Pregnancy – Different Phases And What To Expect In Each One Of Them

Pregnancy – Different Phases And What To Expect In Each One Of Them

Barkha Chawla

Pregnancy as they say is a phase in a woman’s life that brings most of the changes in their body. The feeling of growing another human is pretty amazing and makes you look at life from a divergent angle. The most obvious change that happens during your pregnancy term is physical – You gain weight which changes your whole appearance. Approximately you put on around 5-18 Kgs by the end of your pregnancy depending on your pre-pregnancy weight and other factors.


Along with physical, there are a lot of other changes which can differ from one woman to another. It could also be different for the same woman from one pregnancy to another. Some changes and symptoms last throughout your pregnancy and some ease away within a few weeks. Symptoms can be different from one woman to another. It’s a very unique, experiential journey for each individual.


A full-term pregnancy usually lasts for 40 weeks and is roughly divided in 3 terms – the three trimesters which consists of 12-13 weeks each. Each trimester comes with a different set of changes happening in the mom’s body and major changes for the fetus.

Approximately after 2weeks of your period, ovulation takes place and it’s your most fertile period. Unprotected intercourse during this period can lead to a successful pregnancy.

The sex of the embryo is decided at the time of conception itself, depending on the chromosome that the female egg accepted from the male sperm. Post it the fertilized embryo attaches itself to the uterus and a pregnancy takes place.


Once you miss your period and take a pregnancy test, you can get to know for sure if you’re pregnant. Depending on the dates of your last period, the doctor will tell you the age of the fetus. Usually, most women get to know that they are pregnant around the 5-6th week of the first trimester.


First Trimester (1-12 weeks)

This is the phase where one experiences most of the changes. There are major hormonal changes and it elevates all your senses. During this period there are not many changes visible on the outside of the body but there are big changes happening within the body.

High production of hCG hormone is the first change which is the reason your home pregnancy kit comes back positive. The same hormone combined with the Estrogen hormone causes morning sickness which consists of nausea and vomiting. Morning sickness can happen throughout the day and not just in the morning.


Usually in the early weeks, one feels very tired and sleepy and that happens because of the high production of the Progesterone hormone.

The other symptoms mostly include tender breasts; the color of the areolas might darken. You usually might even experience constipation, bloating, and gas. A high heart is also a common symptom.

Apart from physical changes, a pregnant woman will experience a rollercoaster of psychological changes too – mood swings are very common, from feeling weepy one moment to bursting out laughing. The whole pregnancy is laced with emotions like anxiety and excitement.


As far as the growth of the embryo is concerned, this trimester will be the first time you get to hear the heartbeat of your little one! It’s the most surreal feeling, almost like something celestial!

The first trimester is also the time when most miscarriages happen and are usually due to any developmental defects. Sometimes the reason for a miscarriage cannot be pointed out. The risk of a miscarriage drops significantly after 12 weeks and you can then tell everyone that you are pregnant.

Second Trimester (13-27weeks)

The second trimester is easier the morning sickness starts to subside and you start feeling better. Your sleep pattern will start to get better and you will see a rise in your energy levels too.

You might start feeling a little pressure on your pelvic because of the constant growing size of the fetus.


Your belly might start growing now and because of the stretch of the skin on the tummy, you might start feeling itchy, it’s advised to use your fingers while itching and not your nails. You should try to be physically active throughout your pregnancy it eases back pain, water retention, swollen feet, and aids in a vaginal birth.

During this time, you would feel your baby kicking and move inside your tummy! Some women also experience baby hiccups. The 20th week marks your halfway journey of pregnancy. You should plan your baby-moon in this trimester as it's easier with the symptoms and you don’t tend to feel very tired.


In this trimester your baby’s hair starts growing and eyes are developed, in fact, your little one can even open their eyes. They start responding to external stimuli, like when you eat something sweet or drink a cold juice, you would feel the baby move inside. Your baby might even kick when you place your hand on the belly!

Third Trimester (28-40 weeks)

This trimester will be the last leg of your pregnancy journey. You will feel heavier as your baby starts getting bigger and bigger. You will feel tired and your ankle, face, hands, and legs will start swelling and you might have fluid retention.

Your urination will become more frequent due to the pressure on the uterus. Your body will grow considerably and your gait will change because of it. You might start getting stretch marks and you should use a good hydrating lotion to soothe your itchy skin.


Some women also experience leaking breasts, where your body starts producing milk to begin the breastfeeding journey. This milk is usually yellow in color and is called colostrum.

Your baby will start dropping lower in your tummy to start the process of delivery, some women experience false labor during this time, called Braxton-Hicks. Around 36 weeks your maternal instincts will push you to the nesting stage, where you would want to have the nursery in place and keep everything ready before the grand arrival of your little one in this world. During the last weeks of your pregnancy, your sleep starts getting disrupted and you might not find a comfortable sleeping position. If you are planning on getting a pregnancy shoot done, you should consider doing it around 34-35thweek, as your energy levels are still not very low.


As far as the baby is concerned, your baby might start responding when you flash a light on your tummy and you play some loud music. During the last weeks, your fetus will start packing more weight and could put on 1kg a week!

The baby will get in a head-down position in the last weeks to get ready and get in the birth canal for delivery.

It is advised to make your birth plan and discuss it with your healthcare provider in detail so that you have a smooth delivery experience. You should keep a postpartum health care plan too to avoid any possible complications.

A Partner And Pregnant Woman Cradling The Baby Bump by George Rudy |
A Partner And Pregnant Woman Cradling The Baby Bump

Did you experience any unique symptoms in your pregnancy? Did you crave any specific food? Do let us know in the comments.

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