There are over three million births in the U.S every year, which means many women must mentally prepare themselves for pregnancy.

Being pregnant has many benefits like improving heart health, feeling in tune with your body, and beginning the journey towards motherhood. Perhaps you’re planning to have a little one, but you aren’t sure what to expect during pregnancy.

This Is What It Feels Like to Be Pregnant

If that sounds familiar, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll answer “what it feels like to be pregnant?” Here’s everything you need to know.

Early Symptoms of Pregnancy

You’re wondering, “what does it feel like when you get pregnant?” which is why we must begin at the beginning. Early symptoms mimic your experience before menstruation, so you may not realize you’re pregnant. These include:

Spotting and Cramping

The first telltale sign is a missed period, which prompts women to get a pregnancy test. But it’s also common to experience spotting and cramping (known as “implantation bleeding”) six to 12 days after the egg is fertilized. Though lighter, these feel like menstrual cramps, and many women notice a milky discharge because the vagina’s walls are thickening.

Sore Breasts

If you’re wondering what to expect when pregnant, know that you’ll experience changes in your breasts. Breasts feel tender within several weeks of conception as your boy starts to produce more estrogen and progesterone. Partner this with increased fat and blood flow, and you’ll notice that your breasts become larger, heavier, and sorer. Further, the area around your nipples (known as the areola) may darken.

Morning Sickness

“How does pregnancy feel?” You ask.

Many women experience morning sickness between two-to-eight weeks, and although it’s the most famous symptom, not everyone has it. This is due to the rise of pregnancy hormones, and despite the name, you can have morning sickness at any time of the day.

You may also notice that you’re craving certain foods or can’t stand specific flavors, which is related to hormonal changes. Luckily, these symptoms ease during the 14th week of pregnancy. Those eager for morning sickness should consider eating small meals and natural remedies like ginger tea.


Fatigue is common during pregnancy and can occur a week after conceiving. This is because of a spike in progesterone and low sugar or blood levels. It’s essential to get plenty of rest and load up on protein-rich food to offset the symptoms.

What the Second Trimester Feels Like

If you’re wondering, “what does being pregnant feel like?” know that most of the symptoms are felt in the second trimester (13 to 28 weeks).

You’ll notice an increase in energy, which is excellent if you struggled with morning sickness and fatigue in the early stages of pregnancy. Plus, your baby “bump” has grown, and it’s possible to feel your baby moving.

Further, you’ll go for scans to see how the baby is growing, whether there are any concerns, and if you want to know its gender. During this trimester, decide whether you want a home or hospital birth depending on what you feel more comfortable with.

As for your baby, they will be the size of a chicken breast and can even yawn. Between week 21 to 23, you’ll feel your little one kicking and jabbing with their arms, and by the end of your second trimester, you’ll have a two-pound baby in your stomach!

Emotional Changes During Pregnancy

Aside from physical changes, women may also notice their emotions are amplified. For instance, many pregnant women feel more anxious about everything from being bad mothers to not offering enough security for their little ones.

But you’ll also feel more connected to your unborn baby and unconsciously place your hands on your belly to protect them.

What the Third Trimester Feels Like

“What is pregnancy like in the third trimester?”

This is between the 28th to 42nd week of your pregnancy and the final stage. At the beginning of this trimester, your little one will be around 14 inches, which is the size of a bowling pin. Your baby’s brain is developing so they can see, feel, touch, taste, and hear when they’re born.

Many pregnant women experience Braxton Hicks contractions in terms of symptoms, similar to what you’ll experience in labor. This is where your uterine muscles tighten every 30 seconds, but it’s possible to stop them by changing positions or getting up. You should use these as a chance to practice the breathing methods you’ve learned so you’re ready on the big day.

You may experience lower back or hip pain because your body is getting ready for birth. But you can alleviate the discomfort with walking, swimming, or stretching. You’ll also begin to slow down because the fatigue will set in during this last stage. It’s also harder to find a comfortable sleep position, and instead of walking, you’ll waddle.

What It Feels Like to Be Pregnant

Now you have an idea of what it feels like to be pregnant.

You’ll experience early symptoms like morning sickness, fatigue, and changes in breasts, whereas you’ll have more energy in the second trimester. The last trimester is when you’ll begin to waddle, experience contractions, and find it difficult to sleep.

Being pregnant is a magical experience, and it’ll all be worth it once you have your little one in your arms.

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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