What to Expect While you are Expecting

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If you are pregnant to quickly learn that there are many changes such a body is going through. Even if you are not showing the sure pregnant already you are likely to already be feeling the effects of your pregnancy. Over the course of the next nine months you’ll be experiencing many new excitements and feelings.

Each woman experiences pregnancy in a different way and a pregnancy can even vary from one instance to the next, which makes it difficult to determine exactly what you will experience. However, there are some general ideas that you can gather from other women’s pregnancies.

1. First Trimester

During the first trimester there is a lot that happens very quickly. You’ll probably have an ultrasound at some point during this time, which can be very exciting. Usually around 11 to 14 weeks you also have a blood test that may test for abnormalities. However, this is optional and something that you can discuss further with your doctor.

The first trimester is also the time when you may begin experiencing symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. This may be minimal for some women were maybe very severe. There are things that you can do to prevent, morning sickness and sometimes your doctor may prescribe medication to help you battle it.


If you are experiencing extreme morning sickness your doctor may want to monitor you to make sure you are not becoming dehydrated. In extreme cases, women with severe morning sickness have even been hospitalized.

Another major symptom that you probably will feel during your first trimester is exhaustion or fatigue. This may carry on throughout your entire pregnancy or it may disappear over time.

You will also probably start to feel a little bit moody and may experience mood swings starting around week seven. Below are some other common side effects that you might feel during this first portion of your pregnancy:

  • Swollen and tender breasts
  • Bleeding and cramping
    • Discuss this with your doctor
  • Food aversions and cravings
  • Urinating frequently
  • Bloating
  • And many others

2. Second Trimester

After 13 weeks, you will enter into the second trimester, which will last for the next three months. During this time, you will probably begin to lose some of the nauseousness and fatigue and start to get some of your energy back. Some symptoms, however, tend to continue throughout this time as well, such as heartburn and constipation.


Unfortunately, there are also a number of symptoms that replace many of the ones you felt during the first trimester. A couple of the most common are forgetfulness and congestion. During the next several weeks you can expect general monitoring at your doctor’s office.

He will check your weight, your urine, and make sure that you are measuring correctly. During these visits you should discuss the symptoms that you are having and ask any questions that you may have. It is important that you are honest with your doctor so that he can be aware of any issues that may be occurring.

3. Third Trimester

The third trimester starts at week 28 and continues through the time you give birth. During this time, you will experience some of the most exciting times as you prepare for the birth of your baby. Not only will you feel the movement of your baby regularly during this time, you also have the excitement of finishing up your pregnancy and planning for your baby.

Some women even begin to feel some Braxton Hicks contractions as they grow closer to the time of delivery. Although many women believe that they are now going into labor, this is actually considered false labor. Your doctor will be able to tell you more about when to go to the hospital when you actually are in labor.


Your doctor will also want to run more tests during this time such as the glucose test and other blood work and it may be valuable. One of the major symptoms of this trimester, which most women feel, is difficult to breathe and achiness where the baby is. This achiness could change in location depending upon where the baby is pushing.

4. Conclusion

Having a baby is a very exciting time, and there are many things you will experience. While some of the experiences are exciting and thrilling, others may not be as fun. While you’re pregnant, it is important that you pay attention to the symptoms that you are feeling so that you can report any oddities to your doctor.

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Valerie Wisniewski, RN

Ms. Wisniewski has over 15 years experience as a labor and delivery nurse, having also worked previously as a nurse midwife in the Philippines and India. She enjoys empowering women and providing family centered care to women from all cultural and educational backgrounds.