What to Expect In the Nine Months of Pregnancy (Part 1 of 3)


What to Expect In the Nine Months of Pregnancy Part 1

Every woman who is planning to have a baby faces the unknown. Because of this, some women may harbor certain fears, such as the changes that their body will be going through, any signs or symptoms that they may experience, etc. These fears, however, may cause stress which may prove harmful to your pregnancy.

To allay your fears and empower you with knowledge, here are the things to expect in each of the nine months of your pregnancy:

 

MONTH ONE

Your body is…

…Undergoing the process of ovulation. Upon the maturation of egg, it is released by the ovary into the fallopian tube. If there was sexual contact during ovulation, sperm and egg will meet and combine (fertilization). While rapid cell division takes place, the blastocyst continues the journey into the uterus where it becomes implanted in the uterine lining in 6 to 12 days. By the 3rd week, the embryo will already have developed a pumping heart, as well as create the placenta, amniotic sac and amniotic fluid.

You can expect…

…Some cramping when implantation takes place. In fact, this is the first sign of pregnancy. Definitive diagnosis of pregnancy is determined by a positive pregnancy test, because of the increase of the hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin which is detectable in the urine.

…Urinary frequency. Because the uterine lining is thickening, it may press upon the bladder, leading to frequent urination.

…Some breast soreness. Because of the action of the pregnancy hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone, breast cells and tissues begin to mature in preparation for producing milk, which leads to tenderness or soreness.

You need to watch out for…

…Heavy vaginal bleeding. This may be indicative of a miscarriage.

You might start seeing…

…Signs of weight gain which you may not attribute to pregnancy at first. You may observe that your waistline seemed to have increased and there may be some difficulty in getting into your favorite jeans.

 

MONTH TWO

Your body is…

…Undergoing major changes and is definitely giving you signals that you are pregnant. While your baby is not yet visible on the outside, you can observe a gain in weight, both on the scale and your increasing need for larger sized clothing. Your breasts are also growing and you continue to feel some soreness or tenderness.

…If you haven’t done a pregnancy test yet, it can be confirmed through vaginal exam. Uterine enlargement can already be detected as well as cervical softening and discoloration.

You can expect…

…Urinary frequency as a common concern throughout your pregnancy because of your growing baby and enlarging uterus which are pressing down on your bladder.

…Breast soreness and tenderness as your hormones continue to make your mammary glands ready for milk production.

…Easy fatigability. Since you are now sharing your energies with your growing baby, you tend to be fatigued or lethargic if you don’t eat enough food. You need to increase your food intake, particularly protein, in order to keep up with your increased metabolic rate.

…Morning sickness. This is due to the high levels of HCG in the body. The exact mechanism is so far unknown.

…Mood swings. This is also due to fluctuations in hormone levels.

…Increase in vaginal discharge. Greater amounts of vaginal discharge are needed to maintain cleanliness of the vaginal canal. It also maintains lubrication of the canal for the future delivery. Please note that there may be some blood spotting as well.

You need to watch out for…

…Heavy vaginal bleeding. This may be indicative of a miscarriage.

…Heavy vaginal bleeding with sharp pain in the lower abdomen. This may mean an ectopic pregnancy  (fetus implants outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube) which requires immediate treatment.

…Excessive moodiness. If you have a history of a thyroid condition, you may need to have an endocrinologist examine you as very high or very low thyroid hormone levels may increase your risk of miscarriage.

…Diabetes. You may increase your risk for miscarriage or the development of fetal abnormalities.

…High fever greater than 38 degrees Celsius or 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Because certain medications may have an adverse effect on the baby, you need to consult with your doctor if you have a high fever due to an infection.

…Excessive nausea and/or vomiting as this may lead to severe dehydration. If you do end up getting dehydrated, you need to be hospitalized and prescribed medications to control the nausea and vomiting.

You might start seeing…

…Greater weight gain as a result of your developing pregnancy.

…Some blood spotting together with your vaginal discharge. This is not alarming as long as bleeding is not heavy.

…Your baby on ultrasound. As early as 5 to 6 weeks, you can see your baby’s heart beating.

 

MONTH THREE

Your body is…

…Undergoing more weight gain which is more observable now because your body is accommodating the growing baby inside your womb.

…Going to display that famous baby bump. Baby bumps usually appear between the 3rd and 4th months of pregnancy.

You can expect…

…Urinary frequency as still a concern because your growing baby and enlarging uterus are pressing down on your bladder.

…A reduction in hormone fluctuations, but this doesn’t mean that you will be relieved of symptoms related to hormone changes, such as mood swings.

You need to watch out for…

…High blood pressure. This is due to the increase in blood volume. Normally, progesterone should have a relaxing effect on the arteries to allow smoother flow of blood. However, for pregnant women with cardiovascular conditions, high blood pressure should be watched out for. High blood pressure can also lead to development of nosebleeds in pregnant women.

…Diabetes which leads to an increased risk for miscarriage and fetal abnormalities.

…High fever greater than 38 degrees Celsius or 101 degrees Fahrenheit. You should call your doctor if you develop fever together with flu, rashes, joint pain, body ache, and upper respiratory symptoms. He will prescribe the best medications that will not harm your baby.

…Excessive nausea and/or vomiting may cause severe dehydration. If dehydration develops, hospitalization, IV fluids and prescribed medications to control the nausea and vomiting are necessary.

…Pain or burning sensation during urination. This is indicative of urinary tract or bladder infection. If left untreated, it may lead to pre-term labor and/or pre-term birth.

…Severe Headache, Leg or Calf Pain, and/or One-Sided Swelling. These are symptoms of a blood clot. Unfortunately, there is a greater tendency to form blood clots in pregnant women as a preventive measure against severe blood loss during labor. But when blood clots form in the legs, the clot may get dislodged and travel to the lungs, which may lead to death. Clots may also develop in the brain, causing severe headaches. A doctor must be seen immediately if any of these symptoms develop.

You might start seeing…

…Additional weight gain.

…A baby bump.

…A reduced risk of miscarriage.

…The sex of your baby on ultrasound.

 


During the next trimester, your body will get used to the changes of pregnancy but you still need to be cautious about issues like weight gain and infections.

Know what to expect for months four, five, and six in Part 2 of this blog post.

 


All material provided on this website is for your information only and should not substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.