Guide for First Time Moms
By Patty Hone
on your pregnancy. You may have some questions about what to expect
during your pregnancy, what is happening with your developing baby,
and what you should be doing to prepare for childbirth. Here is
a quick guide for first time moms on what to expect during a typical
You will more than likely feel more tired. You may have some cramping
or PMS symptoms around the time of your expected period. You may
have problems with nausea, otherwise known as morning sickness.
One of your first symptoms might be frequent urination. This is
a common problem for many women during early pregnancy. Some women
do not gain weight during the first trimester but most women gain
about a pound a month during the first trimester.
By the end of your first trimester your baby will weigh about 1/2
ounce and measure about 3 inches long. You will be able to see your
baby's heartbeat via ultrasound by around your sixth week of pregnancy
and you might hear your babies heartbeat with a doppler by the time
you are nine to ten weeks along.
Visits: During your first visit you can expect to answer a lot of
questions about your medical history. Your doctor will usually do
a pap smear and may do other lab tests. If you know when your last
menstrual period was, your doctor will give you an estimated due
date. You will most likely go for appointments once a month through
your first trimester.
A lot of moms feel better during the second trimester. Morning sickness
may be subsiding. You may have a little more energy than you did
during your first trimester. You can expect to gain about a pound
a week during your second trimester. You will most likely start
showing in your second trimester, if you haven't already. Sometime
during the second trimester, you may start to feel your baby move.
Don't worry if you don't feel your baby right away. Many first time
moms don't feel their babies move until they are about 20 weeks
By the end of your second trimester your baby will weigh about 1
½ to 2 lbs and be around 13 inches long. Your baby is beginning
to look more like the person she will be when she is born. By the
end of the second trimester all of your baby's major organs are
Visits: When you are around 15 weeks pregnant you will probably
be asked if you would like to have a blood test (AFP screening)
done to screen for neural tube defects or down syndrome. You may
be given an ultrasound when you are around 18-24 weeks to check
for any anatomic abnormalities. Your doctor may be able to determine
your baby's gender during this ultrasound. You will most likely
continue to have appointments scheduled for once a month during
your second trimester.
You may start feeling more uncomfortable during your third trimester.
It may be difficult to get a good night's sleep. It is harder to
find a comfortable sleep position and you may be waking frequently
to use the bathroom. You will gain weight at a faster pace during
your last trimester. Expect to gain around a pound a week during
the last part of your pregnancy. Towards the end of your pregnancy,
as your cervix opens and your baby starts to descend, you may have
more pelvic pressure and vaginal discharge. You might also have
Braxton Hicks contractions. If you are in real labor your contractions
will become regular and get closer together.
Your baby may seem to move around less during the third trimester
as she runs out of room. At birth your baby weighs may weigh around
7 ½ lbs and about 20-22 inches long.
Visits: Your doctor will probably start seeing you every two weeks
once you are 30 weeks pregnant. Then around 37 or 38 weeks he will
start seeing you once a week. When you are around 37 or 38 weeks,
your doctor may start to check your cervix to see if you are dilating
or if your cervix is thinning out. Follow your doctor's protocol
on when to proceed to the hospital if you think you are in labor.
Patty Hone is a wife and mother to four kids. She is also the co-founder
of Justmommies.com. Justmommies
provides parenting and pregnancy information. Check out our day
by day pregnancy calendar http://www.justmommies.com/pregnancy_calendar
information presented on this site is intended solely as a general
educational aid, and is neither medical nor healthcare advice for
any individual problem, nor a substitute for medical or other professional
advice and services from a qualified healthcare provider familiar
with your unique circumstances. Always seek the advice of your physician
or other qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical
condition and before starting any new treatment.