pregnancy symptoms timeline

Pregnancy Symptoms Timeline: Understanding the 3 Trimesters and their Symptoms

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Women are blessed with the power to reproduce. However, men too are an essential part of the process but a woman is the one who carries the baby inside her for months. During this period a lot of changes take place in her body. Sometimes, these changes are well understood and taken care of but most of the times these are neglected and only the pregnant woman understands what is going on. Most of the time these symptoms are considered to be overrated and hence taken lightly.

Below is the weekly list of symptoms for to-be-mothers and people around them to understand pregnancy a little better. This list contains symptoms during progress of the baby so that to-be-mothers can better understand about the changes happening to their body and may take necessary actions if required.

A normal pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks and is divided into three trimesters. During this period the body of a female undergoes many physical and mental changes.

Pregnancy comprises of following three trimesters.

  • First Trimester: 1 -12 weeks.
  • Second Trimester:13 – 28 weeks.
  • Third Trimester is duration of 29 – 40 weeks

Talking about pregnancy symptoms, we here need to mention that each pregnancy is unique. Symptoms can differ from mother-to-mother. For some mothers it is easy going, while others experience nausea throughout, and a few may not have experienced vomiting or nausea, different food cravings etc. even once.

Pregnancy: The First Trimester Week 1 to 12

At this time mostly, the pregnancy is not confirmed. Confirmation may be through :

  1. Missed period followed by
  2. Urine test
  3. Blood test
  4. USG (Ultrasonography)

Urine and Blood tests are done to detect the presence of HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) hormone.

Symptoms:

A little spotting around next period date may be there. This is known as Implantation bleeding that is not compulsorily present in all pregnancies. One may not experience it at all.

Implantation Bleeding : When the embryo gets implanted in the wall of the uterus there is little loss of blood through uterine capillaries that leads to a little spotting. There may be a little spotting or a big clot. It varies with female to female.

The women may start experiencing:

  1. Nausea (Morning Sickness)
  2. Vomitings
  3. Extreme tiredness
  4. Lethargy
  5. Little rise in temperature of the body (around 1 degree)
  6. Upset stomach
  7. Mood swings
  8. Frequent Urination
  9. Hyperacidity
  10. Headache
  11. Taste changes
  12. Food cravings
  13. Weight gain or loss

These above changes occur with rise in the level of pregnancy hormones in the body of a female mainly progesterone hormone. These rise of hormones are to support the developing foetus inside the female uterus. The first trimester is the most critical period of all three because organogenesis occurs at this stage.There are no noticeable changes in the abdomen size with little or zero weight gain.

Pregnancy: The Second Trimester Weeks 13 to 28

Many women find second trimester to be easier than first. During this  period symptoms like nausea, vomiting diminish. Abdomen size begins to increases as the baby that is almost fully formed starts to increase in size. During this period noticeable body changes take place.

Symptoms:

  1. Increased abdomen size.
  2. Swelling in the feet.
  3. Pain in lower back, abdomen and thigh region.
  4. Weakness
  5. Sore breast, increase in size of breast.
  6. Nipples become larger and darker. It happens as the breasts are getting ready to produce milk to feed the baby.
  7. Itching on the abdomen, palms, breasts and soles of feet.
  8. Linea nigra appears that is a brownish  pigmented line called as pregnancy line running from belly buttons to pubic hairlines.
  9. Melanin pigmentation i.e. small dark spots appear over cheeks, nose, forehead, upper lips. It is called as pregnancy mask.  
  10. Stretch marks start appearing on abdomen
  11. There is weight gain, increase in size of buttocks and thighs
  12. There may be bleeding from gums. This symptoms can emerge anytime during pregnancy. It is called as Pregnancy Gingivitis. There are bleeding gums and swollen gingiva.
  13. There may be tingling on hands, or numbness in fingers.

Most importantly, it is considered as safest trimester during pregnancy period. During this time one can travel, or can do many things that are usually avoided during first and third trimester.

Note: Although it is considered as the safest period but one has to take consent of gynecologist before travelling or taking any treatment etc.

Pregnancy: The Third Trimester Weeks 29 to 40

During this trimester, the baby grows faster than in other trimesters. There is tremendous increase in size and weight of the baby. Due to this, the woman feels discomfort and difficulty in doing day-to-day chores.

Symptoms:

  1. Breathlessness called as Dyspnoea.
  2. Frequent urination.
  3. Difficulty in lying down , sleeping, and changing positions.
  4. Difficulty in doing almost any work due to weight and size of growing baby.
  5. The stretch marks are increasing constantly.
  6. Heartburn
  7. Movement of the baby is constantly there.
  8. Pain in abdomen.
  9. Tender breast which may leak a milky white discharge. This discharge is called the colostrum.
  10. Belly button becomes protruded.
  11. Contractions may occur in the lower abdomen. It can be a real labour or even a false one.

During last week the cervix comes lower and becomes wider, thinner, and softer. The body now is getting ready for upcoming delivery. The delivery can be anytime after the eighth month. Timing varies from person to person.

Final Thoughts

Whatever the symptoms are, this experience is once in a lifetime experience for  the mother-to-be and is special in every manner. The symptoms are however chalked down after speaking with a number of women but there is a huge possibility that you might encounter a totally different symptom and it is always better to speak with a specialist about it. The baby-in-making is affected by each and everything that happens around hence it is advisable to keep a positive thought process, surround yourself with your loved ones, eat healthy,  and enjoy the phase and the motherhood which is soon to start.

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