Women's Health Texas – Austin


Was the test positive? Learn what to expect during the three trimesters of pregnancy

Good things come in threes, and that includes the three trimesters of pregnancy. A full-term pregnancy lasts 39 to 40 weeks. There are three stages of pregnancy, and each one lasts about 12 to 13 weeks. During the stages of pregnancy, you’ll experience many changes as your baby grows and develops. Whether it’s your first pregnancy or you’re an experienced mom, you can count on your Austin OBGYN to answer all your questions about this exciting time.

Pregnancy gets off to a hormonal start in the first trimester

You and your baby are in for significant changes during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Although you may not look pregnant, your body is going through hormonal changes to prepare for the next nine months. Your estrogen and progesterone levels increase, which can cause the following issues for many women.

  • Morning sickness, including vomiting and nausea
  • Mood swings, including sadness and irritability
  • Swollen, sore breasts
  • Increased urination
  • Fatigue

Your baby’s major organs and systems are starting to develop during the first three months. This means that your little one is more susceptible to substances, such as alcohol, certain medications and environmental toxins. However, don’t worry. Your Austin OBGYN can help you learn what to avoid during your three trimesters of pregnancy.

For many women, the second trimester is the easiest of the three trimesters of pregnancy

Weeks 14 through 26 are the best time of the pregnancy for many women. Morning sickness is usually over, and the fatigue and breast tenderness let up. Your baby begins to grow and gain weight during this time, allowing you to feel him or her moving at around 20 weeks.

This movement, or quickening, is slight at first, but as your baby grows, you will feel more movement. As you get bigger, you may have backaches. Problems like heartburn, constipation and indigestion may also bother you. Thankfully, your doctor can recommend safe medications to help with these issues.

Coming down the home stretch in the third trimester

Of the three trimesters of pregnancy, the third is the one filled with the most anticipation and excitement for many women. You can feel your baby moving, you look (and feel) very pregnant and you are getting ready for your new arrival. From week 27 through the end of your pregnancy, you may experience some discomfort and other issues.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Frequent urination
  • Swollen ankles and hands
  • Leg cramps

During this time, you will see your physician more often, usually every two weeks. During your last month of pregnancy, you will have weekly visits with your doctor. The goal is to answer your questions and make sure everything is going along smoothly before your bundle of joy enters the world.

The stages of pregnancy create excitement, along with occasional discomfort and concern, but your Austin OBGYN is here to guide you through the process. Contact us for an appointment.