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Month 3

Welcome to your third month of pregnancy, and the last month of your first trimester! Even though there is a lot to celebrate—you're almost done with the first leg of this nine-month journey, after all—you might be feeling too nauseous to do much more than lift your glass of flat ginger ale in salute. While some early pregnancy inconveniences (including morning sickness and food aversions) tend to peak this month, the exciting changes and developments can help take your mind off your problems.

Your Baby

Your little peanut is on the move! During the third month, your baby will begin to spontaneously move around your uterus, although you will not be able to detect this early activity. Your baby is growing and will be approximately three inches long by the end of the first trimester and weigh about one ounce. Your baby is also growing stronger and can open and close its mouth and even make a fist!

Other noteworthy changes:

  • Your baby's face is now formed. Eyelids will develop and stay closed until the end of the second trimester.
  • Fingernails and toenails are beginning to develop and ears have formed.
  • The beginnings of teeth are forming.
  • Your baby's heartbeat can be usually be heard, using Doppler ultrasound, by week 12!

Your Body

The good news? As your body adjusts to pregnancy, many of the first trimester annoyances you may be experiencing, including fatigue and nausea/vomiting (aka morning sickness) should start to fade by month's end. In the meantime, however, the struggle is real. What works to calm first-trimester nausea? According to Lizellen La Follette, M.D., OB-GYN at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, Calif., "Eating frequent small meals and drinking plenty of water can help." If you are having a difficult time eating and drinking, talk to your prenatal care provider about treatment options to help manage your nausea. Despite its name, also be aware that symptoms of "morning sickness" can occur any time throughout the day and night.

With this lovely bit of news out of the way, what else can you expect this month?

  • Your breast size may increase as milk ducts and glands enlarge in preparation for breastfeeding. Score!
  • Your growing uterus—now the size of a large grapefruit—fills your pelvis and begins stretching into your abdomen. You might be able to feel your uterus just above your pubic bone by the end of the first trimester.
  • You have probably put on an extra 2 percent of body fat between your middle and top of thighs.

Things to Start Thinking About

Weight Gain During Pregnancy: If you are a normal weight woman, the total amount of weight generally recommended to gain during pregnancy is somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds. Much of this weight gain takes place in the latter stages of pregnancy; during the first trimester, weight gain of 1 to 1.5 pounds per month is advised, for a total of 3 to 5 pounds for the entire first trimester. You may have different weight gain needs depending on your pre-pregnancy weight or whether you are carrying twins or more. Talk to your prenatal care provider about what amount is appropriate for you.

Staying Regular: Hormonal changes during pregnancy slow down digestion, which can lead to constipation. Awesome, right? Iron in your prenatal supplement often adds to the problem. The best way to stay regular? Bulk up your prenatal diet by adding fiber-filled foods. As Dr. La Follette recommends, "Eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and bran cereal to make sure your bowel movements are regular, and be sure to drink plenty of water."


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