How to calculate trimesters

 

Calculating which trimester you’re in during pregnancy might seem like a no brainer -Boy Oh Boy it really gets tricky. I remember having a conversation with a friend who happened to be pregnant exactly around the same time as I was. Our baby boys are 3 days apart, although Amari (my son) decided to come 6 weeks before his time.

We got each other so confused trying to figure out which trimester we were in. Different mommy apps and different pregnancy site’s had different ways of calculating it, and our most logic calculations weren’t quiet right either.

Pregnancy is 40 weeks which is a bit longer than 9 months, its calculated from the first day of your last period. All this can be so tricky especially with the Oh So Famous pregnancy brain which won’t let you be great and let you think logically or rationally.

You also don’t just want to leave this to your Gp or midwife. You need to be just as up to date with your pregnancy as they are, after all you’re the pregnant one and mommy plays the biggest role in the development of you’re unborn baby and you most definitely want what’s best for baby’s overall development.

When to start calculating pregnancy

You first need to find out when you conceived. The human egg fertilizes for 12-24 hours after ovulation, so the date of ovulation can be taken as the date of conception so your examination would therefore be supported by a good menstrual cycle record. However, if you’re not one to keep record of your menstrual cycle “which is more common than you think”, you could do an ultrasound.

Ultrasound’s are relatively accurate or just around the closest reading to how far you might be. It measures the size of the fetus to estimate the gestational age. If you think you’re at least past 7 weeks that could be the best time to go for an ultrasound, but if you’re completely clueless I’d recommend that you take a Clear Blue pregnancy test it reads in weeks, you’ll be sure to know how many weeks you are.

Once you find out your conception date fun begins, you become very curious about a lot of other things, all thoughts turn towards the baby wondering if it’s a baby boy or a baby girl, when will the baby be born. There will be a million thought’s going through your mind. The excitement gets so real at this point you can hardly wait to here your due date.

From then you could estimate when babies due date would be, by adding 280 days (9 months and 7 days) to the first day of your last period. If you did an ultra sound . From the date you find out how far long you are for example if you were 13 weeks on November 2nd  2019 you subtract 13 weeks from 2 November like this: 2 November 2019 – 13 weeks = 21 July 2019.

July 21st would be your estimated day of conception. Then you add 280 days from the day of conception.

21 July 2019 + 280 days = April 26 2020. That would be your estimated date of birth.

Another fun thing to check out at this stage is The Chinese Calendar which is a gender prediction chart. “It was 100 % accurate for my partner and I”.

Pregnancy weeks months and trimesters

There are 40 weeks (280 days) in 9 months of pregnancy however full-term pregnancy is considered anywhere from 39 to 42 weeks. Baby’s delivered before the end of week 37 are considered premature. Then there are 3 trimesters of which each is marked by specific fetal developments which have 13-14 weeks each and if you divide 40 or 42 by 3 you’ll see why the breakdown isn’t exactly even hence there is so much confusion around this topic.

Your first trimester lasts from approximately 0 to 13 weeks 0-3 months to your second trimester 14 to 27 weeks 4-6 months and your third trimester 28 to 40 some women even reach 42 weeks 7-9 months. That is how to calculate which trimester you’re in.

Pregnancy changes and developments in each trimester

First trimester

In your first trimester every woman is made aware of how crucial it is. It is the stage where your baby’s structure and organ systems are developing. As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed it’s important to see your Gp or midwife so you can start with your antenatal appointments. These are to help and monitor you and your baby to stay healthy throughout pregnancy. Most birth defects and miscarriages happen during this time, hence its important to get medical attention ASAP.

Your body goes through so much change during this time. The most common symptoms are breast tenderness nausea, fatigue, frequent urination and sudden cravings.

Second trimester

The second trimester of pregnancy for most woman is easily  the easiest, between the first trimester and the final last stretch. At this stage all the uncomfortable changes and the hormonal imbalances start to fade away and your pregnancy starts feeling more real. It’s called the pregnancy’s honeymoon phase or the golden phase. At this stage you’re ready to let the whole world know you’re pregnant. You’ll start feeling more energetic again. This is also the best time to take advantage of keeping active, staying active during pregnancy can help you return your pre-pregnancy body faster, help you handle the strain of giving birth and can prevent stretch marks so ladies do yourself a favour please don’t sleep on yourself at this stage use it to your advantage.

As you go through the second trimester you’ll gradually see your bump grow, looking less like the remains of a big meal. Somewhere between 16 weeks and 20 weeks you may feel baby’s first fluttering movement’s. You’ll tart to experience a `new set of symptoms, I remember at this stage I had so much indigestion and heartburn, some woman experience bloating, constipation, leg cramps and back aches. By the end of second trimester you’ll have a little human the size of an English cucumber in your belly.

Third trimester

This is the final stretch of your pregnancy , the toughest part which will soon be over. At this point you are so over being pregnant, at the same time very excited for the arrival of a new member in the family too, you can already smell new born cuddles and kisses. You can barely wait. Strangers will comment on how huge you are ,some will even ask to touch “Weird! I know”.

By the end of the second trimester all of your baby’s organs have developed and are functioning. During this final stretch you realize growing a human is pretty exhausting. Baby’s development continues to progress picking up between 3.06 kg (6,75 lbs) to 4,53 kg (10 lbs) if you have a full term delivery and will grow about 6 more inches (15.24 cm) during this trimester.

You have also gained some weight to accommodate baby’s growth. Your uterus has grown bigger these last few weeks and is probably sitting right under your ribs. As your baby grows and fills up the uterus it starts getting more crowded and your baby will move less because of the tight space. This is when you’ll start tracking your kick counts (The number of baby movements in an hour). If your baby moves fewer than 10 times in an hour call your Gp or midwife.

During this period you may switch between fatigue and bursts of energy, crazy dreams, shortness of breath, heaviness, sleepless nights, back aches and a never ending desire to pee. At this time you might just want to spend your time on the couch or napping but it’s important

to stay active during this time for a safe and healthy delivery.

When is the right time to prepare for baby’s arrival

The early stages of your 3rd trimester you might want to start managing your to do list. Starting from the hardest tasks like getting the nursery done. You dont wanna do that a month before labor. Make a birth plan, this is a good way of getting clarity of how your day of labor is going to go, where will you give birth and who will accompany you. It’s also a good time to start talking to your partner about ideas on rasing your newborn or maybe having a nurturing loving family member, a gran a mom or an aunt to help you head on to a good start.

It really takes a village to raise children and someone experienced would be great to have around and would be really helpful you need all the helo and support. Keep the house and the baby’s nursery ready for your baby’s arrival as it gets closer and closer to the time. You may want to consider not having too many visitors come over at least a month after baby has arrived to allow you guys time to get the hang of it and be confident at it.

You can also start packing for the hospital at 32 weeks. Ideally you want to make sure your check list is sorted at least a month before so you won’t have to rush through it.

Written by Pam TheFlower