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Second Trimester of Pregnancy – What Can You Expect!

Welcome to the second trimester of your pregnancy. For many expecting moms, the second trimester is the most comfortable one, as the morning sickness slows down and there still is time till the uncomfortable belly weight and backaches take over. So, now your mind must be at ease as you are past the first 13 weeks, the first trimester of your pregnancy safely. But new doubts, new questions, and new concerns must be filling your mind. Your search for second-trimester pregnancy tips and information ends here! 

Timeline For Your Second Trimester

Once your initial 13 weeks of pregnancy are over, your second trimester weeks begin.  The second trimester of pregnancy is 15 weeks long, from week 14 to week 27. The baby bump starts to show during the second trimester and your mood and energy levels will be at their best in this phase. Keep an eye for the second pregnancy symptoms and keep yourself prepared for what you are about to experience. 

Second Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms

  • Congestion – The increased blood flow to the nasal membrane causes nasal congestion that usually kicks in mid-pregnancy. You might suddenly start snoring or feel like your nose is stuffy even without having a cold. 
  • Mild swelling of the ankles and feet – Around 75% of expecting moms experience mild swelling of feet and ankles during the second and third trimesters. Avoid standing for long periods and while sitting put your feel a little elevated on a footstool. This can help in avoiding or reducing the swelling. 
  • Sensitive gums & dental issues – You might experience plaque build-up, sensitive gums, or even bleeding gums more than usual during the second trimester. It is advised to schedule a dentist appointment just to make sure there are no issues that can become painful for you during this phase. 
  • Leg cramps – Sometimes due to the weight gain, while at times also due to deficiency of calcium or magnesium, you can experience leg cramps that start around the second trimester and can last till the end of the third trimester. 
  • Dizziness – The flow of blood and the nutrition that your body gets from the food is redirected towards the growing baby. Thus, you might at times feel dizzy.  
  • Achiness in the lower abdomen – Also known as ligament pain, your lower abdomen might experience some pain as the ligaments stretch to support your growing belly. 
  • Varicose veins – Second trimester months can also bring along varicose veins, but if you have not had them in the past, they usually disappear after childbirth. 
  • Weight gain – Your baby starts to grow inside your womb and your baby starts to retain fat to prepare for childbirth. Once the first trimester morning sickness and nausea are also gone, you will have a better appetite. Thus, you will experience weight gain in your second trimester too. Check with your doctor how much gain you should be gaining and keep it under control, as losing the weight afterward might be a challenge. 
  • Braxton Hicks contractions – Normally known as false pains, Braxton Hicks are normal and nothing to worry about. They might feel like childbirth contractions with mild pain. 
  • Skin changes – Hormonal changes are at their peak during the pregnancy; thus, some women experience brown patches and blemishes on their face during the second trimester. A dark brown vertical line will also form on your abdomen from the belly button to the vagina. This brown line is known as Linea Nigra. These patches and lines disappear on their own after childbirth. 
  • Vaginal discharge – Clear or white sticky discharge is normal during the second trimester as well. You must talk to your doctor if the vaginal discharge is smelly or has a dark colour. 
  • Urinary tract infections – About 2 – 10% of pregnant women are diagnosed with UTI and it can tend to reoccur as well. The two main causes are hormonal changes and the pressure that the uterus puts on the bladder. There is nothing to worry about, as long as it is detected and treated in time.  

 Baby’s Growth in The Second Trimester 

  • During the second trimester months, your baby will grow up to 16 inches in length. 
  • The eyes and ears are now at the right place on the face and facial features have correctly formed. 
  • Hair will start to grow on your baby’s head during the second trimester. 
  • In the second trimester, your baby will have a fully developed placenta and will start to grow fat around the body. 
  • Your baby’s digestive system is also fully formed during this phase. They will start to suck on the amniotic fluids and pee a lot. 
  • In the second trimester, your baby will also develop a sense of sight, smell, and hearing. 

What And What Not to Do in Your Second Trimester 

  • Routine monitoring – As per your doctor’s advice, schedule routine checkups to monitor your baby’s growth, weight, your weight, blood pressure, etc. 
  • Second-trimester ultrasound – Usually, in the second trimester, your doctor will schedule an ultrasound scan between weeks 18 – 22. This is to ensure your baby’s growth is in progress and all the organs are functioning without any issues. 
  • Glucose screeningA lot of expecting moms develop gestational diabetes during the second trimester. Thus, it is important to schedule a glucose screening treat to eliminate the chances or to start medication in time in case you have GDS. 

  • Get your maternity wardrobe ready – Get some cute and comfortable clothes for a photo shoot, and to accommodate your growing belly. This is also the right time to keep maternity bra, nursing pads, nursing covers ready before the last trimester running around kicks in. 
  • Sleep on your side – Sleeping on the back might start getting uncomfortable as your belly grows. It will also put a lot of pressure on your bladder, thus start sleeping on your side for more comfort. 
  • Keep doing your Kegels – Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic floors and prepare you for vaginal childbirth. Thus, whenever and wherever you get time, keep doing the Kegels! 
  • Make prenatal workouts a priority – How much to work out and what routine to follow completely depends on your health condition and what your doctor suggests. But unless you are asked to be on bed rest, keeping yourself active will help you later during childbirth. 
  • Maintain a healthy diet – DO NOT eat for two. Ear balanced and healthy meals. As many people tend to develop gestational diabetes, also ensure that you eat smaller and more regular meals.
  • Do some financial planning – Giving birth to a child needs money. But raising a newborn need even more money. Make sure you budget for all the expenses of a newborn while considering the finances for childbirth and the hospital. It is always wise to keep come contingency funds aside. 
  • Start your childcare search – In case you plan to go back to work after your maternity break ends, and need childcare support, this might be the right time to start doing your research. Talk to parents who use childcare facilities for first-hand feedback. 
  • Go to the dentist – If you feel like the gum bleeding, plaque buildup, or sensitivity in your teeth is bothering you too much, it is better to see a dentist and get the proper treatment. 

The second trimester of pregnancy is like a honeymoon period for your body. The morning sickness and nausea for most would be a thing of the past, and the labor pains are still far away. Enjoy this phase as much as you can, take a million pictures, start talking to your baby – sing to it, read stories to it, start thinking of nursery ideas! Happy Pregnancy to you! 

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