Stage 2: Second Trimester (Weeks 13-28)
Most mothers discover that the second trimester is easier to handle than the first one. There is usually less fatigue and nausea. However, her body will change more radically. The baby will move a little during this time. She will likely get swelling in her fingers, ankles and face. If there’s a lot of swelling, she must contact her doctor urgently, as this can be an indicator of preeclampsia. The mother will have pain and aches in her back, legs, feet, abdomen, thigh and groin at times. Stretch marks may start to appear as the abdomen expands. Parts of her skin can go darker; this is usually on the cheeks, nose, upper lip or forehead. Both sides of the face may match in shade. Doctors often refer to this as the “mask of pregnancy.”
Stage 3: Third Trimester (Weeks 29-40)
Many of the issues she faced during the second trimester will carry on. She may find it hard to breathe and will probably go to the toilet more often, because the baby is putting more and more pressure on her organs. Additional symptoms can include: shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, tender breasts, contractions (which may be false or real labor), her belly button will stick out and the baby will drop lower in her abdomen. The doctor will do regular checks as the due date approaches and she feels the excitement getting more intense. It’s important for the mother to do everything in her power to maintain her health, as well as the health of the baby.