Every pregnancy is different. Even if you have been pregnant before, you will find that there are differences in your mood, your food cravings, even the way you carry your baby, from pregnancy to pregnancy. No two pregnancies are the same even for the same mother-to-be.
However, there are certain similarities that we can all look forward to, or not, in our pregnancy, week by week. There are a few symptoms that you can expect to experience each week so you can be prepared for these changes.
Let’s take a closer look at what changes take place week by week so that you can better understand your pregnancy.
Weeks 4 To 6
By weeks 4 to 6, you should know that you’re expecting because the home pregnancy test should show a positive result. Other symptoms that you might experience are mood swings, bloating, sore breasts, fatigue, morning sickness, frequent urination, and an amazing feeling inside of I’m carrying a life inside me! This might bring all kinds of feelings to the surface. Joy, fear, and excitement.
Weeks 8 To 10
By this time, you might experience a new superpower: your nose can smell things that you didn’t know were possible to smell. You might experience pregnancy cramps because your abdomen is stretching to accommodate the expanding uterus. You might also experience constipation, this is because of the pregnancy hormones and because food stays longer in your stomach so that your body can absorb as much of the nutrients as possible. Some pregnant women have the most vivid and wild dreams. Enjoy them.
Weeks 12 To 14
You are now entering the second trimester. And with it, you may experience nasal congestion, round ligament pain, headaches, and an increased appetite. But what many people don’t tell you is that you will start getting your energy back and really start enjoying getting the nursery ready and be able to ‘live’ again, instead of laying on the couch eating and sleeping. Also, your sex drive may increase, a lot.
Weeks 16 To 18
You’ll notice your hair is thicker and shinier at this stage and your skin is glowing, which kind of makes up for the heartburn, swollen gums, backache, forgetfulness, sensitive eyes, itchy boobs and belly, swollen feet and hands, and shortness of breath that some moms-to-be experience. When it all becomes a bit much, just look at yourself in the mirror and see the pregnancy glow. You may also feel the baby kick for the first time.
Weeks 20 To 22
Well done, you’re halfway there. Suggestion: have a party with your partner. You deserve it because you might experience leg cramps, swelling, and vaginal discharge. Ask your partner to rub a good moisturiser on your belly to stop those stretch marks. And get out those virgin cocktails and clink to you. You deserve it.
Weeks 24 To 26
Braxton Hicks contractions might start at this stage, the third trimester. Don’t be alarmed. It’s your body preparing itself for birth. You also might notice that your gums are super sensitive and that they start to bleed when you floss, your ankles and feet might swell and that there might be a dark line, called the linea nigra, that runs up the centre of your belly.
Weeks 28 To 30
At this stage, you might find it difficult to find a comfy sleeping position and you might start ‘snissing’, mum-to-be slang for peeing a little when you sneeze. Haemorrhoids might appear and your boobs might start leaking baby’s first food. Remember: Breathe, you’ve got this.
Weeks 30 To 32
As baby grows, you might experience general discomfort in your body and your nails might become as tough as actual nails or become more brittle. The frequent urination is because your baby is using your bladder as a kick toy. And surprise, your nipples might become much darker. This is so that your baby can find them easier when feeding.
Weeks 34 To 36
That old friend fatigue is back and you might experience blurry vision and hip pain as baby keeps on growing. Good news: you’ll start being able to breathe more easily again because your baby is descending into your pelvis and therefore gives your lungs more room.
Weeks 38 To 40
Well done. You’re in the home stretch now. You might experience anxiety because of the birth and getting everything ready for your new arrival. You might also experience contractions and pelvic pressure as your body is preparing for birth.
It’s All Worth It
If any of the symptoms you experience do not feel right, consult your doctor to put your mind at ease. Pregnancy is no picnic and yet it is such a precious time in your life. When things get tough with all the physical and emotional changes you go through, just keep your eye on the fact that you are growing a human being inside you. A miracle in the making.