Three Trimesters Of Pregnancy: Gynaecologists Share Challenges, Risks And Expert Advice

Pregnancy is a journey where a mother's body undergoes major changes. In every trimester, the expectant mother feels a significant change in herself and there is a development in the growth of the foetus. However, there are certain challenges that a woman faces during pregnancy. We got in touch with women health experts who shares risks, discomfort, and debunks myths around pregnancy.
Trimesters Of Pregnancy: Gynaecologists Share Challenges, Risks And Expert Advice

Trimesters Of Pregnancy: Gynaecologists Share Challenges, Risks And Expert Advice (Image Credits: Freepik)

The journey of pregnancy is an experience filled with anticipation, and excitement, along with a touch of anxiety. During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes massive changes that are divided into three trimesters. But what are trimesters? Trimesters are the three stages of pregnancy, each lasting about three months, which help to organize and understand the different phases of pregnancy. For soon-to-be parents, understanding the trimesters of pregnancy is crucial, as it sheds light on the transformations happening within the mother's body and the development of the growing fetus.
Hence, we got in touch with women's health experts who explains different trimesters of pregnancy, and essential tips to keep in mind to take care of both the mother and the fetus.
Key Developments That Occur During Different Trimesters Of Pregnancy
Dr Neelam Suri, Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi explains the stages of pregnancy:
In the first trimester (weeks 1-12), the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, and the placenta and embryonic structures develop. The heart and brain begin to form, and the neural tube closes.
In the second trimester (weeks 13-27), the fetus's major organs and systems continue to develop, and movements become more noticeable.
In the third trimester (weeks 28-40), the fetus gains weight rapidly, and the lungs and brain undergo significant maturation, preparing for life outside the womb.
How Do The Nutritional Needs Of A Pregnant Woman Change Throughout The Trimesters?
Dr Aruna Kalra, Director - of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram shares that nutritional needs increase throughout pregnancy to support fetal growth and maternal health:
First Trimester: Pregnant women should focus on folic acid to prevent neural tube defects, along with a balanced intake of essential vitamins and minerals.
Second Trimester: There is a need to increase the intake of iron to support increased blood volume, calcium for fetal bone development, and protein for tissue growth.
Third Trimester: Additional calories are needed for rapid fetal growth, along with emphasis on protein, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids to support brain development and overall fetal health.
Common Discomforts Or Symptoms Experienced During Each Trimester, And How Can They Be Managed?
Dr Neelam Suri explains common discomforts and managing strategies during different stages of pregnancy:
The first trimester includes nausea, fatigue, and breast tenderness, which can be managed with dietary adjustments, rest, and supportive care.
In the second trimester, back pain, leg cramps, and constipation may occur, which can be alleviated through exercise, proper posture, and increased fibre intake.
In the third trimester, swelling, shortness of breath, and insomnia are common and can be managed through appropriate rest, hydration, and position changes.
Medical Tests Or Screenings Recommended During Each Trimester
Dr Aruna Kalra shares, that to keep the health in check of both mother and fetus, it is essential for expectant mothers to take regular medical tests during each trimester.
First Trimester: Blood tests for anaemia and blood type, screening for genetic disorders, and an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy and due date are essential.
Second Trimester: Anomaly scan (mid-pregnancy ultrasound) to check fetal development and detect abnormalities (if any), glucose screening for gestational diabetes.
Third Trimester: Group B strep test, non-stress test to monitor fetal well-being, and regular ultrasounds to track fetal growth and position.
Fetal Development Progress From The First Trimester To The Third Trimester
Dr Neelam Suri explains, “In the first trimester, the embryo develops from a single cell into a fetus with a beating heart, brain, and other organs. In the second trimester, the fetus grows rapidly, and organs continue to mature. In the third trimester, the fetus gains weight, the lungs and brain further develop, and the fetus assumes a head-down position in preparation for birth.”
Risks That May Arise During Each Trimester, And Management Strategies
Dr Aruna Kalra shares the risks and complications that may arise during each trimester:
First Trimester: Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Management involves regular check-ups and early detection through ultrasound and blood tests.
Second Trimester: Gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Management includes monitoring blood sugar levels, and blood pressure, and following dietary guidelines.
Third Trimester: Preterm labor and placental abruption. Management involves close monitoring, possible bed rest, and timely medical intervention if complications arise.
Myths Or Misconceptions About Pregnancy Trimesters
Myth:
A common myth is that morning sickness only occurs in the morning.
Facts:
Dr Neelam Suri shares morning sickness can happen at any time of day.
Myth:
It is believed that a pregnant person should "eat for two."
Fact:
Dr Aruna Kalra shares excessive eating can lead to unhealthy weight gain; instead, a balanced diet with appropriate calorie increases is recommended.
Myth:
Pregnant women should avoid exercise
Fact
Dr Neelam Suri explains moderate physical activity is generally encouraged during an uncomplicated pregnancy.
End of Article
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