Your Pregnancy Trimester Breakdown
Understanding the various stages of pregnancy will help you to prepare yourself for this phase of your life. Your pregnancy trimester breakdown will include the first, second, and third trimester. Sometimes, people also refer to the period immediately after giving birth as the “fourth trimester” because you will still see the impact of pregnancy during this stage. Our team at My Family Birth Center can help to guide you through the trimester breakdown, so that you have the best guidance and services throughout your pregnancy.
How Long Does Pregnancy Last?
For most women, pregnancy will last for around 40 weeks. There are some situations in which this time frame may differ. For example, some women give birth in as little as 37 weeks, while others may be as late as 42 weeks. It is also important to note that each trimester will come with different symptoms and experiences, so it is useful to understand each trimester through this trimester breakdown.
The First Trimester
The first trimester of pregnancy includes the first 12 weeks from conception. During this stage of pregnancy, the major organs and structures of the embryo will begin to form. Around 4 to 5 weeks, the embryo will only be .04 inches long. By the end of the first trimester, the embryo will have grown to around 3 inches long. In fact, you may be able to tell the gender of the baby at 12 weeks, because the genitalia may have formed.
Symptoms During the First Trimester
There are several symptoms that you may experience during the first trimester, the most common symptom is morning sickness and nausea. Other symptoms of the first trimester of pregnancy include vomiting caused by the pregnancy, as well as extreme fatigue. Women in the first trimester may experience significant emotional fluctuations due to the hormone changes taking place in their body during this stage of pregnancy. Other symptoms include a much stronger sense of smell, food cravings, and tenderness of the breasts.
The Second Trimester
After the first trimester of pregnancy comes the second trimester. This trimester includes the period from 13 to 26 weeks of pregnancy. During this trimester, the fetus grows from 4 or 5 inches to around 12 inches at the end of this stage. Other important parts of the fetus will start to grow during this time and the organs will continue to form, as well. The fetus is likely to even start to develop regular sleeping and waking patterns during this time period.
Symptoms During the Second Trimester
One of the most significant changes during the second trimester is that morning sickness and fatigue often go away during this trimester. Food cravings are likely to remain, however, and may even grow stronger. Women in their second trimester of pregnancy often report the formation of stretch marks, nipple changes, and ligament pain. This is the stage of pregnancy where women start to develop their baby bump, so that they will appear pregnant.
The Third Trimester
The third trimester is the final stage of pregnancy. This trimester includes the period from 27 weeks of pregnancy to the delivery of your baby. During this stage, the fetus will grow from around 12 inches to 18 or 20 inches, depending on the overall size of your baby. It is extremely common for kicks and rolls to become much stronger during this trimester and women will often feel the baby moving during this period. Many women will continue to work until late in their third trimester, though this will depend primarily on their situation and experience.
Symptoms During the Third Trimester
The third trimester comes with its own unique set of symptoms. Many of these symptoms are similar to those in the first trimester. During the third trimester, women are likely to experience heartburn and swollen feet. Mood swings are another common symptom that comes along with the third trimester. Another thing to watch out for during the third trimester is insomnia. This can have a significant impact on your stress and health. Choosing comfortable positions can help you to get more sleep. Frequent urination is also common during the third trimester of pregnancy, because the baby will be placing a great deal more weight on your bladder.
The Fourth Trimester
Many people refer to the period immediately after giving birth as the fourth trimester of pregnancy. This is largely due to the fact that this will be the recovery period, where you may still feel some of the effects of pregnancy. During this “fourth trimester” newborn babies will need constant care, as they will still be in a critical period of development. It may be beneficial to replicate the conditions within the womb as much as possible during this period. This can help to keep your infant calm and reduce their stress. Cuddling or swaddling the baby can help to replicate these conditions, which can provide comfort to your baby. It is also important to make an extra effort to get as much rest as possible, to aid in your recovery.
Symptoms of the Fourth Trimester
There are some symptoms that are extremely common to experience after you give birth. For example, many women experience bleeding or vaginal discharge for 4 to 6 weeks after giving birth. If you are experiencing a great deal of discomfort, however, you may want to contact your care provider for the appropriate guidance. It is also common to experience postpartum depression after giving birth. This isn’t something to be ashamed about. Many mothers don’t get the help they need, because they think that experiencing PPD makes them a bad parent. Reaching out and getting treatment can help you through this stage.
Your trimester breakdown can help you to prepare and plan for each stage of your pregnancy. This often ensures that you can remain more comfortable and prepared for your pregnancy experience. It will also provide you with information regarding what to expect at each stage of your pregnancy. For more information about the trimester breakdown of your pregnancy, contact us at My Family Birth Center today!