Being pregnant and the changes that come with it seem pretty obvious: your belly gets really big, you gain a lot of weight and you eat everything in sight. Well, there is a little bit more to it than that, especially when it comes to what occurs inside of a woman’s body. If you’re newly pregnant, it helps to know what to expect of your body as it changes in the coming months.
The first three months of your pregnancy are known as your first trimester. This is where a lot of changes will start to take place inside you as your body gets ready to accommodate a human fetus. The most common symptoms you’ll experience throughout your first trimester include mood swings, stress, nausea, fatigue and backaches. Not all women suffer from these symptoms but be ready for them if they do happen. Most go away as your pregnancy progresses. Morning sickness can be treated by eating small meals 6-8 times a day, avoiding fatty, spicy and fried foods, eating a more healthy diet, drinking ginger ale or seltzer water, and taking prenatal vitamins as prescribed by your doctor.
Because the size of your uterus growing can put a lot of pressure on your bladder, expect to go to the bathroom frequently. During this time you will also experience weight gain as your appetite increases. At first you may only gain a small amount of weight, such as one pound a month.
During the second trimester, you’ll start to notice more signs of your body changing. This is the time when stretch marks tend to appear due to the expanding skin of your stomach, as well as pain in your groin, thighs and abdomen, changes in your complexion (blemishes, discoloration), shortness of breath, tingling in your hands and fingers, and itching around the abdomen, palms and soles of the feet. Weight-wise, you will start to slowly pack on more pounds – about one pound per week or 3-4 pounds per month. This is all completely normal.
The third trimester means you are also nearing the end of your pregnancy. While it can be a time to celebrate, there are still certain symptoms you’ll experience and signs you must look for to make sure everything is on track. Because you are getting close to your delivery date, you’ll notice your symptoms from your second trimester may get worse, especially when it comes to going to the bathroom and having difficulty breathing, as the baby is getting bigger and putting more pressure on your organs.
You can also expect heartburn, hemorrhoids, tender breasts, trouble sleeping, and swelling of the fingers, face and ankles. By this time, the average pregnant woman will have gained anywhere between 25-30 pounds. It is estimated that roughly seven and a half of those pounds are the baby’s weight. It is common during the third trimester to experience more fatigue. Be sure to avoid eating large meals before bed, walk when you can and avoid taking long naps during the day so you can get the rest you need at night.