From the time you find out you are pregnant until the day the baby arrives is a time filled with changes and preparations.  Here is a (short) list of must-know highlights of what to expect!

The first trimester  (Months 1-3)

Month 1  (weeks 1-4)
  • Your body will begin to change from day 1 starting with breast tenderness, possible light spotting, cramping, fatigue, food cravings, and many emotions! You won’t look pregnant but it might be the only thing you can think about!
  • Now it’s time to avoid alcohol, deli meats, uncured meats (as may contain listeria), uncooked or raw fish and meat (yes, that means sushi that can cause toxoplasmosis), smoked fish (listeria, see above), raw eggs (salmonella), soft cheeses (brie, Camembert, Roquefort, feta, Gorgonzola as these may contain listeria) and wash all fruits and vegetables (again, toxoplasmosis).
  • Look for pasteurized cheeses, milk products and juice.  Fresh juice can be unpasteurized so look at the label.
  • Limit caffeine to less than 200 mg a day.  Generally one coffee per day is fine.
  • Take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid.  Folic acid helps to prevent neural tube defects.
  • If you aren’t exercising, now is the time to start.  Begin with walks or light workouts.
  • Think about how much stress you experience and then reduce it!
  • Log in some extra sleep!  It’s hard work growing a baby!
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Month 2  (weeks 5-8)
  • Again, breast tenderness, possible light spotting, cramping, fatigue, food cravings, and many emotions!
  • Your breasts may start to enlarge at this time.
  • See the food list above and memorize it!
  • You might start to feel more bloated.
  • Nausea might start to kick in.
Month 3  (weeks 9-13)
  • You could be feeling a bit more dizzy or light headed now.  Be sure to take it easy and sit down if you feel this way.
  • Your appetite may be increasing!  Or decreasing if you are having nausea or “morning sickness” that can last all day. Try pressing on the insides of your wrists if you feel nauseous or use motion sickness bands.
  • Constipation.  Use fiber.  ‘Nuff said.
  • Headaches are common.  There are so many changes in your body taking place!
  • You might be getting used to the fact that you are pregnant!

Follow your growing baby with this fascinating week-by-week picture timeline!
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The second trimester  (Months 4-6)

During the second trimester you’ll most likely have the most energy but, everyone is different.  Now you’ll start to look pregnant and really start to feel pregnant too!  But you still may be wearing your normal clothes; they are just getting a bit tight!

Month 4  (weeks 14-17)
  • Swelling of the ankles, feet, hands and face are common.
  • Nasal congestion is also quite common.
  • You still might experience some nausea and dizziness.
  • Headaches, indigestion, farts, and bloating are all part of the joys of pregnancy!
  • Bleeding gums might occur when brushing your teeth, it’s ok.
  • Same with occasional nose bleeds.  This is due to the increased blood flow in your body.  It’s also the cause of the pregnancy glow you have!
  • You could be having a swing of happiness and then sadness all within a few minutes.  You aren’t going crazy, those are just your hormones going crazy.
  • Everything in regards to eating, exercise, stress, caffeine, and sleep all still apply.
  • Your baby is the size of a small apple!  Its lungs are breathing amniotic fluid, blood is pumping through its circulatory system, and the kidneys are filtering urine.

Follow your baby’s growth with these cool week-by-week pictures!
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Month 5 (weeks 18-21)
  • Your body is continuing to grow and things pretty much stay the same other than an increased appetite. Watch that you don’t start “eating for two.”  Most women only need to increase  their calorie intake by 300-500 calories.  Maintain a healthy diet with some indulgences, of course!  Keeping a healthy weight is important for you and baby in regards to diabetes, blood pressure, and overall health.
  • You may experience backaches and trying to find a comfortable sleeping position.  A body pillow is a good support option.  Try to sleep on your left side as it helps circulation.
  • You may experience your eyes becoming blurry.  This typically goes away after the baby is born.
  • When wearing a seat belt, be sure the belt is across your lap and not over your belly.  For a shoulder harness, be sure the belt is between the breasts and at the top of the belly.
  • Changes in your baby include tiny tooth buds that are popping up in your baby’s mouth!
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Month 6 (weeks 22-26)
  • Drink lots of water to keep up with the increased blood volume in your body, process nutrients, develop new cells, and regulate body temperature.
  • If you have swelling in your legs, be sure to elevate them as much as possible when sitting.
  • All rules in regards to eating and exercise still apply!
  • You might only be able to fit through tight spaces walking forward instead of sideways now, if you haven’t already reached this point!
  • Talk with your partner about how life will change.  Share excitement and worries about the changes ahead.
  • Move that mama body!  Exercise helps prepare your body for birth, reduce stress, and keep those happy hormones flowing!
  • If you haven’t already, you might be feeling the baby or babies moving!
  • You might experience aches in your lower back and abdomen from your ligaments stretching and losing in preparation for birth.
  • Inside your belly your baby’s eyes are able to open and fingers and toes have prints on them!
  • Eating too much in general and before bedtime can increase heartburn.  Have five or six small meals during the day to help reduce heartburn.
  • Start looking into attending a birthing class or types of birth methods now!
  • Don’t forget to take some time with your partner!  Go to dinner or  take a short baby-moon trip!  Some airlines allow women to fly up to 36 weeks but others may restrict travel at 28 weeks.
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The third trimester  (Months 7-9)

Month 7 (weeks 27-30)
  • Congrats!  You are in the home stretch!
  • You’re probably feeling quite pregnant now with cramps, swelling, shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping, backache, nasal congestion, clumsiness, constipation, headaches, and indigestion.  Sounds awesome, huh?!
  • But it’s all worth it because inside of you is a beautiful baby who is becoming more aware of light, sound, and touch!
  • Watch your step as your balance may be off a bit.  Your center of gravity is much different now so take it a little slower!
  • Remember to work on any breathing techniques you plan to use during birth.
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Month 8 (weeks 31-35)
  • The final stretch!  So close but so far away still!
  • Rest, rest, and get more rest.  Take this time to get a facial, massage, or extra sleep.  Trust me and a billion other mom’s when we say to just do it!  You are busy but taking care of yourself is extremely important right now.
  • Your baby and uterus fills most of your torso right now.  Your size may be completely different that other mom who is 8 months pregnant.  Don’t compare as each person and pregnancy is different!
  • Swelling and pain in your wrists (carpal tunnel syndrome) is very common.  Try not to cross your legs (if you can still)! The extra fluid in your body causes pressure on nerves which results in tingling sensations in your body.
  • Your baby can hear distinct sounds now so say hi often!
  • You’ll continue to put on weight but by this point it will be more because the baby is gaining weight and preparing for birth.
  • Continue to eat an extra 300-500 calories and drink plenty of water.
Month 9 (weeks 36-40+)
  • This is it, the final weeks!  It can feel like an eternity at this point so do your best to get outside for walks, hit the gym if you can, put your feet up, read a book, or watch some movies!  You won’t be doing these things for a while after the baby is born!
  • Your baby may start to feel as if it’s getting lower in your abdomen.  This is due to your baby dropping lower into the birth canal as it prepares for entering the world soon!
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions are very common and your belly may tighten for 30 seconds and then relax.  Your muscles are preparing your birth too!
  • If you haven’t thought about how to contact your partner when the time comes, then you might want to consider having a plan in place…..just a thought……
  • Get all final preparations done, such as washing baby’s clothes, washing sheets, stocking up on diapers, preparing some meals to put in the freezer, and having plenty of clean clothes for you too!
  • Your baby has toe and finger nails now and her reflexes are developed to be able to blink, grasp an object and respond to sound and lights!
  • Although it’s difficult, try hard to not count the minutes and seconds during this time.  Meet with friends and chat with other moms-to-be to take your mind off of your due date!
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What’s next!

Now is the time to prepare yourself for the first several weeks with your newborn.  A Happy Sleep Plan will give you the knowledge to get you and your baby sleeping and feeling great in no time!  A Happy Sleep Plan includes:

  • 90 minute consult to explain sleep cycles, stages, routines, and answer questions
  • Ideal routine for your newborn
  • Four follow-up e-mails, no expiration
  • Happy Sleep group on Facebook for parents

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