Pregnancy Stages- For Expectant Mothers

Following the conception of a child, your thoughts may turn to the baby: how it will grow and change. It is important, however, to consider what the next nine months have in store. Knowing what to expect in each of the three pregnancy stages, and planning for the birth will help you be prepared to live the future.

Following conception, the first of three pregnancy stages is the first trimester. It is usually about halfway through this trimester that most women realize they are pregnant. Pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, frequent urination, and exhaustion make their first appearance here. This stage lasts 3 months.

The second trimester is the next of the pregnancy stages. It is at this point (during months three to six) that your stomach will begin to expand and you will “show” the pregnancy. At this point it may become harder to sleep or be comfortable while lying down.

It’s at this moment during the second trimester that your baby will begin kicking. As he or she does so, you may feel these motions. Some women find them alarming, but they are a sign that the baby is active. At the end of this trimester, baby will be around 10 inches long and beginning to grow hairs.

During the final three months of gestation, your baby is almost ready to be born, but needs the last trimester to grow larger and for the heart and lungs to mature. Mommy’s body will also go through more changes. You may find yourself going to the bathroom more often, as the baby presses on your bladder, and your sense of balance may be affected, as your center of gravity is changed.

It is during the third of the three pregnancy stages that you should begin to take birthing and breastfeeding classes. Having a partner to learn proper breathing may be helpful. It also may help at this point to watch birth videos so that you know what to expect. Ask your obstetrician about joining classes and obtaining videos.

It is at this moment too that you may want to consider what you want to occur during the birth. It is traditional for a woman to give birth in a hospital with pain medication, however many women opt for less traditional methods. For example, some women choose to give birth with no medications. Others pick a home birth as the best option usually with the help of a midwife. Some women even pick a waterbirth, where the birth occurs in a large bathtub full of water or in a hot tub.

During the excitement of pregnancy, it is easy to forget to plan for the pregnancy stages which will occur. By knowing what to expect, and having a proper plan in place, surprises are limited and the mother’s comfort is put in the forefront. With all of these options, visiting with an obstetrician is the best plan, as he or she can give you further resources and options.

This article gives a brief basic description of the three pregnancy stages and what physical changes and symptoms to expect. A short list of places for delivery is presented from the most common, hospital, via home births with the assistance of a midwife to the more unorthodox such as waterbirth. To better find out what to expect at delivery actual birth videos are recommended. Obstetricians can recommend what videos to watch. The benefits of taking breathing and breastfeeding classes are presented. Breathing classes are a good way for a couple to prepare for their child’s arrival together.

– Patti Palmer