Milestones and Tips for Each Trimester of Pregnancy - Baby Chick
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Milestones and Tips for Each Trimester of Pregnancy

Are you a first time mom ready to navigate the nine months of pregnancy? Here’s an inside look at each pregnancy trimester.

Updated June 26, 2024

Are you a first-time mom ready to navigate the nine months of pregnancy? Congratulations! This journey is unlike any other, full of excitement, nerves, and preparation . . . not to mention nausea, backaches, a growing belly, and so much more. While not all pregnancies are the same, many symptoms and emotions are.

Tips for Each Trimester of Pregnancy

Here’s an inside look at each pregnancy trimester for first-time mamas.

First Trimester

The first trimester is full of unknowns. When will my pregnancy symptoms kick in? What is my first sonogram experience going to be like? Will I start to show soon? How do I keep my pregnancy a secret? What do I need to buy in the first trimester? And the list goes on and on . . .

The good news is that you’re not alone in these feelings! All moms-to-be are going through these same thoughts and so many more. Do some research to give yourself the best understanding of what to expect throughout pregnancy. There are tons of great apps to help follow you through your pregnancy. Not only are they spot-on with symptoms and significant development milestones for baby, but they help you get excited and connect you to other mamas.

We can’t discuss the first trimester without discussing those early pregnancy symptoms. Yes, everyone’s favorite part of pregnancy: nausea, sore breasts, headaches, fatigue. And did I mention nausea? While not everyone’s experience is the same, some combination of these symptoms typically appears and has you looking forward to that 13-week mark.

Second Trimester

Speaking of the 13-week mark . . . welcome to the second trimester. Most women welcome this milestone with a growing bump and added energy! For many, your belly may be making its debut, and word of the baby’s arrival has been shared with friends, family, and possibly colleagues.

On that note, if you are a working mom-to-be, now is a good time to talk to your boss and start thinking through your plans for maternity leave. Yes, now. While it may seem far off, there’s a lot to get done before baby arrives — be sure that you know your company’s maternity leave policy, put some thought into how much time you plan to take off, and think through how your work will be managed while you are out.

So, what’s the best part about trimester number two? I found it to be the amount of growth that took place! Your baby is growing — a lot. As you near the end, they will be about 13 to 16 inches long and weigh around 2 to 3 pounds.1 This growth brings such a fun feeling — literally! Baby will be moving, kicking, and throwing a few jabs inside. This daily movement makes everything seem so real and exciting.

Speaking of growth now is a good time to invest in maternity clothing, from staple items such as a belly band or maternity leggings to cute things you can wear to your baby shower. There are plenty of options, and prices range from affordable maternity clothes to more expensive ones to get you through the remainder of your pregnancy.

What else can you expect in the second trimester? An anatomy scan! Around the 20-week mark, your doctor will order a sonogram to ensure that baby is healthy. Not only will you get to go home and decorate your refrigerator with baby’s sonogram photos, but, at this point, you can also find out the gender. Cue the tough decisions. Do you even want to find out the gender? Should you have a gender reveal party? And what will you name the baby?

Third Trimester

Once you enter the third trimester, one thing is sure: you cannot hide your pregnancy anymore — and you shouldn’t!

The third trimester often brings with it excitement paired with nervousness. Why? Because you are getting closer and closer to meeting your sweet baby. To help you prepare, consider signing up for classes, such as a labor and delivery class, newborn care class, or breastfeeding class. The more ready you feel, the more ready you will be!

Other ways that you can prepare for baby include the following:

During this time, don’t forget to utilize one of the best resources available: your OBGYN or midwife. As you get closer to your due date, the number of appointments you attend will increase. This ensures that both mom and baby are healthy, but it also allows you to ask as many questions as you need.

What else can you expect with trimester number three? The lovely return of some familiar symptoms, paired with a few new ones — backaches, soreness, insomnia, exhaustion, lightheadedness, heartburn, and so on. While this growing list may look intimidating, keep in mind you are almost to the finish line and every symptom will be worth it!

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Colleen is a wife and mom of two under two based in Kansas City. She has a passion for researching and writing about anything and everything pregnancy, parenting, and kiddos.… Read more

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