The first month begins your nine-month miraculous journey into parenthood. Conception takes place about 2 weeks before your next expected period and after about a 7-10 day trip, the newly fertilized egg ends up in your uterus, where it implants itself into your uterine wall and continues developing. During implantation, you may experience some mild cramping and spotting, although most women are still unaware conception has taken place at this early stage. Some women claim they just “feel”pregnant, even before their period is late. If you haven”t already started, you should begin taking daily prenatal vitamins which contain folic acid.
During the second month, you may have taken a home pregnancy test and gotten a positive result, after discovering your period was late. Your breasts may be fuller and a bit swollen. Your nipples may very likely be sore and quite painful now. The veins in your breasts may even become more visible, along with the all the other breast changes occurring now. You may be starting to experience morning sickness and feel nauseated throughout the day. Fatigue is probably hitting you and leaving you feeling worn out and exhausted most of the time. You’re probably making bathroom trips quite often this month, which is just another normal part of early pregnancy. Your baby’s heart is beating and can be detected during an ultrasound exam, although it’s too early to pick up by Doppler at this point. As this month draws to a close, you may have went to your very first prenatal appointment, which is the most comprehensive.
The third month is typically still filled with morning sickness, which is probably at it’s peak. Soda crackers are your best friend if you’re one of the many women plagued with this common pregnancy ailment. You may have gained a few pounds by now, or lost a few if you’ve been too sick to keep foods down. Moodiness is common throughout pregnancy and you may notice yourself becoming easily irritated. Dizziness might be a problem if you stand up too quickly or if you let your stomach become too empty through the course of the day. By the end of this month, you might have trouble zipping up your favorite pair of jeans, especially if this isn’t your first pregnancy. Your baby is moving all over inside your womb now, but it’s still too soon for you to feel it, since your little one is under 3 inches crown-to-rump. If you have a prenatal check-up at the end of this month, your doctor or midwife may listen for your baby’s heartbeat by Doppler, which may sound very similar to a horse galloping.
This month, your chance of miscarriage is significantly reduced and you may also be finding relief from morning sickness. As a result, your appetite might very well be increasing now, giving way to some gradual weight gain. You may also start to feel less fatigued during the fourth month. For a time, you may notice the need to constantly run to the bathroom may be slowing, although constipation may be a problem by now. You may also experience oilier skin that normal, which may lead to annoying breakouts, because of your elevated pregnancy hormones. Your baby is still very small, being less than 5 inches crown-to-rump, but can already be seen on ultrasound sucking his or her thumb. By the end of this month, your baby’s genitalia is continuing to develop and gender is usually distinguishable during ultrasound, but not fool-proof at this stage.
The fifth month may be an exceptionally exciting month, because you will probably begin to experience “quickening”, which is your baby’s first movements. Your partner probably won’t be able to feel them on the outside until next month. These movements won’t be strong; only little flutters, since your baby is less than 7 inches in length crown-to-rump. You will most likely have your “big” ultrasound by the end of this month and you may even discover your baby’s gender, if you wish to know. You will hit the halfway mark in your pregnancy this month, which is also quite a milestone to celebrate. Your belly is getting more noticeable and visibly “pooching out” by now, particularly if this is your second or third pregnancy.
Braxton-Hicks contractions may begin this month, gradually getting more frequent as your due date nears. You may notice nasal congestion, as well as more headaches now, which are fairly normal pregnancy complaints. Leukorrhea, an increasing whitish vaginal discharge may become more annoying now, causing you to be more comfortable wearing a panty liner. Some women start to notice “colostrum” leaking from their breasts during the second or third trimester (occasionally beginning around the sixth month), although most women won’t have even so much as a drop until after their baby’s arrival. Your baby’s putting on more weight; weighing just over a pound by the end of this month and at least 9 inches crown-to-rump, although your baby still doesn’t have much fat built up quite yet.
By this month, you’ve most likely gained a substantial amount of weight, that is, unless you are one of the few unlucky women with continued morning sickness. Leg cramps and backaches may be plaguing you at this stage in pregnancy. Sleep may become difficult, since your growing belly may prove to be a difficult obstacle to deal with when it comes to comfortable sleep positions. Food cravings and aversions are also very normal and to be expected. Frequent trips to the bathroom may start up again, as your growing baby puts more pressure on your bladder this month. Your baby’s movements are becoming more and more vigorous and frequent. If your baby was born prematurely this month, he or she would have a good chance of survival and would be just over a foot in length (crown-to-rump).
By the eighth month, you’re lucky if you haven’t experienced heartburn or indigestion to some degree. You may notice stretch marks appearing on your abdomen, breasts and even your thighs and your belly may become itchy due to the skin being stretched so tightly. Mild swelling of your feet and ankles is also very common during this month and may continue until delivery. Fatigue may start to take over again, as you’re getting bigger. Your baby may have settled into a head-down position, although if he or she is “breech” by the end of this month, there is still a good chance your baby will flip into the best delivery position soon. Your baby weighs close to 5 pounds or more by now and is getting more plump. Your doctor or midwife may be having you come in every two weeks for check-ups starting soon. You might plan to have your baby shower sometime during this month, although many women wait until after their baby arrives safely before celebrating with a shower.
You may feel clumsy and huge by this month. You’re probably beyond eager (and somewhat impatient!) to get your little bundle out into the world and hold him or her in your arms. Some of your baby’s movements and kicks may be down-right painful now, especially when it comes to your ribs. You may feel heaviness and achiness in your pelvic region, as your baby drops down in preparation for delivery. When this happens, you may be able to breath easier, which is quite nice, but you may also feel as if he or she is going to “drop out”. Your Braxton-Hicks contractions may be frequent and sometimes hard to distinguish from true labor pains. At the end of this month, your little one is very cramped inside your belly and is ready to make his or her way into your arms!