Though pregnancy may seem to last forever, (especially that last month when you're waiting to meet your little sprout), a normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks.
What most women may not know is that your pregnancy actually begins two weeks before conception, when your last menstrual cycle occurred. The stages of pregnancy are divided into trimesters, and each one lasts about 13 weeks. Below are milestones, information, and facts about each trimester.
Hooray!! You're pregnant! Now what?
The first trimester can be the most exciting, nerve-wracking time of pregnancy. But you got this! You may be cursing your hormones momentarily, as they will affect almost every organ in your body, but remember- you are creating life!
Many women experience nausea and vomiting, or morning sickness, due to their body's newest passenger. Or you may turn into Sleeping Beauty due to extreme exhaustion and tiredness.
Do you cringe in pain when putting on your bra? Tenderness and swelling of the breasts is completely normal in the first few weeks of pregnancy, but this too shall pass.
Aside from all of the physical changes your body is going through, your hormones may also play with your feelings. Moodiness, excitement, weepiness, joy- these are totally normal for a huge life change.
Growing a baby is such hard work!
During the first month of pregnancy your baby's heart and lungs will begin to form, and by the second month, ankles, wrists, fingers, and toes will start to develop. But by the third month your child's growth will become more pronounced as bones and muscles grow and the beginnings of teeth start to appear.
Having made it out of the first trimester woods, you're ready to tackle pregnancy head on. Your nausea will begin to let up around this time, your belly will start to expand as your little one grows, you'll even start to feel movement during this time!
Bless the second trimester.
Your sweet baby bump may start to itch, a side effect from your skin stretching. Bloating and swelling may occur as your body takes on more water. You may even gain a little weight as your body tries to accommodate your baby's nutritional needs.
Around week 16-18 you will begin to feel the first flutters of life inside you.
At week 20, you are halfway there. You got this!
From weeks 18-20 you will be able to tell if you're carrying a sweet boy or girl.
By the fourth month of pregnancy your body has been doing some serious multitasking. You've helped create your child's eyelashes, eyebrows, fingernails and neck. The arms and legs can bend, and your baby can hear!
In months five and six your child's hair will begin to grow, eyes will start to open, and the brain will develop at a crazy pace. Your little one's lungs will be fully formed, but not yet breathing on their own.
All Systems Go!
You may feel like you're about to pop at any moment. But just a little longer!
During the final few months of your pregnancy, you may find yourself looking for the closest bathroom constantly. As your baby grows and takes up more room inside you, you will start to feel slight pressure on your organs- this will all go back to normal after delivery. Feeling short of breath? Your uterus is pushing against your diaphragm and your lungs are not able to fully expand. Swelling in your hands, feet, and face are also common as you retain more water and your blood circulation slows. Baxton-Hicks, or false labor, may occur as your cervix begins thinning and softening to prepare for delivery. Colostrum, the first stages of milk for breastfeeding, will occur. This super food is full of vitamins your baby will need in their first few days.
It may sound unpleasant, but you got this mama! Your body is preparing to deliver your child to you.
Your baby is getting ready for the home stretch during this time. Kicking, stretching and even responding to light and sound, is a full time job for the little sprout.
During the eighth month of pregnancy your little one is gaining weight at a rapid speed. Bones become harder, different parts of the brain are forming.
The ninth month your baby will prepare to leave your cozy tummy as it shifts into a head-down position for delivery.