What to Expect When You’re Expecting -Prisila S.

The are many wonderful things  that come with pregnancy, such as excitement, and of course, the baby. It is a beautiful nine months for the mother and her child for them to create an unbreakable bond.  But what else come with the pregnancy?

 

Changes in Your Body

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This image shows the growing fetus by week.

There are a series of changes that a woman’s body goes through when she is pregnant. The first change a woman goes through happens after conception, when the ovaries start producing a hormone called progesterone, which helps prepare the uterus to carry the baby for the next nine months. Pretty early in the pregnancy, the breast begin to be very tender and sensitive. A few other changes that occur in the first trimester (week 1-week 12) are mood swings, morning sickness/nausea, cravings, and a frequent urge to urinate.

During the second trimester, the changes aren’t over yet, they are just different.  During week 13-week 28 of the pregnancy, you start to notice stretch marks on your body in places such as the abdominal area, breast, thighs, and buttocks. Also, you may start to notice swelling in the face, ankles, and fingers. You may also notice your skin darkening around the nipples, or darker skin patches around the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lips.  

Finally, the third trimester! This is when your body starts preparing for labor. During week 29-week 40 of your pregnancy, you may notice shortness of breath and heartburn. Also, your breast will still be tender and may leak watery, pre-milk called colostrum. Towards the end of the pregnancy, you may notice your baby dropping or lowering as it gets ready for labor. In addition, you may feel Braxton Hicks contractions, which are fake contractions that occur when the muscles of the uterus tighten. These contractions happen to prepare you for real labor.

changes-in-trimesters
This image shows how the fetus grows by trimester.

The Development of the Baby

After intercourse, when the egg meets the sperm, they become one cell called a zygote. The zygote then begins to divide in a process called human embryogenesis. About five days after the egg and sperm meet, and the zygote has divided, a blastocyst is created and it implants itself in the uterine wall getting ready to develop. At one month of pregnancy, the baby is considered an embryo, which consists of two layers of cells. After 10 weeks, the baby is now considered a fetus. At three months, the fetus is the size of a pea pod and has developed fingerprints. At five months, the eyebrows and eyelids are visible and the baby is about 27 centimeters long. A the seven month mark, the baby is about 40 centimeters long and can now open their eyes. By nine months, the baby is almost due and is about 51 centimeters longs and weighs 3.4 kilograms.

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