Expectations during pregnancy
We all know that pregnancy comes with a lot of changes; these changes can be physical, psychological or behavioral. This article will attempt to shed some light on what happens to the human body during pregnancy.
Stages of Pregnancy
There are three stages of pregnancy;
- 1st Trimester
- 2nd Trimester
- 3rd Trimester
First Trimester: The first trimester is the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, during this stage of pregnancy the embryo develops and transformations which lead to the formation of the fetal bones, muscles, blood, nervous system, and most of the internal organs begin to occur.
Changes that occur in first trimester
Some important changes that you should expect in the first trimester include:
- Hormonal: most of the changes that happens to your body in pregnancy is majorly due to increasing or decreasing levels of various hormones. It might also be as a result of new streams of hormones which are strange to your body.
- Changes in the breast: The breast might become swollen, tender and sore. If you experience this, avoid wearing bras for too long and do not wear bras that are too tight.
- Nausea and vomiting: To combat this change, avoid smells that precipitate your nausea, eat slowly and visit your doctor for anti-emetics if vomiting is severe.
- Fatigue and drowsiness: In the first trimester, your progesterone level is increased. Progesterone is known to be able to cause drowsiness and make you sleep. Moderate exercise as prescribed by your physician might help increase your energy level and alertness.
- Food cravings
- Constipation: Some pregnant women experience constipation in pregnancy; this can be linked to increased progesterone level, which decreases the gastrointestinal motility causing constipation. The iron supplement taken in pregnancy can also cause constipation. To deal with constipation in pregnancy, increase your fiber and water intake.
Another notable change during the first trimester is increase in the volume and frequency of urination. This can be linked to the increase in blood volume which can stimulate the kidneys to excrete more urine.
Second trimester: The second trimester lasts from week 13 to the 28th week. At this stage the baby is relatively well formed.
At the second trimester, the notable changes that occur include:
- Weight gain: it is only reasonable for the weight of the pregnant woman to increase because her baby is growing. She can also develop extra fat reserves.
- You will be able to feel your baby’s movement; the movement might also be visible.
- Dermatological changes: Stretch marks can develop from expansion of your abdomen you can also notice darkening of your skin, eczema or other skin reactions are also common in pregnancy.
Third trimester: The third trimester lasts from week 29 up till birth. The baby is well formed and develops specialized systems like taste, hearing and sight; the baby also grows considerably in size in the third trimester. At this stage, the woman may feel back pain, general discomfort; frequency of urination will also increase due to the pressure on the bladder.
Contractions are also bound to happen during the third trimester; these contractions do not necessarily indicate the onset of labor but should be taken seriously if persistent.
Note: You should register to receive antenatal care as soon as you discover you are pregnant, so that your doctor can monitor all the changes to ensure the safety of both you and your baby.
Olajumoke Adeyemo is a Pharmacy student of the University of Ibadan. She is a passionate copy & content writer, nature lover and a public health enthusiast. She is a Christian.
Her hobbies are reading, music, writing and traveling.