A Month-by-Month Guide to Your Pregnant Body

1
Your First Month of Pregnancy

Pregnant woman worried over pregnancy test
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You've barely missed your period, if at all yet. In fact, most of what happens this month is thought about in hindsight. 

Physical Changes 

  • After ovulation, the egg and sperm join and begin the journey to the uterus.
  • As you miss your first period or even a few days before, you may begin to suspect you are pregnant.
  • Take a pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy.
  • Most women do not have symptoms during this time, although looking back, some women "just knew" they were pregnant—call it a gut feeling. 

Emotional Changes in Pregnancy

  • The two week wait from ovulation until you can take a pregnancy test may be emotionally draining. Try to distract yourself, as you wait to take a pregnancy test.
  • If you have been planning a pregnancy, you may feel slightly bewildered that your emotions fluctuate between joy and fear over the upcoming pregnancy.

 

2
Your Second Month of Pregnancy

Early pregnancy ultrasound with amnoicenetsis
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You may have just found out you are pregnant and may be settling into the thought of expecting a baby. This month tends to be a month when you start to experience symptoms of pregnancy. Though morning sickness may be the one most people talk about, it is by no means the only symptom of pregnancy. Many women also experience symptoms such as fatigue, frequent urination, and even insomnia.

Physical Changes 

  • A positive pregnancy test by blood or urine is generally possible as soon as you miss your period.
  • In the beginning of pregnancy, many women experience nausea and vomiting.
  • You may also feel incredibly tired.
  • You may feel like you are about to start your period, even experiencing some mild cramping.

Emotional Changes

  • You may experience a range of emotions from happiness to feeling worried or scared. You may be in shock you are pregnant. These feelings are normal. 
  • You might feel guilty because there are times where you forget you are pregnant. It is a big change so do not be hard on yourself. 

3
Your Third Month of Pregnancy

Pregnant women with morning sickness, nausea
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The third month of pregnancy can be difficult as you navigate uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms but are not showing yet. This can be exacerbated by the fact you have yet to share your good news. If you are waiting until the end of the first trimester to tell your friends and family about the baby, you may feel that you have to hide some of the feelings that you are experiencing physically. This can complicate matters, even causing some women to feel incredibly grumpy.

Physical Changes 

  • You will likely continue to have symptoms like morning sickness, fatigue, and a decrease in your desire for sex.
  • Your pregnancy bump does not really show right now, but as you reach the end of this month your uterus will be slightly above your pelvis.
  • Your breasts may increase in size, and they may also feel fuller and be more tender. You may notice that the areola gets darker during this month.
  • Some symptoms of the first trimester leave you as you head towards the second trimester, like the fatigue and morning sickness.

Emotional Changes

  • Feeling anxious about the health of the baby is a common feeling at this point in pregnancy.
  • Your partner may or may not also share concerns about the pregnancy.

4
Your Fourth Month of Pregnancy

Couple with hand hearts over a pregnant belly
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Welcome to the second trimester. Now that the risk of miscarriage has dropped significantly, most moms begin to enjoy their pregnancy a little bit more. Now is also the time you may feel more free to talk about your pregnancy to your friends. Consider how you will share the news with those you love. 

Physical Changes 

  • You are enjoying feeling better than you did last month.
  • Because your placenta has taken over the production of the pregnancy hormones, you may feel a bit better in the second trimester.
  • Some women will begin to have their bellies show at this point, though most women do not yet need maternity clothes.
  • Because of the extra blood volume, your body needs during pregnancy, your heart will be beating more rapidly.

Emotional Changes

  • You may be frustrated that you don't outwardly look pregnant to strangers on the street.
  • The acceptance of the pregnancy is likely easier for you at this point.

5
Your Fifth Month of Pregnancy

Couple Holding Ultrasound Photo
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This month you may notice that your belly begins to show. This is more than just when you are getting out of the shower—even strangers may begin to notice that you look a little more rounded. If you were going to buy maternity clothes, try not to go wild just yet. Give it a little bit more time. While shopping for your pregnancy may be fun, there are other ways to expand your wardrobe including borrowing from friends, shopping through used clothing, and even stealing from your partner's closet.

Physical Changes 

  • You may begin to feel your baby move, this is called quickening. Many women describe a fluttering sensation.
  • As your uterus reaches your navel or belly button, you will begin to show more.
  • You are going to the bathroom more often because your kidneys work harder in pregnancy.
  • You are likely still enjoying your pregnancy at this point with few symptoms that plague you.

Emotional Changes

  • You are anxious to learn about babies and birth. 
  • As your partner begins to feel the baby move, it brings a whole new dimension to how he sees the pregnancy.

6
Your Sixth Month of Pregnancy

Pregnant woman getting weighed at prenatal
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Many moms feel a sense of sensuality and sexuality increasing this month. This can be a great time to reconnect with your partner. If you are having issues with sex, talk to your doctor. 

Physical Changes

  • Your baby's movements become easier for you to feel. In fact, you may feel your baby move more frequently or with more regularity.
  • If heartburn plagues you, try smaller, more frequent meals and avoid offending foods like chocolate, and acidic or spicy foods.
  • You may be experiencing practice contractions, known as Braxton Hicks contractions.
  • Many women tell you to really enjoy this month before the fatigue and symptoms of the third-trimester slip in.
  • You may want to be aware of the symptoms of premature labor.

Emotional Changes

  • You are probably thoroughly enjoying your pregnancy at this point.
  • Dreaming strange dreams is fairly common in pregnancy. Do not put too much stock in these night-time images.

7
Your Seventh Month of Pregnancy

Pregnant woman shopping from her baby registry
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Welcome to the third trimester. This month begins the end of your pregnancy. These last few months of pregnancy can seem like a whirlwind. Where everything seemed new and fresh in the first trimester, now you may feel the rush of the end of pregnancy hurtling towards you.

Most moms still feel great this month. Use this to your advantage and continue to exercise to increase your sense of well-being, decrease aches and pains, and even help you sleep better at night. The even better news is that your partner can often feel the baby move externally by this point. This provides a new game to play in the evenings, as you sit around and dream about what life will be like with a new baby.

Physical Changes 

  • The symptoms of the last trimester may begin to set in. This includes back ache, inability to sleep, and fatigue.
  • Your belly is growing rapidly at this point. It changes shape and you may even see your baby kick through your abdomen.
  • As your body prepares for the birth you will notice that your joints feel looser—this is from the release of the hormone relaxin. Do not be surprised if you start waddling. 

Emotional Changes

  • Continue learning all you can about caring for your newborn—take a breastfeeding class, a childbirth class, and learn about baby care.
  • You may start to wonder about the birth process—talk to mothers who have had positive birth experiences to hear their thoughts on having a positive birth. 

8
Your Eigth Month of Pregnancy

Pregnant woman doing yoga and exercising
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Physical challenges may begin this month. Exercise, particularly in a swimming pool, can help alleviate some of the stress. You may also notice the return to some of the earlier pregnancy symptoms like fatigue, frequent urination, and insomnia.

Physical Changes 

  • You may tire easily as you come down this final stretch. Some women report that they could sleep all day but have trouble sleeping at night. Some say that this is to help prepare you for the sleepless nights ahead. Try to nap whenever you can.
  • You may find that you are simply uncomfortable. Try yoga, swimming and light exercise to help relieve some of the pain you experience.
  • As your baby drops further into your pelvis, you may need to urinate more often.

Emotional Changes

  • As the birth draws closer, you may worry about your ability to parent.
  • Talk to your partner about ways to handle the upcoming birth emotionally and physically. Ask your doctor for advice.

9
Your Ninth Month of Pregnancy

Couple with son kissing pregnant belly
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Eight long months ago you started this journey. Now you are nearly at the end. You may feel rushed, you may feel serene, there really is not one right way to feel. Some moms feel a combination of all of these.

Congratulations on making it to the last month of your pregnancy. While your baby cannot read a calendar, you can. There is something to celebrate about reaching this milestone. Plan ahead for something special on your due date. Some ideas include a pedicure, a massage, or even a date night out.

Physical Changes 

  • Can you believe how big your belly has gotten? Typically your uterus will measure about 40 centimeters from your pubic bone.
  • You may notice many contractions, as you prepare for labor.
  • Your breasts make their final preparations for breastfeeding, this may include leaking.
  • You probably spend a lot of time wondering if you are in labor.

Emotional Changes

  • Try to build your confidence in breastfeeding and caring for your newborn.
  • Remember that parenting is one day at a time. Enjoy your baby each day and go slowly.

Photo © K. Sachko

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