The typical length of pregnancy or gestation is considered to be 40 weeks i.e… pregnancy is counted from the first day of the woman’s last period, not the date of conception which generally occurs two weeks later.This lovely journey is of three stages First Trimester, Second Trimester and Third Trimester each about 13 weeks in length.To get an overview about what you are undergoing just have a look at this article and brace yourself for all the hormonal changes and mood swings.Better knowing this period makes your life easy and prepares you for welcoming those tiny cuddling one.
First Trimester :
This trimester lasts from week 1 to week 13th of pregnancy.Your body is now undergoing enormous hormonal changes to accommodate the growing fetus inside you. These hormonal changes are accompanied by fatigue,morning sickness, nausea,headaches , constipation etc..During this phase your uterus begins to support the growing fetus and placenta.Oxygen and nutrients are carried out through blood supply to the growing fetus and your heart rate increases.At the 5th week of gestation, urine pregnancy test is done to confirm the pregnancy.The HCG hormone secreted by the placenta is detected to confirm the pregnancy.Brands like First response,Clear blue etc are used.To know more about early signs of pregnancy click this link http://www.passionatemoms.com/early-signs-of-pregnancy/
By the end of the third month(First trimester) the fetus will develop all of its organs,so this is a crucial time to consider.Most commonly you may not look pregnant during the first trimester but extra care is required because the chance of miscarriages are high during this phase.Maintaining a healthy diet, drinking an enormous amount of fluid, adding an adequate amount of folic acid in order to help prevent neural tube defects are very important for a healthy pregnancy. Cut out any bad habits, such as smoking and alcohol. Both have been related to Serious complications in pregnancy and birth defects are always related with the lifestyle including smoking and having alcohols, so cut out those habits for your baby’s health.
Second Trimester :
Hey! now your fetus weighs about 7 ounces (about ½ a pound) and 5 inches from head to rump. This phase is usually calculated from week 14 to 27th week of pregnancy.The majority of pregnant women consider this phase as a comfortable period.
The reason behind this feeling is still unknown,maybe you will get to adapt for the fatigue,morning sickness and nausea I guess. Your baby will be almost four times as big as it was at the end of the first trimester, so your abdomen starts to show off.This is the great time to spread the good news among your friends and family.Your fetus can make early breathing movements and the arms and legs are completely developed,the eyes begin to blink and fetus can move quite a lot though the mother may not feel it. At 5 months, or 20 weeks, the halfway point in gestation is reached ultrasounds are performed.Screening tests are also performed, be sure to talk to your doctor regarding the medical history or any issues that could put you or your baby at any risk.The fetus can be seen sucking its thumb on an ultrasound.Yes, the fetus can suck and swallow now. Soon your baby can hear your heartbeat and voice.Your baby is in the initial stage of creating a sleep cycle.Lanugo, the fine hair covering the fetal body start to appear. Some small amounts of scalp hair also begin to grow. The fetal sex can be seen with an ultrasound during this phase in U.S.A .Being in India you are not allowed to know the sex of your baby.There is a few new symptom which may add to the list includes heartburn and leg cramps.
Third Trimester :
The third trimester lasts from the 28th week through the birth of your baby.The estimated delivery date (EDD) also comes into this phase.You will start seeing your health care provider/Doctor more frequently. Your doctor will regularly check your blood pressure, listen to fetal heart rate,measure your fundal height (approx length of your uterus). By 28 weeks the fetus can survive outside of the uterus being incubator until the lungs are matured enough to breathe on its own.Considering the fetal position in the uterus is more important in determining the way of delivering the baby (c section or normal).
By 36 weeks, 97% of the fetus has become cephalic or head first position. At 38 weeks, the fetus is finally termed and the lungs are usually mature enough to breathe. The fetus can easily survive outside of the womb. Forty weeks is full term and the average fetus is 20 inches long and weighs 7 pounds.Watch out for any swelling in hands or legs and more importantly focus on baby movements and kicks on regular intervals.Babies do not move all day around, so if you couldn’t find your baby’s movement for even a couple of hours do not panic they too need a rest.
But mommy’s instinct is the best and if you feel anything wrong just contact the health care provider.As the EDD approaches, you may get some false alarm called false pain. False labor is another pre-labour contracting sensation that you may experience.The third trimester is a good time to educate yourself about labor and delivery.You may find hell lot of articles on the internet regarding this.
Have a better education and handle your pregnancy mature enough and welcome your baby with complete unconditional love.Take care Mommies!!!