The Way Of Life

Ke'Mya M. & Deshawna H.

What To Expect: 1st Trimester

The Fetus: During week 3 the baby starts to travel down the Fallopian Tube towards the uterus. During week 4-5 the baby beings to form, the baby's brain, spinal cord, heart and other organs. The skin and connective tissues also starts to grow. During week 6 the baby's heart began to pump blood. The baby's face and basic features start to appear and it begins to form into a "C" like shape. Week 7-9 the baby's head is developed and the eyes become visible. The toes, bones and ears also continue to grow.

The Mother: During the 1st and 2nd week your body starts to prepare itself. You start to have morning symptoms and you also find out your due date. During week 3 the mother starts her fertilization, her egg and the sperm is already united and the eggs is now traveling down the Fallopian Tube. During the rest of the time her body starts to work around the baby and prepare for the baby. Her breast begin to get tender, her uterus starts to get bigger, and she starts to provide for two people.

What To Expect: 2nd Trimester

The Fetus: During weeks 14-16 the fetus skin is transparent and fine hair called lanugo starts to form. The fetus starts sucking and swallowing amniotic fluid. At this stage the fetus has developed their very own fingerprints and sweat glands. The fetus's liver and pancreas produce fluid secretions. The fetus is approximately 6 inches and weighs about 4 ounces. Weeks 17-20 the fetus has developed eyebrows, eyelashes, and nails. The fetus skin begins producing vernix (white pasty substance that covers the fetus skin) to protect itself from the amniotic fluid. At this stage the fetal heartbeat can be heard. The fetus is approximately 8 inches and 12 ounces. Weeks 21-23 the fetus is covered in lanugo and is starting to look more like an infant as the skin becomes less transparent and fat develops. The eyes, liver and pancreas are developed. The fetus is approximately 10-11 inches and weight about 1- 1 1/4 pounds.

The Mother: During the second trimester your body will have finished adjusting to the hormones, also known as the "honeymoon trimester". Even though your hormones have finished adjusting, you will start to notice your body changing in weight and shape causing some women to get body blues. You may notice that nausea has slowed down or stopped. You may experience abdominal aches due to the growing uterus and the stretching of ligaments. The growing uterus will limit the space for your lungs and cause you to feel winded with simple activities. During this time you will notice movement known as "quickening" and may also be able to feel the fetus hiccup. This is also the time were you may experience an increase with your sex drive and also experience bad dreams.

What To Expect: 3rd Trimester

The Fetus: During weeks 27-32 the fetus starts to fill out. The fetus begins storing fat, iron, calcium and phosphorus. Their lungs haven't fully matured, but they still have some rhythmic breathing movements. Bones have completely developed but are very soft and flexible. The fetus eyelids have opened up for the first time and is approximately 15-17 inches and 4-4 1/2 pounds. Weeks 33-36 is when the fetus drops into the head down position. The fetus will gain weight faster and the lanugo hair disappears and the skin is becoming less wrinkled and red. The fetus is approximately 16-19 inches and can weigh from 5 3/4 to 6 3/4 pounds. Weeks 37-40 the fetus fingernails have gotten very long and fetal movement will decline due to lack of space. All of the fetus's organs have fully developed and the lungs will keep developing until delivery. The fetus will be able to hear sounds and their pupils can react to light. The fetus is approximately 19-21 inches and 6 3/4 to 10 pounds.

The Mother: This trimester is very emotionally and physically hard on the body. For first time mothers the baby may come early or later than your due date causing a lot of frustration. You may notice weight gain, increase in skin temperature (fetus gives off body heat), frequent trips to the bathroom, lack of bladder control, hair growth, decrease in sex drive, Braxton-Hicks contractions (false labor), colostrum, backaches, not being able to sleep, and the feeling of not being able to breath. Towards the end of the third trimester you will notice that you will be able to breath easier once the baby has dropped into the pelvis area for delivery.

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What to Expect: Father Editon

The Father to be: During the next 40 weeks, she will be an emotional wreck as her body is overloaded with hormones. Be supportive and understanding. Brush up on pregnancy literature. It will help you understand what she is going through. Use the first trimester to get all your alone time and dates in. As her body changes and breast swell you may be inclined to have sex, be mindful that she may not feel sexy due to the body changes. Listen and comfort her. She is going through a lot and needs to feel stability. During the second trimester you may notice that she isn't as moody and that her sex drive has increased. To be on the safe side always ask before making advances. Be prepared for late night cravings runs. All in all the more you know about pregnancy, the less frustrated/helpless you will be.