More information on stages of pregnancy
For some women, body image is a huge concern during pregnancy. Learn what you can do to accept and love your pregnant body in our Pregnancy and body image section.
During the first trimester your body undergoes many changes. Hormonal changes affect almost every organ system in your body. These changes can trigger symptoms even in the very first weeks of pregnancy. Your period stopping is a clear sign that you are pregnant. Other changes may include:
Tender, swollen breasts. Your nipples might also stick out.
Upset stomach with or without throwing up (morning sickness)
Cravings or distaste for certain foods
Constipation (trouble having bowel movements)
Need to pass urine more often
Weight gain or loss
As your body changes, you might need to make changes to your daily routine, such as going to bed earlier or eating frequent, small meals. Fortunately, most of these discomforts will go away as your pregnancy progresses. And some women might not feel any discomfort at all! If you have been pregnant before, you might feel differently this time around. Just as each woman is different, so is each pregnancy.
diagram of a fetus during the Third trimester (week 29-week 40)
See how your baby is growing inside of you during the third trimester.
You’re in the home stretch! Some of the same discomforts you had in your second trimester will continue. Plus, many women find breathing difficult and notice they have to go to the bathroom even more often. This is because the baby is getting bigger and it is putting more pressure on your organs. Don’t worry, your baby is fine and these problems will lessen once you give birth.
Some new body changes you might notice in the third trimester include:
Shortness of breath
Swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face. (If you notice any sudden or extreme swelling or if you gain a lot of weight really quickly, call your doctor right away. This could be a sign of preeclampsia.)
Tender breasts, which may leak a watery pre-milk called colostrum (kuh-LOSS-struhm)
Your belly button may stick out
The baby “dropping”, or moving lower in your abdomen
Contractions, which can be a sign of real or false labor
As you near your due date, your cervix becomes thinner and softer (called effacing). This is a normal, natural process that helps the birth canal (vagina) to open during the birthing process. Your doctor will check your progress with a vaginal exam as you near your due date. Get excited — the final countdown has begun!
At birth, your baby may weigh somewhere between 6 pounds 2 ounces and 9 pounds 2 ounces and be 19 to 21 inches long. Most full-term babies fall within these ranges. But healthy babies come in many different sizes.
Remember to pack your bag so that you will be ready to rush to the hospital when the time comes