Your Pregnancy: Month 3
Morning sickness and fatigue that goes on for days, what fun month 3 of your pregnancy is turning out to be! Luckily, on a positive note, your little one is busy make some very exciting developments of his (or her) own…
Big things are happening in your womb this month! Here’s everything you need to know about the third month of pregnancy, including:
- What to expect during weeks 9, 10, 11 and 12 of pregnancy
- Common symptoms during the third month of pregnancy
- Emotions during month three of pregnancy
- To-do list in the third month of pregnancy
- Self-care during month three of pregnancy
- Your partner during the third month of pregnancy
Pregnancy weeks 9 and 10
Your baby is the size of: a prune
Congrats! You’re now the proud owner of a fetus (it was still an embryo last week). The head is more erect, and the neck and ears are more developed. You might be able to see your baby’s first movements during an ultrasound – and you may even hear its heartbeat! But don’t expect to feel movement for several weeks yet.
By week 10, your little one is in the midst of a growth spurt. Bones are starting to develop, and your baby can even bend its arms and legs at the elbows and knees. The first tooth buds are also appearing, although teeth won’t come through the gums until your little one is about six months old. The umbilical cord is now attached to the placenta and your baby is receiving nutrients from your bloodstream.
You’re probably very tired and your clothes might feel tighter. With your uterus now the size of a grapefruit, it’s no surprise! But chances are no one can tell you’re pregnant yet.
Pregnancy weeks 11 and 12
Your baby is the size of: a plum
Your baby is really starting to look human with fingers and toes that are no longer webbed. The ears are almost fully formed and the mouth now houses a tongue and palate. Testes are starting to develop in boys and ovaries in girls – but don’t get too excited because you probably won’t find out the sex of your baby for a few weeks yet (unless you undergo non-invasive prenatal testing which can reveal the sex as early as 11 weeks). Your baby is becoming much more active, completing flips and stretches in your tummy.
Week 12 is a milestone for your baby – all its major organs and systems are formed, and now they just need to grow. The digestive system is developing, white blood cells are forming and hormones are being produced. There are even tiny nails on those fingers and toes!
You might still be in the throes of morning sickness and fatigue, but you can breathe a big sigh of relief – those symptoms should ease up soon and your risk of miscarriage drops dramatically at the end of this week.
Common symptoms during the third month of pregnancy
This month, you might experience:
- Frequent urination
- Tender breasts
- Excess saliva
- Nausea and vomiting
- Food cravings and aversions
- Bloating and gas
- Heartburn and indigestion
- Heightened sense of smell
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Faintness or dizziness
- Visible veins
- Round ligament pain
Emotions during the third month of pregnancy
Did someone say mood swings? Thankfully, the emotional rollercoaster you’re on should grind to a halt during the second trimester (which starts next month). You might feel a big sense of relief when you reach the end of week 12 and your risk of miscarriage is reduced – especially if you’ve had miscarriages in the past.
What to do during the third month of pregnancy
Here are a few things you should aim to get done this month:
- Your healthcare provider will probably recommend that you undergo genetic testing to determine your risk of having a baby with a genetic condition such as Down syndrome or spina bifida, especially if you’re over 35 or you have a family history of genetic disorders. Options include non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) as early as 10 weeks or a nuchal translucency scan or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) between 10 and 13 weeks.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all pregnant women get the flu shot.
- Drink plenty of water and eat foods that are rich in fiber (such as whole grains and dried fruit) to prevent constipation.
- Get plenty of vitamin D in your diet (try fish and eggs) to help your baby develop healthy teeth.
- Fight fatigue by resting and doing moderate-intensity exercise.
- Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer regularly. Your immune system is weaker during pregnancy, so you’re more likely to catch colds and flus.
- Buy maternity clothes that are comfortable and stylish.
- Do Kegel exercises every day to prepare your pelvic floor for childbirth.
- Help prevent stretch marks by applying stretch mark cream or oil to your belly, thighs, hips and breasts once or twice a day.
Self-care during the third month of pregnancy
You might be feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired by now, but your second trimester is just around the corner and you’ll soon start to feel much better. Hang in there, mama – the glory days of pregnancy are almost upon you!
Until then, continue to rest as often as you can and treat yourself to little indulgences. Try taking weekly photos of your baby bump to monitor its progression and create memories that you’ll be able to look back on with your child.
Your partner during the third month of pregnancy
Your partner is probably looking forward to the second trimester just as much as you are – no one likes to see their partner suffer from morning sickness and fatigue! Plus, they probably heard that your sex drive could make a comeback in the second trimester and they might be clinging to that hope like a life raft. Try to find new ways to connect with your partner in the meantime, such as cuddling in bed or letting them listen to your belly.