The Second Trimester of Pregnancy
You made it through the first trimester this means you should feel less fatigue. Here is happy news, morning sickness has incredibly come to an end as well. During the second trimester, you will feel more energetic and you will have a better mood.
In general, the second trimester of pregnancy is known as the easiest stage of the whole pregnancy journey. This is the stage where you feel more relaxed as your energy levels increase. You may focus on planning for your baby’s arrival and staying away from any kind of stressful vibes. During the second trimester of pregnancy, your baby is growing so quickly. Here you will learn more details about the second trimester and what to expect.
How Long Is the Second Trimester?
The second trimester starts in week 14 of pregnancy and lasts till the end of week 27 of pregnancy.
What to Expect: Changes in Your Body
Here’s what to expect during the second trimester of pregnancy:
- Braxton Hicks contractions: you may feel mild irregular contractions getting stronger and more frequent. Most women experience these contractions in the afternoon or evening especially after having sex. This is something you shouldn’t worry about unless they become more regular.
- Growing breasts: your breasts will incredibly increase in size because they are getting ready for your baby. Consider getting a supportive bra or a sports bra to help you feel more comfortable.
- Changes in your skin: the main keyword to pregnancy is hormonal changes. Throughout the pregnancy, women experience a lot of changes in their hormones which can increase the pigment-bearing cells in their skin. You may notice a dark line down your abdomen but there’s nothing to worry about, these changes will usually disappear after delivery.
- Dizziness: Also known as a pregnant woman’s worst nightmare. Pregnancy can bring along changes in circulation that will make you feel dizzy. In order to overcome this nasty feeling, make sure you drink plenty of water and fluids, lie down on your side the moment you feel dizzy, and avoid standing for a long time.
- Vaginal discharge: You may notice a sticky or white vaginal discharge which is absolutely normal. Consult your doctor or health care provider if the discharge becomes strong smelling or if you’re feeling pain. This is very important as it could be a sign of a vaginal infection!
- Dental issue or sensitive gums: pregnancy can bring along with it some dental issues. You may notice that your gums are bright red and bleed very easily even with the slight brushing. This could be a sign of gingivitis that may develop a serious problem. Make sure to get checked by your dentist and avoid flossing. Instead, rinse your teeth with saltwater and use a toothbrush with softer bristles.
- Nasal problems: your hormone levels are increasing throughout your pregnancy making your body make more blood. This can lead to swelling or bleeding in your nose. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids and water to moisten the skin.
- Leg cramps: they usually appear strongly in the second trimester of pregnancy and last till the third trimester. It’s one of the most common symptoms that you will experience as your pregnancy progresses. In order to overcome this pain, make sure to wear comfortable and supportive shoes, stretch your calf muscles before going to bed, drink plenty of water and fluids and consider ice massage or a warm bath as well.
Your Emotions in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy
During the second trimester of pregnancy, you will feel less tired and more energetic. Make the best of this time and plan ahead for your baby’s arrival. You can start by finding a doctor for your baby and finding childbirth classes in order to become more prepared.
Focus on all the positive vibes in order to ease your stress and anxiety. You may also start living a healthier lifestyle so when your baby arrives, you’d be fully ready. Reading is your best friend at this stage of pregnancy, read and learn more about breastfeeding, how to take care of your new-born, and how to remain healthy mentally and physically.
Prenatal Care in the Second Trimester
During the second trimester, the main purpose of prenatal care is to ensure your baby is growing healthy and safe besides detecting any potential problem. Your care provider will check your weight and blood pressure every visit.
In the second trimester of pregnancy, you will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat. On top of that, you will finally know the sex of your baby. So you and your partner may plan for a sex-revealing party with your family and friends.
Heartburn in the Second Trimester
The bright side here is that nausea is finally gone, but we have bad news AKA heartburn! Almost half of the pregnant women experience heartburn during their pregnancy starting from the second trimester. This happens due to the increased level of progesterone hormone that makes the tube between the stomach and esophagus more relaxed. Allowing the stomach acid to move easily causing pain and discomfort. Here are some tips to help you relieve this annoying feeling:
- Avoid spicy foods
- Don’t go to bed right after eating
- Consider eating smaller meals
- Cut off caffeine
- Consult your doctor or health care provider about foods you should add to your daily meals
- Avoid taking pain killers or over-the-counter medications without consulting your healthcare provider.
Baby’s Development in the Second Trimester
Around week 21 of pregnancy, you will be able to feel his arms moving and legs giving you kicks. By the 23rd week of pregnancy, your baby will double in weight throughout the next four weeks.
During the second trimester, your baby will keep on growing very quickly. Some point between the 18th and 22nd week of pregnancy, you will have an ultrasound so that your doctor can check on your baby’s progress and make sure there aren’t any problems. On top of that, by the end of the second trimester, your baby’s length will be around 14 inches and they’ll weigh around two pounds.
Here’s an insight on what’s going on with your little baby:
- Digestive system: the digestive system was fully formed by the end of the first trimester. Now, your baby can swallow and suck to get ready for life outside your womb. They can now taste and prefer the foods they get through your amniotic fluid, this explains their preferences in foods after delivery.
- Heart: you will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat. By 17 weeks, their heartbeat will be more stable as their brain is regulating it. By 25 weeks, capillaries form to carry oxygenated blood through their body.
- Brain: by 26 weeks, your baby’s brain will start controlling their blinking
- Senses: by 22 weeks, your baby will develop senses which means they will be able to feel, smell, see, and heat even before they come to our world. This is so exciting, isn’t it!
How to Stay Healthy during the Second Trimester?
Here are what you should do and don’t during the second trimester:
- Drink plenty of water and fluids
- Exercise regularly (light exercises, consult your care provider about them)
- Eat fiber-rich foods
- Continue taking prenatal vitamins
- Include fruits and vegetables in your diet
- Check your dentist to avoid potential bloody gum or teeth issues
- Learn more about breastfeeding
- Illegal drugs
Here is the Second Trimester To-Do List:
- Take prenatal education classes that are offered locally.
- Join classes on breastfeeding and parenting.
- Plan a sex-revealing party with your partner
- Choose a doctor to follow up with your baby after birth