The gestation period of pregnancy is usually nine months. This is divided into three, three month sections called trimesters. Each trimester is extremely important in the baby's growth and development, all three bringing with it different experiences for the mother.
In the first three months of pregnancy it is important to establish a healthy prenatal care routine. It is usual to experience headaches, fatigue, nausea and mood swings. During this initial trimester the baby's organs will begin to form and its heartbeat can heard through a stethoscope.
During this period the feeling of nausea will generally subside and mother will feel more energised. It is important to continue to eat regular balanced meals to aid in the baby's growth. The baby can also be felt moving for the first time, this generally being a fluttering sensation in the upper stomach.
The baby experiences it's last spurt of growth, it's also common to feel elevated levels of movement. It is usual to feel quite uncomfortable toward the end of the eighth month due to the baby's size. The signs of labour toward the end of this trimester will be hard to mistake but if in doubt the midwife, GP or hospital should be contacted.
The experience of labour differs from one individual to another. In some cases it lasts for just a couple of hours, in others it can last considerably longer.
The initial signs of labour generally begin with contractions, becoming more regular and severe over time. The final stages being the sack around the baby breaking and releasing fluid (waters breaking). At times the waters may break before contractions start but this is also perfectly normal.