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Understanding the Pregnancy Timeline

Finding out you’re pregnant is one of the biggest moments in a woman’s life. Beyond the adorable onesies and baby showers is the business of actually carrying out a pregnancy. Knowing what’s ahead of you is essential, especially if you’re pregnant for the first time,

At Women’s Health Services, our team of doctors are dedicated to supporting you through your pregnancy from the first heartbeat to delivery. We start by equipping you with the best information so you’re ready to take on your pregnancy.

Timeline overview

All pregnancies are different, but they have one thing in common: trimesters. Every woman who becomes pregnant reaches certain milestones in their pregnancy at the end of each trimester. Your 40 weeks of pregnancy are divided into thirds; it’s during these phases when you and your baby go through different stages of development. 

The first trimester

This includes your first twelve weeks of pregnancy.

Your baby’s development

Your first 12 weeks make up the first trimester of your pregnancy. In the very beginning, your body is preparing itself for the journey ahead and some biology magic is happening inside your uterus. The egg and sperm meet during this stage, create a zygote, and attach to the wall of your uterus. The zygote becomes an embryo and your child starts the beginning stages of developing organs and other structures. You can hear your baby’s first heartbeat at eight weeks and choose to know the sex of the baby as well. 

Your development

During these important weeks, you won’t notice your belly growing too much. But you will notice a change in your food likes and dislikes. 

You’ll also experience the dreaded morning sickness, which, despite its name, can occur at any time of the day. You might notice increased fatigue and mood swings caused by the change in hormones. Other women have reported breast tenderness and a heightened sense of smell.

The second trimester

From week 13-26, you’re considered to be in your second trimester.

Your baby’s development

This is an important stage development for your baby. Your baby will grow from four to five inches to a whopping 12 inches long. Important structures begin to take shape including: 

The reproductive organs start to develop during these weeks as well. Your baby will fall into a regular sleeping and waking pattern and will start to notice sounds outside of the womb. 

Your development

Although food cravings and aversions might continue, you’ll likely notice a decrease in more frustrating symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Now is the time when friends and family will start to notice your baby bump and will rush over to you when you feel those first kicks from inside the womb. 

As you draw nearer to the final trimester and your due date, you might experience Braxton-Hicks contractions which are false labor pains. These are completely normal, but you should contact one of our doctors should you have any concerns. 

The second trimester is when your body starts to change and you notice stretch marks, ligament pain in your lower belly or groin area, and darkening nipples. 

The third trimester

The home stretch. This phase includes week 27 until your delivery. 

Your baby’s development

Your new child is essentially done growing new structures and organs and now spends this time gaining weight, growing longer, and maturing. Your baby starts to practice breathing motions to get ready for the outside world. You’ll notice much stronger kicks as your growing baby begins to turn downwards to make the birthing process easier. 

Your development

Unfortunately, this is when you’ll feel your most uncomfortable. Your belly is large and your back might hurt from the extra weight. You’ll experience stronger false labor pains, heartburn, insomnia, and other frustrating side effects. 

Anxiety levels about becoming a parent and experiencing labor might start to bubble up to the surface. Should you feel overwhelming anxiety, contact your doctor for support. 

The fourth trimester

The first three months after delivery are sometimes referred to as the fourth trimester. You and your baby are slowly getting to know each other during this time and it can be difficult to deal with the emotions and stress of becoming a new parent and caring for a new child. It’s important to lean on friends, family, and our supportive staff. 

From conception to the first time you cradle your baby, we want to be there for you. Let our friendly and experienced staff support you through your entire pregnancy. Call our office or schedule an appointment online today.

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