The Pregnancy Guide

The Pregnancy Guide

So you’re pregnant, now what?

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Congratulations! Welcome to this exciting new stage. It’s a big deal (huge!) and The Memo is here for you. This guide was created as a central place to talk you through the real-life stages of pregnancy. With research-backed information, it will help you through all your your "what next?", "what's that?" and "WTF?" moments.

If you’re reading this in the early weeks of pregnancy, it’s likely you’ll be brimming with emotions that overwhelm you, awaken you, excite you and exhaust you. Your hormones will experience patches of turbulence over the next nine or so months as your body and mind focus on nurturing your baby (or babies!). Rest assured, we’re here to help you feel good, prepared and supported, every step of the way.

1st trimester

Weeks 1–12

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Now that you’re pregnant your body will start to direct a lot of your daily energy to the task of growing your baby and running their life support — the placenta. For this reason plentiful amounts of rest, water, nutrient-rich foods and gentle (safe and doctor-approved) movement is encouraged. 
As your baby grows, you can expect to tire more often and more quickly. Why? Because your carrying a bit more inside (the baby, the placenta, extra fluids and 45percent more blood), your heart is working overtime to nourish the developing placenta, your uterus is growing and taking on a new position, and your ovaries are producing added levels of progesterone. You are literally doing the most, hence the fatigue.
Throughout your pregnancy, your mind may start to race ahead: “Is this normal? When will [insert pregnancy characteristic] happen? What do we need for the baby? When?!” There will also be the mental Olympics of navigating your relationship with your partner, friends, family, work and, most importantly, yourself. All are about to go through periods of ‘newness’.

So there's flux in emotional changes, flux in your energy, and, oh yeah, the physical changes. From bigger boobs to slightly wider hips and destablising belly, you will experience a full range of development. Your feet may go up a size, your nipples may darken, your skin could clear and glow, or adopt a new short-term concern like acne or melasma. Your teeth may move, your hair could thicken… even your vulva is likely to experience change. It’s normal to feel a little bewildered or uncomfortable about these changes, but it is all part of the process of getting to meet your baby and the first part of your evolution into parenthood, where the unexpected is expected and the experiences are as individual as the tiny human it produces.
Below is a quick look at some of the things you might be wrapping your head around in this first trimester.

Resources For Your First Trimester

2nD trimester

Weeks 13–26

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For many, the second trimester is when things start to feel real. Your chance of pregnancy loss drops to 1-5 percent, you may start to share your news more widely and your bump becomes more noticeable. Don’t be alarmed by itchy skin (belly and boobs), as this is likely due to your skin stretching to accommodate the growing body. Hopefully you will notice any morning sickness and fatigue subside as hCG levels become more regulated. This isn't always the case though, so if nausea continues to haunt you, be kind to yourself. You may also start to experience new discomforts and aches around your lower back, hips, pelvic bone and/or start to get sciatica, which is a type of pain that starts in your back and goes down your leg.

The additional weight your body is carrying may place pressure on your joints and muscles causing a series of ailments. Now is a great time to find an experienced GP or women’s health physician to guide you through the pregnancy. As for your baby, a lot happens in these 12 weeks. Their eyes and ears are starting to function, they’ll develop fingerprints, they can hiccup and yawn and they’re able to move side-to-side! Their movements may invite a feeling of fluttering sensations or even kicks. Depending on the position of your placenta and other variables, the level of sensation is different for all pregnancies, but as the weeks go on, they will become stronger and more consistent.

Resources For Your Second Trimester

What to know for where you, and your baby, are at. Every week.

Expecting? Sign up for our (relatable and fun, promise) updates for every week of your pregnancy. The Memo Baby Tracker is the newsletter you actually want to read about what’s happening with your body, and your baby, each week.
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3Rd trimester

Weeks 29-40

In these final weeks your baby may double or more so you'll be feeling the extra weight. You may notice some shortness in breath, physical fatigue and perhaps a slight waddle as your pelvis widens to accommodate your bump. Despite the exhaustion, you might be struggling to sleep. Pregnancy insomnia, due to physical discomfortable, frequent bathroom trips and hormonal changes is (cruelly) experienced by 60 percent of pregnant people in late pregnancy, so take the naps when you can.

The baby is really taking shape now and becoming more active with new tricks such as kicking, stretching, sleeping in more regular cycles and detecting light! . 

Let’s talk dates! Even though week 40 is usually when your given due date falls, a baby is actually considered ‘full term’ in Australia (yes, it varies country to country) from week 37. For this reason, having your hospital bag packed and at the door by now is wise in the chance your baby comes early.

If your baby is born before 37 weeks, they’ll be referred to as premature. As you etch towards the 40 week mark, your baby may start to initiate a lower and more ‘engaged’ position, explaining why people may comment, ‘Oh you have dropped!” This simply means they are getting ready to meet you. It’s all happening, so don’t be alarmed if you feel overwhelmed. Trimester 3 can invite clusters of emotions as you prepare to become a mother. If you notice yourself cleaning, sorting, tidying, arranging and re-arranging — this is referred to as ‘the nesting phase’ and it’s likely due to — you got it! — hormones! Stay calm andride the wave. You’re on the home stretch.

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Get prepared. Have your hospital bag by the door.

Resources For Your Third Trimester

READ THE Labour & Birth Guide

4th trimester

Weeks after birth & beyond

The fourth trimester refers to the first 12 weeks of your postpartum experience i.e. life immediately after your baby is born.

When you fell pregnant, remember those hormonal surges? Well now your baby is here, it is completely normal (not to mention, expected), to experience a whirlwind of emotions, including an infamous batch of ‘the baby blues’  around days 3-5. Your estrogen and progesterone levels will drop away very quickly and as your milk comes in, you’ll experience an escalation in oxytocin and prolactin. Pair this hormonal shift with (1) the physical recovery from birth, (2) that you have a brand new baby to care for and (3) the fact you now have limited time to sleep, rest and recalibrate, and… Let's just say it's a lot and your body and mind will pine for copious amounts of support, empathy, kindness and acknowledgement. Accept the help and ask for what you need so you can look after your baby and look after yourself. 

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