PREGNANCY CALENDAR: SYMPTOMS AND PRECAUTION
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Are you pregnant and want to know what to expect between the first and third pregnancy trimester? This article discuss the pregnancy calendar symptoms and precautions to adhere to. We will discuss this pregnancy week by week.
We will break it down to the 3 pregnancy trimester in the calendar
FIRST TRIMESTER SYMPTOMS AND CARE
The first trimester is between week 1 and week 12. Normal pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks. The first trimester is basically the week in which conception took place and week 12 of pregnancy.
The woman usually feel concerned about gaining weight, what to eat and how much weight they would gain.
The woman’s body in this first trimester begins to change, making adjustments to the new baby. Basically, the pregnant woman begin to see signs of tiredness, stomach upset and nausea which may lead to vomiting. She would also experience mood swings, breast tenderness, heartburn, craving for certain kinds of food, constipation and revulsion to certain foods. Visit for a full list of pregnancy symptoms here.
These body changes depends from woman to woman and some women don’t experience any of these symptoms.
The pregnant woman at this time is expected to rest more and eat smaller meals.
Once there is conception, the baby usually develops faster in this first trimester. The fetus begins to develop a brain and the spinal cord and other organs begin to form. The baby’s heart begins to beat in this trimester.
The legs and arms begins to form which develops to the point of growing fingers and toes by the end of the 12 weeks.
By the end of the 12 weeks, the baby’s sex organ would have developed. The baby’s height would be inches long.
At this point, the woman should start the ante-natal where the doctor begins caring for the unborn child.
Continue with the prescribed vitamins for pregnant women and start immediately if you have not started. Folic acid supplements play a vital role at this time.
In the ante-natal care session, the doctor will take a full health history, especially a physical and pelvic exam.
Basically, the doctor will carry out an ultra-sound to confirm the pregnancy, test for sexually transmitted infection including an HIV test and also check your weight and thyroid levels. Most importantly, the doctor will check for risk factors like anaemia.
Towards the end of the first trimester, at about 11 weeks, the doctor will carry out a test known as the nuchal translucency (NT) which is done by ultra-sound to check the baby’s head and neck. This examination helps to check if your baby would be born with a genetic disorder like the down syndrome.
To stay healthy in this trimester, you must continue taking your vitamins, especially folic acid, exercise regularly especially kegel exercises that would work out your pelvic floor, eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low fat, protein and fiber, drink lots of water and eat enough calories.
Avoid any strenuous exercise that take your breath away, alcohol, smoking, caffeine and illegal drugs.
PREGNANCY CALENDAR: 2ND TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY
The second trimester of pregnancy is the middle 3 months of pregnancy. This is basically from week 13 to week 28 of pregnancy.
This is when most women begin to feel that the pregnancy is real, but unlike the first trimester, you may begin to feel more energy because your body has adapted to the changes of being pregnant. This should be a great relief if you have been struggling with fatique and sicknesses, you become less anxious.
Your baby bump gradually grows. In this trimester, the doctor will carry out another ultra-sound around week 20. This is to ascertain how the baby is growing and if there are any concerns to worry about.
Depending on your finances, you have the right to do any tests or scan, but it’s important to do it if it is recommended by the doctors.
This is a good time to start thinking where to have your baby. Some women prefer having their delivery at home.
During the scan, you can now ascertain the sex of the baby. Most couples wait to find out at the end of the pregnancy.
Avoid smoking and engage in regular exercises. Your baby is now the size of 85mm from the top to their head to the bottom at week 14.
The baby’s heartbeat can be heard at 14 weeks and your baby has started swallowing some amniotic fluid.
Your nipples may begin to leak and you may still have stomach upset. You may notice an increase in sex drive due to the rush of blood in your pelvic area.
At week 23, you begin to feel baby movements and the doctor refer to them as viable, meaning they can survive if born at this stage.
You may experience an increased vaginal discharge. This is nothing to worry about except the discharge is smelly, itchy and yellow-greenish in colour. Please contact your doctor immediately.
You should take the whooping cough vaccination to boost your antibodies. Keep on exercising.
At week 25, your baby can respond to touch, light and sound and may kick, in response to a loud noise.
At the end of week 28, your baby weighs 1kg and takes up more space and you will begin to feel more uncomfortable and tired.
You should be accustomed to your baby pattern to know when he is sleeping or awake. This pattern will help you know when to see the doctor if the pattern slows down or stops.
Take more rest, because you would start feeling so uncomfortable and tired.
PREGNANCY CALENDAR: 3RD TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY
The third trimester of pregnancy is between week 29 and anytime you give birth which is usually around the 40th week, because labor could start earlier or later than the 40th week. In fact, about 30% of pregnancies lingered beyond the 40th week, even up to the 42nd week. Whatever be the case, stay calm, relax, you’re almost at the finish line.
By now, the baby is growing very big which explains the big belly bump. In this 3rd trimester, it is expected that your baby will weigh between 6 and 9 pounds and will grow between 19 and 22 inches. This growth will lead to more kicks and pokes. Please bear with the baby.
In this trimester, these are the transformations to expect:
- In months 7 and 8, your baby will transform cartilage to bones and he would be getting all the calcium to do that from you. So you need to eat plenty of calcium rich foods.
- By week 32, the see through skin becomes opaque and by week 36, begins to accumulate fat and sheds his vernix and lanugo.
- By week 39, the baby begins building Meconium, which consists of blood cells, vernix and lanugo in the intestine.
- Your baby’s brain will grow faster in this 3rd trimester and will begin blinking the eyes, regulating his own temperature and dreaming.
- Your baby’s five senses will be fully developed by week 31 and would be able to listen to the sound of your voice.
By week 34, the baby begins to head southward in a heads down position, and expect the doctor to manually do this if the baby refuses to head down on his own.
You should also expect the following changes in your body;
- Abdominal aches
- Braxton Hicks contractions
- Varicose veins
- Stretch marks
- Crazy dreams
- Lack of bladder control
- Leaky breasts
You need to watch out for the following:
- Keep track of baby movements and pattern
- Watch your weight
- Keep exercising as prescribed by your practitioner
- Keep up with your doctor’s appointment
- Prepare baby things
- Prepare to breast feed
- Set up your baby nursery