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Physical Changes During Pregnancy

Physical Changes During Pregnancy

A pregnant woman goes through three important periods of physical changes, the first trimester for the first 0-3 month of pregnancy, second trimester for the 4-6 months and the third trimester,which is also the last period of pregnancy for the 7-9 months. The health goal is to reduce the discomfort brought to pregnancy at different phases and supplement the nutrition needed for baby’s growth. The soon-to-be mom shall get prepared both physically and mentally and pay attention to control the the weight change in a reasonable range.

Physical Changes

Weight gain comes along the whole process of pregnancy. Total weight gain for pregnancy will vary from 11-13 kg. In the first three months(the first trimester), the weight gains slowly, approximately 1-2kg will be gained. In the second and third trimester, a pregnant woman may gain 5kg each period ,averagely 0.45kg each week. Some pregnant woman may gain over 1kg each month in the second trimester, but please take notice that the weight gain shouldn’t surpass 3kg each month.

The first trimester-0 to 3 months(0-12 weeks)

Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, a small amount of vaginal bleeding, easy to have a bowel movement, lethargy.

The nausea and vomiting appear because of the change of hormone level. A pregnant woman undergoes the most severe pregnancy reaction in the 5-12 weeks ,most likely in the morning and at night of the day. As dietary suggestion, you may eat less food each meal and take more meals to ensure the nutrition supply. Light food is preferable.Reject to take in too much oil and stimulating food kind. Also ,you should not drink soup soon as you finish other solid food. If you vomits more than ten times a day and experience weight loss and decreased urine outlet, consult a doctor for this condition.

Minor virginal bleeding is common in the first three months of pregnancy. Endometrial thickens and lead to flaking of some related tissue, causing bleeding. But if the bleeding is punctate or little brown secreta is produced, you may need to keep observing this condition. On the other hand, if the amount of bleeding is large or it even bleeds fresh bright blood, please consult a doctor.

In the early stages of pregnancy, it is also easy to have a bowel movement. The reason is the increase in the secretion of progesterone in the body and the increase in blood flow. Do not hold back urine or drink water during this period. In the early stage, due to the large amount of hormones secreted by the body, expectant mothers will feel particularly lethargic and tired. It is recommended to take more rest.

The second trimester-4 to 6 months (13-24 weeks)

Reaction: Increased secretion, constipation , dizziness, headache and pain in the waist.

In the second trimester, the secretion of progesterone increases, causing more secretions and leucorrhea; gastrointestinal motility also slows down due to the increase of progesterone, which promotes the absorption of water by the large intestine, so constipation may occur. Hormone due to increased prostaglandin secretion, causing local vasoconstriction, will make some mothers-to-be feel dizzy and headache. As the belly gets bigger in the cycle, the pressure on the lumbar spine of the mother-to-be will also become greater, making the waist muscles tense. During this period, it is recommended that the mother-to-be use more cushions to relieve the pressure.

The third trimester-7 to 10 months( 25-40 weeks)

Symptoms: abdominal hardening, breast softening, lactation, abdominal weight gain, edema

At this time, the weight continues increasing until confinement.The abdomen feels tense and the softened breasts may start lactation. The abdomen seems to expand as the baby grows. It’s easy for a expectant mom to have cramps in the leg and slight ankles swelling.

When the 33 week of pregnancy approaches, weight should increase by 10 kg to 13 kg. The fundus of the uterus will position at 12 to 13 cm above the navel. At the meantime, the gradual expansion of the uterus brings more discomfort, the expectant mother suffers from nausea, chest distress, palpitation, fatigue, dyspnea and other syndromes. But since the head of the baby descends, the discomfort will be improved then.After the 35 weeks, the baby descend and finally settle its position. The abdomen wall and endometrium are thin to a certain extent, the contour of the baby’s elbow, little feet and head clearly appear on the abdomen. Fatigue, sore back and Pelvic discomfort are the common syndromes.

Around 40 weeks, the cervix and vagina will become soft and ready for the baby to be born. At this stage, problems such as irregular labor pains and edema will become more obvious.

Psychological Change

The first trimester ( before 12 weeks)

The baby feels unreal, even if the pregnancy is in the plan, the pregnant woman still feels conflicted and emotional, happy and sad at the same time.

The second trimester(13-24 weeks)

The fetal movement makes the baby real.The mother will be surprised by the little response and accept the truth of pregnancy. The baby start to bond with the mother physically and mentally .A mother may carry out antenatal training ,spontaneously shifts focus to the baby and talk about the baby all the time.

The third trimester (25-40 weeks)

Inconvenience in mobility happenes due to the weight gain. The mother worries about the painful delivery and the risk.She prepare herself for the confinement.

Related: 4 Minerals Needed by Children and Pregnant Women


Health target and nutrition necessary

The weight change value for expectant mom is based on the standard weight.
(1)The standard weight of a woman:(Length -70)*0.6
(2)Lighter than standard: lower than 90% of standard weight
(3)Heavier than standard: higher than 135% of standard weight

1.The first trimester(1 to 3 months)
This is the differentiation period of fetal cells,baby doesn’t need much nutrition yet. Too much calorie absorption will only gain on weight.The weight gain should be controlled within 1-3kg. The suggested food for this period are green vegetables,fruit for the adequate supply of folic and Vitamin B group. The nutrition is sufficient from regular diet.

2.The second trimester-4 to 6months
The embryo develops so quickly and requires enough protein and calcium.The mother may enjoy a good appetite. Vomiting occurs less frequent.Some moms put on weight fast .The weight gain should seize attention and be control within 3-6kg.

3.The third trimester-7 to 9 months
In addition to the extra ingestion of iron, vitamin A supplement is recommended. The yellow kind of fruit and vegetables such as mango and squash are beneficial for the skin and bone growth of a baby. The recommended weight gain limit should be under 7kg.

Nutrition: Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin B group(B1、B2、B6、B12), Folic acid, calcium, iron and fiber
Health target : relieve the discomfort in pregnancy and build great nutrition foundation for the baby’s growth.
Food : Dark green vegetables, eggs, beans, salmon, sweet potatoes, whole grains, walnuts, yogurt, lean meat, vegetables of different colors

Pregnancy supplement

Webber Naturals – Vitamin D3 Drops 400IU | 15 ml
Jamieson – Folic Acid 1000 mcg

Michael Yeung
Author: Michael Yeung

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