The third month of pregnancy is important as it marks the end of the first trimester. The 1st trimester is the most delicate and essential stage of your baby’s development.
It has a share of complications such as a higher risk of miscarriage that often scares off most women.
At three months the uterus protrudes above the pubic bone and is visible, belly size pictures may clearly show pregnancy. This is when a majority of women start preparing for parenthood.
How many weeks is 3 months pregnancy?
Answer: 13 weeks
How many weeks are you? Are you 12 or 13 weeks pregnant? Pregnancy is 40 weeks, that is, 280 days from the first day of your last period.
A full-term pregnancy lasts from39-41 weeks. There are 13 or 14 weeks per trimester.
Pregnancy has 3 trimesters. The first trimester lasts from week 1-13, your second trimester starts from 14 weeks to week 27 and the third trimester starts from week 28 up to week 40.
There are four weeks in a month but apparently, all other months except February have 30 or 31 days. This makes month about 4.3 weeks long.
Here are pregnancy months to week chart to help you figure out your gestation:
- Month1: Week 1-4
- Month 2:4-8 weeks
- Month 3: 8-13 weeks
- Month 4:14-17 Weeks
- Month 5:18-22 weeks
- Month 6:23-27 weeks
- Month7:28-31 weeks
- Month 8: 32 to 35 weeks
- Month 9:36-40 weeks
Signs and symptoms at 3 months
First-time mothers may be scared as a result of new changes occurring in their bodies. Even though, majority of women experience excitement even if they are never sure of what to expect next. There are several changes that occur in the body of an expectant mother.
- It is vital that every woman gets to know and understand these changes to help them stay calm when they occur.
In some cases, pregnancy may go undetected in the first trimester, being aware of these 3rd-month signs may help some women know that they are pregnant.
Here are the common symptoms:
1. Weight gain
A fetus grows, the mother also increases in weight. Because of the hormones and activities taking place in her body, a pregnant woman may have an increased appetite.
Weight gain is more visible from the end of the first trimester.
2. Fatigue/mood swings
Your body metabolism increases greatly. For this reason, the energy demand increases accordingly. Reproductive hormones may constantly lead to change in moods shifting from happy to sadness and in extreme cases one you may feel depressed for no apparent reason.
Most women become easily irritated and even more depressed about their weight gain.
Nausea and vomiting are quite frequent in pregnancy. It starts in the first trimester and subsides at the end of 3 months of pregnancy. However in some women nausea may get severe and may call for hospital admission to save the baby and the mother.
- When a woman vomits severely in pregnancy, she is said to have a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum.
Nausea may set in at any time of the day even though a majority of women experience it in the morning hours. Your body may also react to hormonal changes and food smells causing vomiting.
Even though nose bleeds is one of the symptoms of pregnancy in the 3rd month, it could be pretty alarming. One common reason for nose bleeding is the increase in blood level and blood pressure.
It is therefore advisable to visit your doctor in order to have related tests and examinations.
5. Frequent urination
You may notice that your trips to the toilet increase in the third month. Because your belly becomes bigger, it applies pressure to the bladder decreasing its volume tremendously.
The uterus pushes against the bladder this way there is an increased urge to pee even with less amount of urine in the bladder.
6. Increased food cravings
Food cravings may start right after the first month of pregnancy. Well, in the third month you are likely to have increased desire for some food and aversion for others.
Even though food cravings are inevitable, make sure that you do not overfeed on such foods. Remember it is not advisable to have larger calorie intake during pregnancy.
7. Increased breast tenderness and growth
The breasts increasingly become tender and a bit painful due to the hormonal action during this time of the month. Because water is retained in the breast tissues as a result of estrogen, your breasts will appear fuller and bigger.
8. Gum bleeding
Also known as gum bleeding, gingivitis is common in the third month of pregnancy. The gums become softened because of increased actions of estrogen hormone. It is important to be careful when brushing to avoid bleeding.
What does the belly feel like?
The uterus is above the pubic bone. If you press the belly button as you move towards the vagina, you are likely to tell where the vagina starts.
- It feels like a hard but squishy ball above the pubic bone.
At 3 months, most of the fetus body parts have developed. Here is what your baby is like at 8-13 weeks:
- At 14 weeks the baby weighs about 1.2 (18 grams) once and 4 inches long.
What developments occur in the 1st trimester?
- Your baby’s lungs are completely formed
- The fetus is sensitive to touch
- The thyroid gland is fully formed
- Your baby ‘s gallbladder is completely formed and secreting bile juice
- The skeleton of cartilage has begun to form
- The liver is properly functioning to make blood cells.
- The baby’s teeth have begun to form
- The sex organs are developing
- The hair follicle and the skin are forming
- The head is big enough, the size of the fetus
- The external sex organs are developing
- The fingers are no longer webbed
- The kidneys start urine making process
- The eyelids are fully formed but fused together until 24 weeks
Belly size (pictures)
What does a 3 months pregnancy belly look like? What is the size of the bump? Take a look at the following pictures:
At 3 months your doctor may request you to have an ultrasound of your pregnancy to rule out any abnormalities. Pictures from the ultrasound at 3 months show a completely grown baby.
All the body muscles are usually developed even though some will continue developing until 28 weeks are over.
At 3 months your baby’s facial features are fully developed. Pictures taken at 3 months show squinting and grimacing. Additionally, the fetus begins to develop a covering of hair called lanugo which acts as an insulator throughout pregnancy. This baby is usually shed before birth.
Common complications and problems
The first trimester comes with its share of troubles. Here are the common complications in the first trimester that needs an urgent, medical intervention:
1. Vaginal bleeding
Some spotting is common in pregnant women in the first trimester. However heavy bleeding could be a sign of an impending miscarriage.
If you experience bleeding and cramping just like during your period, you need to see your doctor immediately. Miscarriage cramping is sharp, with lower abdominal pain.
2. Hyperemesis gravidarum
Some nausea and vomiting are normal in the first trimester of pregnancy. However, if you happen to be vomiting more than 10 times in a day with signs of dehydration, visit your doctor.
Vomiting interferes with the normal electrolyte balance in the body. This may lead to dizziness, severe headache and severe dehydration which might be fatal.
A fever exceeding 38degree Celsius in pregnancy is a serious case. In most times such as fever is as a result of an infection. An infection could lead to a miscarriage it is, therefore, important to visit your doctor and have some tests and examinations done, in order to receive proper treatment.
4. Vaginal itchiness
Some vaginal discharge is normal. However, if vaginal irritation occurs, you could be having an infection which may harm your baby in the long term. See your doctor for examinations.
5. Lower limbs edema
Even though this won’t happens in most pregnancies, there is some chance that a pregnant woman could develop a clot in the vein.
The leg swelling is as a result of blood stasis, because of the delayed blood emptying to other main veins. For this reason, a blood clot may develop leading to severe pain in the calf muscle.
The clot may travel to the lungs and cause difficulties in breathing. Do not hesitate to visit your doctor when you notice the above signs.
Miscarriage refers to loss of pregnancy in the first 20 weeks.15-25 Pregnancies terminate spontaneously in the first trimester. Research has linked this miscarriage s to chromosomal abnormalities.
Vaginal bleeding is the main and first sign of a miscarriage. If this happens, call your doctor as soon as you can.
7. Ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. The most common places where implantation takes place are the fallopian tubes or the fundus.
This type of pregnancy leads rapture of the fallopian tube and causes excessive bleeding accompanied by severe cramping. Ectopic pregnancy is usually terminated; there are zero chances of survival in such a case.
As your baby grows, you need to feed on the right type of foods to enhance proper immunity, growth, and development of your baby. Here is what you can add to your diet:
1. Fresh fruits
Avoid canned fruits. It is important that you stick to fresh fruits as canned fruits contain preserves and may lead to bloating and acidity.
Try and eat fruits of all colors as they contain natural sugar, water, fiber, and anti-oxidants.
Add whole grains to your diet. Carbohydrates are energy boosters. The right type of carbohydrate will ensure that your baby is not at risk of obese later in life.
Refined carbohydrates predispose you to unnecessary weight gain, which could endanger your health and that of your baby.
Meat should be cooked well. Avoid red or deep-fried meat. Excess cholesterol may put you at risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot). Chicken, fish is a good source of protein. Meat should be eaten in moderation.
4. Iron and folic acid
Iron and folic acid are vital in preventing physical and mental retardation of your baby. Make it a routine to have a diet full of iron. Add oatmeal, eggs, green vegetables, oranges and potatoes to your diet.
5. Dairy products
The fetus needs calcium in order to develop strong bones. Have your dairy products properly pasteurized to prevent infection. Yogurt is also a good source of good bacteria that could readily enhance proper digestion.
6. Vitamin B6 foods
Research shows that foods rich in vitamin B6 help reduce nausea and vomiting which is very common in the first trimester. They also help regulate the mood hormones hence boosting your moods.
The best source of vitamin B6 is citrus fruits, eggs, and green leafy vegetables.
Important care tips
Pregnancy is a journey, you need to be careful in every step you take. The following tips will ensure that you have a healthy pregnancy:
- Avoid foods that might lead to constipation, bloating or vomiting. Ensure that you are aware which type of foods cause you the above symptoms stay away.
- Have enough rest, do not overstrain yourself, the first months of pregnancy are delicate. Do light duties and avoid lifting heavy objects.
- Try to stay in an aerated room to avoid dizziness
- Eat a balanced diet to ensure that your baby has essential nutrients for growth and development.
- Exercise each day to facilitate proper blood circulation to avoid deep vein thrombosis
- Practice proper hygiene always. Pregnant women have low immunity, and any slightest infection could be fatal.
- Visit your doctor for prenatal clinic as schedules
- Do not consume over the counter drugs. Some of the drugs in the stores might cause fetal toxicity, In case you have some symptoms, call your doctor for a prescription.
- Take your prenatal vitamins as scheduled; they are important for the development of your baby.
- Drink plenty of water to ensure that you are properly hydrated.
SOURCES AND REFERENCES
- First-trimester screening (April 2017): https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/first-trimester-screening/basics/definition/PRC-20014597
- Pregnancy week by week (March 2015): https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/basics/first-trimester/hlv-20049471