What is it like?
You passed the first third of your pregnancy, so congratulations! The third month is often a time of increased confidence. You’ll get your first ultrasound, called the dating ultrasound, at 10 to 16 weeks. This is a special time; a moment that many say is one of the most magical of the whole pregnancy. The baby’s head, limbs, hands and feet, and some organs can be seen. You can listen to the heartbeat too. In some cases it is possible to determine the sex of the child, although many parents prefer it to be a surprise with the birth.
Your baby’s growth
- Body and head
Your baby’s body becomes more balanced. The head is still quite big in relation to the body but it begins to take a round shape. His or her face features become more evident and detailed. The brain develops further, adding an additional 250,000 neurons per minute. Incredible, isn’t it?
- Eyes and face
Eyes and ears begin to take shape although their full development will take months yet. The eyes are initially located on the sides of the baby’s face and will move towards the center, where they should be. The eyelids are almost fully formed, protecting your baby’s eyes. The contour of the lips appear and the salivary glands and vocal cords begin to form.
Muscles begin to respond to the incoming nerve impulses from the brain. The fetus’ brain however is not yet sufficiently developed to fully coordinate the movements. Reflex movements begin to appear such as moving arms and legs, and grimacing.
- Internal organs
The heart of your baby is almost fully developed. It beats with its own rhythm, different from the one of the mother’s heart. The liver begins to function, eliminating the useless substances and synthesizing the necessary ones. The bone marrow is formed which is responsible for the emergence of red blood cells.
What happens inside your body?
Unfortunately, any nausea experienced during the first two months of pregnancy continues into the third. Moreover, it may get worse during this month. Fortunately, towards the end of the month, the hormone levels responsible for these issues will begin to decrease and these symptoms will likely disappear.
Fatigue may worsen at the start of the month, but by the end of the month, it will start to ease and your energy will likely return to its normal levels. These are signs that your body has started to get used to having another being inside it.
- Frequent urination
The need to frequently urinate will likely continue into the third month of pregnancy. This is because the uterus continues to grow and press on the bladder.
Constipation can still occur in the third month of pregnancy because of your increased hormone levels and the growing uterus. Your uterus is pressing on your intestines, making it more difficult for them to function normally. You can try to ameliorate constipation by changing your diet and drinking plenty of fluids, but not by taking laxatives.
It might be difficult to discuss bloating and flatulence but they are very common during pregnancy. Almost every pregnant woman experiences increased gas, so there’s no need to be embarrassed.
Headaches during pregnancy are relatively common and that is due to the increased levels of hormones and increased blood flow. Try to relieve them by natural means, such as rest and relaxation and cold compresses. Pain relief medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen are not recommended in most pregnancies; however, acetaminophen may be recommended by your health care provider. Talk to your doctor.
- Increased libido
As your hormones stabilize, your sex drive will likely return to normal. Sexual contact is completely safe for the baby because he or she is protected by the amniotic sac. After orgasm, you might feel a slightly abdominal discomfort which is normal and it will pass rapidly.
How different will you look?
The pregnancy glow isn’t just an old wives tale. It’s a biological change caused by increased blood supply to the cheeks giving them a blush. And oil secretions caused by changing hormones give the skin a soft shine. In certain situations, if too much fat is secreted by the skin glands, you might get a temporary bout of acne. Hormonal changes will likely cause your hair and nails to grow faster and be stronger. On the flip side,
Brownish or yellowish patches called chloasma can appear anywhere on the face. This is called the mask of pregnancy. A dark line that extends from the belly button to the pubic area might also appear. As for your weight, you can expect about to have gained about 7 to 9 pounds. Your baby is now about 10 centimeters (4 inches).
How can you care for both of your loved ones?
Being 3 months pregnant is a milestone for both future dad and mom. The future mother will begin to recover from her hormonal instability, so any changes of mood will likely subside. Getting the first ultrasound is a milestone for a pregnancy and likely something you will want to do together. Discuss with her whether or not you want to know the baby’s sex. It is very important to feel you are both in this together.
Tips to help you go through the first trimester
Take care of your teeth. Pregnancy can negatively affect your teeth.Increased hormone levels can make your teeth and gums extra sensitive to bacteria, which could increase your risk of developing certain dental infections. Try to pay special attention to oral hygiene. And boost the strength of your teeth by choosing a dairy rich diet or calcium supplements.
Sleep on your side. It is recommended to sleep on one side, not lying on back or belly. By sleeping on the left side, the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and implicitly the baby are increased.
Minimizing the risk of varicose veins. During pregnancy, especially in the lower limbs, visible veins and even varicose veins can appear. You can minimize their risk by eating a fiber rich diet, doing gentle exercises and shortening the period of time you spend standing. Try to take walks daily to reinforce the muscles acting on the venous system. During the night, try sleeping with your legs up on a pillow to facilitate the blood flow.