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Breaking down the stages of your pregnancy can help to identify common symptoms and help prepare for your baby.

The first trimester: Conception to Week 12 

You don’t look pregnant on the outside, but on the inside your baby is growing fast. Most women feel well in pregnancy, however there are some big changes happening in your body that may make you feel uncomfortable in the first three months. A few things to be prepared for:  

  • Feeling Nauseated – often called morning sickness, although this can occur at any time of the day or night. It usually lasts from around Week 6 to Week 14 and can be caused by the hormone levels that are changing in your body.  

  • An altered sense of smell 

  • Feeling tired and less energetic – this will likely improve around Week 12. Make sure you listen to your body and rest when you can.  

  • Feeling moody – can be caused by your changing hormone levels. This is completely normal with everything changing in your body. Reach out to your partner or friend to talk about this, or if you feel down or anxious a lot of the time, talk to your midwife or doctor.  

  • Frequent visits to the toilet – also caused by hormone changes. See your doctor or midwife if there’s any burning or irritation while passing urine.  

  • Your breasts get bigger and may feel sore and tender 

The second trimester: Week 13 to Week 26 

You’re in the middle part of your pregnancy and you may be gaining weight and beginning to look pregnant. Your baby is growing quickly from about 11cm long to 30cm long during this time. A few things to be prepared for:  

  • You’re probably feeling better 

  • Your clothes may not fit like they used to - although your baby will only weigh a few hundred grams, you may be gaining weight. Extra blood, fluids and growing breasts, uterus and placenta will add weight to your body.  

  • Finding sleep uncomfortable – try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs 

  • You may feel your baby move – you may feel this mid-way through the second trimester, but you may also be able to share these experiences with your partner, or a close friend. 

The third trimester: Week 27 to Week 40.  

You’re on the home stretch. Your baby is growing from about 36cm long to about 50cm. A few things to be prepared for:  

  • More tired and emotional 

  • You may develop heartburn – depending on the location of your baby 

  • You may feel physically uncomfortable – rest and gentle exercise is important and use pillows to prop your belly up to make sleeping more comfortable. 

  • You may feel breathless – your baby may be pushing on your diaphragm, the muscle between your chest and abdomen 

  • Your breasts may start to leak – breastmilk is produced from about 16 weeks of pregnancy, and may leak a little in the last few weeks of pregnancy

Related Articles: 

Exercise after Pregnancy

Exercise during Pregnancy

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Pregnancy

Healthy Weight Gain in Pregnancy 

[Pregnancy, birth & baby, 2021; NSW Health, 2020.]