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Women's Health

For the times you need special care

Journey Through Pregnancy

Provided by our program at ETMC Jacksonville

*An expecting mother may feel all the following symptoms or only one*


FIRST TRIMESTER
(the first 13 weeks of pregnancy)

Signs and symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • "Morning sickness"
  • Excessive salivation
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn, indigestion, bloating
  • Food aversions or cravings
  • Breast changes: fullness, tenderness, darkening of the areola
  • Mood swings
  • Occasional headaches and dizziness
  • Changes in appetite
Tips:
  • Schedule first prenatal visit as soon as pregnancy is confirmed.
  • For morning sickness:
    • Eat a diet high in protein and carbohydrates, both of which fight nausea.
    • Drink plenty of fluids to replenish fluid loss. If fluids make you more nauseated, eat foods with high water content such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • Do not take any medications for nausea unless prescribed by your doctor.
    • Avoid the sight, smell, and taste of foods that make you feel queasy.
    • Eat small, more frequent meals. Carry nutritious snacks in your purse.
    • Eat before nausea strikes.
    • Greet the morning slowly- rushing (jumping out of bed) tends to aggravate nausea.
  • For breast tenderness and fullness: wear a good, supportive bra. (sports bra, preferably)
  • For heartburn:
    • Do not smoke.
    • Avoid fatty and spicy foods.
    • Sleep with the head of your bed slightly elevated.
  • For constipation:
    • Eat more fiber. (whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables)
    • Again, drink plenty of fluids.
Your baby:
  • By week six
    • The neural tube which becomes the brain and spinal cord has begun to develop
    • Internal organs (lungs, digestive system, kidneys) begin to appear
  • By the end of the first trimester
    • The baby is now called a fetus
    • Weight: one ounce
    • Length: three inches
    • Distinct facial features present.
    • Clearly definable arms, legs, fingers, and toes.
    • Sex organs now begin to differentiate into male or female genitals.
    • The circulatory and urinary systems are now operating
    • Arm and leg buds begin to form

SECOND TRIMESTER (13-26 weeks of pregnancy)

Signs and symptoms:
  • Increased thickness around waist and hips
  • Increased breast size
  • Nasal congestion and/or nose bleeds
  • Hemorrhoids and/or varicose veins
  • Development of stretch marks
  • "Mask of pregnancy": darkening of the pigment in the face
  • Less fatigue
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Increased appetite
  • Cravings
  • Fetal movement
Tips:
  • For nasal congestion: Use a humidifier.
  • For hemorrhoids: (With proper care, these should disappear after delivery.)
    • Avoid constipation.
    • Sleep on your side. This takes pressure off the rectal veins.
    • Avoid long hours of standing.
    • Apply witch hazel pads to the area.
    • Keep the area clean.
    • Avoid straining on the toilet.
Your baby:
  • Fine, downy hair covers the thin skin of the baby.
  • At 24 weeks, the fetus is almost completely formed and is considered viable (able to survive). At this point, the major milestone left for the baby is lung development.
  • Skin is also covered with a thick lotion called vernix.
  • At the end of the second trimester, the baby is able to hear sounds and be aware of small amounts of light.
  • Weight at 26 weeks: approximately 1 � pounds.

THIRD TRIMESTER
(27-40 weeks of pregnancy)

Signs and symptoms:
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions or "false" labor: periodic tightening of the uterus causing abdominal cramping or low back pain.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Backache and lack of coordination
Tips:
  • For false labor: Take extra strength Tylenol as prescribed on the label and a warm tub bath. Have significant other massage lower back.
Your baby:
  • During the next few weeks, your unborn child will be busy with laying down fat under the skin and with lung development.
  • Hiccups are common during this time.
  • By 37 weeks gestation, the baby is considered to be full term with adequate maturity to survive outside the mother's womb.