You’ve survived the first trimester of pregnancy with its morning sickness routine and now you’re headed into your second trimester. What should you expect? For most women, the nausea has disappeared and you’re feeling much better, and for now, more comfortable. So here are some things you can expect during the next exciting three months of your pregnancy.
Signs of Life
Although your baby is alive with a heartbeat during the first trimester, your bundle of joy will grow tremendously during the second trimester. Your obstetrician will start measuring the baby from the top of the head to the heel.
You’ll likely be surprised by the growth. Most babies grow to over 8.5 inches (21.6 cm) in length and will weight about 12 (.34 kg) ounces. You’ll start to notice your baby moving and the weird feeling of “blips” in your stomach. Don’t be alarmed. It’s simply your baby hiccupping.
Now that we’ve talked a little about the changes to your baby, here are some changes you can expect in your body.
Growing Belly and Breasts
Since your baby is growing you will inevitably start noticing certain parts of your body growing too. Your stomach and breasts will start to expand more than other parts. You probably will need to buy some new supportive bras and bigger shirts and elastic pants for your brand new baby bump.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
Many women start to feel what seems like minor labor pains – mild contractions resulting from tightness in their abdomen. This is called Braxton Hicks, and they can occur during physical activity. It shouldn’t happen regularly or be very painful until toward the end of your pregnancy. However if the contractions become severe during your second trimester contact your gynecologist or obstetrician immediately.
The growth of your baby will begin to take its toll on your back. This is simply because your baby is growing and is pushing against your abdomen and back. There are some ways you can alleviate the pressure. Grab a nice-sized pillow, lie on your side, and tuck the pillow between your legs. It’s time to realize your physical condition is changing so don’t pick up or carry anything too heavy.
Forget about making a fashion statement until after your baby is born. It’s all about comfort not so avoid wearing high-heel shoes or tight-fitting clothes. A comfortable pair of shoes and clothes feels much better. A back massage is also a great idea.
This will be a common occurrence during your pregnancy. To avoid embarrassing leaks simply wear a panty liner or a thin sanitary pad. Avoid using a tampon; it can cause an infection in the vagina. The discharge should be thin and a milky white color. If you notice a very foul smell or green or deep yellow discharge, or a bloody discharge, go see your gynecologist/obstetrician.
What You Can Expect
Now that you’re in your second trimester, you can expect to visit your obstetrician every two to four weeks. The doctor will perform a number of things:
- Ultrasounds to check your baby’s progress and determine the gender of the baby
- Monitor your blood pressure
- Check your weight
- Conduct blood sugar tests for diabetes
- Perform amniocentesis for birth defects and genetic screenings
One last thing about your second trimester of pregnancy, it’s a great time to start planning ahead for the next trimester and birth. Decide where you want to have your baby, the type of birth process, who you want in the labor room with you, what birthing classes you want to take, and, lastly, begin to prepare your home for your baby’s arrival.