An Introductory Guide to Your Pregnant Body

Pregnancy is a time of great change. Not only is a new chapter of your life starting to unfold, your body will be experiencing a series of physical changes as your fetus grows into your new baby. This is just an outline of what to expect. Pregnancy brings many changes and every woman experiences them a little differently.

During the first month any changes your body undergoes will be minor. Your breasts may swell slightly and be tender. Your senses may become more acute. You may suffer the start of morning sickness.

The second month will see the start of noticeable changes. Many woman suffer from morning sickness. Most will have wild mood swings from the changing hormones. A few will suffer from depression. At this time your body will start to noticeably change. Your pants will be a bit tight, you will have gained a few extra pounds. And, the pregnancy cravings will have begun.

The third month is when most women begin to ‘show’. Your uterus is now the size of a pink grapefruit. Your breasts will have grown from the pregnancy hormones. Your skin will be showing that dewy pregnancy glow, too. Your body is producing more blood, this may make you dizzy from time to time.

The fourth month sees the let up of morning sickness and the return of appetite. Also, your risk of a miscarriage drops. Your skin is changing again. You may have noticed it darkening on your breasts, navel, armpits, and inner thighs. Some women also develop the ‘mask of pregnancy’, darkened skin around the eyes, cheeks and nose. At this same time, your body starts producing a hormone that will loosen your ligaments. This is to help you give birth, but right now it may just make you clumsy. Your belly bump is nice and prominent now-and best of all-your fetus has quickened! You may have felt the first movements already.

The fifth month will see you gaining up to a pound a week. Your uterus is now growing rapidly as your fetus grows stronger. You will now feel him or her move regularly. Your center of balance has shifted, leaving you more likely to fall. Your new center of gravity can also leave you with a spine out of alignment and some soreness. More soreness will also be felt in your groin and hips as your round ligaments stretch to accommodate your growing baby.

The sixth month will see you seriously building up your baby. You may have a greatly increased appetite for food, including those famed pregnancy cravings. Many women will need more nutrients and may need to double up on some supplements. Some women report libido swings; some having increased libido and others having decreased libidos.

The seventh month will see you gaining 15 to 20 pounds. You’ve started to feel some of the more positive parts of your new hormones. You may become much more assertive when it comes to things that you want and need.

Your eighth month sees your weight gain stopping or slowing. Your breasts may be producing colostrum, the precursor to breast milk. You may also experience Braxton Hicks contractions. These false labor pains are just preparation for the real thing.

Your ninth month will see your baby turning or dropping in preparation for birth. Many doctors will advise sex at this time, to help the process. By your 39th or 40th week you may be feeling the first labor pains. If you have planned a C-section or induction, your doctor may choose to perform it now.