Pregnancy can be an amazing (and strange) time. Making a baby is hard work – there are so many hormones and changes happening inside your body at any given moment. Some women experience a whole array of symptoms and some may not experience any. However, here are some of the most common pregnancy symptoms that might arise, trimester by trimester.
Common Pregnancy Symptoms By Trimester
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms
During the first trimester, your body goes through an impressive amount of changes in a short period of time. Common pregnancy symptoms during this time can include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Tender, swollen breasts
- Upset stomach
- Nausea in the morning
- Cravings or distaste for certain foods
- Mood swings
- Frequent urination
- Weight gain or loss
While doctors aren’t quite sure what causes symptoms such as nausea and vomiting in the first trimester, it’s thought to be caused by the body’s reaction to the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is produced at higher levels during the first trimester than at any other time during pregnancy. Regardless, nausea and vomiting are very common pregnancy symptoms.
Note, if you experience excessive vomiting and an inability to keep food or water down, you need to see your doctor. There is a rare form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum that a few women experience. Sometimes hospitalization to replenish liquids is required for the health of you and your baby.
Second Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms
Many women report fewer pregnancy symptoms in the second trimester, however, this varies from individual to individual. As more noticeable changes are happening to your body in the second trimester, you may also experience:
- Body aches
- Back, abdomen, groin, or thigh pain
- Stretch marks on your abdomen, breasts, thighs, or buttocks
- Darkening of the skin around the nipples
- Patches of darker skin, usually over the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lip.
- Numb or tingling hands, called carpal tunnel syndrome
- Itching on the abdomen, palms, and soles of the feet.
- Swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face
Another common pregnancy symptom during the second trimester is sensitivity to smell. Sometimes, pregnant women might find they have a heightened sense of smell and can’t handle scents that they used to find pleasant. Your favorite hairspray may now make you gag or a certain food can smell incredibly amazing and cause a craving. There are some theories as to why this happens.
“The plasma volume (blood flow) in your body increases by up to 50 percent in pregnancy, so anything moving from your blood to your brain reaches it faster and in larger quantities. This heightens your responses and some experts think that’s why you react more strongly to smells,” says midwifery teacher Denyse Kirkby, author of My Mini Midwife. “Your olfactory centres – the receptors that pick up smells – may also be affected by this increased flow.”
Whatever the reason, sensitivity to smells definitely makes this list of the most common pregnancy symptoms.
Third Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms
The third trimester is truly the home stretch! While you may continue some of the same pregnancy symptoms you had during the first and second trimesters, you may also develop some new ones such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face.
- Tender breasts, that may leak a watery pre-milk called colostrum
- Trouble sleeping
- The baby “dropping”, or moving lower in your abdomen
- Contractions, which can be a sign of real or false labor
You may experience these symptoms – or you may not.
Don’t forget – every single pregnancy is different, especially trimester by trimester. Some women have one or two symptoms, some women have all of them, and some experience none. Either way, symptoms don’t express the health of your pregnancy or your baby. Some women are nauseous their whole pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby – other women never feel a thing and still give birth to healthy babies. The most important thing you can do is to go to your doctor and get regular checkups.
Are you looking for an OB/Gyn you can trust? Do you live in the Tucson area? Book an appointment today!