How Your Body Changes During Pregnancy

Details on how the body changes during pregnancy; listed trimester by trimester, including warning signs that could indicate trouble.

Pregnancy is a natural state and one that is different for every woman every time. I have had three pregnancies and deliveries and they were all different. You never know exactly what you¡¦re going to get, but it does help to be prepared by knowing what changes your body will likely go through. Follow the changes your body goes through trimester by trimester. You can expect to feel all or some of them.

The first trimester (Week 1 - Week 12)

- Cessation of menstrual period

- Morning sickness that occurs at any time, day or night, or all day and night. This includes nausea and/or vomiting

- Excessive saliva

- Swollen and tender breasts

- Darkening of the areola

- Frequent urination

- Fatigue

- Constipation

- Heartburn

- Mood swings -- feel angry, sad, or happy for no reason

- Stuffy nose and allergies¡Xeven if you have never suffered from them before



- Food cravings

The second trimester (Week 13 - Week 26)

- Weight gain and thickening of the waist

- Fetal movement

- Dry skin on stomach where the skin is stretching

- Breasts increase in size¡Xtime for new bras

- Hemorrhoids

- Heartburn

- Indigestion

- Constipation

- Nosebleeds

- Slight swelling of the feet, hands, ankles and face

- Development of a dark line on the skin between your navel and your pubic area.

- Development of a "mask" or darker area on your face

- Backaches that can remain throughout pregnancy

- Nipple secretions

- Muscle cramps, particularly in the legs and at night

- Gas pains

- Changes in your hair: it can become less oily

- Skin problems

The third trimester (Week 27 - 40)

- Increased fetal movement

- Protrusion of navel

- Increased backaches

- Shortness of breath

- Braxton Hicks contractions AKA false labor

- Groin pains

- Stretch marks

- Difficulty sleeping

- Varicose veins

Your entire system is readjusted when you¡¦re pregnant. The heart pumps more blood and the lungs work more efficiently, as does the digestive system. With these and more changes occurring, it is no wonder that pregnancy can be uncomfortable. Minor aches and pains can be dealt with; however, you should never ignore pain or extreme fatigue, which can be warning signs of trouble. Always consult your health care provider if you experience any of these changes:

- pain or burning during urination

- vaginal spotting or bleeding

- leaking or gushing from vagina

- blister or sore in vaginal area

- uterine contractions

- severe nausea or vomiting

- severe abdominal pain

- chills and fever over 100 degrees

- dizziness or lightheadedness

- severe headache

- swelling of the face, eyes, fingers or toes

- sudden weight gain

- visual problems

- noticeably reduced fetal movement

- absence of fetal movement for 24 hours

- a hot, reddened painful area behind your knee or calf

And just when you think you can¡¦t take it another day¡Xta da! ¡Xthe biggest changes of all: labor and delivery!

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