Pregnancy can be divided into three specific periods - these are known as trimesters which each last for approximately three months. These trimesters will show specific changes in both the mother to be's body and in the growth and development of her baby. Let's take a look at each trimester in detail.
The First Trimester
During this period it is recommended that pregnant women take folic acid as advised to help the healthy development of their baby. These first few months may see some disconcerting changes for the mother to be. She may, for example:
- Suffer from morning sickness
- Feel very tired, very easily
- Experience changes to the way her breasts look and feel
- Need to urinate more frequently
During this period the baby will start to develop and will, for example, start a rhythmic heartbeat and begin the development of its body and organs.
The Second Trimester
During the Second Trimester many women find that they feel a lot better. If they have had morning sickness, for example, then this will often go by this point and they may get their energy back or even feel even more energetic than usual! But, there may be some changes to the body here including:
- Increase in heartburn and/or indigestion
- The appearance of the linea negra dark line that runs down the abdomen
- An increase in size where the bump starts to show
- The beginning of movement of the baby that can be felt by the mother
- Back pain due to weight increase
During this period the baby will continue to grow and will reach major milestones such as growing hair, nails, eye brows and eyelashes and it will move around more actively.
The Third Trimester
The Third Trimester lasts until the actual birth. By this stage many women will start to slow down but may also get the nest building urge where they want to get ready for their baby arriving. Physical changes here can include:
- A general feeling of heaviness and discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Problems with insomnia
- Instances when urine leaks from the bladder
- The development of varicose veins
- General itchiness of the skin
- The development of stretch marks
During this period the baby will start some serious brain and nervous system development and it will begin to breathe in a rhythm.