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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

What to Expect During Each Month of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a life-altering journey of a woman filled with joy, excitement, hope, nervousness, and many other feelings. Whether you were actively trying to get pregnant or it came as a surprise, it can be an overwhelming period for you, but in a great way! So now that you are pregnant, welcome to an exciting 9 month long ride!

Pregnancy has the potential to create some stress in your life, where your mind may be in a continuous thought process regarding various things which undergo changes during the different stages of pregnancy.

This includes pregnancy diet, how to take care of yourself and your baby, etc. We bring to you a month-by-month checklist to help you prepare for your little one’s arrival.

Women Pregnancy test

Caption: Woman happy to see her pregnancy test positive Credits: pixabay

First Trimester Checklist

Congratulations! You’re pregnant! The first trimester may seem a little difficult for the mom-to-be, as during this period the body undergoes several changes. It is also considered to be the most critical time of pregnancy where you need to be extra cautious to take care of yourself and your baby. The first trimester of pregnancy begins on the first day of your last period and lasts until the end of week 12. What to do during the first trimester of pregnancy? There’s a long list of things to be done during the first trimester, but it’s easily manageable!

Here’s a list of things to do in the first trimester:

Month 1

During the first month of pregnancy, your body develops an amniotic sac to provide cushion for your baby to facilitate its growth, easily, without any jerks. The placenta which provides all the essential nutrition to the fetus also develops during the first month of pregnancy. You may start to experience symptoms like fatigue, nausea, and tiredness as you progress towards the end of your pregnancy.

What to do during the first month of pregnancy?

⦁ Make regular appointments with your OBGYN. ⦁ Do not smoke or consume alcohol. Avoid taking unpasteurized milk products or meat. ⦁ Exercise regularly. Make sure you perform light exercises. ⦁ Begin taking your daily folic acid supplements, Vitamin D, and Calcium, thyroid medications and prenatal- vitamins. These medications can help reduce the risk of birth defects. ⦁ Start eating for two now! Pregnancy diet during each month of pregnancy like foods which are high in protein and necessary carbohydrates, fruits, and nuts should be consumed throughout the pregnancy. ⦁ Figure out your due date by recalling your first day of the last menstrual cycle. ⦁ Your body is going through so much. Take rest as much as you can and sleep.

You’ll notice your baby’s size at the end of the first month of your pregnancy to be around 1/4 inch long.

Month 2

In the second month of your pregnancy, your baby develops tiny facial features, neural tube, digestive tract, and sensory organs. By the end of the second month, an ultrasound scan can detect your baby’s heartbeat, which is one essential milestone. You may continue to experience symptoms similar to the previous month which include fatigue, dizziness, frequent urination, nausea, food cravings or aversions, and mood swings. Your body produces a hormone called progesterone, essential for your baby’s development, which may also tend to make the intestines less efficient, causing constipation. Your gums will become softer, your immunity strength will be altered and you may experience a stuffy nose.

What to do during the second month of pregnancy?

⦁ Schedule your first prenatal appointment. Let your doctor know if you have any health concerns. ⦁ Check for health insurance covers. This can help with a birth plan. ⦁ If you need support from other moms sign up for an online club. ⦁ Morning sickness can be predominant during this time, eat small snacks, anything that contains ginger, hard candies, fruits like oranges to freshen your mood.

As you near the end of your second month of pregnancy, you’ll find that your baby has grown about 1 inch long and weighs about 1/30 of an ounce.

Month 3

In the third month of your pregnancy, you will begin to notice more physical changes in your body. Symptoms like nausea and fatigue may start to ease but problems like constipation, frequent urination, dizziness could persist. Your uterus is enlarging at a regular rate now and is the size of grapefruit. By the end of the third month, you can find your baby’s organs to be fully formed.

What to do during the third month of pregnancy?

⦁ It’s time to let your loved ones know that you are pregnant and surprise them!. ⦁ Make sure to eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, and high fiber diets to guard yourself against constipation and hemorrhoids. ⦁ During this month, the doctor will test you for blood pressure, growth of the uterus, the baby’s heartbeat, urine examination, and thyroid test if you have one. ⦁ Start shopping for maternity clothes as you will require them soon. ⦁ If you are a working woman, check if they have a maternity leave policy at your workplace. ⦁ Stop lying flat on your back while sleeping or exercising as it may harm your baby. ⦁ Check with your dentist if you are experiencing inflamed gums and gingivitis.

The size of your baby is about 4 inches long by the end of the third month of your pregnancy and weighs about 1 ounce.

Second Trimester Checklist

Women holding hand of her partnerWomen holding hand of her partner

Caption: Woman in her second trimester Credits: pixabay

You have now completed 13 weeks of your pregnancy period and reached the 14th week which marks the beginning of the second trimester. The second trimester is the easiest of all the three for all you future moms. You may start to feel a bit more stressed but with our checklist, you can keep your stress away.

Month 4

In the fourth month of your pregnancy, some of the physical symptoms may persist along with heartburn and constipation. You may also experience changes in your breast like darkening of the areola, soreness, and breast enlargement. Your baby has now developed well-defined eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails, and hair. The nervous system has started to function well and the reproductive organs are also fully developed.

What to do during the fourth month of pregnancy?

⦁ The chances of miscarriages are more during the first trimester, so rejoice for making it this far. ⦁ Start looking for cute baby names. ⦁ Start massaging your thighs, stomach, and hips with a moisturizing lotion as it helps prevent stretch marks. ⦁ Plan for a pre-baby vacation with your partner. Spend some quality time before the later stages of your pregnancy makes traveling difficult. ⦁ Continue taking care of your body. This includes consuming nutritious food, drinking water, and exercising regularly.

By the end of the fourth month, your baby is about 6 inches long and weighs about 4 ounces.

Month 5

Early during the fifth month, you may experience your heart rate to increase in order to provide blood to meet up the oxygen requirements for your baby. Your baby develops skin hair during this month and you may experience fluttering in your tummy. Fluttering/quickening are found often in the evenings as your baby is more active during that time.

What to do during the fifth month of pregnancy?

⦁ Sign up for Yoga classes, or child-birth classes. ⦁ Have your ultrasound scan performed to ensure the good health of your unborn baby. ⦁ Buy yourself a maternity/pregnancy pillow that can keep you more comfortable while you’re sleeping.

By the end of the fifth month, your baby weighs about 1/2 to 1 pound and is about 10 inches long.

Month 6

You will begin to put on weight more consistently as you progress towards the sixth month and may start feeling jerking motions in your tummy due to hiccups experienced by your baby.

What to do during the sixth month of pregnancy?

⦁ Stop wearing heels, as you may already be experiencing swollen feet and ankles which may worsen your pain. ⦁ Get yourself checked for gestational diabetes, and take care of yourself to reduce it, if found positive. ⦁ Relax – you are out of the danger zone! Your baby could survive if born early during this month

By the end of the sixth month, your baby is about 12 inches long and weighs about 2 pounds.

Third Trimester Checklist

Women holding her baby bump

Caption: Woman in her third trimester Credits: pixabay

Now that you have completed 27 weeks of your pregnancy, it may be very easy for you to complete the remaining time. The third trimester can be quite hard for the mother as she suffers from backache, abdominal contractions, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc.

Month 7

In month 7, your baby starts responding to various stimuli, including sound, pain, and light. Your baby is growing a whole lot larger during this period and weighs about 2 to 4 pounds. By the end of the 7th month, your baby is about 14 inches long.

What to do during the seventh month of pregnancy?

⦁ You may start experiencing abdominal pain, fatigue, heartburns, varicose veins, stretch marks from the 7th month of your pregnancy. ⦁ Take rest and stop doing strenuous activity. ⦁ Find a good pediatrician for your baby. As you will have to check with them regularly once your baby has arrived. ⦁ Perform Yoga Asanas that can help you relieve your backache. ⦁ Go for a 30 minutes walk, as your baby may like rolling inside your stomach.

Month 8

The eighth month of pregnancy may cause trouble sleeping at night, leg cramps, swollen ankles and feet, backache, and frequent trips to the bathroom. During this month, the baby becomes mature and develops reserves of body fat. Baby’s position changes and assumes a head-down position in the uterus. You may also experience Braxton hick contractions during this month.

What to do during the eighth month of pregnancy?

⦁ Plan for a baby shower together with your partner and enjoy it! ⦁ Connect with your loved ones, Finish setting up the nursery where your baby will sleep. ⦁ Enjoy your baby’s kicks and keep a count on them (should be at least 10 times in two hours) ⦁ Hemorrhoids or constipation can be predominant during your 8th month. Try consuming fiber-rich foods and drink water.

Ultrasound scan of 8-month pregnancy shows the size of your baby around 18 inches long and weighs 5 pounds.

Month 9

Your baby’s reflexes are coordinated during the 9th month of your pregnancy. Your baby is about 17 to 19 inches long and weighs from 5 ½ to 6 ½ pounds.

What to do during the ninth month of pregnancy?

⦁ In the last month of your pregnancy, take a tour of the hospital in which you are planning to give birth. ⦁ Keep things ready in your hospital bag, like clothes, toiletries, snacks, and cell phone chargers. ⦁ In this final month, you could go into labor at any time. Check on your contractions and educate yourself on it. ⦁ Prepare yourself for breastfeeding. Read about how to take care of your sore nipples, and what foods to eat to enhance the flow of breast milk. ⦁ Arrange for a maternity photoshoot or you can also take some beautiful bump shots of your own. ⦁ Instead of getting nervous, keep yourself engaged by learning on topics like what happens after birth? how your body repairs, and try adjusting you to your new role. ⦁ At last, relax and wait for the big day!

9 months of pregnancy can be a roller coaster ride for a woman. There are numerous things for a pregnant woman to do, to prepare for her baby. Take the help of your doctor and your partner to carry out all the necessary things while you are pregnant and welcome your baby happily into this new world.

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