A normal pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks and is divided into three trimesters. In the first trimester of your pregnancy (weeks 1-12), hormonal changes affect almost every organ system in your body. You can expect to experience all or some of the following symptoms in your first trimester:
- Tender, swollen breasts
- Upset stomach
- Mood swings
- Cravings or aversions to certain foods
- The need to urinate more often
In the second trimester of pregnancy, (weeks 12-28), you may notice the extreme nausea and fatigue you felt during the first trimester easing up or going away. For many women, the second trimester is the easiest. However, you may start to experience some symptoms related to the growth of your baby including the following:
- Body aches
- Stretch marks
- Dark patches of skin on the face (mask of pregnancy)
- Carpal Tunnel syndrome
- Swelling of the ankles
In the third trimester of pregnancy, (weeks 29-40), you will most likely experience some of the same discomforts as you did in the second trimester. You may also notice a difficulty breathing, heartburn, and a need to go to the bathroom even more often. This is due to the size of your baby and the extra weight you are carrying around. You may also have trouble sleeping at this point in your pregnancy.
While all these symptoms are natural, it is important to keep your OBGYN informed about how you are feeling throughout your pregnancy and to make him or her away of any new symptoms or increasing severity of symptoms. By communicating with your health care provider, you can give yourself the best possible chance of a healthy pregnancy and delivery.