A full-term pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, and the pregnancy timeline is divided into three trimesters, each of which has its own joys and challenges, from the moment you find out you’re expecting to the moment you give birth. Here’s a look at what you can expect from each part of the three trimesters of pregnancy.
The most exciting time in the first trimester is when you find out for sure that you’re pregnant! This period, which lasts through the 13th week of your pregnancy, is the most crucial time for the development of your baby, and also, sadly, the time when things are most likely to go wrong. The baby’s body and organs are growing and developing, and most miscarriages happen during the first trimester.
Your body is telling you that you’re pregnant in many ways, including breast tenderness, nausea, frequent urination and fatigue. Toward the end of the first trimester, you may see the beginnings of a baby bump.
This is the period when you get your first ultrasound and see your baby for the first time. Also, you should be having tests for possible genetic issues.
During the second trimester, you may find some of the maladies of the first three months disappearing, only to be replaced by a new set. Between weeks 14 and 26, you may experience abdominal pain, leg cramps, back pain, heartburn and constipation. The most exciting moment of this period is likely to be when you feel your baby move for the first time.
At this point, you’re definitely going to need maternity clothes!
The third trimester
By now, you’re getting excited about finally giving birth and can’t wait to meet your new baby! The last of the pregnancy stages lasts from 27 weeks to birth, and your uterus has now expanded from 60g before conception to just over 1kg. You have a whole new set of symptoms to deal with, like varicose veins, hemorrhoids, shortness of breath and difficulties sleeping.
Make sure you take the time to plan for your trip to the hospital and have everything ready for the day you bring baby home. By now you should have a due date and may already know your baby’s sex.
Meanwhile, your baby is very busy getting ready to be born. He or she is adding layers of fat to stay warm after birth and is finishing development of the lungs. Preterm labour is still a risk, but the baby’s chances of a healthy birth increase with every week in the womb.
Now is the time to get plenty of relaxation!