Pregnancy comes with an array of changes to a woman’s body. Sometimes these changes are clear and logical (swelling and stretch marks), and sometimes they’re a lot less expected – for example, hair loss or hyperpigmentation.
In this post, I will guide you through the major changes that happen to a woman’s body during stages of pregnancy. So if you’re up for taking a trimester-by-trimester look at how your body will change during your pregnancy journey, read on and get enlightened.
1st Trimester — Weeks 1 to 12: Baby Formation Period
The first weeks of pregnancy are paramount as your body works on building a baby inside. Isn’t that exciting? During these three months, your baby works on growing faster than during the rest of your pregnancy time — almost like the Apple team before the new iPhone rollout. When it comes to the changes that happen to a mom-to-be’s body during the first trimester, they are hardly ever noticeable at this time.
Here are a few physical signs of pregnancy you may start noticing during the first trimester:
- sore breasts
- dryer/oilier skin than usual
- frequent urination
- visible veins
Keep in mind that feeling tired and sleepy during the first trimester is normal. Make sure you get enough rest. To prevent and alleviate occasional headaches (which are also normal on your pregnancy journey), eat small, healthy meals a few times a day and drink plenty of water.
During the first trimester, you may not even notice your baby growing larger. You may gain little to no weight during that period.
2nd Trimester — Weeks 13 to 26: Pregnancy Honeymoon
Naturally, your body continues to experience multiple changes during the second trimester. As your baby grows and develops, your belly becomes bigger as well. Your breasts may not be as sensitive as during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, but they will keep on growing. This important change prepares you for breastfeeding.
Here are some other physical changes you may experience during the second trimester:
- sensitivity to sun exposure
- pigmentation on your face and stomach
- stretch marks
- loose teeth
As your second trimester progresses, you will gain up to two pounds per week – which is normal. Your rib cage and internal organs will move to provide space for your growing uterus. As for stretch marks, even though they are common, not every mom-to-be gets them. You can prevent stretch marks by managing your weight gain, keeping your skin moisturized, using coconut oil, and eating chia seeds.
3rd Trimester — Weeks 27 to Birth: Approaching the Finish Line
You’re almost there! When it comes to the third trimester, it’s mostly about gaining weight – for both you and your baby. Overall, this period doesn’t differ much from the second trimester, with the exception of several discomforts and health conditions that may or may not arrive during your pregnancy.
Here are some changes to your body to possibly expect during the third trimester:
- swollen body parts: feet, ankles, hands, and/or face
- itchy skin: that’s because your growing belly stretches your skin which may cause skin irritation
- more breast growth
- more weight gain
- varicose veins
Your body, as well as hormonal changes during your pregnancy, will influence how you feel during that period. You may start feeling excessively tired again, similar to the first-trimester era. Make time for naps and always take a pause before growing overtired. If swelling in your body parts becomes extreme, call your doctor immediately.
Cutting to the Chase: We’ve All Been There
Yes, the changes your body undergoes during pregnancy are immense. You may find certain changes very welcome (increase in breast size), while other aspects of pregnancy (like weight gain or stretch marks) may leave you a little bit discouraged.
Despite all the aforementioned (temporary) changes, most women successfully go through pregnancy, often even multiple times. Your body is a wonderful instrument. If you’re determined enough, it will eagerly help you get your pre-baby body and looks back.
Read Next | Healing After Vaginal Birth
Annabel Strickland is a stay-at-home mom to a cute little boy named Matthew. She’s one of the authors at EasyToBeMom.com and is about to become a certified nutritionist. By writing for EasyToBeMom, Annabel helps new moms keep fit and cope with the huge life transition of bringing a new baby into the world.
Like what you read? JOIN the Mommybites community to get the latest on FREE online classes, parenting advice, events, childcare listings, casting calls & raffles, and our Parents With Nannies Facebook group. SIGN UP NOW!