Pregnancy Trimesters is the easiest way to learn about stages of pregnancy. It is a subdivision of pregnancy into three (3) trimesters, each about a period of 13 weeks long.
A full term pregnancy is usually 40 weeks and these weeks are divided into trimesters simply because most of the major changes in your body and baby’s development can be distinctly categorized and clearly explained in three milestones.
We have devoted this section of PregnancyMama to help you understand how your baby grows, what changes you should generally expect in your body, how to cope with the changes and the care you may require at each trimester of pregnancy.
Each of the pregnancy trimesters presents varying risks and warning signs that you should know about. You must understand what’s normal and when to call on your healthcare provider.
A good perception of what you will possibly experience will go a long way in preparing you for the “miracles” and “obstacles” in your pregnancy journey trimester by trimester.
Importantly, this section on pregnancy trimesters will cover tests you should anticipate at your prenatal visits, the signs and symptoms of pregnancy from trimester to trimester. Of course, tips and advice on what’s safe and unsafe for you and your baby at each stage.
The first part (Months 1-3) of pregnancy trimesters sets the pace for your incredible pregnancy journey.
Immediately after conception, the baby develops from tiny zygote to blastocyst and from embryo to fetus, which develops through to the point of delivery and childbirth.
If you’re pregnant, we say Congrats…..and welcome you to the trimesters of your pregnancy.
If you’re not pregnant yet, perhaps simply learning, we wish you good luck and the best of experience here on our website.
So much happens during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is the stage, after a few weeks of conception, that a woman may realize she could be pregnant. Lots of anxiety and concerns, especially the mixed feelings of finally confirming you’re pregnant.
In summary, it’s interesting to know that your baby’s heart begins to beat, major organs and nervous system (brain, nerves and spinal cord) forms at this first trimester.
The head, arms and legs of your baby take shape and the hands, fingers, feet and toes develop at the same time.
In this stage of pregnancy trimesters, you will experience some of the first signs of pregnancy ranging from morning sickness, frequent urination, breast changes, tiredness, headaches, constipation, and you should also watch out for the risks of miscarriage, fetal defects and complications that are most common at this first formative trimester.
At the end of this first trimester of pregnancy, your baby should be about 4 inches long and weigh about 1 ounce.
The second trimester of pregnancy (Months 4-6) is the most exciting stage. Some of the earliest signs and symptoms of pregnancy must have been overcome.
By this time the would-be-mom has become very familiar with her baby in the womb and is not feeling as uneasy as she did in the first trimester.
It’s during this period that the fetus starts to fully develop its own organs. The mother will now start gaining noticeable weight, which should not be too rapid. Sometimes if there is more than one fetus in the womb there may possibly be a rapid weight gain.
At this stage of pregnancy trimesters, expect your baby to begin to kick and move inside you. The baby begins to hear your heart beat, voice etc. However, the baby’s lungs are yet to be fully developed.
In addition, hair appearance on the baby’s head occurs during this period while the baby’s skin looks wrinkled and covered with fine hair.
In the same vein, you should feel your baby kick and move at this time. You may have a dark line down the center of your abdomen (belly) as a result of hormonal changes.
By the end this second trimester of pregnancy, your baby is expected to be about 11-14 inches long, weighing between 1 - 1.5 pounds and the pregnancy becomes visible for the would-be-mom to show.
Now at the third trimester of pregnancy, the last stage of the trimesters, all the organs of the baby develop completely and become fully functional as well. A normal term baby would be born between 38 and 40 weeks.
At this final trimester, the baby grows rapidly in size and weight and the eyes open and close, to the extent that a light shining through the pregnant belly can be felt by the baby. The bones are fully developed but soft for the purpose of easy delivery.
Your baby kicks and stretches are felt more by the mom, the previous fine body hair disappears and the brain develops more quickly at this stage of pregnancy.
In this final trimester, the would-be-mom may feel rather uncomfortable because of the pressure of the fetus on her own internal organs.
Fatigue, back ache or pelvic discomfort, tiredness, frequent urination, insomnia, shortness of breath, swollen feet, legs and hands are all common symptoms that you may likely experience, as you cope with your changing body in preparation for childbirth.
By the end of third trimester of pregnancy, the baby will be about 20 inches long, weighing between 6-9 pounds. The baby is considered full term at this stage and normally takes position - head down in readiness for delivery.
The would-be-mom gets ready, from taking maternity leave, childbirth classes, preparing and shopping for the baby, and making more frequent prenatal visits for necessary tests and examinations towards labor and delivery.
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