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Article: The Essential Guide to Preparing for Each Pregnancy Trimester: What Expecting Parents Need to Know.

what to expect when expecting

The Essential Guide to Preparing for Each Pregnancy Trimester: What Expecting Parents Need to Know.

Welcome to the wonderful journey of pregnancy! Whether you're a first-time parent or experiencing this miracle again, each pregnancy is unique. As you embark on this nine-month journey, full of anticipation and dreams, it's important to know what lies ahead so you are better prepared. Through this guide, we will walk you through each trimester, offering tips and insights to help prepare you for each phase -


**First Trimester (Weeks 1 to 12): The Beginning **

The first trimester is a time of immense change, often before you even announce your pregnancy to friends and family. You might notice fatigue setting in as early as the first few weeks. As one new mum, Jess from Adelaide, shares, "I was surprised how tired I felt. It was like running a marathon every day!" 


**Physical Changes**: Morning sickness can be a common companion, but remember, every pregnancy is different. Some might crave Vegemite on toast, while others can't stand the smell of coffee. I personally had to deal with a metallic taste in my mouth and a lot of Nausea! My Dr told me then having these symptoms is a sign of a healthy pregnancy.

**Emotional Changes**: Hormonal changes might make you feel like you're on an emotional rollercoaster. It's normal, and it's okay to ask for support.

 **Health and Nutrition**: It's crucial to start prenatal vitamins, especially folic acid, to support your baby's development right from the time you want to start planning a baby. Through pregnancy, there are many over the counter supplements available in Australia for pregnancy, and these can be discussed with your medical practitioner too. Elevit was popular amongst my friends, but personally Swisse supplements suited my gut better. 

**Doctor's Visits**: Your first visit might include various tests, including blood tests and ultrasounds. As Dr. Sarah Thompson, an obstetrician from Canberra, advises, "Regular prenatal visits are crucial for monitoring your and your baby's health."

**A note on baby’s development**: During these initial weeks, your baby is developing rapidly. By the end of the first trimester, all major organs have begun to form. The baby's heart starts beating around week 6, and by week 12, the baby’s fingers and toes are fully formed. This period is truly miraculous as the baby transforms from a tiny cluster of cells into a little human being.

Be sure to check out our First trimester care package curated for a mum to be. 



**Second Trimester (Weeks 13 to 26): The Period of Growth**

Often considered the 'honeymoon phase' of pregnancy, the second trimester brings noticeable changes. You might start to feel your baby’s movements, an experience that many describe as butterflies fluttering, and magical.


**Physical Changes**: Maybe for the first time now, you will actually feel and look pregnant. As your belly grows, so does your excitement. This is a great time to start documenting your pregnancy journey, maybe with weekly belly photos too (often described as Bumpies!). Check out our Bump bundle here, which has a great pregnancy journal.

**Planning and Preparation**: As your health improves and you start feeling a little better, it it is a great time to begin setting up your nursery and thinking about names. It's also a good time to start looking into childbirth and parenting classes. I personally feel second trimester is the most enjoyable, and we regain some of our lost energy to focus on nursery planning. 

Amidst the planning and baby shopping (and probably pre-planning baby shower and gender reveal parties) – don’t forget to invest in your self-care. We have a great range of pregnancy self-care products, all conveniently bundled into stages for you. Check out the collection here, or consider our pregnancy subscription here.

**Health and Wellness**: Continue with balanced meals and stay active. Swimming is a popular choice among Australian mums-to-be for staying fit. Do what you like, but try and aim to move for at least 30 minutes a day. And remember, stay well hydrated.

 **Pregnancy Shopping**: Towards the middle of second trimester, you may start to outgrow your current clothes. Explore maternity wear for comfort, style and ease of breastfeeding after your baby is born. Remember, our trimester bundles are designed to provide you with pregnancy essentials you need for each stage of your pregnancy, and the second trimester bundle is well known for it’s Bump cookies and eye mask.

**A note on baby’s development**: This is a period of significant growth for your baby. Around week 16, you might start to feel your baby's first movements as they become more active. By week 20, the halfway point, you can find out the baby's sex during an ultrasound. The baby's senses start developing at this stage too, with the ability to hear your voice and the beginnings of sight and taste.



**Third Trimester (Weeks 27 to Birth): The Final Countdown**

You're in the home stretch! It's a time of excitement, but also of preparation for the big day.

**Physical Changes**: You might find sleeping a bit tricky with your growing belly. Using pregnancy pillows can provide much-needed comfort. There is a wide range available in Australia, with boyfriend pillows and U shaped pregnancy pillow being most popular. Some may love these, others may not. I owe a lot of good night sleeps to my U shaped pregnancy pillow I bought off ebay.

 **Preparation for Birth**: Pack your hospital bag with essentials like a robe, slippers, and, of course, the first outfit for your little one. Don't forget to install the car seat in advance! There are professional services available near you for installation. 

Side note: Check out our super handy hospital packing checklist included with our Third trimester bundle for your convenience, or get your digital copy here.

**Maternity Leave and Family Time**: Discuss your maternity leave plans with your employer. It's also a time to bond with your partner and family, cherishing these last few weeks before the baby arrives. If you can, plan some meals ahead and have a support system near you of friends and family who can help you post childbirth.

Remember, it is OKAY to ask for help. Below I am sharing 3 things a friend shared with me that really helped me post childbirth –

  1. Lower your standards
  2. Lower your expectations
  3. Lower your pace

**Rest and Relaxation**: Take it easy and enjoy these moments. Prenatal yoga can be a great way to relax and connect with your baby, and may also help prepare your mind and body for labour. Find a centre near you, or join an online class.

I also highly recommend you to grab a good Pregnancy Affirmations kit, affirmations are strong positive messages that help you stay motivated through pregnancy and labour. We have an exclusive pregnancy cards deck designed for our customers, you can get a printed pregnancy affirmations kit here.

**A note on baby’s development**: In the third trimester, your baby is getting ready for birth. Their eyes can open and close around week 28, and they start to develop regular sleep and wake cycles. By week 32, the baby's bones are fully formed, but still soft. In the final weeks, the baby gains more fat, making them rounder, and the lungs mature, preparing for that first breath after birth.


In conclusion:

As you journey through each trimester, remember that every pregnancy is unique. Embrace each moment, whether it's your first or your third time. A little self-care goes a long way, I invite you to consider starting your pregnancy self-care journey with our convenient Trimester bundles. After all, we designed it to take one thing off your plate, so you can focus on other things, put your feet up and make time for Yoga.


Lastly, no matter how tough it feels, remember – you've got this!

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