You never forget the moment you see the two pink lines on a pregnancy test confirming that your life is about to change. Whether it’s your first or your sixth baby, your body is going to go through 40 weeks of change to accommodate the little one growing and developing inside of you.
During these 40 or so weeks, you may feel discomfort and unfamiliar twinges that can you questioning what is normal and what is not, even when you’ve been pregnant before. Should you call your obstetrician, or just “wait and see”? Dr. Garritano and Christina are here to help you decide.
Each trimester brings about something new as the baby grows and it usually means that your body is doing what it needs to do to support the baby’s development. Dr. Garritano stresses that if you are ever in doubt, call your obstetrician immediately.
1st Trimester – The first 12 Weeks
Your hormones are in full swing as they ramp up production for your body to support a healthy pregnancy, bringing all kinds of changes.
You may feel gentle cramping from increased gas and constipation. This could be accompanied by heartburn and nausea. Your hormones are slowing down your rate of digestion and relaxing muscles in your bowels. You will also have increased blood flow that may cause cramping.
2nd Trimester – Weeks 13 to 27
This is arguably the most comfortable trimester of the three. The symptoms you experienced during the first trimester will wane and overall, you should likely feel more energetic and better able to get through the day.
This is also when your belly will grow to accommodate your growing baby. As your uterus begins to stretch, you may feel discomfort in your abdominal region or experience round ligament pain. This may feel like a spasm on your right side. This should disappear within a few minutes, but may return sporadically.
3rd Trimester – 28 Weeks to Birth
Your growing baby is taking up more room every day now and your organs are moving around to accommodate them. You can expect to continue the discomfort from second trimester in addition to:
- Swollen legs and ankles due to increase blood flow
- A return of heartburn and constipation
You may also feel out of breath doing normal activities like climbing stairs, as your lungs don’t have the space to fully expand right now. Expect to be more tired as you require more rest – your body is working overtime to develop and nourish your baby.
When to Call Us or Go to the Emergency Room
At any point in your pregnancy, call your obstetrician if you experience:
- pains or cramps that are more than just uncomfortable
- spotting or bleeding
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath that does not improve or worsens even with rest
Go to your nearest emergency room if you are experiencing:
- severe pain and bleeding
- flu-like symptoms, such as high fever or chills, dizziness or nausea
- severe pressure in your pelvis or vagina
Although most discomfort during pregnancy is a normal side effect of increased hormone production and muscles, organs and ligaments being stretched and compressed, if you are ever unsure of what you are feeling, call your obstetrician to discuss your symptoms. You can talk it through and decide next steps together. Your concerns are always valid and questions should always be asked to ensure you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.