Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting and sometimes stressful experience. Being pregnant during COVID-19 may add extra anxiety and concern for you and those you care about who are pregnant.

Although the overall risks are low, if you are pregnant or were recently pregnant, you are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. Additionally, if you have COVID-19 during pregnancy, you are at increased risk of complications that can affect your pregnancy and developing baby. The most important thing you can do is to protect yourself and your baby by getting the COVID-19 vaccine and booster.

In addition to being vaccinated, you should:

  • eat healthy foods,
  • get exercise,
  • don't smoke or drink,
  • or take drugs that could harm you or your baby.

It also means having a health care provider who will give you information that is based on the best interests of you and your baby. You want a health care provider, hospital or birthing plan that will support your wishes for labor and delivery, based on the best interests of you and your baby. You should be able to feel free to ask any question and to get information that you can understand.

Starting prenatal care early is important since a healthy baby starts with a healthy pregnancy.

Stages of Pregnancy

The First Trimester

The first trimester of pregnancy is the time from the start of your pregnancy to 12 weeks. During the first trimester you may experience swollen breasts, tiredness (fatigue), nausea and vomiting (morning sickness), backaches, mood swings and frequent urination. Most people who are pregnant have monthly prenatal visits with their health care provider until the end of this trimester.

During the first trimester your health care provider will:

  • Check your weight, blood pressure, and urine;
  • Check the size and shape of your uterus;
  • Check your hands and feet for swelling; and
  • Toward the end of the first trimester, listen to your baby's heartbeat.

The Second Trimester

The second trimester of pregnancy goes from the 13th week to the 27th week. In the second trimester, there is usually less nausea and tiredness (fatigue) than in the first trimester. The baby grows rapidly and by the end of the second trimester you begin to feel the baby move . As the baby grows, the uterus also grows and rises higher in the abdomen during the second trimester. Some people find that they don't have to urinate as frequently as before. However, you may feel pressure in your abdomen or backaches or shortness of breath. On average, it is normal to gain about one pound per week, or about three to four pounds per month during this trimester. Most people who are pregnant have monthly prenatal visits with their health care provider until the end of this trimester.

During the second trimester your health care provider will:

  • Check your weight, blood pressure, and urine;
  • Check the size and shape of your uterus and listen to the baby's heartbeat;
  • Check your hands and feet for swelling;
  • Check your legs for varicose veins; and
  • Do other tests to check for any possible problems.

The Third Trimester

This is the last trimester, running from the 28th week until the 40th week when your baby is born. You may feel tired again during the third trimester and many -people who are pregnant find breathing more difficult and notice they have to go to the bathroom more often. This is because the baby is getting bigger, and it is putting more pressure on your organs including your lungs and bladder. On average, it is normal to gain about one pound per week, or three to four pounds per month, during the third trimester. By the end of your pregnancy, you should have gained, on average, 25 to 30 pounds. From 30 weeks to 38 weeks of pregnancy, most health care providers recommend one office visit every two weeks. After 38 weeks, people who are pregnant normally see their health care provider every week until delivery.

During the third trimester your health care provider will:

  • Check your weight, blood pressure, and urine;
  • Check the size and shape of your uterus and listen to the baby's heartbeat;
  • Check the baby's position;
  • Check your hands and feet for swelling and legs for varicose veins; and
  • Do other tests to check for any possible problems.

Call your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Warm fluid flows out of your vagina, your "water breaks."
  • Bleeding from your vagina.
  • Sharp severe pain in your back or abdomen.
  • Severe headache, blurred vision, or slurred speech.

Resources

  • Growing Up Healthy Hotline - The Growing Up Healthy Hotline (1-800-522-5006) provides information about health care, nutrition and other health and human services. The hotline provides information and referral 24 hours a day, seven days a week in English, Spanish and other languages. All calls are confidential.
  • NYS Parenting Portal - Find caregiving tips and resources to enhance your role as a parent.
  • Prenatal Care in New York State - Programs statewide to help before, during and after pregnancy.
  • Text 4 Baby - Sign up fo free text messages to keep you and your baby healthy. Join the hundreds of thousands of moms who receive free text messages throughout their pregnancy and their baby's first year.