Pregnancy is an exciting and transformative time for expectant mothers. It can also be a time of uncertainty, as your body undergoes many changes and you prepare for the arrival of your new baby. Here is an overview of what to expect during pregnancy, from the first trimester to the third.
The first trimester is typically the most challenging, as your body adjusts to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. Some common symptoms during this time include:
Nausea and vomiting: This is often referred to as morning sickness, but it can occur at any time of day. It is caused by the hormone hCG, which is produced during pregnancy.
Fatigue: Many women experience increased fatigue during the first trimester, as the body works to support the growing baby.
Breast changes: Your breasts may become tender and swollen as they prepare to produce milk.
Mood swings: Hormonal changes can also affect your mood, leading to emotional ups and downs.
Missed periods: The most obvious sign of pregnancy is a missed period. If you are sexually active and have missed a period, it is a good idea to take a pregnancy test to confirm.
The second trimester is often referred to as the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy, as many of the unpleasant symptoms of the first trimester tend to subside. During this time, you may experience:
Increased energy: Many women find that their energy levels improve during the second trimester.
Growing belly: Your uterus will begin to grow and push against your abdominal muscles, causing your belly to expand.
Baby movements:. You should start to feel your baby move around 16 to 24 weeks of pregnancy. If you’re a first time mom, you might not feel movements until after 20 weeks. These movements may feel like flutters or butterflies at first, but will become more distinct as the baby grows.
Braxton Hicks contractions: As your pregnancy progresses, you may experience intermittent contractions known as Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as prodromal or false labor pains. These are usually painless and do not indicate labor but they can be frequently felt if you’ve been standing too long or are dehydrated.
During the third trimester, your baby will continue to grow and prepare for birth. You may experience:
Shortness of breath: As the baby grows, it may press against your diaphragm, causing shortness of breath.
Swelling: As pregnancy progresses, fluid may accumulate in tissues, usually in the feet, ankles, and legs, even in the face and hands, causing them to swell and appear puffy. During pregnancy, the body produces more hormones such as aldosterone and cortisol that causes the body to retain more fluids.
Heartburn: There are several causes for heartburn or indigestion during pregnancy. One of which is hormonal changes that slow down the digestive system. Food moves slower, causing bloating and heartburn. Another reason is the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter (the gate separating the stomach and the esophagus or food pipe). A hormone called progesterone can cause this sphincter or gateway to relax. When it relaxes, stomach acid can move up into the esophagus. Lastly, as the baby grows, the uterus crowds your stomach and pushes stomach acids upward into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
Difficulty sleeping: It can be difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in as the pregnancy progresses and the belly grows.
Contractions: As you near the end of your pregnancy, you may experience more frequent contractions. These are known as preterm labor if they occur before 37 weeks.
It is important to keep in mind that every pregnancy is different, and you may experience different symptoms or none at all. It is always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or questions during pregnancy.
Pregnancy can be an exciting and challenging time, but with proper care and preparation, you can have a healthy pregnancy and a successful delivery. So, it is always better to be well informed about pregnancy and what to expect when you’re expecting.
About The Author
Meet Dr. Mea Ramos, Clinical Director of Eva Teleconsult. With a Doctor of Medicine and Master in Business Administration degrees from the Ateneo de Manila University, Dr. Ramos is a highly qualified physician who is also certified in Clinical Telemedicine from Harvard Medical School. She is a life-long learner and graduate of SMIC Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture program. As a mentor to medical students and doctors-in-training, Dr. Ramos is dedicated to promoting health and wellness through telemedicine, mental health, and holistic wellness.
At Eva Teleconsult, Dr. Ramos is known for providing personalized, high-quality care to patients of all ages, but particularly to women between the ages of 12 and 55. With a special interest in women’s health and a passion for helping her patients achieve optimal health, Dr. Ramos is the go-to physician for women in BGC, Makati, Alabang, and the expat community. Whether you’re seeking tele consultations, counseling, or home vaccination services, Dr. Ramos and the team at Eva Teleconsult are here to help you feel your best. Upgrade your healthcare experience with Dr. Ramos and Eva Teleconsult today.