Understanding pregnancy symptoms week by week will help you to know more about your body and what types of changes that you can expect to have in the 9 months following conception. Let’s first divide the weeks into three time frames. They are the first, second and third trimesters.
First trimester: 1st-12th weeks
Second trimester: 13th-27th weeks
Third trimester: 28th-40th weeks
First Trimester – Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week
During the first month or so after conception, not many obvious changes occur in a pregnant woman, although your body may be showing certain early signs of pregnancy. Remember these signs differ from person to person. Missed periods are common during the first month after conception, though in some cases “spotting” may occur. Unfortunately, for the rest of the first trimester nausea and vomiting are more common. This is thought to be due to high estrogen hormone levels. Mood swings and craving for food are also noticed during this time. You may see a slight increase in weight, bloating, giddiness (due to low blood pressure: as more blood is pumped to uterus), fatigue, frequent urination, sleeplessness, increased basal body temperature.
Second Trimester – Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week
A pregnant woman has to have enough resolve to face new challenges during this period as, apart from the symptoms that occur during the first trimester, even more changes occur to the body. An increase in weight is common in this trimester. This is the period where your belly expands to accommodate the baby. Stretch marks might also become more prominent. At about the 16th week, you may start to feel your baby’s movements. Mood swings become more prominent. And during the last four weeks of the second trimester (23-27), the movement of your baby becomes more pronounced. This is the stage where even slight kicks from your baby can be experienced. Bleeding gums, vaginal discharge, skin rashes, breathlessness (due to expansion of uterus against the lungs), abdominal aches (due to stretching of uterus against abdominal wall), leg cramps, back pain are all symptoms that can occur at this point.
Third Trimester – Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week
Weight gain is most prominent in this trimester. Usually a gain in weight of 1 pound every 7 days is seen. You may experience hip pain as your baby gains more weight and presses against the pelvis. As the baby moves a lot in the pelvic region, more pressure is put on the bladder which leads to even more frequent urination. Walking can become difficult due to pelvic pain, imbalance or extra weight. Breasts and nipples become fuller. Shortness of breath is usually gone in this juncture, as the baby has settled lower in the pelvis. Labor usually occurs between the 37th-40th weeks. So it is wise to be prepared for it at any time. Learn to differentiate between the false labor and the real one. Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor pain) are usually rare at the start of this trimester and may become more common during the final weeks.
False labor: Pain usually occurs only in the abdomen.
Real labor: Pain is radiating from back to front and is seen to increase with time. Rupture of membrane, dilation is also seen. “Blood show” (vaginal discharge with blood) is also a vital sign showing you are going into labor.
Pregnancy symptoms week by week is a guideline of the signs that show the mother that, yes, there is a new life within her. One to nurture and love. Understanding the process, and learning about the different changes that are to occur in your body will help you gracefully experience your pregnancy.