If you’re a first time mom or you need a refresher course on what to expect during a typical pregnancy, this guide will answer some of your questions.
During the first trimester you will feel more tired than usual. You may experience some cramping or PMS symptoms around the time of your expected period. You may have problems with nausea, otherwise known as morning sickness. One of the first symptoms may be frequent urination. This is a common problem for many women during early pregnancy. Most women will gain about a pound a month during the first trimester.
During the first visit with your doctor you will be asked several questions about your medical history. Your doctor will usually conduct a pap smear and may request other lab tests. If you know when your last menstrual period was, your doctor will give you an estimated due date. You will most likely be scheduled to visit your doctor once a month during your first trimester.
Your baby will weigh about ½ ounce and measure about three inches long at the end of your first trimester. You will be able to see your baby’s heartbeat via ultrasound around the sixth week of pregnancy and may hear your baby’s heartbeat with a Doppler around nine or ten weeks.
Most moms feel better during the second trimester. You may have more energy compared to your first trimester. You can expect to continue gaining a pound a week during your second trimester. Sometime during the second trimester, you may start to feel your baby move. Don’t worry if you don’t feel movement right away. Many first time moms don’t feel their baby move until they are 20 weeks along.
Around 15 weeks you will probably be asked if you would like to have a blood test (Quad screening) done to screen for neural tube defects or Down Syndrome. An ultrasound will be given when you are around 18-24 weeks to check for any anatomic abnormalities. Your doctor may be able to determine your baby’s gender during this ultrasound. You will most likely continue to have appointments scheduled once a month during your second trimester.
By the end of your second trimester your baby will weigh about 1.5 to 2 pounds and be approximately 13 inches long. Your baby is beginning to look more like the person she will be when she is born. By the end of the second trimester your baby’s major organs are formed.
During the third trimester you may start feeling more uncomfortable. It may be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Finding a comfortable sleeping position may be challenging and you may wake frequently to use the bathroom. You will gain weight at a faster pace during your last trimester. Expect to gain around a pound a week during the last part of your pregnancy. Your cervix will open toward the end of your pregnancy and your baby will start to descend. As she descends you may feel more pelvic pressure and have vaginal discharge. You may experience Braxton Hicks contractions. If you are in real labor your contractions will become regular and closer together.
You will start seeing your doctor every two weeks once you are 28 weeks pregnant. Around 36 weeks you will have weekly visits. At this time your doctor may start to check your cervix to see if you are dilating or if your cervix is thinning out. Follow your doctor’s protocol on when to proceed to the hospital if you think you’re in labor.
Your baby may seem to move around less during the third trimester as she runs out of room. At birth your baby may weigh 7.5 lbs and measure 20-22 inches long.
THINGS TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE PREGNANT
- Morning Sickness
- Frequent Urination
- Breast Changes
- Faintness Dizziness
- Mood Swings and Apprehension
- Skin Changes
- Hair Changes
- Nail Changes
- Changes in Vision
- Vaginal Discharge
- Sleep Disturbances