Pregnancy: Nine Months of Changes
Pregnancy begins with the joining of an egg and a sperm. It ends with the birth of your baby. The nine months you are pregnant will be nine months of change.
While your baby is growing inside, you will be changing too. Your uterus will get larger as your baby grows. You will produce more blood to carry food and oxygen to your baby. Your breasts will be getting ready to produce milk. At the emotional level, you will be getting ready to be a mother, and your family will be getting ready to welcome a new person.
During these nine months, you are your baby’s world. Make this world the best it can be.
First Trimester: Changes you may notice during Months 1, 2, 3
During the first three months, your baby is growing and changing, but your body does not yet look different.
• Your uterus grows from about the size of a tennis ball to the size of a grapefruit
• You may gain or lose up to 2.3 kg (5 lb)
• You may find there is more wetness (secretions) coming from your vagina
• Your breasts feel full and tender
• You may need to pee (urinate) often
• You may feel faint, tired, or sick
• You may feel like throwing up (nausea) or you may throw up (vomit). This is called “morning sickness.” It can happen at any time of the day or night.
Second Trimester: Changes you may notice during Months 4, 5, 6
Most women start to feel a lot better. If you were tired, moody, and had morning sickness, you may find that they will go away. You may feel dreamy and calm. As you feel the baby move and kick, your baby becomes very real.
• You begin to look pregnant.
• You should be gaining about a pound a week—1.5–1.8 kg (3–4 lb) a month.
• You may notice that your nose is stuffy. You gums or nose may bleed.
• You may notice some changes in your skin: a dark line down the centre of your abdomen (called the linea negra) and a dark shadow on your face (called the mask of pregnancy).
Third Trimester: Changes you may notice during Months 7, 8, 9
By this time your baby is very real, and you are eager for the birth.
• You may notice stretch marks on your stomach area (abdomen) and breasts.
• You may notice that you sweat often and pee (urinate) more.
• You may notice skin changes such as tiny red spots called “vascular spiders.”
What you might be feeling during the 9th month (Weeks 36 to 42)
This is it! You are full of mixed feelings. You can hardly wait to see your baby and you are nervous about giving birth.
• You may feel lots of “Braxton-Hicks” contractions. These are normal practice for labor.
• You may notice that the baby has dropped lower into your pelvis. This makes it easier for you to breathe. It also means you will pee (urinate) more often.
• You may have a burst of energy
• Signs that labor is starting:
- a plug of mucus with a little blood in it comes out of your vagina. This is called a “show.”
- Contractions may get stronger and don’t stop when you move around
- your water breaks
• You have loose bowel movements HAPPY BIRTHDAY!