Your body during weeks 9 to

The third month of pregnancy is the last month in your first trimester. Some of the first discomforts and annoyances of pregnancy, such as morning sickness and frequent urination, may be particularly troublesome this month. But the end is in sight — at least for a while. For most women, the side effects of early pregnancy greatly diminish in the second trimester.

Your hormones

Hormone production is continuing to increase this month, but a shift is going on. By the end of your 12th week of pregnancy, your baby and placenta will be producing more estrogen and progesterone than your ovaries do.

Your body's increased hormone production is likely continuing to cause unpleasant signs and symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, breast soreness, headaches, dizziness, increased urination, insomnia and vivid dreams. Nausea and vomiting may be especially bothersome. If you have morning sickness, it may last this entire month. It will likely subside midway into next month. It almost always subsides by the end of next month.

On the upside, your increased blood volume and increased production of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are working together this month to give you that pregnant "glow." Greater blood volume is bringing more blood to your blood vessels, resulting in skin that looks slightly flushed and plump. The final part of the glow comes from the hormones HCG and progesterone, which are increasing the amount of oil secreted by the oil glands in your face, causing your skin to look smoother and slightly shinier.

One possible downside: If you commonly experienced acne breakouts during your menstrual period before you were pregnant, this extra oil may be making you more prone to acne.

Your heart and circulatory system

Your body's increased blood production will continue throughout your pregnancy, but this month marks the end of the time of greatest increase. To accommodate this change, your heart is continuing to pump harder. It's also pumping faster. These changes in your circulatory system may be continuing to cause unwelcome physical signs and symptoms, such as fatigue, dizziness and headaches.

Your eyes

While you're pregnant, your body retains extra fluid. This causes the outer layer of your eye, called the cornea, to get about 3 percent thicker. This change typically becomes obvious by about the 10th week of your pregnancy, lasting until about six weeks after your baby is born. At the same time, the pressure of fluid within your eyes, called intraocular pressure, decreases about 10 percent during pregnancy.

As a result of these two events, you may begin to have slightly blurred vision this month. If you wear contact lenses, particularly hard lenses, you may find them uncomfortable to wear. Still, there's no need to change your contact lenses. Your eyes will return to normal after you give birth.

Your breasts

Your breasts and the milk-producing glands inside them are continuing to grow, stimulated by increased production of estrogen and progesterone. The areolas, the rings of brown or reddish-brown skin around your nipples, may also be larger and darker. Your breasts may continue to feel tender or sore, though the soreness is probably easing a bit. Your breasts may feel fuller and heavier as well.

Your uterus

Up to your 12th week of pregnancy, your uterus fits inside your pelvis. It's probably hard for anyone to tell you're pregnant just by looking at you. Even so, you'll likely have pregnancy-related signs and symptoms. Throughout this month, because of your uterus' increasing size and proximity to your bladder, you'll probably continue to feel the need to urinate more often. By the end of the month, your uterus will have expanded up out of your pelvic cavity, so the pressure on your bladder won't be as great.

Your bones, muscles and joints

You may be continuing to feel some twinges, cramps or pulling in your lower abdomen. The ligaments supporting your uterus are stretching to accommodate its growth. Early in the second trimester, it's common to have sharp pain on one side or the other, usually provoked by a sudden movement. This pain is the result of a hard stretch of the round ligament that tethers the uterus to the abdominal wall. It isn't harmful, but it can hurt.

Weight gain

When you add up your baby's weight, your placenta, the amniotic fluid, the increased amount of blood your body has produced, the fluid accumulated in your own body tissues and your bigger uterus and breasts, you'll probably have gained about 2 pounds by the end of your 12th week of pregnancy. If your pre-pregnancy weight is in the normal range, you'll probably gain about 25 to 35 pounds during your pregnancy. Most of your weight gain will occur in the second half of your pregnancy and after your 33rd or 34th week, when you'll probably gain about a pound a week.

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