Congratulations on entering your 3rd month (Week 9 – Week 12). Even though you feel pregnant, you still may not show it. Despite the growing waistline and bra size! Your first trimester symptoms are in full force, as in week 8. Your mood swings are more frequent now – you juggle your thoughts from feeling thrilled to being terrified about becoming a parent. Be easy on yourself. In most women, moodiness flares at around 6 to 10 weeks, then goes down in the second trimester, and again shows up towards the end of their pregnancy.
So what can you expect in this month?
- Nausea and vomiting
- Frequent urination
- Heartburn or constipation
- Food aversion or cravings
- Increased hunger
- Indigestion and bloating
- Breast tenderness
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Excessive saliva
Development of the baby
The fetus is now measured from the top of the head to the buttocks. It is called crown-rump length, which will be around 2-3 inches by the end of this month. Webbing in fingers and toes disappear, while sweat glands start appearing. Skin and fingernail grow, while bones begin to harden. The external sex organs begin to appear and the baby starts spontaneous movements. Eyelids are still fused together. The umbilical cord connects the fetus to the placenta and uterine wall.
If you have not gone for the first prenatal visit, you should try to do it as soon as possible. Your first prenatal visit should ideally be before 10 weeks of pregnancy. During the visit, doctor will
- Record your vitals including weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure
- Record the last menstrual cycle date to work out expected due date
- Recommend healthy diet and lifestyle
- Schedule tests, scans and further visits
- Do a vaginal examination to check for vagina and cervix
- Check the shape and size of pelvis
So, what should you be doing in this month?
- Exercise – get yourself moving! This benefits you in two ways- it prepares you to carry your baby for the coming weeks (by toning and building endurance) and helps you to lose your weight post-delivery. Walking, swimming and yoga are some recommendations – after getting an approval from your doctor/gynecologist. You may find some interesting moves here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LT2eD8YPXM
- Your constipation is caused by hormonal changes. The increase in progesterone causes slow digestion leading to constipation. So, try having high-fiber diets and eat and drink water at timely intervals. Not to forget, any supplements prescribed by your doctor/gynecologist should be taken regularly
- Heartburn can be reduced to an extent by avoiding junk food and eating small meals. Also, drinking water in between meals can help in improving the situation. If the heartburn makes you feel very uncomfortable, an antacid can be taken as prescribed by your doctor/gynecologist
- If your suffering from excessive morning sickness, please speak to your doctor and find out a solution for it. A condition, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, which is most frequently seen in the first trimester (often around 8–12 weeks of gestation), should be ruled out.
- You may start noticing some weight gain and some itchiness around your stomach and breasts. And a dark line on your belly is known as “linea nigra” may also be seen. All these symptoms are perfectly normal!
- Be stress-free – meditate or listen to soothing music. Try to keep the drama to a minimal in your life and focus on positive thoughts.
- Be wary of contracting urinary tract infections (UTI’s). This happens due to the increased progesterone levels.
- The birth canal can also be infected by yeast infections (candida infections) which may cause “thrush” in your baby’s mouth during delivery (if not treated by then).
- The birth canal may also have bacterial infections known as bacterial vaginosis which may lead to pre-term labor.
- Keep nourishing and hydrating yourself at regular intervals. Try not to forget to take your supplements.
- Continue charting your progress. Any doubts or clarification that you have can be discussed with your spouse and doctor.