Whether your pregnancy was planned or unexpected, the reality of becoming a mother can quickly turn from excitement into worry. However, preparing yourself with all the information about what to expect in each trimester can make pregnancy feel that little bit more manageable. 

That’s why this post is here to break down the ins and outs of each trimester before your little bundle arrives and the adventure begins.

What to expect in your first trimester?

When someone refers to the first trimester, this is the first 12 weeks. Even at this early stage, major organs will begin to form in the embryo. Within the first three months, your little treasure will grow to around 3 inches – so it’s unlikely you’ll see any physical bump. However, plenty will be going on inside. In fact, it’s likely expecting mothers can experience emotional fluctuations, hormonal changes, and fatigue. The first 12 weeks are crucial, and the chances of miscarriage are at their highest here, so it’s important to look out for danger signs of pregnancy in first trimester

As you probably know, the most common symptoms during the first trimester are morning sickness and general nausea. However, other symptoms like a heightened sense of smell and taste, tenderness in breasts, and new food cravings can be experienced. 

What to expect in your second trimester?

Weeks 13 to 26 is the second trimester, where your baby will grow to around 12 inches. Hair will start to grow on your little one, and they’ll form their own unique fingerprint in this time. They’ll also begin to develop a sleeping and waking pattern – meaning the rollercoaster of pregnancy can start to smooth out. Mothers can often start to feel them move in the second trimester, and the baby will begin to recognize voices

Hopefully, the nausea should subside, but the food cravings might grow stronger. But while nausea leaves, heartburn and leg cramps enter. You might start to see a little bump now and gain a few stretch marks. Most women experience better energy in the second trimester, better sleeping patterns, and more comfort in the pregnancy. 

What to expect in the third trimester?

In the final stage of your pregnancy, your baby will grow to 18-20 inches! Kicks and baby rolls feel much stronger, and you might experience heartburn or swollen feet. Mood swings are also common, as is insomnia. As the baby will be placing additional weight on the bladder, you can also experience frequent urination. 

The third trimester is a great time to start any of your prenatal classes, to help you – and your partner – prepare for your new arrival. 

Some people refer to the first few weeks after the baby arrives as ‘the fourth trimester’ where the mother focuses on her own recovery, as well as nursing the new family member. 

There is so much help out there for expecting mothers. Pregnancy can be an incredibly exciting journey, and you’ll meet plenty of other mothers in the same position. Try to enjoy the process and build your support network around you.