The beautiful journey of pregnancy is divided into three stages: the first trimester, the second trimester, and the third trimester once conception and implantation have occurred.
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Conception and implantation
Implantation occurs 1-2 weeks after ovulation. A mature egg is released and when combined with sperm, conception occurs and the beautiful journey of parenthood begins.
First trimester (weeks 1-12)
The baby bump either won’t be visible or won’t be prominent. However, although the mother does not visibly look pregnant, these are the most crucial months of the pregnancy and the mother is at the highest risk of having a miscarriage in the first trimester so she needs to be very careful.
Second trimester (weeks 13-27)
Nausea and vomiting decrease by this stage. Pelvic pressure increases as does the baby bump. The risk for miscarriage and premature birth is the lowest at this stage so women are encouraged to engage in appropriate physical activity to stay healthy. Women may experience back pains due to weight gain at this stage so exercising can help resolve this issue to an extent.
Third trimester (weeks 28-40)
Women may feel winded up as the baby gets bigger so the mother’s lungs have less space to expand. Blood circulation also slows down in the mother’s body so certain body parts swell up like feet and hands.
The most common signs of pregnancy are:
- Missed Periods
- Breast Reformation
- Nausea and Vomiting
- (Morning Sickness)
- Frequent Urination (more than usual)
- Mood Swings
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Missed PeriodsThis is a prevalent sign mostly for women that have regular cycles. However, if a woman has an irregular menstruation cycle, as in she misses periods often, then taking a pregnancy test is highly recommended to confirm whether she is pregnant or not.
CrampingThis is a very normal symptom of pregnancy and is most common during the first trimester. The body is adjusting to holding a life from so naturally the uterus is expanding, the woman is gaining weight, and experiencing other discomforts, leading to cramps.
DischargeVaginal discharge is pretty natural. It can be pale-white, pale-yellow, and/or sticky. Vaginal discharge can be secreted either just in the first trimester or throughout the whole pregnancy. It can be an area of concern if the discharge has a really bad odor, indicating the formation of a yeast infection which should be checked out and treated immediately.
Breast ReformationDo not worry! It is very common for the breasts to not just enlarge during pregnancy but also get very tender/sensitive and develop hard, red, lumps. Lumps during pregnancies are mostly just clogged milk ducts. However, since lumps are most commonly associated with breast cancer, it is important to self examine every few weeks.
FatigueWomen tend to experience the most fatigue in the first and third trimester. For women that are usually very energized but suddenly start experiencing immense tiredness, it is a huge red flag that they might be pregnant!
Nausea and Vomiting (Morning Sickness)This symptom develops halfway through the first trimester. It tends to ease out during the second trimester but gets worse again during the third trimester. The hardest time to deal with morning sickness is at nine weeks.
Frequent Urination (more than usual)As the uterus expands and the baby grows throughout the pregnancy, the pressure on the bladder increases, leading to the urge to urinate much more often. This can get quite frustrating but thankfully it isn’t worrisome.
ConstipationEating an abundance of fruits and vegetables increases the amount of dietary fibers in the body, relieving constipation in the most healthy manner. Although constipation can be painful, frustrating, majorly discomforting, it brings almost no danger to the baby.
Mood SwingsHormone levels fluctuate very often during pregnancies. There is also an increase in estrogen levels. In addition, with all the changes going on in the body, women tend to feel more irritable, frustrated, sad, and angry. All of this and many more lead to varied moods.
Dizziness and/or FaintingThis is another symptom that is the most prevalent in the first trimester although it can occur throughout the pregnancy. If a woman is experiencing severe dizziness, blurriness in vision, headaches, and palpitations, then she should get checked up immediately as it could be a sign of severe anemia or any other issue that could negatively impact the baby.
Changes in the body leading to mood swings
Sensory changes – Women might lose some of their tasting abilities and/or experience a metallic taste in their mouth. This leads to nausea and a lack of nutrients entering the body. Women might also experience an increase in their capability to smell. This means that things as common as armpit odors may smell horrendous to them leading to nausea and irritability. Another sense that is negatively impacted during pregnancy is eyesight. Women may experience blurriness in their eyesight and uncomfortableness if they wear contacts which can get quite difficult for everyday contact users. Click here to change this text
Stretch marks – 90% of women develop stretch marks during their pregnancy journey, specifically the third trimester. Women are already dealing with weight gain which is one of the biggest causes of Postpartum Depression and the stretch marks are just an added insecurity in that difficulty pool.
How to improve your mood and stay positive?
Focus on your diet: With all the mood swings, fatigue, and body aches, it is natural to lose sight of what we’re eating. However, during pregnancy, it is very important to have a strict meal plan to stay healthy, keep the baby healthy, and help with the mood swings and pains. For example, eating healthy can help reduce weight gain, thereby decrease lower back pains and the irritability that comes with it, along with the sadness and insecurity that comes from gaining weight.
Maintain an exercise routine: Doing yoga, going on walks, and having routines to do stretches are absolutely essential during the pregnancy journey. It helps the mother-to-be remain calm, feel at peace, and be energised. Plus, the body is going through many transitions so the healthier and fitter the mother is, the better the health outcomes would be for her and the baby as well.
Surround yourself with friends and family: This helps the mother stay distracted from all of her worries and pains. It also gives her the opportunity to share her journey and struggles. Having someone to talk to always helps boost the mood.
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Yes, they absolutely can! This is a huge reason why it is essential to try and stay in the best moods possible as often as one can. In fact, babies end up showing signs of stress when they sense that their mother is in extreme distress of any kind, which negatively affects their long term health.
Another risk of a mother’s emotions negatively impacting the child is through the baby’s physical health. If the mother is experiencing immense anger, frustration towards life or towards the baby itself, then it is highly encouraged for her to seek professional help in the form of personal or couples therapy. This will help strengthen the bond between the mother and infant. If the emotional bond between them is weak, then it could lead to severe consequences on the child’s physical health such as their growth, as well as their mental health.