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Understanding Each Trimester

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Understanding Each Trimester

What to Expect During Each Phase of Pregnancy

Whether you're a first-time mom or a veteran, you may still have questions about what happens during each developmental stage of pregnancy. The health experts at McDonough District Hospital are here to break down what happens for both mother and baby during the three trimesters.

First Trimester

The first 13 weeks of pregnancy make up the first trimester. During these first few weeks, your body is undergoing extensive hormonal changes, which trigger physical symptoms that are tell-tale signs of early pregnancy. These symptoms may include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Tender, swollen breasts
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Constipation
  • Cravings or aversions to certain foods
  • Urinating more frequently
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches

During the first trimester, your baby experiences the following developmental changes:

  • The brain and spinal cord start developing
  • The heartbeat can be detected as early as 6 weeks
  • Sex organs start to develop
  • Fingers and toes start forming

Second Trimester

The second trimester is marked from weeks 14 through 27. During this developmental period, you may notice more physical changes to your body as your abdomen begins to extend to make room for your growing baby.

Some new symptoms and changes you may experience during this stage include:

  • Body aches, especially in the back and abdomen
  • Stretch marks on the stomach, breasts, and thighs
  • Darkening of the areolas
  • A dark line forming from your belly button to your pubic hairline
  • Swelling of the ankles and feet

During the second trimester, your baby experiences the following changes:

  • You may feel your baby moving around
  • The skin begins to form
  • Your baby begins to make sucking motions with their mouth
  • Muscle tissue, bone, and skin begin to form

Third Trimester

Weeks 28 through 40 marks the third trimester, which is the final stage of pregnancy. Many women find themselves using the restroom more often during this period, with many of the same symptoms and discomforts experienced during the second trimester.

Some additional symptoms you may experience as you wait for the arrival of your little one include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • More frequent urination
  • Heartburn
  • Hemorrhoids
  • An extended belly button
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Your baby “dropping” lower in your abdomen
  • Braxton Hicks contraction

During these final weeks of pregnancy, your baby undergoes the following changes:

  • Their bones are fully formed
  • Kicking and movements become more forceful
  • Their eyes can open and close
  • Your baby begins practicing breathing movements

If you have questions or concerns about your pregnancy experience, feel free to reach out to your obstetrician or certified nurse midwife.

Women’s Health Services in Macomb, Illinois

At the McDonough District Hospital Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic, you can expect compassionate and exceptional care no matter your female reproductive health condition or concern. Our board certified obstetricians and gynecologists and certified nurse midwife provide women’s health services for women of all ages, from your first period to menopause and beyond.

To learn more about our women’s health services, visit our website or give us a call at (309) 833-4101.