This is a basic guide to pregnancy which covers issues like the different stages to pregnancy and what usually takes place when a woman is pregnant. It is important to note that not all pregnancies progress in the same way, however this guide will be helpful to first time mothers and the men in their lives as it provides very basic information on what to expect during a normal pregnancy.
In a way, being prepared would help them avoid unwanted miscarriage from happening. It is important for a pregnant woman to receive good prenatal care throughout the various stages of pregnancy. Also, a good relationship with the doctor will be very helpful for both the expecting parents as the doctor will be able to explain and offer advice that are crucial for each stage of pregnancy.
The first thing that every expectant woman should know is that a normal pregnancy takes up to 40 weeks. This period is divided into three sections called trimesters, in which each trimester lasts about 13 weeks. Therefore each pregnancy goes through the first trimester, second trimester and third trimester. The development of the fetus in the pregnant woman is normally discussed according to the different trimesters.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, the changes can be very subtle and most times are not associated with being pregnant. One change that affects many women is the nausea and morning sickness or vomiting. However, in most cases, a woman might not associate the vomiting to being pregnant, more to being ill. Even though it is termed as morning sickness, it can be experienced at any time throughout the day.
Morning sickness is the result of changes in the woman’s hormones. As the hormones change in a woman’s body, it results in the feeling of nausea and morning sickness. Also, after the first month, the fetus in the pregnant woman starts to produce hormones. This surge in hormones will also add to the nausea and vomiting.
Not only that, the fluctuating hormones can cause some pregnant women to experience food cravings as well as irritability or unexpected and unpredictable mood swings. However it is good to know that the unpredictable mood swings will not last long. They will become less frequent after the end of the first trimester.
During the second trimester, a pregnant woman would have adapted to the various changes that has taken place in her body. At this stage the body has adjusted to the presence of a growing fetus. During this second trimester also, the fetus would have developed its own organs and has features which could already be identified.
The pregnant mother will also go through a noticeable weight gain. This is a natural progression, however, it should not be too abrupt more so for a first pregnancy. A weight gain that is too much too fast could indicate multiple births. On the other hand it could also be an indication of problems with the fetus or the expectant mother.
The fetus will have developed all of its own organs, most of them functional during the third trimester of a pregnancy. Most times, the fetus is delivered when the woman has gone through 38 to 40 weeks of pregnancy. However, should a fetus need to be delivered before that, it could survive on its own with medical assistance. This premature birth could occur from the 30th week.
It is during this last trimester that the pregnant woman will feel most uncomfortable. The expectant mother will be carrying the growing fetus in her, with the fetus applying pressure to the mother’s internal organs. This pressure could make the mother feel the need to urinate more often and could also cause back aches. The mother will also find it too uncomfortable to be able to get a good night’s sleep, which could add to her discomfort and fatigue.
This basic guide offers information on the major stages and development of the normal pregnancy. To get more detailed information, it is advisable for both parents to seek guidance from the local physician or obstetrician and gynecologist. Once the expecting parents are armed with information, it will be easier to recognize and understand the various stages of a pregnancy.