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The stage of pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. During pregnancy, the body of pregnant women will experience changes and adjust to the growth and development of the fetus in the womb. Then, what are the changes that will be experienced by pregnant women in each stage of pregnancy?
Women experience menstrual cycles every month. When the monthly cycle stops, it could be an early sign of pregnancy. However, pregnant women can sometimes still experience symptoms similar to menstruation, only that the amount of blood that comes out is very small.
The cessation of the menstrual cycle is just one of the many signs of pregnancy. As the gestational age increases, various changes will occur in the body and a number of symptoms will appear. Symptoms and changes experienced are also not always the same, depending on the stage of pregnancy.
Knowing the Stages of Pregnancy
Each trimester or stage of pregnancy lasts between 12–14 weeks. As previously mentioned, pregnant women will experience symptoms and physical changes that may differ in each trimester.
The first trimester of pregnancy is calculated from the first day of the last menstrual cycle to the 13th week of pregnancy. In this trimester, the physical changes are not very visible, but there are some symptoms that you can experience.
During the first few weeks of pregnancy, hormone levels will change significantly. Due to these pregnancy hormones, you will experience some pregnancy symptoms, such as:
- Breasts are painful and look swollen
- Body feels tired easily
- Nausea in the morning (morning sickness), but this nausea can appear in the afternoon, evening, or night
- Emotions tend to fluctuate, for example from happy to anxious, or suddenly sad
Some other symptoms that can appear during the first trimester are headaches, constipation, feeling like you need to pee more often, cravings, and changing sex desires.
If you are late for your period and notice any of the above symptoms, try taking a pregnancy test with a test pack. If the result is positive, you are most likely pregnant.
When pregnancy has been confirmed, it is recommended that you start seeing a gynecologist at least 6-8 weeks after the last day of menstruation.This examination aims to confirm pregnancy, examine the condition of you and your fetus, as well as determine when the next examination will be carried out.
The second trimester of pregnancy lasts from weeks 13–27. Some women may feel more comfortable this trimester than the first trimester of pregnancy.
During the second trimester, nausea usually begins to subside, emotions are more controlled, sexual arousal returns to normal, the body no longer feels tired easily, and sleeps more soundly. You will also begin to feel the first movements of the fetus.
At this stage of pregnancy, physical changes begin to appear and body shape will change a lot. Your belly and breasts will increase in size, and the skin around your belly will darken. Stretch marks also began to appear in several parts of the body, such as the breasts, buttocks, thighs, and stomach.
Not only that, a number of other symptoms can also arise, including dizziness, back, thigh, or pelvic pain, leg cramps, and vaginal discharge.In certain cases, you can experience urinary tract infections or false contractions. Immediately consult a doctor if you feel these symptoms.
One fun thing that you can experience during the second trimester is when you can see and find out the gender of the baby through an ultrasound examination. Usually, doctors start running scan tests to check the condition of the fetus at around 18–22 weeks of gestation.
The third trimester is the last stage of pregnancy which lasts from the 28th week until delivery. This stage will test you more physically and emotionally than the previous stages of pregnancy.
At this stage of pregnancy, the doctor will recommend checking the womb more often to monitor the condition of you and the fetus and to determine the appropriate delivery method later.
At this stage, changes in body shape are more visible, because the stomach is getting bigger.Body weight will increase by about 9-13 kilograms. This weight gain will cause the back pain that you have been feeling since the previous trimester to become more severe. You may even experience swelling of the legs.
The closer to delivery time, the fetus will grow bigger. This will make the uterus larger and possibly compress the chest cavity, making it less comfortable for you to breathe. Not only that, increasing the size of the fetus will also put pressure on the bladder and make you feel like urinating more often.
You can also feel anxiety that is more severe than the previous stage of pregnancy. The anxiety can be triggered by fear of childbirth or doubts that you can't be a good parent. You are advised to consult a psychologist if you experience this.
Other symptoms that can appear during this third trimester are:
- Body feels tired quickly
- Difficulty sleeping
- Leg cramps happen more often than ever
- Breast discharge
- Dry and itchy skin, especially on the stomach
- Sex desire has decreased again
- Heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest and upper abdomen (heartburn)
- False contractions occur more often
During pregnancy, you should pay more attention to your own he alth and that of the fetus in the womb. Regular exercise, eating good food for pregnant women, reducing stress, and avoiding unhe althy lifestyles, such as smoking or consuming alcoholic beverages, are things that need to be implemented.
Not only that, make sure you always check the content regularly to the obstetrician.The doctor will help and give advice on how to maintain he alth during pregnancy. Handling will also be carried out immediately if the doctor finds a devilish disorder or abnormality, both in you and the baby in the womb.