Some women know from an early age that they want to become a mother. Some feel a bit apprehensive at the thought of being responsible for another human being. And for some, a child wasn’t in their plans.
It’s different for all mums-to-be but once the test comes back positive, the thought of holding their little bundle of joy overwhelms them with maternal instinct and planning for the new arrival becomes imperative.
Continue reading to learn more about some of the notable changes that occur week by week in pregnancy.
First Trimester, Week 1 To 12
You might be surprised to find out that in the first two weeks of your pregnancy, conception hasn’t yet taken place, but once the test comes back positive, those two weeks are included in the 40-week gestational period. That’s why doctors ask when the beginning of your last period was because the 40 weeks are counted from that date. Weird? Yes, but that’s the way it is.
Once pregnant, you might start experiencing swollen breasts, nausea, and mood swings. Another tell-tale sign that you are pregnant is a missed period. You may experience some light spotting during this time, but don’t be alarmed. This is simply because the embryo has implanted itself in your uterus.
Other signs you might experience as the pregnancy progresses are tiredness, food aversions, morning or evening sickness, having to urinate more often, finding that your waistline is getting bigger, or that you are losing weight.
Second Trimester, Week 13 To 26
Many women agree that this is the best trimester in the journey to motherhood. In months 4, 5 and 6, usually the tiredness and morning sickness has subsided and you feel fantastic, experiencing that pregnancy glow you might have heard of. This is a very good thing because now you need that energy to make big choices, like whether you’re going to have a hospital or home birth.
You can start decorating the nursery and you’ll be able to determine the sex of your baby during this trimester too should you so choose. Other decisions that have to be made is who you will have present at the birth, when are you going on maternity leave and for how long.
As you get your energy back, you’ll be able to do more exercise. Some great exercises for when you are pregnant are brisk walks, swimming, stationary cycling, yoga and low impact aerobics. Another thing to look forward to is feeling that first flutter of movement as your baby moves in your uterus. This happens at different times for different women, but normally you can feel it from week 16 onwards.
Third Trimester, Week 27 To 40
In the third trimester, you might find yourself out of breath – quite literally! This is due to the baby pressing on your diaphragm, restricting your lung capacity. Another quirk at this stage of the game is having to urinate a lot. Again, it’s because your baby is growing and pushing down on your bladder.
You might also experience Braxton Hicks contractions. Think of them as your body preparing itself for the birth.
And then the big day arrives. You might opt for a normal delivery without meds or a normal delivery with meds or a C-section. Whatever you decide is all good because at the end of the day this is your body and your decision.
Many ladies become frustrated when the baby doesn’t arrive on time. A good rule of thumb is to be prepared for the event on the due date, but not to put all your hope on that exact date. It is not uncommon for women to go over their due date by one or two weeks. Your baby will be born at the exact moment when he/she should be born.
The Best Is Yet To Come
Whether you are reading this in your first, second or third semester, becoming a mother is amazing. When things get a bit overwhelming, inhale and exhale a few times and repeat, I can do this. Your body is designed for it. And when your little bundle of joy grabs your finger for the first time, no other feeling will ever compare.