What to Expect During Each Trimester of Pregnancy

What to Expect During Each Trimester of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of dramatic change. A fetus begins as a small cluster of cells, grows into a newborn baby in just nine months, and in the meantime, transforms your family and your life.

Whether you’re pregnant now or you’re thinking about the future, it’s normal to have questions about what pregnancy holds in store. Pregnancy covers three trimesters, with each trimester lasting just over 13 weeks.

Your trimesters are marked by exciting milestones, and our team at OB/GYN Specialists in Denton, Texas, is with you every step of the way. Daniel McDonald, MD, and Marc Wilson, MD, provide comprehensive prenatal care, and today we’re taking a closer look at what you can expect during each trimester of pregnancy.

Your first trimester

The first trimester of pregnancy starts on the first day of your last menstrual period. While you’re not pregnant at that point, it’s the date you use to track your pregnancy as it progresses.

Conception occurs when sperm fertilizes an egg, and it can take up to two weeks before the fertilized egg implants in your uterus. Pregnancy tests may not be accurate in the early days, but your body is already experiencing change.

In fact, your baby’s organs start developing in week 4. Their heart starts beating around week 5, and their arms, legs, and facial features start developing in week 6.

Early signs of pregnancy include:

Most women confirm their pregnancies around week 8 or 9. If you’ve missed a period or you think you might be pregnant, contact our office to schedule a pregnancy test.

At your first prenatal appointment, we estimate your due date. Your due date is roughly 40 weeks after the first day of your last period, but it’s important to note that few women actually give birth on their due dates.

Your second trimester

The second trimester begins at week 14 and continues through week 26. Your risk of miscarriage drops significantly in your second trimester, and any symptoms from your first trimester typically improve. 

You continue to attend regular prenatal appointments, and your baby is still developing rapidly.

You may be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time early in your second trimester. At your mid-pregnancy ultrasound between weeks 16-20, our team might ask you if you want to find out if you’re having a boy or a girl.

In the second trimester, you can expect to start feeling your baby move and kick. They grow to be about one pound and up to a foot long by week 24, and may even start making facial expressions or sucking their thumb during this time.

Your third trimester

The third trimester starts in week 27 and ends when your baby is born. Your prenatal appointments get more frequent in your last trimester, as our team monitors your baby’s growth and helps you prepare for birth.

Your baby gets bigger, and starts developing features like hair, fingernails, toenails, and eyelashes. You may develop symptoms of late-stage pregnancy, like:

Your pregnancy is considered full term at week 38. Remember that it’s unlikely your baby will be born on their original due date, so be prepared to give birth any time during weeks 38-42. If your pregnancy continues into week 42, our team may recommend intervention to reduce your risk of complications.

From conception to birth, find answers to all of your pregnancy questions at OB/GYN Specialists. Book an appointment with Dr. McDonald, Dr. Wilson, and our caring team to get started.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Sleep Loss and Infertility: How Are They Linked?

If getting pregnant is harder than you thought it would be, your sleep habits could be to blame. Chronic sleep loss interferes with your body’s hormone levels — and hormonal imbalance could be the cause of your infertility. Learn more here.

4 Potential Causes of Bleeding Between Your Periods

Vaginal bleeding during your period is normal. But what does it mean when you notice bleeding in the middle of your cycle? Learn more about the possible causes of bleeding or spotting between periods and when to go to the doctor.

Why You Should Avoid Fad Diets During Pregnancy

Most women dread gaining weight during pregnancy. While fad diets can be tempting, those trendy food plans could leave you and your baby with nutrient deficiencies. Learn why dieting is bad when you’re pregnant and what to do instead.

I Feel Like My Hormones Are Out of Whack

Hormones are crucial chemical messengers in your body. And when they’re out of whack, you’re left feeling less than your best. Learn the telltale symptoms of hormonal imbalance and determine if hormone optimization is right for you.

What's in Your Customized Fertility Plan?

Are you struggling to get pregnant? You don’t have to navigate the challenges alone. Find out what a customized fertility plan includes from an OB/GYN team that puts your needs and preferences at the forefront.

Here's What May Be Causing Your Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is common among women of all ages. And if you’re suffering, it’s important to determine the cause so you can start finding relief. Learn more about the most common gynecologic conditions responsible for pelvic pain.