What You Can Expect During Each Trimester of Pregnancy

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pregnancy stages
Clodagh Mullen, MD

For many women, a pregnancy lasts 40 weeks – starting from the first day of your last normal period. Pregnancy is grouped into three trimesters that each last about three months.

Many women experience a number of pregnancy symptoms along the way that can range from trouble sleeping to tingling hands.

"Keep in mind, though, every woman is different and so is each pregnancy," says Clodagh Mullen, MD, an OB/GYN with UH MacDonald Women's Hospital. Be sure to let your OB/GYN know what symptoms you are experiencing, she says.

Learn more about what to expect during pregnancy by identifying in which trimester each symptom occurs:

  • Contractions -- Many women experience real or false labor pains. If the contractions are becoming increasingly more painful, you should see your provider.
  • Morning sickness -- Some women may experience an upset stomach with or without vomiting.
  • Spotting -- Check in with your physician if you experience any kind of bleeding.
  • Acid reflux -- This can become an increasing concern as the pregnancy goes on. There are safe medications that your doctor can give you for relief.
  • Numb or tingling hands -- Women may experience this symptom midway through their pregnancy as the baby continues to grow.
  • Trouble sleeping -- "The baby is getting bigger and putting more pressure on your bladder, which may interfere with your ability to sleep well," Dr. Mullen says. "Pregnancy pillows can sometimes help in this area."
  • Extreme tiredness -- "As your body begins to change, it's important to make changes to your routine, such as eating frequent small meals, staying hydrated and getting enough quality sleep," Dr. Mullen says.

Answers

First trimester: Morning sickness, extreme tiredness, spotting

Second trimester: Acid reflux, numb or tingling hands

Third trimester: Contractions, trouble sleeping

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