Pregnancy is a special time for moms. From the moment you notice your pregnancy test was positive until the second you are about to deliver your newborn baby, you will undoubtedly experience a wide range of emotions in anticipation of becoming a mom. You’ll spend time coming up with a name, planning how you want to decorate the nursery, and showing off your ultrasound pictures to anyone who will look at them. In order to not become overwhelmed with the entire 9 month process, just take one trimester at a time.
The First Trimester
By the time you take your pregnancy test, you are most likely between 4 and 8 weeks pregnant. By then you may already have begun to feel nauseous or even lose your cookies. Although this symptom is referred to as morning sickness, it doesn’t always happen in the morning. I had a cousin who was sick at night. Keep in mind that each pregnancy is different and there is no way to predict how your body will respond to the extra hormones that are present during a pregnancy.
Other symptoms you are likely to come across during the first trimester, which lasts a total of 12 weeks include sore breasts that may be a bit swollen, fatigue, constipation, urinating more frequently than normal, mood swings, dizziness, heartburn, and possible food cravings. Some of these symptoms can be treated. For example, taking a nap in the middle of the day can help combat fatigue, and avoiding spicy foods or foods that have a high citrus content can keep you from getting heartburn. Also, drinking the daily 8 glasses of water per day will do wonders to prevent constipation.
The first trimester is an emotional time as you consider all of the changes that will take place. It is the time when you begin letting those you care about know about the pregnancy. If it your first child, you will most likely engross yourself in baby books to try to prepare yourself for the journey ahead. Just make sure you stop and take plenty of deep breaths. You still have plenty of time before the baby comes.
The Second Trimester
The second trimester is the best in terms of how good you are going to feel. This is the time when you will start hearing the saying, “You have that pregnancy glow about you.” Morning sickness has ceased by the second month, and the baby isn’t big enough yet for your body to start feeling tremendous back and pelvic pressure. Since most ultrasounds are performed at 20 weeks, this is the trimester you are likely to find out the sex of your baby. The second trimester lasts until week 27. Of course, if you want to be surprised just tell your ultrasound technician not to tell you whether the baby is a boy or a girl.
Some of the things you can expect to experience during the second trimester include weight gain, a noticeable belly bump, growing breasts, sensitive teeth and gums, leg cramps, nasal congestion, hair growth, and skin changes. Make sure you purchase a supportive bra to wear from here on out as your breasts continue to grow in preparation for making milk for your baby. Switching to a sensitive tooth toothpaste is a good idea, as is using saline solution for nasal congestion. When it comes to leg cramps, eating plenty of bananas to increase your potassium levels will help. If you experience a leg cramp, stretch out your leg muscle by pulling your toes upward.
Emotionally, the second trimester has you over the shock of the pregnancy (if you weren’t expecting it). You may be able to narrow down the baby names if you selected to find out the baby’s gender, which means you can also start buying pink or blue items for the nursery. You’ll probably be full of energy during the second trimester so try to get as much done during this time as you can.
The Third Trimester
The third trimester begins at 28 weeks and lasts until your baby is born (typically around 40 weeks gestation). It is during this trimester that you will begin to slow down and really feel the effects of the extra weight from carrying around your baby. Your back may ache or you may have a lot of pelvic pressure if the baby is positioned for delivery. Laying on your left side can help relieve some of the pressure when you get a chance to sit down and rest. You’ll probably start to get hear the question, “When are you due?” so often that you will want the baby to hurry up and make his or her appearance.
Other symptoms that are common during the third trimester include growing breasts that may begin to leak toward your due date, vaginal discharge or the loss of your mucus plug, fatigue, shortness of breath, hemorrhoids, frequent urination, swollen ankles, and Braxton Hicks contractions. You will also gain the most weight during this last trimester, since the baby starts to gain a pound a week at the end.
You may start to experience a bit of fear about the thought of giving birth. Taking a childbirth class can help ease your mind, as will a tour of the hospital you plan on giving birth in. Find out how many support people will be allowed in the delivery room, and what items it will be helpful to bring. Make sure you have a hospital bag packed a few weeks before your due date just to be on the safe side. You won’t want to pack once the contractions start!
The best way to ensure that your baby is delivered safely is to have an obstetrician, or midwife, that you can trust. You’ll have to do your part and keep up with all of your appointments and take prenatal vitamins as well as any other medications prescribed by your doctor. You can also register with the hospital you intend to give birth in a few weeks before your due date. This reduces the amount of paperwork needed at the time of delivery.