There are particularly dramatic changes in hormone production in early pregnancy, which is why the first signs of pregnancy are similar to typical menstrual pains: you may feel tired and have mood swings and your breasts and abdomen may feel swollen and ache. A reliable test result can only be obtained after a missed period. From the fifth week of pregnancy, the body produces the "pregnancy hormone" hCG, which can be detected in a pregnancy test.
The first three months of pregnancy are considered the most critical. This is because it is during this period that all of the organs and the entire nervous system develops. By the time the fertilised egg attaches to the uterus, the sex of the baby has already been determined. Between the fourth and eighth weeks of pregnancy, the foetus's neck and head develop, as do its arms and legs, the internal organs, the brain and the nervous system. By the end of the first trimester, fingers, toes, eyes, ears and nose are fully developed. At the same time, the muscles and nervous system have developed to the point where the foetus can make movements in the womb.
Typical signs in the first trimester:
Constipation: Due to the increased production of the hormone progesterone in the ovaries, metabolism is affected, and many women feel tired and become constipated.
Nausea: The notorious pregnancy sickness, triggered by the increased level of hCG in the blood, usually starts in the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy
Dizziness: Due to the greatly increased production of blood for the placenta and foetus
Mood swings: As a result of the hormonal change
Sensitivity to certain smells
In the fourth month of pregnancy, the unpleasant symptoms of the first months diminish. All the foetal systems are complete, and now it's all about the "detail work": metabolic function develops, as do sucking and swallowing reflexes and respiratory movements. The baby is very active in the womb, exercising its muscles and nervous system. Likewise, heart sounds are clearly heard during the examination. At the end of the fifth month of pregnancy, the sex can usually be determined with an ultrasound scan. Now begins a phase of further development of the foetus's movements and perceptive abilities.
Typical signs in the second trimester:
Belly becomes rounder, breasts grow noticeably
The baby's movements can be felt for the first time. Some women feel a "bubbling" sensation between weeks 16 and 18 of pregnancy, but most first-time pregnant women don't feel the "kick" until around weeks 20-22 or later.
Increased urgency to urinate as the growing uterus presses on the bladder
Heartburn, caused by the growing uterus pressing on the stomach
Possible production of colostrum, which is triggered by the increased prolactin level
The third trimester - Weeks 28-40+
In the seventh month of pregnancy, the foetus opens its eyes and nostrils. The immune system and bronchi begin to work independently - including breathing amniotic fluid in and out for “practice”. Thanks to modern medicine, the foetus would have a good chance of surviving a premature birth. From the eighth month of pregnancy, it is mainly the protective fat layer that continues to develop and the foetus gains about 250g a week. As the space in the womb becomes smaller, the foetus assumes the typical foetal position with arms folded in front of the body.
Typical signs in the third trimester:
Stomach and breasts continue to grow noticeably.
Increased urge to urinate as the growing uterus presses on the bladder
Back pain, mostly due to the extra weight
The first contractions come