During pregnancy your HCG hormone level goes up and your body goes through a large number of changes. This is a pregnancy guide for each of the three trimesters.
Pregnancy Guide – the first trimester (weeks 1-12)
During the first trimester you usually discover that you are pregnant. Already at the beginning of pregnancy the body undergoes all sorts of changes with the increase of the HCG hormone level and as the follicle develops into a baby.
The first signs
One of the first signs of pregnancy is that your period is late. Other possible signs of pregnancy are nausea, vomiting and general discomfort. Sore and swollen breasts may also indicate pregnancy. If you experience one or more of these signs, a pregnancy test is of course the best way to find out if you are indeed pregnant.
What do you have to do?
If you have a positive test in your hands, make an appointment with your doctor who will register the pregnancy. If you use medication daily, ask your doctor if it is safe for the baby to continue. You can also ask your doctor for advice regarding your diet and which foods to reduce or avoid. She or he can also advise you on dietary supplements during pregnancy.
The increase in the hormone HCG causes the body to undergo all sorts of changes that can cause you to experience discomfort. Some women experience a lot of discomfort in the first trimester, while other women are not bothered by anything: all women are different, just like every pregnancy.
Some of the most common physical changes are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cravings – many women crave strange things in the beginning
- Increased sense of smell
- Sensitive and swollen breasts
- Mood swings
- Tiredness – making a baby is hard work
- Weight gain
Pregnancy Guide – he second trimester (week 13-27)
Did you suffer a lot from discomfort during the first trimester? Good news! Most women suffer much less from discomfort in the second trimester and find it easier to withstand than the first.
In the second trimester your belly starts to grow and a baby belly starts to become visible. As the baby grows, you may experience it becoming heavier, which in some cases can lead to back pain, lower abdomen, or thighs.
Other possible changes are:
- Changing nipples – your breasts prepare for breastfeeding
- Tire pain – often activated with movement
- Stretch marks on your lower abdomen, breasts or thighs
- Dark spots on the skin, often in the face
- Swollen ankles, fingers and face
- Pee often
- Navel can bulge
You can feel the baby moving
In the second trimester you must begin to feel the movements of the baby. In the beginning it is normal for the baby’s movements to feel like bubbles in the lower abdomen. Later, as the baby grows, you will feel the baby’s movements like kicking. Don’t worry if you don’t feel anything for many of the first few weeks. Only from week 24 + 0 are you expected to feel the movements of the baby every day.
Pregnancy Guide – the third trimester (week 28-40)
The countdown has begun! In the third trimester, the baby grows quickly and the baby gets bigger and bigger every week. As the baby and your tummy grow, you may experience increasing physical discomfort.
Some of the inconveniences that you experienced in the second trimester are likely to continue during the third trimester. As the baby occupies more and more space in your abdomen, it may be that your breathing becomes more difficult and that you have to go to the toilet more often. This is completely normal since the baby takes up a lot of space in your belly and presses on your gut.
Some of the new physical changes are:
- Shortness of breath
- Leaking fore milk from the breasts
- Peeing even more often
- Difficulty sleeping
- A hard abdomen (Braxton Hicks contractions), also known as contractions, helps the body prepare for childbirth
The baby is getting bigger
As the baby grows bigger every week, you should now feel strong kicks and other movements of the baby several times a day. If you feel little or no movement during the day, contact your doctor immediately.
As you get closer to the due date, the baby will sit lower in your lower abdomen and turn your head down to be ready for birth. Most babies turn their heads down and your midwife or doctor can tell you the position of your baby.
Now the wait is almost over!
Don’t forget during the entire pregnancy.
Exercising during your pregnancy is good for you and for your baby. Therefore, do not forget to exercise every day during the entire pregnancy. If you do not normally exercise, it is important to start now. You can do anything from swimming to weight lifting and cycling, etc. Just listen to your body – it will let you know when you are going too fast.
A healthy diet is important during the entire pregnancy, you feel good and it provides the baby with the essential nutrients needed to grow. Eat a varied diet and drink plenty of water all day. You are probably more hungry than usual, but don’t eat for two – so much extra food is not necessary to feed the baby. Consult your doctor for more advice about a healthy diet during your pregnancy.