Pregnancy trimesters: Your definitive guide
August 14, 2014 by Sara Elliott
Pregnancy is a 40-week journey starting from the first day of your last period. For most first-time moms, that nine month adventure can sometimes last a little longer since it can take your body a while to get things going.
Your first trimester is from week 1 through week 12. This is when you’ll have morning sickness, mood swings, extreme fatigue and find yourself running to the bathroom more frequently. And when we say you’re going to be tired, we really mean it.
Women typically don’t find out they’re officially pregnant until the fifth or sixth week when they visit a doctor. It’s at this first visit that you’ll get to find out your due date. When you first find out you’re pregnant, you’ll be going through a ton of emotions and feelings that start taking over your body.
As you’re nearing the end of your first trimester and entering your second, you might feel a little more overweight than pregnant. Your baby bump is starting to poke out but it occasionally looks like you just went a little overboard on the donuts that morning.
The second trimester starts at week 13 and extends through week 28. At this point in your pregnancy, morning sickness will wear off and you’ll find that you can actually get out of bed in the morning without tossing your cookies.
During these next few months, you’ll start to gain weight. You will also experience swelling in your ankles, fingers and face and even develop a line on your skin that runs from your belly button to the pubic hairline. Stretch marks, darkening of the skin around your nipples and patches of darker skin on your face may also make an appearance in the second trimester.
Toward the end of the second trimester, you’re stunning. Your hair feels great, you look adorable and just about every piece of maternity clothing you try on will look irresistible. Although this is a wonderful time, it’s also a fleeting moment in your journey to motherhood that will feel like it’s gone in the blink of an eye.
The third and final trimester of pregnancy is from week 29 through week 40. This is perhaps the most uncomfortable stage of pregnancy as you’re likely to experience shortness of breath, heartburn, swelling, tender breasts, trouble sleeping and contractions.
Sometimes, heartburn can be severe enough that you have to prop yourself up in order to get a few hours of beauty rest and your breasts may even leak as your colostrum (pre-milk) comes in. Your baby will also drop during the last three months and work his or her way into the birth canal. During the last few weeks you’ll likely begin to dilate.
The third trimester may be your most trying. You can no longer see your feet. You can’t reach your legs to shave them and it seems you can never get enough sleep. You feel huge and find it increasingly difficult to get around. It’s at this point that you lose all reservations about giving birth because you’ll do just about anything to get that tiny human out of you.
Is there a stage of pregnancy you’re most looking forward to? Share it with us in the comments below!