Understand the changes in your body – The first trimester
The first trimester is considered the most critical time in your pregnancy. By the end of your third month of pregnancy, all of your baby's functions have begun to form. Read on to find out what happens to the mother's body when all this development is taking place inside of her.
Is it getting harder to wake up each morning? Do you feel like throwing up at pungent smells? Do you easily get tired? Do you feel dizzy at times? Do you salivate more? Yes, you get it right – you are pregnant! Actually, these are the early symptoms of pregnancy. I experienced all of these, and more. I still experience some of these symptoms, and some even escalated to higher levels of salivating, dizziness, and laziness among others.
What you might not know is that, along with these symptoms, are changes in your body that you never thought could happen to you. These changes also progress as you move along with your pregnancy month by month. This article, nevertheless, will focus on the first trimester changes in the body. During this period, your body will work hard in forming what is considered to be the one of the most intricate works of nature.
At the end of your first month of pregnancy, your baby will be about the size of a grain of rice, which means he or she is less than an inch long. By this time, you might have already taken notice of the changes in your body in terms of size and shape. You might feel bloated since the baby feels like ‘feeling up your tummy’. Your breast may also start to feel ‘heavy’ because the mammary gland is gradually becoming active. Not to mention, you may notice that the areolas are getting bigger and darker. Ultimately, your breast will start to become more tender and sensitive. You will also notice more frequent vaginal secretions like those you experience pre-menstrually. Finally, you will feel tired and dizzy.
By the end of this month, your baby will be about the size of a grape, about 1 inch long. At this stage, you will feel ‘more pregnant’ now than you did in the first month. Your body will keep on changing. Other than the ones mentioned in Month 1, you will experience more changes including frequent urination, mild to severe headaches, recurrent nasal congestion, increased salivation, and increased ingestion. Of course, your mood swings and stress levels will definitely increase.
Congratulations! This is a milestone month marking the end of the first trimester. By the end of this month, your baby had already grown into the size of a medium shrimp, which is about 3 to 4 inches long. You may already hear your baby’s heartbeat by this month through a Doppler. One of the most notable changes is your protruding belly. For some women, vomiting and nausea are over by this month, but for some, this month will be just the start of the agony of morning sickness. Other than the other symptoms mentioned in months 1 and 2, you will also experience fatigue. No one knows exactly what the cause of fatigue is although some experts blame the increased amount of progesterone in the body. Since other changes in the body like frequent trips to the restroom consume your energy, you may feel all run down at the end of the day.
By the end of the third month of pregnancy, all of your baby's functions have begun to form - major organs and nervous system, heartbeat, arms, fingers, legs, toes, hair, and buds for future teeth.
Since your baby's most critical development has taken place, your chance of miscarrying drops considerably after the first trimester.
At the second trimester, the changes will be more profound than the first trimester. Read more about the changes your body goes through during the second trimester of your pregnancy in the next article in our series.