Congratulations! We know how exciting it can be for both parents to enter this new chapter of your married life, and while it may be nervewracking venturing into uncharted waters, always know you have each other to rely on. And, to help you prepare and stay on the safer side of the pregnancy boat, we’ll be exploring your pregnancy symptoms week by week and learning the dos and don’ts at each trimester.
Pregnancy Should Be Handled With Care
Before anything else, we want to emphasize the importance of being careful. Remember, you’re caring for two lives now, and you don’t want anything bad to happen to your baby. So, even if it’s the most meager of tasks, exercise everything with caution because it never hurts to be too safe.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 1 – 13: First Trimester
During the first 13 weeks, which is essentially the first trimester, you’ll start experiencing rapid changes in your body and some things that are beyond your control. For some couples, you might not even know that they’re pregnant with a baby, but luckily the first four weeks or so will point that out.
What to Expect?
Above all, try not to be alarmed with any of the changes your body will experience because most of these come naturally with pregnancy. As much as possible, you’ll want to be comfortable, get into the swing of things, and try to adapt and transition into the pregnant life.
- Mild Cramping: It’s not uncommon to feel some mild cramping when you’re pregnant, and you’ll typically feel them around your lower abdomen and vagina region. However, when it becomes unbearable and goes beyond mild levels of discomfort, do consult with a doctor.
- Nausea: You’ll also be more prone to feeling nauseous as an effect of growing more sensitive to certain smells, tastes, and the like. Morning sickness is also a common occurrence around the 9-week milestone, but there are cases where they come earlier for people. However, if you feel dizzy and lightheaded for long periods, don’t shy away from making an appointment with a doctor.
- Missed Period: One of the most telltale signs of pregnancy is a missed period, and unless you’re usually going through irregular schedules, this is perfectly normal. In fact, this is how most couples and partners find out whether they’re pregnant with a baby.
- Mood Swings: At times, you will feel angry, irritable, and maybe even a mix of everything, but understand that pregnancy mood swings are perfectly normal to experience. Hormones are but one factor in this equation, and there’s just a whole lot of anxiety and stress that comes with pregnancy. So, don’t beat yourself over it if you’re easily annoyed.
- Cravings: Hormones also directly affect your sensory experience, such as taste, which ends up kickstarting all the cravings inside you. It’s perfectly normal to start craving sweets or maybe something oddly-specific. Just remember to keep it in moderation and don’t go overboard with the foodies.
What to Do?
For the coming weeks, you’ll want to slowly change up your everyday lifestyle to accommodate your pregnancy, but don’t try to rush into anything. Other than that, here are a couple of things you should definitely get to.
- Take a Pregnancy Test: Surprisingly, a lot of people are still unsure whether they’re pregnant or not during the first four weeks. So, we strongly recommend taking a pregnancy test to be sure and to aptly prepare for the future.
- Consult With Your Doctor: It’s just good practice to consult with your doctor, and you will want to get a medical check-up anyway to see if you’re perfectly healthy and capable of carrying a child.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 14 – 26: Second Trimester
From weeks 14 – 26, you’re officially in the second trimester of pregnancy, which is generally a transitional phase. During these weeks, you’ll start to notice most of the early symptoms fade away because your body has already adapted to them. However, you’re not out of the running yet because the greatest weight gain is experienced during this trimester, meaning your belly will look a little rounder, and you’ll have a much harder time fitting into stuff.
What to Expect?
Most of the changes and new things you’ll experience can be mainly attributed to the considerable weight gain during this trimester. So, expect some aches here and there and needing to lie down and relax more often.
- Back Pain: Your body isn’t as used to carrying the extra weight, which means it’s much more burdensome on your back to get to and from places. So, focus on practicing good posture and limit yourself to light physical activity to avoid any trouble with too much aching. If it goes beyond normal levels of discomfort, seek medical attention.
- Abdominal Pain: By the second trimester, you’ll start feeling your baby even more as they begin kicking and wriggling around inside. It’s perfectly normal to feel abdominal pain from this, but do be warned that the jabbing and sharp aches might need you to sit down every once in a while.
- Constipation: Another natural byproduct of the changing hormones in your body is constipation. In mild cases, they’re perfectly harmless and can be solved by drinking more fluids. However, if they ever get worse, please meet with your doctor for possible complications.
What to Do?
As you’d expect, observe the same things as you would during the first trimester, but with a couple of new additions. These will make the transition into the third trimester easier and help guarantee a safe birth and healthy baby.
- Take Multivitamins: Prenatal vitamins are the perfect method of ensuring you meet your body’s and your baby’s daily requirements. Sure, there’s plenty you could do with a healthy and complete diet, but it doesn’t hurt to take your vitamins as well.
- Kegel Exercises: These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder, uterus, bowels and prepare you for labor. It gives you much greater control over the muscles necessary and reduces complications.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week 27 – 40: Third Trimester
Once again, congratulations for making it this far and putting in every effort to care for your baby. Luckily, there’s only a couple of weeks left until you can hold them in your hands, so don’t let up and continue the discipline of being a caring and loving parent.
What to Expect?
For the third and final trimester, the same stuff applies, but now you’ll have to exercise even more caution than before because you might go into labor any time now, especially during the later months. You might also start feeling more stressed and anxious, knowing that the day is near, but do your best to relax.
- Urinary Incontinence: The bladder is placed under pressure during pregnancy and even more during the third trimester. So, expect leakage now and then, but to be sure, check the color and odor to find out if your water broke earlier than expected.
- Trouble Sleeping: Sleepless episodes and insomnia are a common occurrence during the later stages of pregnancy. It all boils down to the stress and anxiety building up, so try your best to get comfortable and focus on the positives.
What to Do? Plan Ahead.
Remember, you could go into labor any time now, so you’ll want to have a plan ready for when that happens. Contact your doctor and have a room prepared for when the day finally comes, and get the car seats ready if you plan to stay at home before being transported to the hospital.
Things to Avoid
Now that we understand the dos during pregnancy, let’s explore the don’ts and all the things you’ll want to avoid to help keep your baby safe, healthy and not negatively impact their growth and development.
- 1. Strenuous Exercise
For now, you’ll want to avoid any strenuous exercise or vigorous physical activity because you don’t want to risk anything happening during them. You could easily trip, fall, or exert yourself too much and cause a miscarriage. So, limit yourself to simple and light things.
- 2. Smoking
In general, smoking is bad for your health, but in terms of pregnancy, there’s an increased risk of your baby developing health problems and, worst-case scenario, risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). So, stay away from smoke and cigars as much as possible.
- 3. Alcohol
A baby cannot process alcohol, and it can severely affect their normal development. Some studies have even linked learning and behavioral problems the more you drink. So, quit the alcohol if you want your baby to be born healthy.
Pregnancy means caring for a new life, and it is your responsibility to love and cherish it by being responsible and staying safe. So, for all the parents reading, take these lessons and be sure to apply them for the chapter waiting for you.