Welcome to the Second level of pregnancy. Generally, the first trimester is not an easy one; with all that sickness and nausea, can bring anyone down.
But the good news is that the second trimester of pregnancy is not that difficult and probably the most active and healthy one, as your energy levels bounce back.
And this also is the best time to take a relaxing pre-baby vacation (aka babymoon). If your budget allows, then you must plan a vacation because it’s a long marathon and things would not be the same later, it would be better, but not the same 🙂
Pregnancy is like running a marathon, it’s not only physically hard, but sometimes it can take you emotionally down as well. With every changing month, you might notice changing body symptoms. Some stay for a few days, and others stay with you till the end of pregnancy.
The second trimester is from week 13 to the end of week 26.
You would also start feeling and looking pregnant during these weeks. (Hello, Belly!)
Like every pregnancy is different, so there’s a high chance you might not experience all of the symptoms that I have mentioned, but a few you may surely relate to.
Baby’s Development In Second Trimester
Your baby is very busy growing this trimester. By the end of the second trimester, your baby would be 13 to 16 inches long and would weigh about 2 to 3 pounds. You may even start feeling the kicks later in this trimester.
Your baby’s face will start looking more human now. The virgin hair will begin to grow at around 16 weeks, the ears stand out, and your voice can be heard. This is the trimester where you start to talk to your baby and make them a playlist of all your favorite songs!
By week 19, your baby will be covered in a greasy layer of oil and dead skin cells called vernix caseosa. This will protect your baby from the amniotic acids in your stomach. This will be shed before your baby is born.
Around week 20, the baby’s heartbeat will be strong enough for you to hear with a stethoscope.
His eyelashes and eyebrows started appearing during week 22.
Your baby’s brain is developing fast, enabling him to use all of the senses that are being developed. By week 23, his little mind will help him to blink.
During the second trimester, he will also learn to suck and swallow. He will even be able to taste the food that you eat through the amniotic fluid. This will determine his preferences later in life, so be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
By Week 24, Sweat glands form. The baby has a lean body with red wrinkled skin. Early breathing movements begin.
And by week 26 the baby’s outline may be felt through your abdomen.
By the end of the second trimester, the baby will have developed regular sleep patterns, Some babies will be lulled to sleep by your regular movements, whereas others will do somersaults in response to the hormones.
Second Trimester Symptoms
Good news is that the nausea of your first trimester would have probably passed out by now and if not, then it should start phasing out soon. But the bad news is that you might begin to experience lots of heartburns. (And let me clear you that no, it’s not a sign that your baby is growing hair! – it’s just an old wives tale).Most women experience an increase in acid reflux as your uterus and baby press up against your stomach, forcing more acid to come upon you.
I suffered extreme heartburns starting from my second trimester and continued till the end, my heartburns were so severe that it used to get triggered even after eating a small cookie and with every meal I had to take something to relieve it. I have personally used Mylanta liquid more at home, and while I was going out I preferred carrying TUMS Chewy Bites or Mylanta Chewable Tablets as these are considered safe during pregnancy but still avoid excessive use.
You can also try some home remedies to curb down your heartburns, but these would work only if your heartburns are less and moderate. Still, if it is extreme like I had, then after a meal you may have to go with safe pregnancy medication like Mylanta Liquid/ Rolaids/ Tums/ Carafate as there are some approved medication and considered safe during pregnancy, but you should still consult your healthcare provider for safety and dosage.
To alleviate any discomfort, try to avoid foods that aggravate it.
- Avoid spicy or fatty foods or other types of food and drinks that don’t agree with you. It could be anything from caffeine to citrus fruits.
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of three big ones and include more fiber in your diet
BODY ACHES AND PAINS
If you’re experiencing pain in pregnancy, you’re not alone. Whether it’s an aching back, hip pain, or just general discomfort from the added pressure on your pelvis, as the baby grows, you’re bound to feel it!
Round ligament pain and Leg Cramps (especially at nights) are the two most common pains that a lot of women experience.
I did not ,have any back or round ligament pain. Still, I had acute Leg pain which stayed till the end of my pregnancy, it was worse at nights while lying down, I hardly slept and preferred sleeping in sitting position and hip pain that was not regular but stayed for a few weeks and went off and then struck again suddenly anytime throughout. So it kept coming and going.
I would highly recommend starting working out during this trimester as exercising will keep you Loose and Limber.
Prenatal Yoga is a great way to begin as it is known for its ability to increase your flexibility. You can join prenatal yoga classes near you, or some good online prenatal yoga classes is also a good option.
Walking is a must throughout the pregnancy unless your healthcare provider has restricted you. My GYN pushed me to walk at least an hour a day and yoga for a minimum of 4 days a week.
To give your body a little more support to complete this marathon a little more smoothly, you can also choose Maternity Belt for back pain, Pregnancy Pillow, Pillow Wedge, Knee Pillow depending on what pain your body is going through.
I had personally used the C-pillow and Bed wedge. Bed edge is something which you can use it later also
Your first trimester probably involved many trips to the bathroom, but because your uterus will rise away from your pelvic cavity during the second trimester, So your urge for frequent urination during the second trimester will not be so strong. Enjoy the break, but don’t get too comfortable, though, because your third trimester will send you running right back.
Tender and swollen gums are quite common during pregnancy. Due to hormonal changes, about 50% of pregnant women experience bleeding gums. Changing hormones starts sending more blood to your gums, making them more sensitive and causing them to bleed. This is also called pregnancy gingivitis, so be ready to see plenty of pink during the second trimester.
Personally, Yes, I also had this symptom. I felt pretty upset and worried about it, as my gums were so sensitive that it got difficult for me to use a toothbrush also, although with a little bit extra care, I started feeling better.
If you also get this symptom, do not panic, as this is very common, but do keep good oral hygiene. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently (twice a day), floss, mouthwash and limit your sugar intake, visit your dentist if this condition feels extreme to you. Also, start using anti-gingivitis toothpaste and Mouthwash.
You might start to notice that you are more hungry and want to eat more during the second trimester of pregnancy; this is because of the growing fetus that requires nutrition to grow and develop properly. Your body will naturally start craving that extra calories to maintain the high blood levels in your body and other processes that are taking place during the gestation period.
You are eating for two now, but remember that your fetus is still tiny and your additional portion size should be made accordingly. You don’t have to eat huge portions all the time. Don’t give in to your cravings and overeat. You just need 350 extra calories than your regular diet.
Try to keep your diet nutritious and maintain healthy eating habits during pregnancy.
Those Hormones! All that estrogen may be kicking your desire into high gear or maybe Not, if you’re just not feeling it.
Take advantage if you’re experiencing this one, because later lots of changes would be coming, which might not make it comfortable for long.
But if you do not have this feeling then, be open and honest with your partner, and find other forms of intimacy to foster your connection.
SWOLLEN FEET & HANDS
Like all other symptoms, this is also quite common. So the fact is when you are pregnant – not only is your belly swelling, but your Gums and body is also going to swell.
If your feet and hands start to swell, then it’s basically due to the increasing volume of blood and fluids in your body. Your blood volume increases by about 50 percent. You might typically start to notice this around week 21 to week 24.
I also experienced this, but it was not too extreme as I have seen in many other women. But yes, my shoe size increased by half, and I did not like wearing my finger rings.
You can blame those crazy hormones for changing your skin! Some women might notice some dark splotches appear on their face, often on the nose and cheeks called Melasma.
Harmless growths of skin called Skin Tags can appear anywhere on your body during pregnancy, but most commonly pop up under the arms and breasts.
While others might experience a Red itchy rash called PUPPPs will go away after you give birth, but don’t feel like you need to suffer through it until then.
Around week 23, you may also start to notice a dark vertical line between your belly button and pubic area during pregnancy, also called Linea Nigra. This line tends to get a little more ominous by the end of the second trimester.
It is also related to a fun old wives’ tale (which is not, of course, backed by science): If the linea nigra runs only up to your navel, you’re having a girl, but if it runs past your belly button to up near your ribs, it’s a boy.
Personally, Yes to this one again, I am not sure to which symptom I have said No because I got almost all the signs and that is annoying. I got PUPPPs – Red itchy big rash under both the breasts, Although it disappeared a few days after the birth of my baby.
Many moms experience insomnia at some point during pregnancy. However, it is not so common in the second trimester for some it does start quite early, as other pregnancy symptoms increase, and an expanding baby belly makes it harder than ever to get comfortable in bed. Pregnancy pillows will be your friend at this time. Go and get one now.
This also is an excellent time to start sleeping on your side, particularly your left, as it’s the best position for blood flow to the uterus.
Honestly speaking, I could not sleep much, and this started happening around week 22 because my leg and hip pain was quite excruciating. I preferred staying in a sitting position quite a lot at nights because my leg cramps increased while lying down.
This one is exciting and best of all! Between weeks 18 and 25, you are more likely to feel your baby’s first move, which is more of a fluttering sensation at first, also called quickening. As you get later in your second trimester, your partner may begin to feel the baby moving around in there, too. But as every pregnancy is unique, it may happen a little earlier or later.
My case, I did start feeling the movement around week 23
Overall, despite all of the above symptoms, your second trimester is going to be more healthy and comfortable than the first and third trimester. So enjoy this phase of pregnancy, and don’t forget to make your To-Do list for the second trimester.
I would love your hear from you, comment below…