So we usually hear a lot about the word trimester and being in different trimesters of pregnancy, but have we really thought about what is literal meaning of word trimester and what a mother undergoes during those stages. A BIG NO! but as a mother to be it is really important for her to educate herself regarding this, so she could take some appropriate steps according to that as well as enjoy her pregnancy along with some mysterious facts which God has bestowed humanity with. So let’s come to the real mysteries going inside a mother’s womb.
Now, to begin with, it is mandatory to know what actually is a trimester, like what is it literal meaning. TRIMESTER means those consecutive “3 months” in which whole “9 months” of pregnancy is divided. Different developmental & hormonal changes occur in these three months. So first we should know about exact division of 9 months (40 Weeks)
Phases of Pregnancy
- First Trimester (1-12 weeks)
- Second Trimester (13-26 weeks)
- Third Trimester (27-end of pregnancy)
First Trimester (1-12 weeks)
In the first trimester, mother’s body is getting ready to accept the changes she has to go through all 9 months. Her hormonal levels varies due to the acceptance of sperm by the uterus. Basically what happens is, after intercourse between husband & wife, the sperm takes some time to reach the egg. Once a sperm enters the ova, chemical released by the surrounding spaces of egg does not allow any other sperm to penetrate the walls of egg otherwise it results in birth defects. Then sperm fuses with egg in Ampulla of uterus, which is a site of fertilization. After formation of mature egg, At about 6th day after fertilization the egg implants in the layer of uterus and baby’s growth starts. Baby continue to grow where three layer develops which can be differentiated into any of the body organ like stomach, brain, heart. Another important feature which develops is neural tube which forms baby’s central nervous system. So slowly and progressively limbs, muscle develops and the first system to complete its development is cardiovascular system. Yolk sac takes the responsibility of blood formation at 5th week which is later took over by liver in 6th week. Heart beat can be first listened at 21st day, which surely is the most beautiful experience and yeah what a feeling!
Meanwhile, mother also go through serious changes, her hormones keep switching throughout which is a consequence of visible nausea and vomiting, sickness and dullness, she becomes sensitive to sense of smell. Usually a mother got to know about her pregnancy one month later after she get pregnant, it is when she finds out that she missed her regular menses. She consults her doctor and doctor carries out urine test checking HCG hormonal level which confirms pregnancy. This HCG (HUMAN CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN) which is released by cells surrounding embryoblast initially is a cause of vomiting in early 2,3 months. Later on placenta take over the responsibility of producing HCG & ultimately vomiting stops. So a mother should eat some healthy stuff to undergo this tough period.
Second Trimester (13-26 weeks)
So usually in second trimester different organs of the baby are getting ready over the foundation which has been built in first 3 months. This is really a delicate period which requires some care but it is far less delicate than the first trimester for baby as he is getting stable now. So in about 15 weeks intestine of the baby becomes folded and gastrointestinal system is modified also the genetilia of the baby is fully developed in around 13th week so gender can be identified by 15th week. Around 18th week baby first time moves inside womb which is called a process of QUICKENING. If this doesn’t occur than serious pathological issues can occur for example: immobility of joints in baby. Baby also opens his eyes inside womb observing all his mother’s services for him and this happens in 26th week when eye pits are opened. Your baby is now covered by fine soft hairs, Finger nails and eye lashes also develop in this era.
So usually mothers find this period lot more relaxing then the previous trimester because intensity of vomiting gets down. But serious back aches and vertebrae pain can happen in this period as your baby is growing in size and he needs space so your uterus is getting hypertrophied which means increase in size of an organ. Your stomach reaches the level of your naval and a line is usually seen from naval till hairline of vagina. Laying down on your stomach can be really uncomfortable in this period. Your breast is also enlarged due to milk producing hormone that is Prolactin. Mother should take rest but still be active to feel fresh and should acquire the positive mind set from the environment as it leaves a good impact on the upcoming dearest little creature.
Third Trimester (27 – End of pregnancy)
Now you have entered a phase which could be really challenging. Your baby is growing and growing, his movements are with full force and you can feel wiggles inside your body. The lungs are still not developed but respiratory motion is being practiced. Baby’s hair starts to fall off plus foot and finger prints almost appeared. All the organs are taking its final shape. Bones also become fully developed
with red bone marrow inside which takeover the process of blood cell formation from spleen and liver, baby is continuously increasing in size and your baby womb reaches the level of lower ribcage. Now you can communicate with your baby as his sense of hearing, watching, manipulating are built. Fat and mass of the baby also increases to ensure good health condition. After 36th week in normal cases, your baby is ready to be a part of this world.
Mothers face some resting and sleeping issues in this trimester, you can undergo shortness of breath or sometimes your heart beats really faster to compensate the level of oxygen to be baby. Your face, arms are usually swelled but in case of extreme swelling you should consult your doctor as it is a sign of serious liver disease, your breast has darkened pigments around areolae, Pain is usually radiating throughout your body. your nerves could be compressed sometimes causing numbness and tingling of the arm. You might feel itching sensation in your abdomen, that is normal but in case of extreme itching and blisters throughout your body, you should consult the doctor. your cervix is dilated in this period so at the time of labor, passage of vagina can be expanded enough to let the baby come.
Usually the sign of water broke is alarming which occurs due to break in Amniochorionic membrane and Amniotic fluid gets leaked. Ultimately rush to hospital then but with peace, calmness and positive energy. Try to be less stressed during all 9 months, as with positive mind set you can conquer the world. Welcome the upcoming baby wholeheartedly.
Best wishes xoxo…!!!
Author: Dr. Akasha Shoaib (MBBS)