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The Stages of Pregnancy

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The following article includes pertinent information that may cause you to reconsider what you thought you understood about the stages of pregnancy. The most important thing is to study with an open mind and be willing to revise your understanding if necessary.

There are three stages of pregnancy - the first, second, and third trimesters. Each of these stages can have very different physical and emotional effects on the mother-to-be. This article will explain in detail the emotional and physical changes you can expect during your pregnancy.

The first stage of pregnancy is the trimester, which begins with the first day of your last menstrual period and ends with the 16th week of your pregnancy. A wave of emotions can overwhelm you during the first trimester.

The thought of bringing a new person into the world can be scary and even cause disbelief that you will be responsible for the new life. Joy and excitement can also be prevalent emotions during the first part of your pregnancy. Worries over money, labor and delivery, the permanent changes that parenthood will bring, and an overwhelming sense of responsibility can also affect you profoundly.

The physical changes that occur during the first trimester are not as subtle as the emotional changes. Most women do not appear pregnant during the first months of pregnancy, but other changes will be evident. One of the first signs in nausea.

Exhaustion and morning sickness (which can occur at any time of day) are common and will be experienced by the majority of pregnant women. The increase in hormones within your body can make you feel tired constantly and your breasts may be sore and/or tender and will feel more full.

The second stage of pregnancy is the second trimester and is counted from the 16th to the 28th week. For

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most women, the emotions experienced tend to focus on preparations and the things you will need once the baby arrives. Certainly not all women, but most women will become excited about the upcoming delivery and the idea of having a baby during the second trimester.

They will enjoy talking with other parents and listening to stories about pregnancy and childbirth. There can still be periods of doubt and fear that arise during this stage, but the majority of emotions will focus on happy thoughts. There is also frequently an increased desire for sex and an increase in sexual fantasies during the second trimester.

If you find yourself confused by what you've read to this point, don't despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.

The physical changes that occur during the second trimester are more obvious to others. You can often feel the baby move and your stomach grows larger with each passing week. Many women begin to develop a radiant glow that is associated with pregnancy and the areola will begin to darken. During this stage of pregnancy, most women will regain their appetite as morning sickness and nausea begin to subside.

The third stage of pregnancy is the third trimester and this can seem like the longest. Counted from the 28th week to the 40th week, the third trimester usually seems to drag on even though it lasts 16 weeks just as the first two trimesters. Very often, exhaustion returns along with sudden but brief bursts of energy that compel you to prepare and clean house in anticipation of the baby's arrival. This is called "nesting" and when the urge strikes you, don't fight it unless your doctor has recommended bed rest. These occasional bursts of energy will help you in getting things ready for the birth of your baby.

With the third trimester

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comes many emotions. Many women worry about the health of their baby and are anxious and nervous about labor and delivery. During this stage of your pregnancy, exhaustion will come in two forms - physical exhaustion due to your growing body and emotional exhaustion due to the many changes that are taking place in your life.

During the final weeks of pregnancy, most women only want the baby to be born so that they can reclaim their own body. This is a completely normal feeling and it is not uncommon for women to focus more on themselves and their baby rather than on others.

The physical changes that occur during the third trimester can be very uncomfortable for the mother-to-be. Your stomach will become quite large and sleeping can be very difficult and awkward. By using pillows to prop yourself up at night you can help alleviate the back pain and the shortness of breath that usually occur.

Frequent urination, an increase in vaginal discharge, and experiencing contractions are to be expected. It is quite obvious that each stage of pregnancy is a unique and miraculous experience. If you are pregnant or are supporting someone who is pregnant, try to enjoy each stage of pregnancy as it comes and remember that no pregnancy lasts forever and it will be over before you know it.

It never hurts to be well-informed about the stages of pregnancy. Compare what you've learned here to future articles so that you can stay alert to changes in the area of stages of pregnancy.

Ken Austin is the webmaster at My Pregnancy , a pregnancy resource site.

For more great pregnancy articles, please visit The Pregnancy Resource Guide .



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