discomfort at all! The following are some must-do things you should follow during this first trimester of pregnancy:
- Try not to miss any meals and eat small and dry snacks to avoid urinating often.
- Do not jump up out of bed right away. Just lie in bed for a while. Then, ask your spouse to bring a dry and bland biscuit or a slice of fresh lemon or orange.
- Avoid spicy, fried, and fatty foods.
- Stay away from large drinks. Instead, have frequent small drinks between meals.
- Try not to eat an excessive amount of pickles or chutney, which is rich in salt.
- Prepare food when having not much nauseous feeling.
- Avoid spending much time in the kitchen as well as the strong smell of certain foods while in market.
- Drinking orange or lemon juice in the morning and before meals can help to relieve nausea of early pregnancy.
- Sip on cool water.
- Suck an ice until the nausea passes off.
The duration of pregnancy – The second trimester (from week 13 to week 28)
Most expectant mothers find the second trimester of pregnancy easier and more pleasant than the first period. Yet, it is equally important to stay informed about your pregnancy in such the months. It is easy to realize that some signs, like nausea and fatigue, go away. Instead, other newer and more noticeable changes to your body are just available. As your kid continues developing, your abdomen expands day by day. Before this trimester is over, you may even feel that your baby begins to move! Once your body changes to make room for the growing child, you can experience:
- Body aches, like back, groin, abdomen, or thigh pain
- Numb or tingling hands
- Stretch marks on your breasts, abdomen, buttocks or thighs
- A light line on the skin, which runs from belly button to pubic hairline
- Darkening of the skin around nipples
- Patches of darker skin over the forehead, cheeks, nose, or upper lip.
- Swelling of the fingers, ankles, and face. (If noticing any sudden or extreme swelling or if gaining a lot of weight quickly, you should call a doctor immediately. This might be a sign of preeclampsia.)
- Itching on the palms, abdomen, and soles of the feet. (Visit a doctor if you have nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, jaundice or fatigue combined with itching. In general, these may be symptoms of a serious liver problem.)
Things to notice
During this trimester, it is highly advisable to avoid standing on your feet for a long time. Avoid hemorrhoids by taking fiber rich food. Be conscious of how you have a seat. Of course, your back should be straight.
Yet, the best thing about this stage is that women may eat what they like, because there is no problem of nausea at that time. Consume a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits, fibers, and low-fat milk. During acidity, papaya does work wonders. Don’t forget to ask your husband to drop cigarettes and cut down on the number of wine glasses as much as possible!
The duration of pregnancy – The third trimester (from week 29 to week 40)
Women in their third trimester of pregnancy are likely to experience a lot of bodily changes, since their child grow fastest during this phase of pregnancy. During this stage, they may feel a bit anxious and excited as the day for the arrival of baby is fast approaching. Some of them can find breathing difficult and realize that they have to go to the bathroom more often. The reason is that the baby is getting bigger, putting more pressure on your organs. Calm down, please! Those problems will lessen once you give birth. A few new body changes moms can expect during the third trimester include:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the fingers, ankles, and face.
- Tender breasts
- Trouble sleeping
- Your belly button can stick out
- The baby is dropping or moving lower in your abdomen
- Contractions – a sign of real or false labor
Once nearing your due date, your cervix will become thinner and softer. Don’t worry! This is a normal and natural process, which helps the birth canal to open during the process of birthing. Your healthcare provider will check your progress with a vaginal exam when you near your due date. Yes, these 3 trimesters are the normal duration of pregnancy every future mother can experience. Feel excited as you are on the way to welcome an angel to your life!