Pregnancy is typically broken into three periods, or trimesters, each of about three months.
What are the months of the three Trimesters in pregnancy?
First trimester: 0 - 12 weeks (0 - 3 and a half months)
Second trimester: 12 - 24 weeks (3 1/2 months to 6 mths)
Third trimester: week 29 - week 40 (6 months to 9 mths)
The first trimester of your week-by-week pregnancy is a difficult time. It is a dubious stage when one is not confirmed about the awaited pregnancy but is also an extremely complicated phase when the chances of pregnancy risks are maximum.
However, beyond these mentioned issues, first trimester pregnancy opens the door to a completely new world marked by excitement, fear, apprehensions and a wonderful feeling of fulfillment.
The Timeframe Covered Under the First Section
First trimester pregnancy refers to week 1 to week 12 of the week-by-week pregnancy wherein week 1 is calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period. Technically therefore, there is no pregnancy in the first two weeks of the 40 weeks of pregnancy. In reality, this is the time when you have pregnancy and babies all over your mind. This is the time when you get ready to cover the journey of being pregnant and start dreaming about the pleasant changes coming your way.
The Technicalities of Conception
The wonderful desire of giving birth to a life takes shape in the first trimester as the process of implantation begins. This process might also accompany implantation bleeding for few women, which medically is perfectly normal. This happens around weeks 3 & 4, when cell division triggers off in the fallopian tube to form a zygote.
Time To Check
Pregnancy would be apparent in a few weeks; but who has the patience to play the waiting game. Like all other excited and rightly impatient would-be moms, you too must be dying to confirm the news. So why wait, go ahead and take up the early pregnancy tests. They might not be 100% accurate, but are closely indicative. The final confirmation must come from the health care practitioner.
In addition to the mentioned medical ways of testing, your body would start giving indications of pregnancy. Early pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness symptom, etc. would soon clear all doubts. Approximately, by the fifth week, the news would be confirmed. Logically therefore, the initial celebrations to greet the dearest one in the world can officially begin.
Baby Takes Shape
Cells are working together to develop your child in the first trimester pregnancy. The child in the first trimester pregnancy can hardly be recognized as a human being and resembles a seed. Right nutrition consumption, basic exercises and strict precautions can all help develop the child.
First trimester pregnancy marks the beginning of your week by week fetus development. Every day during this timeframe is extremely sensitive and therefore the information provided in the initial weeks of week-by-week pregnancy guide must be very seriously abided by.
The toughest bit of the 1st trimester of pregnancy is morning sickness.
Any woman who has gone through or is going through it, knows the first signs usually develop during the month following the first missed menstrual period, when hormone levels increase. It may range from mild, occasional nausea to sever, continuous, debilitating nausea with bouts of vomiting. In most cases, symptoms may be worse in morning, albeit they can strike day or night.
Despite all advances in medicine, there is no way of predicting how long your morning sickness will last even if you have suffered it before. Generally, nausea and vomiting last till about 12 - 13 weeks of pregnancy. However, some women continue to feel ill beyond their 22nd week as well.
Some studies show that mild to moderate sickness is a sign of a good pregnancy, and less risk of miscarriage.
There is no simple treatment. The best course of action is home treatment. The following tips work wonders not only when you wake up feeling nauseous but also work when you get that queasy feeling during the day.
Changing what, when and how much you eat coupled with certain changes to the way foods cooked helps.
During morning or for that matter all day sickness, you may find that eating five or six small meals, rather than the usual three large ones, is easier on the body. Make sure each meal contains some protein and carbohydrate, like whole wheat bread with grated cheese and a slice of tomato, rice or wheat preparation with some easily digestible / light cereals, orange juice and a whole wheat biscuit. Be creative; choose low fat health foods you know will tempt your appetite. Aversions to food because of nausea are perfectly normal and understandable.
Try not to miss meals
Eat small, dry snacks.
Don't jump up out of bed immediately. Lie quietly for a while and ask you husband to bring you a slice of fresh lemon or orange or a dry, bland biscuit.
Avoid large drinks, have frequent small one between meals.
Spicy, fried foods, and fatty foods like very rich sweets, are best avoided.
Avoid excessive consumption of pickles or chutney, which is rich in salt.
Don't spend much time in the kitchen and avoid the strong smell of certain foods when shopping.
Prepare food when feeling least nauseous.
Taking lemon or orange juice in the morning and before meals relieves nausea of early pregnancy.
Suck an ice cube till the nausea passes off.
Sip on cool water.
However, if you have severe, persistent nausea and vomiting, see your doctor. This not so common complication of pregnancy can lead to dehydration and malnutrition, sometimes calling for prescribed medication and in some cases even hospitalization.
You might be surprised, but the second trimester of pregnancy is the easiest stage!
Most of the pregnancy symptoms, including the horrible morning sickness, have vanished and you have also passed the danger of miscarriages that are common in the first stage of pregnancy.
It's time now for outings and enjoying the feeling of creating a life inside! The best thing about second trimester of pregnancy is that you get back your energy and your sex drive. You feel "normal" once again!
What Happens To Your Body?
During the second trimester of pregnancy, your body increases in size. Your breasts enlarge further and secrete colostrum. Your heart starts pumping harder and undergoes a slight increase in size.
What Happens To Your Baby?
Your baby's face has a defined nose, chin, and forehead by now. Due to the development of facial muscles, she can even smile! Fine hair starts growing all over your baby's body. She has a distinct set of fingerprints. Your baby is about 3 inches in length. She now has her own identity and is no longer just a bunch of cells.
Although the second trimester of pregnancy is relatively easier than the first trimester pregnancy and third trimester pregnancy, there are certain problems that might show their face. They are constipation, gas, and bleeding of gums.
Besides this, you may find it extremely uncomfortable to sleep on your back. This is because the developing fetus exerts pressure on your blood vessels. As there is no question of sleeping on your belly, the best way to sleep is on your side with the support of pillows. A dull backache may nudge you during this time, as your baby puts pressure on your ligaments.
It is advised to go for a regular testing of your urine to rule out the possibility of gestational diabetes, which is common at this different stage of pregnancy. You might also notice certain areas of your skin getting dark. Some of you might also feel dizzy at times while some may observe a slight enlargement in the size of their feet due to the expansion of ligaments.
Symptoms that require immediate medical attention during this stage are vaginal bleeding, hypertension, weak cervix, diabetes, high fever, blurred vision, and swelling of face and hands. Premature labor is yet another issue to watch out for.
You should avoid standing on your feet for prolonged period of time. Take fiber rich food in order to stay away from hemorrhoids. Be conscious of how you sit; your back should be straight.
The best thing about this stage is you can eat what you like, as there is no problem of nausea now. Lots of fibers, fresh vegetables and fruits, and low fat milk should be a part of your diet. Papaya works wonders during acidity. The smartest thing to do right now is ask your partner to drop those cigarettes and you can cut down on the number of wine glasses.
The third trimester pregnancy period is the toughest; hence, enjoy your second trimester of pregnancy as much as you can!
A woman in her third trimester pregnancy is likely to experience many bodily changes, as the baby is likely to grow fastest during this phase of pregnancy period.
The third trimester pregnancy is the last three months of pregnancy and it is quite natural that the mother feels a bit anxious and excited, as the day for babys arrival is fast approaching.
The mother is likely to experience the movements of the growing baby more often during third trimester pregnancy in comparison to the earlier months.
Mild cramps in the feet and swelling of hands and feet may be experienced, which is common. Braxton Hicks contractions, false pregnancy pain are also one among the common symptoms experienced during third trimester pregnancy.
During First month of the third trimester pregnancy, the head of the baby will appear to be in proportion to the rest of the body and the brain is better developed. The baby can now, bat his eyelids and can actually produce tears. The weight of the baby will be close to three pounds now, though the physical growth takes a lower pace.
During Second month of the third trimester pregnancy, the mother may not feel much movement within the womb, as there may not be much room for the growing baby to move around. Also, mild discomforts like indigestion, heartburn during pregnancy, shortness of breath and tiredness may be experienced.
The baby will slowly change position in such a way that the head faces the bottom. The amniotic fluid will be at its highest now, and the baby may begin taking alternate breaths, thereby getting himself prepared to breathe air.
The sleep pattern of the baby also becomes more regular now. By the end of the eighth month, the hearing capability of the baby would have developed completely and it is recommended that parents should talk to their baby as much as they can.
During Third month of the third trimester pregnancy, the babys head will now descend into the pelvic region, and the mother may experience more frequent urge for urination, which is common.
The babys head will now have hair, the lungs of the baby are completely developed by now and the weight of the baby will now be about 7.25 pounds.
There are chances of the mucus plug getting burst, anytime during the ninth month, which is a sure sign of approach of labor. The most unforgettable and exciting moment of a mothers life is likely to arrive anytime now, a moment that will be cherished forever.
Pregnancy and Stress, Worry or Anxiety
It may be the most important moment of your life, the moment that you learn that you're pregnant, or you find out that your wife is pregnant.
You wonder whether your child will grow up to be the next Mozart or the next Marie Curie. You go through baby name books endlessly, wondering what to call your bundle of joy. You go to the paint store, hoping to pick out just the right shade for your child's nursery. You register at a baby merchandise store, hoping to get just what you need for your baby shower.
However, while it can be a time of unbridled joy, pregnancy may also be a period of intense stress. You may be worried about the weight gain associated with pregnancy. Or you may be wondering whether your baby will be healthy.
You may be anxious about your finances, especially if they weren't good before the news of your baby's arrival. You may also be wondering how your relationship with your spouse will change as a result of the pregnancy. You may even be wondering how your relationship with your parents will be altered as a result of your new baby. You may also be worried about the experience of childbirth and the amount of pain involved.
Most importantly, you might be stressed out about the responsibilities of parenthood. You may be wondering how good a mother or a father you'll make. You may be wondering whether you'll be a good provider, a good comforter, a good disciplinarian. You might be wondering about feeding schedules and middle-of-the-night diaper changes.
All of these worries are natural. However, it is important that your worries do not cause you intolerable anxiety. There are specific steps you can take to lessen the stress of pregnancy. If you hope to make the transition to parenthood as smooth as possible, it's critical that you follow these simple relaxation techniques.
To begin with, it can be helpful to take a childbirth class. Even if you aren't contemplating natural childbirth, such classes provide a wealth of information--information that can help put your mind at ease. You'll receive information about how to have a healthy pregnancy, about proper diet for the prospective mother, about the process of childbirth, and about the care and feeding of your baby.
In addition, childbirth classes often provide you with information about relaxation techniques. These include not only breathing exercises, but imagery exercises that can help soothe your nerves. The good thing is that you'll be going through the relaxation exercises with your partner, so you can both receive the benefit of them. Many childbirth educators encourage practicing these relaxation exercises right before you go to bed at night, so you can learn how to relax your muscles right before you try to go to sleep.
It may also be a good idea to attend La Leche League meetings during your pregnancy if you intend to breast-feed. Breast-feeding can be a daunting experience for a new mother, so you'll want to get all the information you can about the process. The La Leche League meetings also put you in touch with experienced breast-feeding mothers who can help to coach you through the rough times. Some groups also provide a phone list that you can consult whenever you need advice--anytime of the day or night.
If you're experiencing a great deal of pregnancy-related stress, it is also important that you discuss it with your obstetrician. He or she might have additional recommendations for you, as far as coping techniques are concerned. He or she can also let you know whether your stress is affecting your baby, which can be critically important in putting your mind at ease.
Pregnancy can and should be a joyous time. However, there is little doubt that there is a great deal of stress involved in the process. The more informed you are about pregnancy and childbirth, the better able you will be to cope.
Seeking out other mothers and fathers during this critical time can also be important for your emotional well-being. By relying on other people for support, you can reduce your stress level significantly and truly enjoy the latter stages of your pregnancy.
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