The Three Stages of Pregnancy

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Description: This article narrates the 3 stages of Pregnancy. It also discusses the pregnancy diet, signs and symptoms, and the calculator due date.

Medical Definition of Pregnancy

Pregnancy The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. This condition can be indicated by positive results on an over-the-counter urine test and confirmed through a blood test, ultrasound, detection of a fetal heartbeat, or an X-ray. Pregnancy lasts for about nine months, measured from the date of the woman’s last menstrual period (LMP). It is conventionally divided into three trimesters, each roughly three months long.

Early symptoms of Pregnancy

The signs and symptoms of pregnancy will vary within women. Some women experience them within days of conception, other takes before pregnancy symptoms start and there are some women who feel no symptoms and discomfort at all.

The early pregnancy symptoms listed here generally can be felt once implantation occurs (8 – 10 days from ovulation) and will lessen after the first trimester as discuss in

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting may come as early as a week into the pregnancy. Many women experience illness in the morning (morning sickness), some in the afternoon or evening, others feel nausea throughout the entire day. There is no explanation as to why pregnant women feel this or even a solution as to how to prevent it – however, eating small frequent meals, and snacking on saltine crackers seems to give some kind of relief. Eating a protein/carbo-hydrate at bedtime (try an apple and a glass of milk) tends to lessen the nausea that occurs in the morning.

Breast Tenderness

Breasts may be very tender, swollen and start to enlarge. Many times the veins within the breast will become more visible. Your nipples may start to darken in color, become more erect and be extremely sensitive. These symptoms are due to increasing amount of HCG hormone that begins at implantation.

Frequent Urination

Pregnancy causes the uterus to swell and it will start to enlarge for the growing fetus immediately. The uterus puts pressure on your bladder making you feel the need for more frequent urination. Many women start to feel this symptom within a week or two after pregnancy has occurred.

Feeling Tired / Sluggish

This one is pretty obvious. When pregnant your body is going through some major hormonal changes. HCG levels alone go from 0 – 250,000 mIU/ml in just twelve weeks. Your temperature is also higher due to the amount progesterone circulating through your body which will also make you feel a little sluggish.

Missed Period / Light Bleeding

Light bleeding (spotting) may occur approximately 8 – 10 days from ovulation. It usually happens around the same time you would have gotten your menstrual period. Some women assume they have started their period when in fact they are pregnant. The spotting is caused from implantation which is when the fertilized egg burrows into the endometrial lining.

Dizziness and/or Fainting

When standing in one place you may feel dizzy or even faint. The growing uterus compresses major arteries in your legs which causes your blood pressure to drop making you extremely light headed. Skipping meals or going too long without eating may cause you to feel dizzy or faint. When not eating frequently enough it causes low blood sugar. Blood sugar is the primary source of food for your baby so it will be depleted much more quickly.


Pregnancy hormones will slow down bowel functions to give maximum absorption time of vitamins and nutrients. Unfortunately, this symptom usually only gets worse as the pregnancy progresses.


Raging hormones are the cause of this…along with having to put up with all the other symptoms. This symptom should decrease soon into the second trimester but until then, a healthy diet, moderate exercise and plenty of sleep should help the crabbiness somewhat.


The uterus is very swollen and starts to push upward as it grows. The increasing levels of HCG will also slow down digestion making your stomach not empty as fast which increases the stomach acid.

Due Date Calculator

The Stages of Pregnancy

A typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP) to the birth of the baby. It is divided into three stages, called trimesters: first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester. The fetus undergoes many changes throughout maturation.

1st, 2nd, 3rd Trimester of Pregnancy

First Trimester

First Trimester: Week 1 (conception) – Week 12

First Trimester: Early Changes in a Woman’s Body

The early changes that signify pregnancy become present in the first trimester. A missed period may be the first sign that fertilization and implantation have occurred, ovulation has ceased, and you are pregnant. Other changes will also occur.

First Trimester: Physical and Emotional Changes a Woman May Experience

Hormonal changes will affect almost every organ in the body. Some signs of early pregnancy in many women include symptoms like:

Fertilization Stage

Fertilization is the epic story of all of us.

First Trimester: The Baby at 4 Weeks

At 4 weeks, your baby is developing:

First Trimester: The Baby at 8 Weeks

At 8 weeks, the embryo begins to develop into a fetus. Fetal development is apparent:

First Trimester: The Baby at 12 Weeks

The end of the first trimester is at about week 12, at this point in your baby’s development:

Second Trimester

Second trimester: Week 13 – Week 28

Second Trimester: Changes a Woman May Experience

Once you enter the second trimester you may find it easier than the first. Your nausea (morning sickness) and fatigue may lessen or go away completely. However, you will also notice more changes to your body. That “baby bump” will start to show as your abdomen expands with the growing baby. By the end of the second trimester you will even be able to feel your baby move!

Second Trimester: Physical and Emotional Changes in a Woman

Some changes you may notice in your body in the second trimester include:

Second Trimester: The Baby at 16 Weeks

As your body changes in the second trimester, your baby continues to develop:

Second Trimester: The Baby at 20 Weeks

At about 20 weeks in the second trimester, your baby continues to develop:

Second Trimester: The Baby at 24 Weeks

By 24 weeks, even more changes occur for your growing baby:

Third Trimester

Third Trimester: Week 29 – Week 40 (birth)

Third Trimester: Changes a Woman May Experience

The third trimester is the final stage of pregnancy. Discomforts that started in the second trimester will likely continue, along with some new ones. As the baby grows and puts more pressure on your internal organs, you may find you have difficulty breathing and have to urinate more frequently. This is normal and once you give birth these problems should go away.

Third Trimester: Emotional and Physical Changes a Woman May Experience

In the third and final trimester you will notice more physical changes, including:

Third Trimester: Changes as the Due Date Approaches

Other changes are happening in your body during the third trimester that you can’t see. As your due date approaches, your cervix becomes thinner and softer in a process called effacement that helps the cervix open during childbirth. Your doctor will monitor the progress of your pregnancy with regular exams, especially as you near your due date.

Third Trimester: The Baby at 32 Weeks

At 32 weeks in the third trimester, your baby’s development continues:

Third Trimester: The Baby at 36 Weeks

At 36 weeks, as your due date approaches, your baby continues development:

Third Trimester: The baby at 37 to 40 Weeks

Finally, from 37 to 40 weeks the last stages of your baby’s development occur:

            Pregnancy Diet Chart

Whatever a woman consumes during her pregnancy, the same is the resource of nourishment. Hence, experts advise that a mother-to-be opt a variety of healthy foods as well as beverages to supply the important nutrients a baby desires for growth as well as development.

Key pregnancy diet
A pregnant woman needs additional calcium, folic acid, iron as well as protein than a woman who is not expecting. Here are the reasons these four nutrients are vital.

Folic acid, also identified as folate while found in foods, is a B vitamin that is critical in helping to put off birth defects in the baby’s brain as well as spine, acknowledged as neural tube defects. 

It may be stiff to get the suggested amount of folic acid from diet alone. For that cause, Dr. Ragini Agrawal recommends that women who are attempting to have a baby take an everyday vitamin supplement holding 400 micrograms of folic acid per day for as a minimum one month prior to becoming pregnant. Throughout Pregnancy Specialist Gurgaon civil lines, they counsel women to amplify the amount of folic acid to 600 micrograms per day, an amount usually found in a daily prenatal vitamin. 

Food sources: fortified or enriched cereals, leafy green vegetables, bread along with the pasta.

Calcium is a mineral utilized to build a baby’s bones as well as teeth. If a pregnant woman does not devour adequate calcium, the mineral will be strained from the mother’s stores in her bones as well as given to the baby to congregate the additional demands of pregnancy. Several dairy products are also equipped with vitamin D, one more nutrient that works with calcium to build up a baby’s bones as well as teeth. 

Pregnant women age 19 plus over require 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day; pregnant adolescence, ages 14 to 18, require 1,300 milligrams daily.

Food sources: cheese, calcium-fortified juices, milk, yogurt, as well as foods, sardines, or else salmon with bones, a number of leafy greens. 

Iron: Pregnant women require 27 milligrams of iron per day, which is twice the amount required by women who are not expecting. Extra amounts of the mineral are required to make more blood to provide the baby with oxygen. Receiving too little iron throughout pregnancy can guide to anemia, a state resulting in fatigue as well as an augmented risk of infections. 

For enhanced absorption of the mineral, comprise a high-quality source of vitamin C at the same food while eating iron-rich foods. 

Food sources: dried beans and peas, meat, poultry, fish, iron-fortified cereal.

Protein: Additional protein is required throughout pregnancy, but most women don’t have trouble getting sufficient of these foods in their diets. Dr. Ragini illustrates protein as “a builder nutrient,” since it helps to assemble important organs in the baby, like the brain as well as the heart.

Food sources: dried beans and peas, meat, eggs, nuts, tofu poultry, fish.