Having a baby represents an extraordinary biological act. While not technically a miracle, there is something nonetheless remarkable about the concept of one life carrying another life inside of their body.
Pregnancy can differ from one woman to the next. Even the same woman can have different types of pregnancies over the course of their lives. This is particularly true, in terms of the symptoms of pregnancy that a woman can experience during that ten month period. The symptoms can be mild for one woman or pregnancy, and then prove to be much severe for a different pregnancy, even one by the same woman.
Starting from the first day of an individual’s last menstrual period, pregnancy lasts approximately forty weeks. A pregnancy generally breaks down into three segments. These segments are known as trimesters. Each trimester lasts approximately twelve to thirteen weeks. It is important to understand that events and symptoms can differ wildly from one trimester to the next, with certain symptoms potentially occurring over the whole of the pregnancy. Obviously, these symptoms and events occur as the baby continues to grow and develop.
Conception And Implantation
Around 2 weeks after a woman has her period, ovulation will begin. Her ovaries will eventually release a single mature egg. Between 12 and twenty-four hours, as it travels down the fallopian tubes towards their uterus, it is possible to fertilize the egg. Fertilization/conception is the creation of a single cell from the combination of the sperm and the egg. The fetus’ gender will be determined during the fertilization stage. This is dependent upon the type of chromosome (X or Y) that is created from the sperm cell.
Over a period of 3 to 4 days, the fertilized eggs (embryos) make their way down to the uterus. At this point, it’s going to attach/implant itself to the uterine wall. This is the point in which the cells are going to become a fetus. Placenta, tissues that are designed to support oxygen, are also created during this time.
1st Trimester (1-12 Weeks) (Mother’s Body)
The hormonal occurrences that spring up during the first trimester means a number of symptoms. These hormonal occurrences can impact virtually every organ and every part of the body. Although the woman may not begin to “show” her pregnancy in this time, she will nonetheless find herself going through a number of symptoms. At the time in which conception occurs, the woman can expect the production of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) in their bodies. HCG can show up in the urine, and it is often the element to taking a pregnancy tests that helps the test to indicate whether or not you are pregnant.
Nausea/vomiting are common amongst pregnant women in the 1st trimester. This is commonly referred to as morning sickness. This symptom tends to last through the first few months of the pregnancy, and a woman may also find herself becoming more and more tired. Furthermore, the growth of the uterus can put a great deal of pressure on the bladder. This can cause a woman to begin urinating more often.
Tender, swollen breasts can occur in this period, and the digestive system can slow down. Heartburn, constipation, bloating, and feeling gassy are all symptoms women tend to experience in this period. Emotional highs and lows can occur during this time, along with a physical change that many would describe as a glow.
1st Trimester (Fetus/Embryo)
Much of the child’s development will take place during the first month of pregnancy. This can include the spinal cord, the nerves, the arms, the legs, the brains, and the spinal cord. During this first month, the embryo is going to be approximately the size of a pea. By the second month, further development can occur, and the fetus will grow to around the size of a kidney bean.
By the end of the 2nd month, eight to ten of the main organs of the fetus have been developed. The first trimester is most often when miscarriages/accidents occur, in addition to defects. It is strongly advised that women avoid any medications or illegal drugs in this time. If you have any questions about a specific medication, you will want to discuss that with your doctor.
By month 3, the bones and muscles began to grow, taking their final shape.
2nd Trimester (13-27 Weeks, Mother’s Body)
As the body gets used to all of these changes with the hormones, some of the symptoms covered in the first trimester should begin to disappear. Energy levels might go up, and sleep should improve, too.
However, certain new symptoms may appear during this time. The baby bump should become more distinctive, and pelvic pressure/discomfort can occur, as well. Stretching belly skin may also cause the area to feel itchy. Increased weight can put pressure on the lower back, and they should also begin to feel the baby kicking, turning over and so forth. This generally happens during weeks 16 to 18.
The 20th week occurs during the 2nd trimester. It is generally the halfway point in a woman’s pregnancy. Doctors suggest that by week 28, if it’s possible, the pregnant woman should go on a small vacation.
2nd Trimester (Fetus/Embryo)
The fetus will reach a growth of around three to five inches long by this time. Between eighteen and twenty-two weeks, an ultrasound will likely have the ability to determine the sex of the child. Eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails, and neck are all developing in this time. Arms and legs can bend. The kidneys also begin to work, producing urine.
By the 5th and 6th months of pregnancy, the fetus becomes more active, as hair grows, eyes open, and the brain continues its rapid development.
3rd Trimester (28-40 Weeks, Mother’s Body)
During the third and final trimester, the uterus has enlarged to the point of pushing against the diaphragm of the woman. Her lungs will have less room for expansion, so breathing can become a little difficult during this time period. Swelling can occur with the hands, ankles, feet, and even along the face. Blood circulation can slow down, and increased pressure on the bladder can cause a woman to urinate even more frequently.
Dark patches of skin may appear, particularly along the face. It is also within the realm of possibility for stretch marks and varicose veins to appear. As you put the finishing touches on shopping and proofing the home for the new arrival, you may also notice that the breasts have begun to leak. This is a process known as leaking colostrum. Sleeping can also become extremely difficult in this time period, owing to the fact that getting into a good position can prove to be highly challenging.
As delivery gets closer, some women may feel a consistent state of euphoria, to the point of eagerly looking forward to getting pregnant again. Others have a less pleasant time, and although they are pleased to be having a baby, it isn’t something they are going to want to go through ever again.
3rd Trimester (Fetus/Embryo)
At this point, the baby goes through a significant number of changes, as it continues its development. In this particularly dramatic stage, the fetus will begin moving and kicking pretty consistently. This generally occurs during the seventh month of pregnancy. It is even possible for the child to respond to things like light and sound. In other words, if you were planning to play music for your unborn child during pregnancy, the third trimester is going to prove to be the most ideal time in which to do that.
By the eighth month, the fetus should begin to gain weight at a pretty rapid, impressive rate. Bones can harden, but the skull of the child will likely remain soft. This is to make the delivery easier for the mother. Different aspects of the child’s brain are forming at this point, and you can even feel the fetus hiccuping.
The baby will turn itself into a head down position, although this is obviously not going to be the case all of the time. It is done in this case to make delivery easier. As the lungs develop to create a being that is going to be capable of breathing on its own, the fetus will likely continue to put on weight, leading all the way up to the big day in question.
In this day and age, a full-term pregnancy is defined as any pregnancy that consist of thirty-nine to forty weeks, and comes to term at the end of that period of time.
As you can see, pregnancy comes with a wide number of symptoms that you are going to want to keep in mind. It is worth mentioning again that these symptoms can vary wildly from one woman to the next. It is also important to note that diet and exercise are possible during this time period, but this is obviously something you are going to want to discuss with your health care provider. It is also important to remember that through all of this, emotions can run high.
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