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35 Things You Should Know About the Four Trimesters of Pregnancy
There are four trimesters of pregnancy and each comes with its own challenges and unique sets of symptoms.
If you’ve been pregnant before, then most of the facts mentioned here won’t be new to you. On the other hand, if this is your first pregnancy, then you want to grab a pen and paper as you will be getting a lot of fun and enlightening facts about this unique time in your life.
The Four Trimesters of Pregnancy
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Pregnancy First Trimester
According to popular opinion, this seems to be the most challenging of all the trimesters of pregnancy.
I beg to differ though.
Granted, this trimester is not the most comfortable, however, it’s still just you, especially if this is your first baby. This means you still will be able to manage this time of your life to a larger extent.
That said, here are some fun (and truthfully, some not-so-fun facts about the first trimester of pregnancy:
1) You Aren’t Exactly Pregnant But Considered So
This was by far the most shocking pregnancy fact for me. I got to know that when you are trying to get pregnant, then you are considered two weeks pregnant at each point in time.
That’s because every pregnancy starts counting from the first day of your period.
A bit weird, yea, but things are done this way just so there is no confusion about when your pregnancy started since no one knows the exact day fertilization occurs.
Research has found that upon release, it could take as short as 30 minutes or up to six days for fertilization to take place. This is why to be on the safe side, you are considered two weeks pregnant before you even conceive.
2) You Aren’t Sick the Whole First Trimester of Pregnancy
Pregnancy first trimester lasts for twelve weeks, however, the good news is that you aren’t sick all of these three months.
Morning sickness and all other pregnancy symptoms do not start to kick in until the fifth or sixth week.
So in actual fact, you are sick for 6 -7 weeks.
3) Some Women Are Born Lucky and Don’t Get Morning Sickness
There’s no other way to put it; if you escaped morning sickness in pregnancy, then you are a very lucky woman. Only about 20% of women do not have morning sickness in pregnancy.
The rest of us have to manage this uncomfortable time of our lives (and it can pretty trying if you get hit by the more see the severe type of morning sickness).
4) Brace Yourself for Week Nine
The ninth week of pregnancy is regarded as the most trying of all and that’s because the main pregnancy hormone, the Human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG), gets to its peak at this time.
This hormone, produced in the placenta, works primarily to stimulate the corpus luteum to produce progesterone needed for a healthy pregnancy.
Progesterone is especially needed as an inadequate amount could cause spotting and miscarriage.
5) This Trimester is Crucial to Your Baby’s Development
Your baby begins most major development during this first trimester. Consequently, they are also at the greatest risk of developing one or more major birth defects from this early on.
This is why pregnancy first trimester is regarded as the most delicate of all the trimesters of pregnancy and expecting mothers are advised to exercise the utmost care.
6) Your Risk for a Miscarriage is Also High
A miscarriage is most common in the first trimester, especially during the first half of this trimester.
Luckily, as your pregnancy advances, your risks drop until you are considered fairly out of the woods.
7) Morning Sickness Could Happen Anytime
It’s called morning sickness, but I believe pregnancy sickness would be a more fitting name and that’s because this sickness, while more common in the mornings, could happen at any time of the day, even late at night.
Another thing you should know is that your morning sickness might not go away when noon hits.
Yeah, sometimes you will spend the whole day being sick then there will be those days (although these will be few) when you will wonder where the previously ever-present nausea disappeared to.
Luckily, there are a few morning sickness remedies that will bring you fast relief anytime you need it.
8) Your Baby Develops the Fastest During the First Trimester
Your baby’s body structure and organ systems will develop during this trimester. Most of his organs are formed and he can now be regarded as a fetus.
9) This is Also When Cravings and Food Aversions Kick In
You will start to crave certain foods. This will be one of the strongest cravings you’ll likely have in your life. You’ll feel like you’ll go crazy if you don’t have these foods.
I remember I used to get dressed and go in search of whatever I was craving at the time. I had hyperemesis gravidarum for my first pregnancy, however, even this extreme sickness wasn’t enough to stop me from giving my body what it wanted at the time.
At the same time, you will also come to hate a few foods. Just pray these are not your favourite foods. Lol.
10) Certain Foods and Habits Have to Go
Some foods will be detrimental to your baby’s proper development, so, you want to sacrifice these for the time being.
Foods you should do away with include foods high in mercury, undercooked and raw foods, unpasteurized milk and cheese, and coffee (you should take no more than 200mg of coffee daily).
Pregnancy Second Trimester
Yay! Welcome to the best trimester of pregnancy! For most expecting moms, this will be the easiest they will have in their pregnancy.
In fact, this trimester is so easy, it has been dubbed the honeymoon stage.
This is the trimester where you will sometimes wonder If you are pregnant.
You aren’t exactly spotting a visible bump at this point and the worst of the pregnancy symptoms would be gone, if not all of them completely gone.
This is also the time when you get to “meet” your baby for the first time and watch your heart almost burst with love.
Here are some fun facts you should know about the second trimester of pregnancy:
1) You Start to Feel Better
Yeah, from the 13th week of pregnancy, you should start to feel better. That horrible, horrible nausea and vomiting should gradually start to let up.
You will be able to eat most meals and you will find most other pregnancy symptoms like breast tenderness goes away.
2) You Will Feel Your Baby Kick
You will feel your baby kick for the first time and trust me, the feeling of joy that first fetal movement is out of this world.
This first movement is called quickening and happens around the 18th – 20th week of pregnancy. If this is not your first pregnancy, then expect it early by the eighteenth week, otherwise, it comes at the twentieth.
3) Some Pregnancy Symptoms Remain
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but not all of your pregnancy symptoms will vanish. However, the good news is that the worse of them all (queasiness, vomiting, and fatigue) will be a thing of the past.
You will continue to experience some heartburn and constipation, especially as your baby continues to grow.
However, you can easily manage these with one or two home remedies.
4) You Will Start to Notice the Bump
Not just you, but everyone around you too! Your baby grows a lot during this trimester and your uterus will expand to accommodate this growth.
If you want to know just how large the womb grows during pregnancy, here’s a little fact that might astound you:
Your womb will actually grow to around 500 times the size it was pre-pregnancy!
5) You Might Get Problems with Your Gums
Not all women do, but almost half of expecting moms experience swollen and/or bleeding gums during this second trimester of pregnancy.
Hormone changes in your body are responsible for this as more blood gets sent to your gums, making them a little more sensitive to the touch.
A way around this is to change your toothbrush to a softer one and go easy when you floss. Your gum should return to normal after your baby gets born.pregnancy
6) You Might Likely Get a Vaginal Discharge
You might also get a milky white vaginal discharge and this should be no cause for alarm unless it appears very clear and comes with a foul smell. Then you should check with your doctor to be sure all is quite well down there.
7) More Hair!
If your dream is to have a head of luscious hair, then you could be in luck and have this dream met. Research has found that pregnancy hormones can boost your hair growth so it grows quite long and thick.
If you’re luckier still this new head of luscious hair will keep so don’t go harboring any fears you will lose it all once your baby gets born.
8) More Weight Gain
With nausea gone and your appetite back, you can eat a lot more healthily at this time. As you eat, you will also notice you add a little weight. Most expecting moms add up to 12 pounds at this time. It is nothing to worry about as you can lose this baby weight later once your baby arrives.
At this time though, you should be more focused on eating right, seeing as you are eating for two. Beyond this, you are building a whole new life inside you and this baby needs all the nutrients they can get in the right daily dosage.
9) Some Light Exercises will be Beneficial
This is also the trimester when some exercises will do a world of good to you and your baby. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommends getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. Good exercises like walking and swimming fit this bill and you will feel much better immediately after each session.
You should check with your doctor first though and get the clear before starting any exercises.
10) Sex Gets Better
Sex will get better for a lot of reasons. For one, I doubt if anyone enjoys intercourse with so many changes going on inside (morning sickness and all). However, with the worse of these gone, you can settle down to enjoy the moments once again.
Secondly, your libido increases during this time and you will find you crave intimacy with your partner a lot more.
Pregnancy Third Trimester
The last lap! So we are almost at the final bus stop.
This trimester starts at 28 weeks and runs all the way to the 37th week when you become termed or 40 weeks when you are fully termed. It is one of the trimesters of pregnancy that comes with its own unique sets of challenges.
Here are some things you can expect during this time:
1) Your Baby Adds a Lot of Weight
Your baby will nearly triple in size as she prepares to make her grand entrance into the world. Her organs are fully formed at this time and continue to mature up until she gets born.
2) A Few Pregnancy Symptoms Return
Some of the pregnancy symptoms you can expect to get at this time are fatigue, heartburn, cramps, and joint pain.
3) Severe and Constant Backaches
You might also expect some severe backache, so severe, it will feel like your back is being cut in two.
This was the most trying trimester for me, especially with the constant backache that just refused to go away.
Thankfully, there are some quick remedies for it; sleeping on your side, having your partner massage the spot, and taking a prescribed med are some that will work.
4) You Will Experience Your First Set of Contractions
You will experience your first set of contractions called Braxton Hicks. They are mild and not at all painful. Braxton Hicks sometimes starts in second trimester but are more likely to occur in the third. They also don’t last long and should be over within 30 seconds to two minutes.
5) More Trips to the Restroom
As your baby increases in size, she presses more and more on your bladder and you will start to feel the urge to make a lot more trips to the bathroom, sometimes bringing out just a few drops of urine.
6) Worry and Fear Could Creep In
You would likely start to feel a mix of some strong emotions, from anxiety to worry and the likes. You will worry if your baby is growing and developing as she should, especially if she goes silent for an extended period of time.
7) You Will Add a Little More Weight
As your baby adds on some extra weight, so will you. You can expect to gain half a pound to one pound every week before your baby arrives.
8) You Will Waddle a Lot
As your stomach continues to expand, your poster changes along with it. You will find your back arcs a little inside and you sort of waddle when your walk.
Funny enough, this new posture will feel perfectly natural to you as you won’t in the slightest feel anything has changed.
9) Your Baby Drops
As you approach the end of your pregnancy, your baby drops to the birthing position with his head down. Medically, your baby is said to have become engaged and if this is your first pregnancy, you can expect your baby to become engaged from the 36th week, otherwise, your baby only turns to this position a few hours before you go into labour.
10) Difficulty Sleeping
You can also expect to sometimes get only a few hours of sleep due to many reasons.
For one, the need to frequent the bathrooms every minute as well as the severe backache will keep you awake.
However, taking a few vitamins and mineral supplements, as well as practicing safer sleeping positions, have been known to improve sleep during this trimester.
Fourth Trimester of Pregnancy
Your baby is here!
So, ordinarily, you should be done with all these pregnancy symptoms and discomfort, right?
Your baby is probably sleeping at this time and you are naturally overjoyed at her presence; happy to finally be meeting the little madam who has been an occupant in your womb for all of nine months.
However, the first few weeks after your baby arrives are pretty challenging and if you don’t have anyone helping you, you’ll find it can take a little getting used to.
Here are some things you can expect during this fourth trimester of pregnancy:
1) Your Sleep Life Won’t Be the Same Again
You’ll lose a few hours of sleep daily. You’ll be lucky if you can get up to five hours daily (and these hours won’t be at a stretch).
You can sneak into the toilet to catch some snooze time while someone else watches the baby though. I did this a lot and it saved my sanity. Good thing I already had some expressed milk stored in the fridge, so my few moments of absence didn’t make the world stop.
So, find your comfy place and try to get as much rest as you can knowing your baby is in capable hands.
2) Things Might Feel Weird for a While
I don’t know if other moms experienced this, but even though I’d formed a bond with my babies (both of them while they were in the womb at different times), things felt kind of weird for a while once they arrived. I didn’t exactly feel that strong bond I thought I would have from the get-go.
It felt as though it was different babies I spoke and chatted with all those while and I was meeting my real babies for the first time.
It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with them though and ours has been a love story that keeps getting deeper.
3) Breastfeeding Woes Are Not Just Stories
Cracked nipples (ouch!), inadequate breastmilk, plugged ducts, and breast engorgement are not just tales, they are things that happen.
Thankfully, there are remedies to these breastfeeding challenges and some of these breastfeeding challenges even have more than one remedy. So, you are fully covered, mom.
4) Your Baby’s Development will Fill you with Joy
Every milestone your baby meets will fill you with joy. It will be like winning the lottery.
You want to make as many videos as you possibly can and save them in a folder in your Gmail account or share them with the world via YouTube as your baby will be grown and about before you can even say, Jack.
5) You Will Yearn for Another Baby
Unless you already have your house full of screaming kids as they play and have fun, you will yearn for another little sweetheart as you watch your baby daily.
It’s called the baby fever and it hits even the best of us.
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