Stages Of Pregnancy Development

First Trimester During Pregnancy

The first stages of pregnancy development are known as the first trimester which lasts for 12 weeks.
This is when your body begins preparing itself for the coming months although you may not look or even feel pregnant during this time.

The symptoms of pregnancy will begin to show early on and this affects women differently as your hormones rapidly begin to changing so it’s no surprise that your moods will tend to swing back and forth too but this is quite normal.
Feelings of nausea can hit heavy during the first trimester too which can change your appetite in a big way resulting in a much simpler and blander taste for food.

Fascinating Video Showing Week By Week Fetal Development

Physical Changes throughout the stages of pregnancy development

Your ever changing body is now having to work real hard to accommodate your developing baby which means that your metabolic rate can increase by up to 25% higher than normal.

There will be some remarkable physical changes happening to you at this time that may not seem too obvious at first but you may notice your breathing becoming more rapid as you need to breathe in extra oxygen for the fetus and well as exhaling more carbon dioxide.

Your heart rate will continue to rise right up until the middle of the 2nd trimester. Although your uterus will begin to enlarge during this part of your pregnancy your waistline will not. This will, however, increasingly press down on your bladder resulting in you wanting to urinate more often.

­Towards the end of the 1st trimester your uterus will begin to rise above the pelvic brim and the muscle fiber inside will thicken and become stronger as you progress through your pregnancy development.

Fatty deposits in your breasts will increase, new milk ducts will grow and bluish looking veins will appear directly under the surface of the skin ensuring that the blood supply to the breasts is increased.

Owing to the action of oestrogen and progesterone, your breasts quickly become larger and much heavier too. The areola around the nipple darkens and develops little nodules known as Montgomery’s tubercles.

Follow your first stages of pregnancy development in the early weeks:

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Healthy Pregnancy

As the output of your body increases you will have a greater need for fluid so drink a minimum of around 8 glasses of fluid a day, of course this does include caffeine or alcohol which must be completely avoided along with smoking, junk food and any non prescribed drugs.

You should, however, be increasing your intake of protein and carbohydrate. Protein for your baby and carbohydrate for your energy. It is imperative that you eat a healthy, balanced diet throughout your pregnancy and well as maintaining sufficient levels of folic acid.

There is no doubt that your size will be increasing over the coming weeks so it is best to be prepared. You may not feel up to going shopping for any new clothes in the first 12 weeks as you are likely to be suffering from pregnancy fatigue and possibly morning sickness while your body is adjusting to being pregnant.

Thankfully, for most women, this will pass once you get into the 2nd trimester. During your various stages of pregnancy development people will tell you how wonderfully healthy your pregnancy is making you look (it’s a good time) and it’s the best time for you to get out and about shopping and spending for two. No, in fact, it’s a wonderful time.

Oh, and don’t forget, you’ll need a bigger bra too so make sure that it’s a big, comfortable one that’s properly fitted.

Antenatal Screening in the stages of pregnancy development

Once your pregnancy has been confirmed you will now be asked about your family’s medical histories and will have a thorough physical examination which will include blood and urine samples.

Not much else happens in the 1st trimester unless it is established that you may be in a higher risk category due to medical history, blood pressure problems, age, diabetes, etc in which case arrangements will be made for you to be monitored a little more closely and your doctor or midwife will discuss a tailored course of action for you going forward.

Childbirth Options in stages of pregnancy development

You will need to start thinking about the type of delivery you want and where you are most likely to get it. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the options available in your area as well as antenatal care.

If you wish to do so, this is a good time to begin keeping a daily journal so you have a complete record of your pregnancy to treasure for ever.


Second Trimester of Pregnancy

This is the most joyous trimester of your pregnancy as a lot of the annoying pregnancy symptoms should have passed. This said, it is not entirely uncommon for some women to experience various forms of symptoms throughout their entire pregnancy. No two pregnancies are ever the same, everyone is unique.

During the 2nd trimester is when certain tests may need to be carried out to establish the health of the baby, the most common one is Amniocentesis Test (known as the amniotic fluid test) and will usually be offered to women over the age of 35, those with a family history of abnormalities and for those who may need further detailed analysis for various other reasons.

Stages Of Pregnancy Development


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The Continued Stages Of Pregnancy Development

Certainly, this will be the time when you begin to notice your expanding waistline, gaining approx. 6kg/12lbs in weight, but don’t even think about cutting back on your calorie intake – this will do more harm than good.

How big your waistline grows will depend on many things, including your particular build and height, the actual size of your baby and whether it is your first or not. So don’t worry if you are not beginning to show yet, as long as your midwife is happy – then you should be too.

Gaining weight in pregnancy will place increasing pressure on your posture as you lean further back to gain balance. This altered sense of gravity is also caused by the muscles of your abdominal walls as they stretch even further to accommodate your ever expanding uterus.

Backache can be experienced as a result of this increased weight you are carrying and also because of the increased blood flow to your pelvis which softens and relaxes the ligaments of the joints and bones to create mobility.

Oesophageal reflux which causes heartburn, is also a common occurrence, due to the relaxation of the sphincter at the top of the stomach. As usual, mother nature is putting the needs of the baby first so food will also remain in your stomach longer for complete absorption.
The intestinal muscle will relax leading to fewer bowel movements which will probably leave you feeling constipated.

Late in the 2nd trimester your nipples may begin secreting a fluid known as colostrum which is a ‘first milk.’ During these middle stages of pregnancy development it is quite normal for your gums to feel soft and spongy due to your high hormone levels.

This is not to suggest that you will lose any of your teeth as there is no evidence to confirm this. As usual, as long as you have an all-round healthy, nourished diet and partake in regular dental hygiene procedure, then all should be well.

As mentioned earlier, towards the end of this trimester is when you will begin to feel re-energized and it is a good time to finalize any preparations that need doing, such as clothes for you and the baby, decorating the nursery and preparing for your new arrival as once to get into the later stages of your pregnancy you may begin to feel tired once again and find walking a lot more difficult.

Antenatal Screening in the early stages of development in pregnancy

During the 4th month is when you get to meet your baby for the first time, well, see a picture of them anyway. This is the moment, for many mothers and fathers, when the baby comes to life and the bond is sealed. Your baby may even do a happy little dance for you as he moves about and you will be able to hear his incredibly fast heartbeat as he swims around in there.

Otherwise your antenatal visits, at this point, are relatively straight forward consisting of routine urine and blood samples being taken as well as your weight and blood pressure.


Third Trimester During Pregnancy

It is natural in the final months of your pregnancy stages to begin feeling a little anxious about the impending birth of your baby.

The normal course of your trimesters is the feel fatigue in the first, elation in the second and anxiety in the third, again, these stages of pregnancy development are due to the metabolic changes going on in your brain as your body is constantly in a state of preparation.
Try not to worry yourself too much as these intense feelings do not suggest that anything is wrong.

Third Trimester

Follow the final stages of pregnancy development in the 3rd trimester week by week:

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You may feel very tired once again during this final pregnancy stage as you are laboring harder with your rapidly increasing weight load and may find it difficult to get comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep.

Don’t be tempted to take any sedatives though, instead you should just really be taking things easy now, try propping yourself into a semi-upright position whenever possible and avoid overdoing anything.

Set aside time for regular catnaps and rest, you need to conserve your energy for the labor. A caring partner may offer a soothing massage to help you relax, this is a good way to unwind.

Do not be alarmed if you can no longer feel the baby’s movement as she will now settle herself down into your lower pelvis as there is no room left in there to move. This will alleviate your breathlessness as there is no longer any pressure on your diaphragm. If you have any concerns at all you can always pay a visit to your midwife.

Towards the end of gestation you may be passing urine a lot more so ensure that your fluid intake is around 8 glasses a day with lots of fruit and vegetables for the fiber as constipation can get a hold of you in the final trimester.

Stages of Pregnancy Development – Antenatal Screening

You will be checked on a weekly basis now as there are many final tests to be carried out to gauge your baby’s well-being such as heart rate, ultrasound, blood, urine and your hormonal levels. Unlike the Amniocentesis Test, none of these tests will be invasive of your uterus.

One possible complication in the 3rd trimester can be high blood pressure (hypertension). Although a certain amount of swelling to the hands, feet, ankles and face are to be expected, they are not to be ignored and your doctor will check this for you during your visit.

Pre-Eclampsia can interfere with the transporting of nutrients to your baby through the placenta, so if this is the case you may need to be hospitalized for further evaluation.

That said, try not to feel too anxious towards the end as this is a normal feeling to have and the majority of births go without a hitch.

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