STAGES OF PREGNANCY: WEEK BY WEEK
Pregnancy is Divided into three stages- First Trimester, Second Trimester and Third Trimester. From Conception to 12th week is the First Trimester of Pregnancy. Second Trimester remain from 13th week to 27 week, and Third Trimester starts from 28 weeks and it last until birth.
EARLY CHANGES IN WOMEN’S BODY IN FIRST TRIMESTER
If you miss your Menstrual Cycle, then this may be the first sign that you are pregnant. There are other changes occurs, that you feel after sometimes.
In the First Trimester, Body releases hormones, that affect every part of the body. After sometimes, women can feel following experiance :
- Upset Stomach
- Tender Breast
- Weight Gain
In this period, women should do more rest and eat very light meals. Tired feeling is one of common feeling in pregnancy, because women’s body work hard to adjust the pregnancy. You should need to sleep longer as compare to normal nights.
FETUS GROWTH DURING FIRST TRIMESTER :
Last day of your menstrual period is the first day of your pregnancy. After 10-14 days, egg released and it combine with sperm and conception start. A baby grow rapidly in the first trimester. A fetus’s brain, spinal cord and other organ start to develop in this period. A baby’s heart also develop and start to beat in the first trimester.
Bud of arms and legs begin in few weeks, and at the beginning of nine week, fingers and toes start to begin. End of First Trimester, fetus’s sex organ have formed. In the first trimester, baby is about 3 inch long and weight is approx. 1 ounce.
CONSULT WITH GYNECOLOGIST :
When you confirm that you are pregnant, then fix an appointment with Gynecologist for regular check up of your baby. You should start Vitamin tablet. Women start Folic Acid tablet in the pregnancy period. Women should consult doctor once in a month during first trimester.
During your first check up, doctor will take health history and he will check full physical and pelvic exam. Doctor can do following test :
- Doctor can do an ultrasound for confirm pregnancy.
- will check your blood pressure.
- Test of HIV , Sexual Transmitted Infection and Hepatitis
- Check Thyroid Level
- Check your weight
- Estimate your delivery date or due date which is approx 266 days from the end of your last period.
- Check for anemia.
Doctor will ask you for nuchal translucency (NT) scan around 11 weeks of your pregnancy. In this test, with the help of ultrasound, doctor measure baby’s head and neck thickness. This measurement can help to find of any probability that baby will born with any genetic disorder or not which known down syndrome. You can ask your doctor for genetic screening, in this test you will find out risk of any genetic diseases.
HOW TO STAY HEALTHY IN FIRST TRIMESTER :
First trimester is very crucial for fetus and women should be aware what to do and what to avoid during this period.
WHAT TO DO :
Women should do the following activity during first trimester of pregnancy:
- Take Folic Acid Tablets.
- Do Regular Exercise.
- Eat Fruits, Vegetables, Low Fat Protein.
- Plenty of Water
WHAT TO AVOID :
These things should be avoided in first trimester of pregnancy:
- Illiget Drugs
- Raw Fish
- Fast Food
- Unpasteurized Milk or Other Dairy Products
WHEN SHARE THIS FEELING WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS:
The First Trimester is the highest rate of loss of pregnancy (miscarrage), so you should wait to begin second trimester. If you are working, then it depends on you whether you continue your job or not.
SECOND TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY:
When you enter in second trimester of pregnancy, most of women feel much better than first trimester. Women should feel relaxed from nausea and vomiting and feel more energy as before. Weight of women increase rapidly and women should start wear loose cloths.
You will start feeling movement deep in stomach in the middle of this second trimester. Baby start move some early, but movement is very slightly, that’s why you can not feel that movement. But if you are pregnant second time, then you may feel that movements earlier, because you are familiar how to feel this. You should note first movement date somewhere so that you can tell your doctor about this.
Your breast may start increase as compare to first trimester and prepare for breastfeeding. This happen due to enlargement of milk glands.
STRETCH MARKS AND CAN THIS PREVENTED?
Your body start stretching to fit your growing baby. Some part of skin become more tight, elastic fiber below the skin tear up called stretch marks. This stretch marks can appear on your belly and breast.
Every pregnant women not get stretch marks but they are common. Unluckily there is no way to prevent them completely, but you make sure that your weight is not increasing more that your doctor recommends. There are lots of lotions and oil creams companies, which claim that they prevent stretch marks, but they has not been proven. So you start keeping your body moisturized to prevent from itching.
During the second trimester, baby growth increase very quickly. So Doctor will ask you for blood test and your second ultrasound near about 20 weeks. In this scan doctor will check baby’s growth and there’s any cause of concern. Although you feel much better than first trimester and big changes will take place in your body.
OTHER SKIN CHANGES ON SECOND TRIMESTER :
This changes not feel all pregnant women, but there are some common changes which are listed below:
- Dryness and itchy skin specially on belly
- Dark patches on face
- A dark black line down the middle of your belly from navel to your public hair.
- Skin become very sensitive so always use sunscream when going outside.
OTHER SECOND TRIMESTER CHANGES:
- Abdominal Pain
- Aching Back and Hips
- Loose Teeth
- Urinary Tract Infection
If you feel contraction painful and it always remain even when you walk and change your position, immediate contact with your doctor, because it might be preterm labor pain.
THIRD TRIMESTER : CHANGES IN WOMEN’S BODY
Third Trimester is the last stage of a women’s pregnancy. If a women facing discomfort in her second trimester, then this discomfort will increase third trimester. Baby’s growth increase rapidly and it puts more pressure on internal organ and women can feel difficulties in breathing and urinate more frequently. This kind of problem is common in Third Trimester and after delivery, these problems should go away.
In Third Trimester, women may feel some following changes:
- Women may feel swelling in fingers, ankles, and face. If you feel sudden swelling or quick weight gain, then contact with your doctor immediately, because it might be sign of
- Tender breast may start discharge water Pre-Milk called colostrum. This will nourish your baby for first few days after birth
- You may feel Baby moves toward lower abdomen.
- You may feel difficulty in breathing, heartburn and difficulty in sleeping.
Your weight increase and it putting added pressure on your back and you will feel backache. You may feel pain in your pelvis and hips. To ease from this pain, when you sit, then choose a chair which provide good back support and at night, sleep in a side, and keep a pillow in between your legs, wear comfortable shoes and avoid heel sandle. You can use heat pad for pain relief and you may ask your doctor for painkiller.
In third trimester, you will see vaginal discharge. If this discharge is heavy then contact to your doctor as soon as possible. Very close to your due date, you may see thick or slightly blood in discharge. This is mucus and it indicate that cervix has start opening for labor.
Now baby is bigger and head of baby putting more pressure on bladder. Due to this pressure, you have to visit bathroom more frequently. You may even leak urine when cough, sneeze or exercise. To prevent from this leakage and pressure, rush bathroom and urinate completely all the time . You can use pad to absorb leakage at night time. If you feel any kind of pain or burning during urination, it may be sign of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and you have to contact with your doctor immediately.
THIRD TRIMESTER: DUE DATE
Some more changes happen in body, which are not seen so easily. At near about your due date, women’s cervix become very thinner and it helps cervix to open at the time of childbirth. Doctor will monitor growth of baby with regular tests and ultrasound scan specially when you are at the edge of delivery.
At 32 weeks in Third Trimester, Baby rapidly growing. Baby’s bone are very soft but fully developed. You will feel much baby movement than before. Baby can now open and close their eyes. Baby’s body start storing vital minerals like calcium and iron. very light hair begin to fall off. Baby’s weight may be around 4 to 4½ pound and is around 15 to 18 inches long.
RED FLAG SYMPTOMS:
If you feel any of these symptoms that could be sign that something is not going good with your pregnancy. You have to contact with your doctor as soon as possible if you feel any experience mention below :
- Severe Vomiting
- Heavy Blood And Water Discharge
- Severe Dizziness
- Burning and pain during urination
- Rapid weight gain or very low weight gain
SIGN OF LABOR:
Some pregnant women feel different sign of labor while other do not. We can not say what cause labor to start or when it will start. But some physical and hormonal changes can indicate the beginning of labor. These changes are
- Water Breaking
- Dilation of Cervix
- Passing the Mucus plug
LABOR CONTRACTION :
At the time of contraction, abdomen become very hard. Contraction is different for one woman to other and it may be different from last pregnancy. Labor contraction cause very painful and you will feel pain in your back and lower abdomen and you will feel pressure on your pelvis too. Contraction moves like a wave from top of uterus to the bottom. When contraction start, it will not stop even if you change your position or relax.
TRUE LABOR AND FALSE LABOR:
You will feel false labor pain before true labor, its called Braxton Hicks Constraction. This irregular contraction is absolutely normal and you may feel this kind of contraction from your second trimester and more common in your Third Trimester. By this process, body getting ready for true labor. Labor pain is worsen than Braxton Hicks.
BIRTH IN A VAGINAL DELIVERY:
There are two stages of Vaginal Delivery.
- First Stage: Dilation and Effacement of the Cervix
- early phase
- active phase
- transition phase
- Second Stage: Pushing and Birth
FIRST STAGE: DILATION AND EFFACEMENT OF THE CERVIX:
A. EARLY PHASE: CERVIX DILATES 3 TO 4 C.M.
This fist step is exist an average of 6 to 10 hours if women is first time pregnant and it may be much shorter if women give birth before. In the beginning of first stage, cervix dilates to three centimeters before real contraction. Some women have very strong contraction, that don’t change in cervix dilation.
In general, cervix dilation to 3 c.m. over a period of some hours or a day. Contraction may be irregular which coming from 10-20 min. apart, and lasting till 20 to 45 seconds. You can see some pinkish discharge and pain in abdomen. In Some cases, Water break in the first stage or it may later in the second stage.
B. ACTIVE PHASE : CERVIX DILATES FROM 3-7 C.M.:
In this phase, preparation for childbirth begins. It can live around three to six hours for the first pregnancy, and half for second or more time. During this period of time, contractions increase rapidly. You may feel pain in lower back and abdomen, and pain may be very high that you may not able to talk. Pinkish discharge may increase in amount.
C. TRANSITION PHASE: CERVIX DILATES TO 8-10 CM.:
This is the final stage that can last for 30 min. to 2 hours for first baby, and very quickly in subsequent births. Contraction during this period of time is very intense one to three minute apart. Nausea, fatigue are very common in this phase. You may feel push pressure in the vaginal area as the baby head moves toward down, but you have to stop pushing down and wait till cervix dilate completely.
2. SECOND STAGE: PUSHING AND BIRTH
Second stage begin when cervix dilates completely. It lasts about one hour to two hours in the first childbirth and in subsequent births, it may last from few minute to two hours. In this stage, you will feel constantly pressure on your vaginal part and when cervix full dilates, your doctor ask your for go ahead to push. Now contraction will not stop and it increase rapidly. As you start pushing, you may feel difficulties in breathing and fatigue. At this time, your doctor will tell you best way of breathing and push. You may feel very heavy pain around your vaginal and perineal part as the baby’s head comes out. Now your doctor may ask to push more gently or slow as your baby’s rest body emerge. And in the last push, your baby is in this world
WHAT HAPPENS RIGHT AFTER BIRTH:
It depends on you either you or hospital will first exam your baby. In this examine, doctor will check
- Weight, length and head measured.
- Baby’s heartbeat, temperature and breathing will be measured.
- Doctor or nurse will monitor skin color and baby’s all activities.
- To prevent from eye infection, doctor gives eye drops
- A shot of vitamin K to prevent from the chances of bleeding.