Your Pregnancy Step by Step

Your Pregnancy Step by Step

Pregnancy is a unique time in a woman’s life. There are a lot of physiological changes that take place to support a growing embryo or fetus. Pregnant women (and their placentas) produce different hormones that cause a broad range of changes like persistent nausea, breast pain, temporary darkening of your skin and many other common symptoms.

What happens to my body during pregnancy?

A full-term pregnancy typically lasts 40 weeks. During that time a woman’s body undergoes many temporary and sometimes unexpected transformations. The weeks are grouped into three trimesters:

  • First Trimester (Weeks 1-12)
    Hormonal changes during the first trimester affect every organ system in your body. During these first 12 weeks, your period will stop and you may experience extreme tiredness, tender breasts, nausea, constipation, frequent urination, headaches, heartburn, or mood swings. Your baby is also growing rapidly. His brain and spinal cord begin to develop as well as his major organs. This is a very crucial phase in your pregnancy and your baby’s development, and it is vital to meet your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Second Trimester (Weeks 13-28)
    The second trimester is often referred to as the ‘honeymoon period’ because nausea commonly subsides, emotions level out, and libido returns. During this time your abdomen begins to noticeably expand, making room for your growing baby. You will also start to gain weight, which is good for your growing baby but can mean aches, pains, and swelling for you. You will feel movement between 18-20 weeks as your baby’s arms and legs grow larger and stronger.
  • Third Trimester (Weeks 29-40)
    The third and final trimester often comes with insomnia and increased discomfort as your baby continues to grow and gain weight. Other common symptoms may include shortness of breath, heartburn, hemorrhoids, and swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face. Toward the end of this trimester you may notice your baby drop lower into your abdomen. Braxton Hicks or irregular contractions are very common during this trimester, but your doctor will educate you more on what is normal and what is not normal and should prompt you to go to the hospital.

As you move closer to your due date, your cervix will become thinner and softer and contractions will become stronger. This is a normal process that prepares your body for labor and delivery.

With all of these big, exciting changes happening in your body, it’s important to have a family doctor you feel comfortable with. Choosing a doctor that really knows you and your medical needs from puberty to pregnancy and beyond can provide you with uniquely individualized pregnancy care and services. Your doctor will likely care for your baby too, making this a unique experience for you and the family.

Pomona Valley Health Centers is proud to offer experienced, compassionate women’s health care at all four of our office locations. We provide pregnancy care, including for high-risk pregnancies, and have a multidisciplinary team approach to help you through this very important event in your life. If you’re in need of expert obstetric services for your pregnancy, trust your care to a board-certified Pomona Valley FM/OB doctor.

What Are the Top Issues for Women’s Health?

Women's Health

From family planning considerations to specific conditions and diseases, women face a different set of health challenges than men. For some, there are options to reduce your risk. For others, you may be able to lessen its symptoms.

The top issues for women’s health

  • Heart disease – The leading cause of death for women can also be preventable! Work with your doctor to recognize your potential risks, then make the necessary chances to diet and exercise. And of course, don’t smoke or vape, and limit alcohol.
  • Cancer – Although many people associate breast cancer with women, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and it occurs more often in young women. Also, lung, colon and uterine cancers (together), account for almost as many cancers as breast cancer. So, what can you do? Perform monthly breast self-exams, wear sunscreen, avoid smoking, get that colonoscopy, and if your periods become abnormal or you notice abdominal problems, see your doctor.
  • Stroke – Did you know? 60% of stroke deaths occur in women. Learn the stroke warning signs and remember … FAST: Face drooping, Arm weakness or numbness, Speech problems, Time to call 911.
  • Menopause – Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and sleep problems. At the very least, menopause (which begins 12 months after your last period) can be an uncomfortable and frustrating time. To get through it, try to keep a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, get plenty of exercise and explore stress management techniques like yoga and meditation.

Experienced, dedicated women’s healthcare throughout the Inland Empire

From well-woman checkups to menopause and osteoporosis care, we’re committed to keeping women healthy throughout life. At Pomona Valley Health Centers, we provide a complete range of women’s health services in La Verne, as well as in Claremont, Chino Hills Crossroads and Pomona. Count on us for personalized women’s healthcare, along with comprehensive family medicine, radiology, urgent care, physical therapy and more.

To schedule an appointment at a PVHC location near you, call 909-630-7829 or click here to use our online form.