The 3 Stages Of Pregnancy

Written by: Co-Founder Maria Davi
Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Nicole Palmer, DO

Finding out you’re pregnant is an exciting (or scary) journey of your life, and you probably can’t believe you’re going to be a mother. You may realize some signs of pregnancy at an early stage. While you may experience cramps in early pregnancy, your period stopping is clear that you are pregnant.

So now, questions such as what are the different stages of pregnancy, how many trimesters are in a pregnancy, and so on enter your mind. You will want to find out what happens during each phase of pregnancy and the stages of pregnancy symptoms that you may experience.

A full term of pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, counting from the first day of your last menstrual period. Based on the lunar calendar, a pregnancy cycle is ten months, with four weeks making up a month. The weeks are grouped into three stages of pregnancy, first, second and third trimester.

★ How Long Is A Pregnancy Trimester?

Each trimester is made up of 12 weeks. The first trimester’s beginning stage of pregnancy starts on the first day of your last menstrual cycle, before you're even actually pregnant, and lasts until the end of the 12th week. The second trimester starts the 13th week and lasts until the end of the 28th week. The third trimester starts the 29th week and lasts until the baby is born.

★ Can You Still Ovulate In The Early Stages Of Pregnancy?

With hormonal levels changing during pregnancy, your menstrual cycle is usually interrupted by fertilization, and you don’t ovulate or menstruate. However, a rare case of superfetation can occur.

Superfetation is when a woman continues to ovulate while pregnant and conceives another child during an initial pregnancy. Another egg is fertilized and implants in the womb days or weeks later than the first one. Often, babies born from superfetation are considered twins since they most likely are born together on the same day. Most cases occur in women who went to fertility treatments such as IVF, in vitro fertilization.

★ First Stage Of Pregnancy, The First Trimester:

The first trimester is the embryonic period. The embryonic stage of pregnancy lasts from week 1 to week 12.

Here are some symptoms of pregnancy at the early stage:

  • Changes in Breasts and nipples like swelling, tenderness, and growth. Some women experience itchy nipples in the early stage of pregnancy.
  • Extreme tiredness due to hormone changes, especially the hormone progesterone.
  • Did you know you can lose weight in early stages of pregnancy?
    Morning sickness, nausea, and an upset stomach with or without throwing up may cause you to lose weight during pregnancy. While this is common, vomiting more than four times a day should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider to rule out hyperemesis gravidarum.
  • Constipation is due to high levels of the hormone progesterone, which slows down the muscle contractions that usually move food through your digestive system. Try a prenatal vitamin with iron. Our Feed Mom & Me Complete Prenatal Vitamin With DHA has 18 mg of Iron.
  • The hormonal changes of pregnancy possibly cause cravings or distaste for certain foods and heartburn.
  • Frequent urination is due to your uterus growing and putting pressure on your bladder.
  • Mood swings due to significant changes in your hormone levels affecting your level of neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that regulate mood.
  • Bleeding; Around 25% of pregnant women have slight bleeding during their first trimester. Early in the pregnancy, light spotting may be a sign that the fertilized embryo has been implanted in your uterus. But if you have severe bleeding, sharp abdominal pain, or cramping in early stages of pregnancy, call the doctor. These could be signs of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy in which the embryo implants outside of the uterus).
  • Headaches: hormone levels changing and blood volume increases may play a role in.

★ Second Stage Of Pregnancy, The Second Trimester:

Many women find their second trimester easier than their first trimester. You might start to experience less nausea and fatigue. However, other new, more noticeable changes are now happening to your body. As your baby continues growing, your abdomen will continue to expand. Also, before the end of your second trimester, you will feel your baby beginning to move!

These are some of The Second Trimester body changes:

  • Stretch marks on your abdomen, breasts, thighs, or buttocks. Try using cocoa butter!
  • Skin darkening around your nipples. 
  • A visible line on the skin running along with the belly button to the pubic hairline.
  • Mask of pregnancy is when dark skin patches appear on your face. Patches often match on both sides of the face.
  • You may experience cramps body aches, such as back, abdomen, groin, or thigh pain.
  • Swelling of face, ankles, and fingers. If you notice any sudden or extreme swelling or if you quickly gain a lot of weight, call your healthcare provider right away. This could be a sign of preeclampsia. Check out our blog on ways to help reduce swelling during pregnancy!
  • Numb or tingling hands and feet.
  • If you experience excess weight loss during pregnancy, call your healthcare provider right away.

★ Third Stage Of Pregnancy, The Third Trimester:

Good news, this is the final stage of pregnancy symptoms and the final home stretch of pregnancy. Finally, the countdown begins until the day they meet the love of their lives!

Some of the same discomforts you experienced in your second trimester will continue. Many women notice they have to go to the bathroom even more often and maybe experiencing cramps. This is caused by your baby growing bigger and putting pressure on your organs. These problems will lessen once you give birth.

These are some of The Third Trimester body changes:

  • Heartburn and Indigestion.
  • Trouble going to the bathroom and Hemorrhoids.
  • Trouble sleeping. Sleeping on your left side may help take pressure off the inferior vena cava vein, which returns blood from the lower half of your body to your heart. Improving circulation helps reduce swelling.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Swelling of the fingers, ankles, and face. If you notice sudden or extreme swelling or gain a lot of weight quickly, call your healthcare provider right away. This could be a sign of preeclampsia.
  • Tender breast darkened nipples. You may experience leaking a watery pre-milk called colostrum.
  • Your belly button may start to protrude.
  • The baby “drops” as it starts moving lower in your abdomen.
  • You might leak urine between trips to the bathroom. This is called incontinence.
  • Contractions, which can be a sign of false or real labor.

As you come close to your due date, you may experience effacing, the thinning, and softening of your cervix. This is your vagina’s natural process which helps the birth canal to open during the birthing process. Your healthcare provider will check your progress with a vaginal exam as you near your due date.

★ Best Thing You Could Do During All Stages Of Pregnancy Trimesters

Taking a daily prenatal vitamin is one of the best things you can do for your growing baby. One of the best over-the-counter prenatal vitamins during pregnancy is Feed Mom Me Complete Prenatal with DHA. Check out our blog on thebenefits Of Prenatal Vitamins during pregnancy.

This prenatal supplement is formulated by an OBGYN, Registered Dietitian, containing all the nutrients needed to conceive and during pregnancy. Each small and easy-to-swallow pill is packed with 22 vital natural nutrients to provide nutritional support for you and your growing baby. It contains Folate, DHA (omega-3 fatty acid), Iron, Calcium, Choline, Zinc, and Selenium.

The vegetarian formula is free of artificial colors or flavors, chemicals, preservatives, non-GMO, dairy, soy, or gluten-free. Each capsule contains B6, Organic Ginger, and Peppermint Powder, which can help alleviate morning sickness and nausea.

Adding to that, it is a women-owned company. Who better than a female would understand pregnancy!

Check out our Complete Prenatal Vitamin packed with soy-free vitamins and minerals!