Pregnant for the First Time? Here's What You Can Expect

Bringing a baby into the world is one of the most beautiful, meaningful achievements in life. But before the baby is born, many changes happen to your body. If you’re pregnant for the first time, we’re sure you have a lot of questions about what the next nine months will be like. John Macey, MD and his team are here to help inform you of what to expect and guide you through it.

First trimester (1-12 weeks)

If you talked to a group of moms about what their pregnancies were like, each one would have a different story. Everyone’s body is unique, so women experience different changes through trimesters.

The first trimester describes the first twelve weeks after fertilization. During this time, you may gain a little bit of weight and see your baby bump start to form. Here are some of the most common changes that happen in the first trimester:

Tender Breasts

One of the first signs of pregnancy is experiencing tender breasts. Hormonal changes are responsible for this, as your body gets ready to feed your baby. To stay comfortable, you may want to purchase some bras that are a cup size larger than what you normally wear. 

Food Cravings

One of the most well-known changes in pregnant women is food cravings and aversions. Over 60% of pregnant women report having food cravings, and you may find yourself reaching for foods you didn’t particularly like before. Similarly, many women experience taste aversion, when a particular food you normally don’t mind becomes a turn-off. 

Morning Sickness

A majority of pregnant women experience nausea, which is generally worse in the morning. Although uncomfortable, nausea is not dangerous and is the result of your body’s hormonal changes. Nausea may last for most of the first trimester. 

Second trimester (13-26 weeks)

Many women believe that the second trimester is the easiest period of pregnancy. During this time, some of the morning sickness and fatigue will be gone, leaving you to feel better overall. Many women look forward to weeks 16-20, because during this time an ultrasound can reveal the sex of your baby. Some other changes you might encounter during the second trimester are:

Hair Growth

Pregnant women are often amazed by how fast their hair grows during pregnancy. This is contributed to the hormonal change in your body, and sometimes it can make you grow hair in places you wish you didn’t — including your back, face, and belly. 

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids describe swollen, oftentimes painful veins around the anus. They are thought to form because of the extra blood flow and pressure that happens during pregnancy. Sometimes hemorrhoids can create itchiness and discomfort that can be relieved by a warm bath or an 

over-the-counter ointment.

Backache

Your baby will start to grow in the second trimester, so you’ll put on about a pound of weight every week. Because of the weight gain, many women experience backaches. This pain can be relieved by sitting up straight in a supportive chair. While sleeping, lay on your side with a pillow held between your knees.

Third trimester (27 to birth)

In the third trimester, you’ll experience the most weight gain and some changes that can be quite challenging. Many women feel excited during this time, as it’s almost time for the baby to arrive. However, many soon-to-be mothers also have feelings of anxiety. Here are some changes the third trimester entails:

Frequent Urination

As your baby grows, its head may exert extra pressure on your bladder. This may cause you to make more trips to the bathroom. You may even notice a bit of leakage when you sneeze or laugh. To prevent this, try to go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge.

Weight Gain

It’s normal to put on 25-30 pounds by the end of your pregnancy, though this number varies depending on what you weighed before you got pregnant. The weight gain is a result of your baby growing, increased blood volume, placenta, amniotic fluid, and enlarged breasts.

Swelling

You may notice your body swelling in places like your ankles, feet, and fingers. This is a completely normal part of pregnancy and has to do with an overabundance of fluid retention. Elevate your feet to help eliminate swelling in your ankles and feet.

Find out more

It’s marvelous the way your body can adapt to bring a new tiny human into the world. All women experience ups and downs during pregnancy, so it’s important to have a support group by your side. If you’re experiencing overwhelming anxiety, journaling or meeting with a counselor can help work through your feelings and put you at ease.

Your health and your baby’s health are important. Dr. Macey can answer any questions you have to help make sure their pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible. Call 629-205-2938 or book online to make a prenatal appointment with Dr. Macey.

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