Pregnancy transpires when the sperm [semen] fertilizes the egg once it's released from the ovary during ovulation. After that, the fertilized egg travels right into the uterus, where implantation occurs. When the implantation is successful, it results in pregnancy.
A full-term pregnancy can last for 40 weeks. But how pregnancy affect women? Well, there are several factors. Women who get prenatal care and pregnancy diagnosis during the early stages will experience a healthy pregnancy.
Comprehending what to expect during the pregnancy is crucial to properly monitor the baby's health and your health. If you wish to prevent pregnancy, there are effective forms of birth control to opt for.
What Can Pregnancy Do to Your Body in Each Trimester?
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Getting pregnant is one of the happiest moments in a woman's life. The feeling of becoming a mother is incredible and unique. But once you become pregnant, you will start to experience various symptoms. So, what does pregnancy do to a woman's body? Let's find out through each trimester.
The first 12 weeks of pregnancy are known as the 1st trimester. It's an important time for fetal development. During this trimester, the sperm and egg combine to form the "Zygote", which gets implanted on the uterus's wall.
The zygote then becomes an embryo; the cells separate and start growing. Here are the things that happen to the fetus during the first 12 weeks:
- All the main structures and organs of the body start to develop
- Toes and fingers are formed
- The heart beats regularly
- The fetus weighs around 1 ounce, and its 3 inches long
- Muscles and nerves work together, which enables the fetus to make a fist
- Eyelids are formed but remain shut till week 28 to keep them protected.
Apart from the fetus, what does pregnancy do to a woman during the 1st trimester? Here are the changes a pregnant woman experiences:
- Swollen or Tender Breasts
- Changes in the Weight
- Mood Changes
- Cravings for specific Food Products
- Frequently Urinating
- Morning Sickness or Nausea
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Just like some changes in a woman's body during the first trimester, pregnant women will also experience changes during the 2nd trimester. This trimester last from 14 weeks to 27 weeks. During this trimester, that fetus undergoes numerous changes, becomes 1 foot long, and weighs 1.5 pounds.
During the end of this trimester, these are things that will happen to the fetus:
- The fetus can scratch itself, hear, create a sucking motion and see
- The 1st ever bowel movement, Meconium, develops within the intestines.
- The lungs are formed but don't work yet
- Nails, hair and skill will be formed
- The fetus wakes up and sleeps regularly
- The female's egg will form in the ovaries, and the male's testicles will move to the scrotum
- The fetus will develop taste buds
- The bone marrow will make blood cells
- Fine hair called Lanugo will cover the entire body
During the 2nd trimester, most pregnant ladies will feel comfortable, and the fatigue and the morning will disappear or lessen. But there will be some new changes that a pregnant woman will experience:
- As the fetus grows, the abdomen will expand
- Stretch marks will form on the buttocks, thighs, breasts and abdomen
- The Areola [Skin located around the nipples] turns dark
- The skin on your face might turn dark and occur in patches
- Itching might take place.
- The face, fingers and even the ankles will swell up
Compared to the 1st and 2nd pregnancy trimesters, the 3rd one lasts from week 29 till the time of delivery, which is about week 40. During this trimester, the fetus develops the majority of the body's systems and organs, and it keeps on maturing and growing.
- During this trimester, these are following things that occur:
- The lung formation is complete
- Bones are hardened
- The baby's movement becomes a lot more noticeable
- Eyes are open and will sense light
- The Lanugo is replaced by Venix, which is a waxy coating
A woman's organs when pregnant, are squeezed into each other to make room for the child. Besides that, the fetus drops lower in the abdomen and turns its head down. This time, the growth of the fetus will lead to new types of discomforts, which are:
- Mood Changes
- Other Nipple and Breast Changes
- Shortness of Breath
- Braxton-Hicks Contractions [This doesn't indicate labor]
- Milk leaks out from the Breasts
- Swelling in the Fingers, Face and Ankles
- Frequent Urination
- Actual Contractions [This indicates labor]
4th Trimester or Postpartum
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The 1st three months after the delivery plays a crucial role in the person's health and their newborn child. This is known as the 4th trimester. But what can pregnancy do to a woman's mental health during this trimester? It might lead to depression or anxiety, especially in first-time mothers.
Even though mental health issues can be treated easily, some environmental and hormonal changes can pose a challenge. These are:
- Recovering after giving birth, especially when there are stitches
- Dealing with a discharge of tissue and blood known as Lochia, and it might continue for some weeks
- Experiencing cramping, especially when breastfeeding
- Learning a new set of skills
- Adjusting to the role of parenthood
- Having sore breasts and various other problems linked to breastfeeding
- Experiencing fatigue because of not sleeping properly and other factors
- Experiencing postpartum depression
How to Manage During the 4th Trimester?
As a new mother, if your facing some issues during the postpartum stage, the following tips can help you manage properly:
- Attend all the follow-up appointments
- Limit people from visiting your residence
- Ask others if you need help
- Lessen all the housekeeping work
- Make sure to eat regularly
- Take some rest when the baby does
- Raising concerns about your newborn, personal health or even breastfeeding
Pregnancy, delivering the baby, and the first several months with the newborn are not like any other day of a person's life. They are filled up with new emotions, uncertainty, experiences and upheavals. Be sure to take proper prenatal care during all the trimesters.
The physician will help ensure that the pregnant individual is in excellent condition and that the fetus is also effectively meeting all its development milestones. They will also provide effective resources and guidance for support.