Pregnancy usually lasts for about 40 weeks. Your body adjusts to different stages of your pregnancy and you will experience different symptoms throughout the pregnancy too. A pregnancy is usually monitored through 3 main stages – the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
First Trimester (week 1 – 12)
This is the period when your body goes through the most changes. You will experience symptoms like:
- Morning sickness (nausea that may or may not be accompanied by vomiting)
- Weight loss/gain
- Frequent urination
- Mood swings
- Distaste for certain foods
- Swollen/tender breasts
- Extreme tiredness.
You may need to change some of your habits in order to adjust to these changes.It is during this trimester that your baby’s organs are developed. By the end of the 12th week, your baby is usually fully formed.
Second Trimester (week 13 – 28)
These are some of the symptoms you may experience at this stage:
- Darkening of the skin around your nipples
- Body aches; abdomen, back, legs.
- Take plenty of fluids and avoid standing for long.
- Stretch marks on your breasts, buttocks and abdomen.
- Numb or tingly hands.
- Swelling of your feet, fingers and face. Visit your doctor if the swelling seems to be extreme.
For most women, this is usually the most exciting stage of pregnancy. You can determine your baby’s gender during this period and usually, it can respond to stimuli like sound and light. You can also hear your baby’s heartbeat and feel its movements at this stage.
Third Trimester (week 29 – 40)
The symptoms you are likely to experience during this stage are:
- Shortness of breath
- Avoid spicy foods and citrus fruits.
- Your sleep patterns are most likely to be disrupted at this stage.
- Tender breasts
- Belly button may stick out.
- You are more likely to experience mild contractions in your abdomen that may increase in frequency as you approach your due date.
By the time you hit week 37, your baby may have ‘dropped’ down into your pelvis, head facing down, ready to be popped out!