Women's Health Matters

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Stages of pregnancy

Pregnancy involves many unfamiliar changes. You may feel wonderful highs and some real lows. You may feel unhappy about some of the physical changes and discomforts you are experiencing, and you may feel unsure about some of the changes ahead. Both you and your partner may be feeling uncertain, so try to keep the lines of communication open. Remember that different people communicate in different ways. If you are on your own, having someone to talk to is especially important.

During the pregnancy, it is important for you to visit your primary caregiver regularly. Your caregiver(s) will want to carefully monitor what is happening during your pregnancy. Write down your questions and concerns and feel free to ask them.

Stages of pregnancy

Your pregnancy is divided into three trimesters of approximately three months each. Each trimester of pregnancy brings new changes. You will experience different emotions and have different physical signs of advancing pregnancy. Your fetus will grow and develop with each passing month.

For detailed information on each trimester, please visit the following pages:

First trimester | Second trimester | Third trimester

Pregnancy may also bring changes to your relationship with your partner. You are both thinking about what it will mean to be a parent. If you have lost a child before or if one of you has recently lost a family member, you may be especially anxious during the pregnancy. It is important to feel love and support to help you cope with these feelings.

Some of the hormonal changes of late pregnancy inspire a woman to begin nesting – preparing a place for her baby. These feelings may be accompanied by a burst of energy. This is a good opportunity for you and your partner to work together to prepare for the baby.

Your sexual relationship with your partner may change during pregnancy. Some couples experience a decrease in their sexual activity during the first trimester of pregnancy, which levels off during the second trimester. Others find that their sex lives improve – that their desire increases, their bodies become more sensitive, and their orgasms more intense. During the third trimester, you may have to be more creative with your sexual activity as your body expands and makes some positions uncomfortable. For more about sexual activity during and after pregnancy, visit the Sex and Childbirth section.


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  • A publication of:
  • Women's College Hospital