What to Expect

First Trimester: Weeks 1 to 12

As your baby begins to develop, you will notice some (big!) changes. Here’s what to expect in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Your Body 

  • Your menstrual periods will have stopped and you may have morning sickness at any time during the day or night. 

  • You may gain 3-5 pounds by the end of the first trimester. 

  • Your breasts may be tender or swollen.

  • You may urinate more often. 

  • You may be more tired and have less energy, feel more emotional, have mood swings and cry easily. 

  • Bleeding gums, nosebleeds and congestion are common during this time. 

  • Prenatal vitamins will give your body key nutrients and help reduce the risk of your baby being born underweight. 

  • You should see your doctor once a month.

Your Baby

  • Your baby’s traits and gender are set when the sperm meets the egg. 

  • Your baby will grow from the size of a seed to about two inches long. 

  • The brain, nerves, heart, lungs and bones are forming. 

  • You may hear your baby’s heartbeat as early as 6 weeks. 

  • Ears, arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes start to form by the third month.

Source: Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County Pregnancy Guide, 2018

Second Trimester: Weeks 13 to 27

Your baby will grow quickly during the second trimester of your pregnancy. The next three months likely will be the best months of your pregnancy as you have more energy and will start to feel your baby move for the first time. Here's more on what to expect.

Your Body

  • Your baby will grow on average to 14 inches and weigh about 2 pounds. 

  • Your breasts grow larger, softer and the veins start to show. Clear, white fluid, called colostrum, may leak from your breasts. 

  • You feel hungry more often and you may have food cravings. Healthy food choices will benefit you and your baby. 

  • You may get heartburn more often after eating heavy, greasy or spicy food. 

  • You may feel muscles of the uterus tighten and relax. These are called Braxton Hicks contractions and are preparing you for labor. Call your doctor if you have four or more contractions in one hour. 

  • You should continue to take prenatal vitamins every day and see your doctor about three times during this trimester.

Your Baby

  • Your baby will triple in length during this time and grow from the size of a peach to the size of an eggplant. 

  • Your baby will begin to move a lot and can kick, cry and hiccup. 

  • Your baby can begin to hear sounds within the uterus. 

  • The eyes are almost developed and the eyelids can open and close. 

  • The sex of your baby is visible on an ultrasound during this trimester. 

  • Your baby can begin to hear sounds. This is a great time to start reading to your baby in the womb.

Source: Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County Pregnancy Guide, 2018

Third Trimester: Weeks 28 to 40

You are in the home stretch. Take time to care for your body and your mind. And while you wait, start deciding on your baby's name! 

Your Body 

  • You gain weight faster in the last month of your pregnancy. 

  • Your feet, hands and ankles may swell. You may have back and leg pains. 

  • As the baby’s head moves lower, you may feel more pressure on your bladder, but less near your ribs allowing you to breathe easier. 

  • Your uterus lowers as the baby drops toward the birth canal. You may feel pressure low in your pelvis as the baby settles into position for birth. 

  • The Braxton Hicks contractions are more frequent. 

  • Call your doctor if you have four or more contractions in one hour. 

  • You should see your doctor about every two weeks during the third trimester and then have weekly visits during the last month of pregnancy. 

Your Baby 

  • Your baby will continue to grow on average to 20 inches and 7 pounds. 

  • The brain and nervous system are growing quickly. The lungs continue to mature. 

  • Your baby's sense of hearing is improving. Read aloud so your baby knows your voice! 

  • Your baby may settle into a head-down position and may seem quieter because there is less space to move. 

  • Your baby will be considered full term at 39 weeks.

Source: Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County Pregnancy Guide, 2018

The Importance of Kick Counts

During your third trimester, it is important that you track your baby’s movement while in utero. Scientific studies indicate that a daily record of a baby’s movements (kicks, rolls, punches, jabs) is an easy way of monitoring your baby’s well-being. Visit Count the Kicks to download a free app that will help you ensure your baby is dancing their way to delivery!

Ultrasound image of a baby in the uterus.