Things You Need to Know About Pregnancy if You Are a First Time Mom

One of the first questions you may have when you discover you’re pregnant is, “What is my due date?” Babies approximately live in utero for an average of 40 weeks before delivery but may be born any time between 38 and 42 weeks. Although most people are aware that pregnancy lasts roughly 9 months, can we ever determine the exact date of delivery?

Pregnancy stages and changes

Before we get into the expected delivery date, let’s break things down little by little. The first thing you need to know is that there are three stages in pregnancy: the first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester. Each trimester comprises specific changes in both the pregnant mother’s body and the fetus. For prenatal care, consider Obria Medical Clinics to take care of you while you are pregnant. They will make sure that you have a healthy baby.

First Trimester (0-12 weeks)

This stage starts from the first week of the pregnancy to 12 weeks. This is a crucial part for the fetus since this is when most of the organs start to develop and the body is structured. That is why it is vital to have a prenatal checkup as soon as possible – for an early pregnancy scan and monitoring process. This is also where most of the significant changes for the mother occur.

  • Amenorrhea or absence of menstruation
  • Nausea and vomiting is expected, although some women never experience this particular side effect of pregnancy 
  • Breasts become tender, enlarged, and heavier
  • Fatigue is normal; you will frequently feel tired and emotional
  • Enlarged uterus 
  • Frequent urination due to the enlarged uterus pressing on your bladder
  • Weight gain, although in the first trimester weight gain is usually minimal

Second Trimester (13-26 weeks)

This starts from week 13 and lasts until week 26. Many of the symptoms from the first trimester may fade and be replaced by new symptoms. Other symptoms such as weight gain will continue throughout the pregnancy. 

  • Skin pigmentation (melasma and linea nigra) caused by hormonal changes
  • The start of Braxton Hicks which are irregular mild contractions, which are normal. If you experience pain or contractions coming on a consistent pattern and growing stronger these are not Braxton Hicks and you need to contact your doctor as soon as possible. 
  • Sticky, white vaginal discharge
  • Enlarged abdomen as the fetus is also growing inside
  • Leg cramps

Third Trimester (27-40 weeks)

This starts from 27th week until the delivery, either on the 38th or 40th week. 

  • Swelling of the and ankles
  • Varicose veins
  • Sleeping issues arise as a result of having a big tummy which discomfort and limits your sleeping positions
  • Breathing difficulties caused by growing fetus compressing the lungs

When is your expected delivery date?

Knowing your expected delivery date is important so you will know when to plan for the baby’s arrival. There are several ways you can determine your baby’s estimated due date, but it’s important to remember that babies rarely come on their due date. You can always check in with your doctor such as this gynecologist in El Paso, TX.  

Prenatal Checkup

The first time you go in for a prenatal checkup, the nurse or midwife will immediately calculate your EDD, or Expected Date of Delivery, as part of the standard procedure process. If you want to determine the gender of your unborn baby, consider using the Ramzi theory, a baby gender predictor test via ultrasound.

Naegel’s rule

If you are not yet scheduled for a prenatal checkup and you simply can’t wait to know when you are due, then you can calculate it yourself. It’s pretty easy and it’s called the Naegel’s rule.

  • The first thing you need to do is remember your last menstrual date. 
  • Subtract 3 months, add 7 days, and add 1 year


Last Menstrual Period: December 15, 2021

12     15    2021

-3      +7        +1

9       22     2022 – September 22, 2022

After calculations, you can convert the number into a date. As for the example, since the last Menstrual Date was December 15, 2021, it would be considered “12 15 2021”. Follow the instructions to subtract 3 months, add 7 days, and 1 year which is “-3 +7 +1”. The result is “ 9 22 2022” which translates to September 22, 2022. That is the specific due date for your baby. 

In cases where the result of the month is a negative number, you don’t need to add 1 year because it only means that your due date is in the same year. 

However, there is no guarantee that this due date will be followed, as it can be earlier or later than that. We can never really tell what happens along the course of one’s pregnancy. It might affect the delivery date, but at least you already have an idea of the due date and can just estimate it for margin of change.

EDD Calculator

Everything you need, you can probably find it online. Fortunately, the advancement in technology offers services for our convenience. This includes an online EDD calculator. This is the easiest and quickest way to know your due date. You just have to input your last menstrual period and the current date, and then it will calculate your expected delivery date and how many weeks you are currently in your pregnancy. 

Expecting a baby is a joyful experience and the due date is a big deal! It’s the date you’ll finally hold your sweet baby in your arms for the first time. Calculating and planning out your due date ensures that you’re as prepared and ready as you’ll ever be for your baby’s arrival. 

Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.