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What happens in pregnancy

Updated on January 1, 2013

Pregnancy Questions

Now that I am pregnant, my girlfriends at work wonder about the sudden glow in my face and some do get excited about big tummy that carries my baby, and some are so scared to ever fall pregnant as they have heard about all the dreadful stories about pregnancy and childbirth. And some are already planning their pregnancy influenced seeing me so excited being pregnant.

And, sometimes, some boys get excited about changes in me. They wonder about my big tummy and try to be super helpful? And some just don't care. Who knows what they think pregnancy is like? So here in this article I will share with you some information that will explain what is pregnancy all about, what happens to a woman's body during pregnancy and how does a baby grow during pregnancy.

Trimesters in pregnancy

You must have heard about trimesters that happens in pregnancy. Pregnancy is generally divided into three trimesters- that means every three months is considered as one trimester.

Fetus size in 6 weeks
Fetus size in 6 weeks
Fetus size in 12 weeks
Fetus size in 12 weeks

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First trimester in Pregnancy

What happens in first trimester?

This is generally the first three months in pregnancy but week wise it is up to 14 weeks from the date she fell pregnant. This is the stage when a women discovers that she is pregnant.

During first trimester she will not look pregnant from outside, but within her, baby is growing quickly. She may suddenly start feeling a bit unusual, especially nauseous, weak and may feel lower back pain. The feeling of nauseous or sick is because of the production of extra hormones to prepare her body to look after the growing baby. This feelings normally lasts up to around week 14. Some of the foods that she used to love, she may hate them now as the sense of smell alters during pregnancy.

She will also suddenly want to rest and lie down because of lack of energy that, again, happens due to sudden change in hormones in the body. It is actually good to rest as much as possible because mostly miscarriage happens during the first trimester. Ask her to put her feet up and close eyes and rest as much as possible during this stage.

You might also find her to have become bit moody and irritable. It is also all because of the sudden hormonal changes and feeling of nausea that she is going through.

If you are wondering why she is going to the loo more often, then the answer is it is happening because of the uterus pressing the bladder. But eventually during second trimester her uterus will move up and she will feel normal again but just until third trimester begins.

First trimester can go smoothly if a pregnant women don't have nausea and vomiting, however most of the woman gets nausea during this trimester. For some this experience can be really hard to tolerate and even need to be admitted to the hospital for getting dehydrated but for some taking simple measures such as chewing ginger can help.

Fetus height in 24 weeks
Fetus height in 24 weeks

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Second Trimester of pregnancy

What happens in second Trimester?

This is the middle stage of her pregnancy. Second trimester starts from week 14 and finishes at week 28. By about 16 weeks or fifth month women will start to look pregnant. She will start to feel a lot better during her second trimester. Her uterus have moved up a bit so that she will experience less trips to toilet for loo than first trimester.

She is gaining weight as blood and fluid level in her body is increasing, including is the increase in the size of her breast, uterus and placenta.

At the start of this trimester baby will be about 11cm long and may weigh about 45g and by the end of this trimester baby/fetus will grow up to 20cm long and may weigh about 200g. She is already starting to feel the baby moves. Most of the organs of baby is developed.

In the middle of this trimester, in about 18-20 weeks, most women go for ultrasound to check the baby's position, to detect any problems with the baby, to find out if there is more than one baby and also interestingly to find out about the gender of their baby.

Fetus height in 40 weeks
Fetus height in 40 weeks

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What happens in third trimester?

Third trimester: This is the last stage of the three trimesters in pregnancy. A real challenge will begin during this trimester as she will keep getting bigger and bigger and she will begin to feel all the changes of pregnancy. Her tummy will grow much bigger, making her feel heavier and heavier as it progresses. Sleeping will be difficult and uncomfortable with bigger tummy. She will need more space in the bed.

Her bones are now more softer and are prone for injury quickly. Ask her to avoid heavy lifting completely by now.

She will again start to go to the loo quite often as her baby will be pushing her bladder. She might start to feel swelling in her hands and legs and it will keep getting more and more evident as she progresses. As a result, doing tasks will be difficult. Swelling will make her feel uncomfortable and painful around her extremities. Sitting down in one place for longer, more than an hour, will be difficult. She would want to keep her feet up than hanging.

Her breast will grow, and she will benefit from wearing cotton maternity bras. Walking will be bit difficult because of feeling heavy, especially around her upper body and her legs will find it difficult to hold her tummy. She will start to feel more and more tired as she progresses, as it will take more effort than before to do or complete tasks. She would really love to rest in between tasks and would love to sleep more. She would expect someone to bring nice and healthy food for her as cooking will take effort.

Women usually go for blood test to rule out gestational diabetes and to check other levels in about 26-28 weeks.

Baby will be about will be about 36 cm and weigh 1100g in 28 weeks, by 32 weeks baby will grow upto 41cm in height and 1800g in weight, by 36 weeks baby will grow upto 47cm in height and 2800g and by 40 weeks height will be 50cm and weight will be about 3200g.

By the end of this trimester your baby is ready to be born!

Yes it is a long journey for a pregnant women. So friends trying to become super helpful is what makes her pregnancy go smooth- well in some way!


What is happening to the baby inside

Baby is growing quickly day by day and is getting all the nutrition from her. Whatever she eats will be diluted to her blood and will get to the baby.Baby will get calcium, vitamins, iron and minerals all from her. If she doesn't have extra iron and calcium, her body will suck it from her as much as possible and try to fulfill the baby's needs, as a result her bones will become brittle and she will become more weak if she doesn't eat enough or enough according to the needs of the body during pregnancy.

Pregnancy baby growth

6 weeks
13-16cm long
12 weeks
11cm long
16 weeks
18cm long
24 weeks
31cm long
28 weeks
36cm long
32 weeks
41cm long
36 weeks
47cm long
40 week
50cm long
Approximate fetal growth chart during pregnancy

@ copyright Rosika 2013.


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    • rosika profile image

      rosika 5 years ago

      Thank you for your comment is quite amazing about the changes that woman go through during this stage!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I have read about human reproduction but never knew what happens inside a woman's body during pregnancy. Thanks for sharing your first hand experience.