Pregnancy trimesters and their symptoms - Pregnancy week by week

Pregnancy trimesters and their symptoms- Pregnancy week by week

A normal and full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks which can range from 37 to 42 weeks. A normal pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. Each trimester comes with a number of physiological and hormonal changes. These are the following three trimesters of pregnancy:

Pregnancy First Trimester 

The pregnancy date counting starts from the very first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) and the conception looks to place in the second week. The first trimester starts from week 1 and lasts for week 12. The egg and sperm combine to form a zygote at conception. Zygote implant in the uterine wall. When the cells divided and grow zygote becomes an embryo. You'll take a home pregnancy test which will verify you're pregnant or not. The first appointment with the doctor should take place six to eight weeks of your last menstrual period (LMP). Then your pregnancy will be confirmed by a blood test or another urine test. 

1st trimester of pregnancy - Symptoms

A doctor will use a Doppler machine or do an ultrasound to ensure the baby's heartbeat. After that, your doctor will do your blood test to check out your immunity and nutritional values. All the organs begin to form during the first trimester. At 4-5 weeks the embryo is only 0.05 inches long but grows to 3 inches at the end of the first trimester (12 weeks). The heart rate of the fetus can be heard at 8 weeks on a doppler in the doctor's clinic. Your doctor will suggest you start taking folic acid tablets in order to avoid neural tube defects.  A pregnant woman will experience a lot of changes during the first trimester. 

Pregnancy First Trimester Symptoms

A pregnant woman will experience the following changes in her body during the first trimester :
  • Mood Swings
  • A heightened sense of smell
  • Food Cravings and aversion
  • Morning Sickness
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Breast Tenderness

Pregnancy Second Trimester 

The second trimester is from week 13 to week 26 and it is considered as the golden period or comfortable period of pregnancy. Most of the early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache gradually disappears during the second trimester. The woman will feel much better during the second trimester. In most cases, all the early symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, vomiting, etc. go away at the beginning of the second trimester. The fetus will grow approximately from 4 inches to around 12 inches long. The fetus will also go from weighing 3 ounces (85 grams) to weighing 1 pound (453 gm) or more during the second trimester. 

The major structure, organs, and other parts of the body which will also form during the second trimester are listed below :
  • Skelton
  • Hair
  • Blood Cells
  • Muscle Tissues
  • Skin
  • Eyelashes
  • Eyebrows
  • Fingernails
  • Toenails
  • Fingerprints
  • Footprints
  • Taste Buds

2nd trimester of pregnancy symptoms

If the fetus is female then the ovaries begin to form eggs and if the fetus is male then the testes begin to drop into the scrotum. The baby can also hear the sounds from outside the womb and has regular waking and sleeping patterns inside the womb. The fetus will begin to practice swallowing. Most women feel their baby moving for the first time usually by 20 weeks. Some of the screening tests will also be performed by your doctor to ensure about baby's health during the second trimester.

Anatomy Ultrasound 

An anatomy ultrasound is performed between 18 weeks to 22 weeks. At this scan baby's body parts will be assessed and measured to ensure that they are functioning. These body parts include the following :
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Brain
  • Kidney
The test for gestational diabetes is also performed during the second trimester. It is detected between 26 weeks to 28 weeks. A gestational Diabetes test will ensure that your body is reacting properly to sugar properly during pregnancy. 

(Also read: Pregnancy at 4 weeks)

Pregnancy Second Trimester Symptoms

A pregnant woman will experience the following changes in her body during the second trimester :
  • The belly of a pregnant woman will start to grow and she'll start to look pregnant.
  • A pregnant woman will also feel baby moving which is known as quickening.
  • Some women also experience round ligament pain during the second trimester.
  • Some women will also experience Braxton-Hicks contraction at the end of the second trimester.
  • Stretch marks
  • Leg Cramps
  • Back Pain
  • Nipple Changes

Pregnancy Third Trimester 

The third trimester is from week 27 to week 40 or the end of pregnancy. During the third trimester baby will grow approximately 12 inches to 20 inches long and weighs around 1.5 pounds to 8 pounds (680 gm to 3.6 kg). All the organs and body systems formed during the second trimester but they will continue to grow and mature during the third trimester. A pregnant woman will feel baby movement regularly and a growing baby will also start practicing breathing motions inside the womb. A pregnant woman will feel uncomfortable due to the heavy belly during the third trimester. Some women also experience back pain and feel Braxton-Hicks contraction getting stronger.

(Also read: Pregnancy at 8 weeks)

Symptoms during Third Trimester

A pregnant woman will experience the following changes in her body during the third trimester :
  • Mood Swings
  • Insomnia
  • Heart Burn
  • Swollen feet
  • Frequent Urination
  • Leakage of milk from breasts

3rd trimester of pregnancy symptoms

During the third trimester your doctor will determine the baby's position and will regularly :
  • Check Your Blood Pressure
  • Measure the length of your uterus
  • Listen to Fetal heartbeat
  • Test your urine for protein
  • Check your Cervix

Between 35 to 37 weeks you will be tested for a bacteria called Group B Streptococcus (GBS). A sample away will be taken from your vaginal area for lab evaluation. If you're GB-positive then you have to take antibiotics to prevent your baby from taking them during the time of delivery. 

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Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

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