Pregnancy Week by Week (First, Second, and Third Trimester)

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Quick GuideStages of Pregnancy: See the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Trimesters of Mom & Baby

Stages of Pregnancy: See the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Trimesters of Mom & Baby

What are the changes that happen to a woman's body during the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester of her pregnancy?

Everyone expects pregnancy to bring an expanding waistline. But many women are surprised by the other body changes that pop up. Get the low-down on stretch marks, weight gain, heartburn and other "joys" of pregnancy. Find out what you can do to feel better.

Body aches

During pregnancy, you might have:

As your uterus expands, you may feel aches and pains in the back, abdomen, groin area, and thighs. Many women also have backaches and aching near the pelvic bone due the pressure of the baby's head, increased weight, and loosening joints. Some pregnant women complain of pain that runs from the lower back, down the back of one leg, to the knee or foot. This is called sciatica (SYE-AT-ick-uh). It is thought to occur when the uterus puts pressure on the sciatic nerve.

What might help:

  • Lie down.
  • Rest.
  • Apply heat.

Call the doctor if:

The pain does not get better.

Breast changes

During pregnancy, you might have:

A woman's breasts increase in size and fullness during pregnancy. As the due date approaches, hormone changes will cause your breasts to get even bigger to prepare for breastfeeding. Your breasts may feel full, heavy, or tender.

In the third trimester, some pregnant women begin to leak colostrum (coh-LOSS-truhm) from their breasts. Colostrum is the first milk that your breasts produce for the baby. It is a thick, yellowish fluid containing antibodies that protect newborns from infection.

What might help:

  • Wear a maternity bra with good support.
  • Put pads in the bra to absorb leakage.

Call the doctor if:

You feel a lump or have nipple changes or discharge (that is not colostrum) or skin changes.

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