Right from the moment you become pregnant till the last day you give birth, your body experiences physiological changes of pregnancy as a woman. It is important to know pregnancy symptoms week by week to act when necessary.
Although certain physiological changes are part of the constitutional make-up of a woman right from her birth to her death, the changes that occur during pregnancy are not like the ones occurring during other times of the woman’s development.
Pregnancy Symptoms Week by Week
Table of Contents
You need to know about these changes to keep your mind at rest and to enable you to manage the issues when they arise. The earliest signs of pregnancy will come and go.
Not being panicky when you experience normal pregnancy changes saves you from added troubles. Let’s take a look at the “normal” pregnancy symptoms week by week…
Week 1 to week 4
You should start making certain health plans from the moment you become pregnant.
If you can sense that the pregnancy is already on, then start nurturing your body to make you fit to bear the load for the next nine months.
Your body needs to be in the right shape to be able to carry the pregnancy through. Right from the first week of the pregnancy, you will start experiencing early morning nausea and vomiting.
This symptom occurs in most women, though not all.
Some women believe that the early morning nausea and vomiting are a sign that you would give birth to a girl. This is mere conjecture.
These changes will of course prompt you to go for a pregnancy check-up. The pregnancy is only noticed after about two weeks of conception using conventional pregnancy test methods.
This period is still within the first trimester and the baby is just getting implanted. The mother’s nutrients will be used up more quickly by the developing embryo and this makes the woman feel weak and also eat excessively.
Within this period, you may equally experience some slight vaginal bleeding. Some women mistake this for their menstrual flow, but it is due to the embryo that is in the process of implantation in the wall of the uterus.
Sometimes, the bleeding can be heavy and it may be accompanied by sharp pain around the pelvis.
Week 5 to week 8
You start undergoing what is called a mood swing. One moment, you will feel on top of the world. But the very next moment, you will feel under the weather. This may be strange for pregnant first-timers.
You may also start having a voracious appetite for things that are not normally edible, like woods, sand, and so on.
It is vital to point out that you are not sick– it is just a normal process you must pass through during the early period of pregnancy. It must however be noted that not all women experience this.
During this period, the feeling of insecurity, power, sentiment, anger, depression, and elation may mix at the same time. Nausea and vomiting will still be in place. Exhaustion, sore breast, constipation, faintness, and headache occur during this period.
You may also put on some weight and your pant may not size you anymore like before.
This gets worse because of your love for sweet things and allows sorts of food, more than you were consuming before. All of this is due to pregnancy hormones- progesterone!
Week 9 to week 12
You will have some physiological increase in blood volume due to an increase in plasma. Such plasma increase will of course dilute your red blood cells and reduce your oxygen supply. This will lead to dizziness and you will want to urinate very frequently.
The veins in your hands and feet may bulge out and some women may occasionally have nosebleeds. Because of these changes, you should always be in close contact with the ante-natal clinic.
The number of oil glands under your skin increases and you will be looking rather glowy. Your complexion will be smoother and shinier.
Your skin will look plump and flushed. There will be an increase of flood in your body and this will lead to thickening of your cornea and lens.
Therefore, you may experience blurred vision around this time too. You need to report these changes to your doctor since they can equally signal diabetes or hypertension.
Week 13 to week 16
You will feel somewhat clumsier. You will feel more relaxed and it will affect your feet and hands. The risk of miscarriage tends to reduce at this stage. The “feel-good” period of your pregnancy has just begun.
You will experience a boost in your appetite and energy. The feeling of queasiness may also occur throughout the pregnancy. The appetite tends to grow as your morning sickness subsides.
At this stage, your skin may also start getting darkened, especially around the nipples, inner thighs, and armpits. Thanks to the effect of the Melanin hormone.
Week 17 to week 20
Your weight tends to increase as your belly gets bigger. The increase in weight occurs every week. You may also feel the baby kick in your womb for the first time.
This is called Quickening. The kicking may not occur every day. You may not have backache around this time. You will start feeling sharp pains around your groins, abdomen, and hip.
Week 21 to week 24
You will get bigger all the more. You will also feel dizzier due to a drop in your blood pressure. You may feel lightheaded too and may not be able to stand for a long time. You may start growing hairs on unwanted parts of your body too.
Week 25 to week 28
Your fingers may get tingly and numb at this stage due to the carpal tunnel syndrome that usually comes along with this period. This is however for a short period.
Your breast is larger and there is an increase in blood volume. Your instincts tend to increase too. Musculoskeletal pain may ensue due to the increase in the size of the fetus.
You may also experience fatigue. You may equally experience shortness of breath.
Week 29 to week 32
Your breasts may start to leak. Stretch marks may start occurring due to your expanding tummy. You may also start to itch all over. The stretchmark is usually temporary and fades after pregnancy.
Week 33 to week 36
Lower back and hip pains are the orders of the day. You may experience numbness and tingling sensations too. You may start feeling contractions too at this point. The contraction may be transient.
Week 37 to week 40
You will have vaginal discharge thicker than normal. It will have bloodstain and may appear pinkish. Your belly will feel lighter because the baby is now settling at the lower pelvis.
Your breasts are even larger prepare for your water to break at this point. You will start noticing wetness down your leg. This is the time to call your doctor.
You are sure to give birth around this time. It may however be two weeks earlier or two weeks later.
I hope you enjoy this pregnancy symptoms week by week guide. If you have any questions or concerns, please drop them in the comment section below. Cheers
This post was written by Dr. Adeniyi Adesanya, a qualified & passionate medical doctor who loves to educate people about healthy living and lifestyle. Adeniyi is the owner and publisher of the Human Health Hub website.