Pregnancy: Trimester By Trimester

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Pregnancy Trimester

Pregnancies typically last 37 to 42 weeks and are divided into three trimesters. Each of these stages is between 12 and 14 weeks long, and can bring unexpected changes to your body as your baby grows and develops. While every woman is different and may not experience the same symptoms, there are some things you can expect when you are pregnant. 

First Trimester

The first trimester begins on the day of your last menstrual period and is a time of growth and change for you and the baby. The first stage of pregnancy generally lasts for 3 months and is marked by noticeable changes in your body. Hormonal levels will often fluctuate, and most women will notice that their menstrual cycle has stopped.

1st-trimester key stages

The first trimester is an important time for you and your baby. As your body begins changing and getting ready to support the tiny life growing inside, the fertilized egg is rapidly growing and evolving. During the first week of pregnancy, the egg will attach itself to the wall of your uterus, which is the signal for your hormone levels to begin to change. The first trimester also sees the egg develop into an embryo, and by the ninth week, it has become a tiny fetus.

1st-trimester symptoms

There are several symptoms associated with the first trimester of pregnancy, but it should also be noted that every woman is different. It is not uncommon for some women to experience some of these symptoms, while others may not suffer any discomfort. Some of the common symptoms women can experience during the first trimester can include,

* Your breasts may become slightly tender to the touch, and you may also notice that your nipples are protruding more than usual.

* One of the most common symptoms women experience during the first few months they are pregnant is nausea, or “morning sickness”. This is the general feeling that you may become sick, though it is not uncommon to have an upset stomach and not throw up.

* Cravings for specific foods or a sudden dislike of some of your favorite menu items is common during the first trimester, and many women report that this potentially unhealthy symptom usually disappears after the first few weeks.

* As your hormone levels begin to change it is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience unexplainable mood swings.

* Constipation can also affect pregnant women in the first trimester.

Other symptoms can include the need to urinate more frequently, along with frequent headaches and heartburn. Some women also report feeling sudden bursts of energy, while others experience extreme fatigue.

1st-trimester lifestyle changes

Each woman is different, and so is every pregnancy, which should always be taken into consideration when you are making any necessary lifestyle changes. Some common changes many pregnant women feel they need to make include going to sleep a little earlier at night, along with eating several smaller healthy meals throughout the day.

1st-trimester health tips

Some health tips recommended by health care professionals include eating several healthy well-balanced meals throughout the day, along with getting plenty of rest and exercise. Other tips include eliminating all alcoholic beverages and nicotine products, along with regular checkups with your health care provider.

Second Trimester

The second trimester is generally a little easier on most women, especially since your body has begun to adjust to the sudden changes. This stage usually begins around the 13th week of pregnancy and lasts until the end of the 28th week. It is important to remember that even though you may be feeling better it is still important to see your healthcare provider regularly.

2nd-trimester key stages

During this important 12 Weeks Pregnant period, you will probably notice that many of the symptoms you experienced during the first trimester begin to disappear. While most women do generally feel better during this stage of their pregnancy, the fetus is still growing rapidly. Your waistline should begin to thicken as your abdomen expands, and many women feel their baby’s movements for the first time by the end of the second trimester.

2nd-trimester symptoms

While the symptoms of the first trimester are beginning to ease, there are some more that can begin to appear during the second stage of pregnancy. Some of these signs and symptoms may include;

* Weight gain as your baby begins to grow, which can also result in back pain and stretch marks.

* Some women also report their skin darkening around their nipples, and on their cheeks.

* Carpal tunnel syndrome can also affect some pregnant women, along with swollen ankles, hands, and feet. It is also not uncommon to experience tingling on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet.

2nd-trimester lifestyle changes

During the second trimester, it is important to stick with the same healthy lifestyle changes you made during the first stage of your pregnancy so your baby can continue to grow and develop. If you have not gotten rid of all of your unhealthy habits, this is the perfect time to start living a healthier life.

2nd-trimester health tips

It is important to see your healthcare provider regularly during this important stage, especially if any of the symptoms you may be experiencing are particularly painful. While in most cases there are not any problems with the pregnancy, some of these symptoms can also be a signal of a more serious health condition.

Third Trimester

This final 12-week period is the one most pregnant women long for by the end of the first trimester. The third trimester generally displays less potentially severe symptoms, but you do have to deal with your awkward size. Until you are ready to go into labor it is also important to stay in contact with your health care provider during this exciting time.

3rd-trimester key stages

The 3rd trimester is when your baby is simply concentrating on growing, and most of the developmental stages are already finished. While you might be getting more uncomfortable as your baby continues to grow, your pregnancy is finally almost over.

3rd-trimester symptoms

One of the most important symptoms to watch for during the third trimester is contractions, which could signal the impending birth of your baby. Other signs and symptoms associated with this 12-week period include,

* Shortness of breath due to weight gain, along with heartburn and even painful hemorrhoids.

* Problems sleeping due to an active baby are also common at this stage in the pregnancy.

* You might also notice your breasts discharging a milky substance, along with your belly button suddenly protruding.

If you notice sudden wetness in between your legs, it is important to call your healthcare provider immediately since this is usually a sign that you are in labor.

3rd-trimester lifestyle changes

By this stage in your pregnancy, you should have already made any healthy lifestyle changes. The first and second trimesters are critical for a baby’s development, and any unhealthy habits you were still engaging in could have been detrimental to the fetus.

3rd-trimester health tips

When you are finally in the 3rd trimester, it is important to listen to your body and concentrate on taking care of yourself. Resting when you need to and eating plenty of healthy foods will help you make it through these last few weeks of your pregnancy.


Pregnancy can be frightening, especially for first-time mothers. As long as you visit your health care provider regularly and follow his advice you can have a healthy and relatively easy pregnancy. Make healthy lifestyle choices and do not be afraid to discuss any of your symptoms or concerns with a health care professional and you and your baby can have a healthy and relatively comfortable pregnancy.

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Evlin Symon is an experienced Health writer who has been at this for more than 5 years. She is an expert in health, fitness, weight loss, pregnancy tips and beauty. Evlin loves to read and write, and she hopes to write a novel someday. When she is not writing she can usually be found hitting the Gym. Follow her on Facebook and Google+ for daily inspiration.

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