Pregnancy stages

How to enjoy your pregnancy: What to expect when you are expecting

September 12, 2018

Congratulations, you have just found out you are pregnant! This is no doubt one of the most magical moments in your life. Maybe the news came as a surprise, or maybe you have been trying for some time, either way, you are about to go on a magical ride.

While this might be the happiest time of your life, it can also be the most terrifying time as many doubts and scary thoughts might sneak up.

We have interviewed our Mom in Charge, Ylva, a mother of two healthy little girls, to get some insight of what to expect when you are pregnant and above all how to love every (or almost every) minute of it.

Ylva has always been very honest about the ups and downs of both pregnancy and motherhood. Though she had to experience heartbreaking setbacks before giving birth to her firstborn Eleanora, she finally became pregnant after several tries. If there would be one advice only she could give to expecting moms it would be “Try to relax and enjoy the ride as much as possible!”

Though every pregnancy is different, some are smooth sailing while others not so much, keeping a positive state of mind and trying not to stress is essential.

So what can we expect when we are expecting? Here is a timeline of what you can expect and when.

Week 1 to 4

In the first week after conception, the fertilised egg travels along the fallopian tube and attaches itself to the womb. If you haven't already, start taking a supplement of folic acid which will help you prevent neural tube defects. Keep taking the supplement until you are 12 weeks pregnant. Consult your doctor for more details.

The outer cells of the embryo will also start to link into your body supply in order to nourish from it, this is also the time that the link will develop into the placenta which will be attached to your baby by a cord. As soon as you know that you are pregnant it might be a good idea to contact a midwife, as she can give you all the insights and can support you from the beginning.

Week 5-8

This is when you might actually start to feel pregnant. You feel more tired than usual, your breast may feel more tender (due to the tissue being prepared to store milk) and morning sickness might start. During this time your babies heart and blood vessels will begin to form.

Week 9-12

You might not show a baby bump just yet, but might notice that your breasts are growing, morning sickness might be a bit more severe (homemade organic ginger tea helped us a lot at this point). Meanwhile, in your belly, your baby will be almost an inch big. Your baby will also have eyelids, though still closed for a few more weeks. The hands and feet are also developing though not fully formed yet.

Enjoy-your-pregnancy

Week 13 -16

At this stage, you will see some changes in your skin due to increased pigmentation. You might find that your nipples might get darker, or that you develop a dark line from your navel to your pubic hair. This will eventually fade after your child is born. Usually, now sickness is also more tolerable. Your breast may also have started to produce colostrum, the liquid that will feed your baby for the first few days after childbirth.

Starting at week 14 you are officially in the second trimester of your pregnancy. Your baby by now might be almost 3 inches and will have developed its ears. The placenta is now your baby's only source of nourishment. If you do an ultrasound you will see that your baby is now slowly starting to look more like a baby. Your baby's kidney, liver, digestive system and lungs are also starting to develop more and more. You can most definitely spot a clear baby bump by now too! 

Week 17-20

This is when things will get a little crazier as your baby, that is now 6.5 inches big, will start moving inside your belly. You might also hear your baby's heartbeat. Your baby is looking much more like a little human, as she/he starts to have eyelashes and eyebrows. It is also normal to start feeling much more hungry, try to eat as much healthy organic food as possible.

Week 21-23

You might not get as much sleep, which can lead to absent mind and forgetfulness, indigestion is also a common side effect at this stage. By now your baby can hear you, so it is a great idea to talk or sing to it. Your baby will enjoy the interaction and will soon respond to your voice too.

What to expect during pregnancy

Week 24-28

Many soon to be mother report to have a lot more energy between week 24 and 28, make the most of this energy and go for brisk walks to get a lot of oxygen and your blood flowing. Make sure to eat a lot of fibre and drink water if you are constipated.

Your baby might be getting a lot more active now and this can cause you mild discomfort.  

Though your baby's lungs are still not fully matured, it may start practicing breathing movements. Your baby can be as big as 11 inches by now and having hiccups every now and then… and you will feel this too.

Week 32-36

By now your belly button might stick out. Your breast may also start to leak colostrum as they are preparing to breastfeed, but don't worry if they don't, this is different for everyone. This is a good time to attend antenatal classes and prepare for birth. You might also start feeling even more swollen than before, make sure to drink plenty of water to help with fluid retention. Get a lot of rest with your feet up high. This can help you with varicose veins and swollen ankles.  Your baby's lungs are now fully developed and it can do all sort of baby things such as suck and grab.

Week 37-42

Time to have your bags packed, any minute now :) While this can be the hardest time for you, it is also very exciting, you will soon meet your baby. Your baby is gaining weight daily now and also moving more than ever. Make sure to get a lot of rest at this point. Feeling anxious right now is completely normal. Talk to your partner and family, about how you feel and on their role to be during labour.

“While this might be an time of uncertainty  for you”  Ylva says “All the changes and discomfort is so worth it and bringing you one step closer to being with your baby. Focus on preparing for birth but also for the postpartum period, having strategies for navigating that time is important. If I could, I would give birth every year!”

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