What to expect during the second trimester of your pregnancy
The second trimester begins from the 13th week of pregnancy and lasts till the 28th week. During this phase of pregnancy, women tend to get some relief from the symptoms of the first trimester including morning sickness, nausea, and headache. You will feel more energetic and relatively better in this trimester of pregnancy. You can expect to undergo some tests around the 20th and 27th week to check for the progress of pregnancy including the growth of the baby and the possibility of any abnormality which can affect the health of the baby or the mother in the long run. You can consider this as one of the best phases of your pregnancy as you feel relatively at ease and you can now start feeling the baby bump as it starts showing up bit by bit. You will also start to feel the movements of the baby within you.
However, there are some growing discomforts. The uterus will grow larger in size as the baby is growing now and exerting its weight towards your back leading to a sense of pain and discomfort. You should sit with your back straight, supported with a comfortable cushion. Keep a comfortable pillow in between your legs while you are sleeping and always try and sleep sideways. Avoid lifting heavy weights. Try to wear shoes with a proper arch and a comfortable sole and as far as possible avoid heels.
Many women may experience gum diseases during pregnancy. This happens due to an increased blood flow to the gums as a result of the hormonal changes. Practice proper oral hygiene and use a dental floss.
Like gum bleeding, nosebleeds are also not uncommon during pregnancy. Increased blood flow often leads to stuffiness of the nose and may result in bleeding eventually. You can use decongestants, but do so only after consulting with your doctor. However, you can use natural methods of the decongestion like nasal saline drip or other simpler natural methods.
You might feel some form of breast tenderness that you would have experienced in the first trimester. Your breasts are still enlarging to ensure proper nourishment for the baby post-delivery. You may require a bra that is a size larger than your normal.
Some amount of vaginal discharge is normal at this stage, if you feel uncomfortable you can use a panty liner, but do not use a tampon as external germs may be introduced into the vagina. If the discharge smells offensive or has an abnormal colouring, you should talk to your doctor immediately.
Heartburns can become a regular issue if not paid much attention to. Pregnancy hormones relax the digestive system affecting the general process. Food rich in spices and oil increases the chances of heartburn. Take frequent meals. Have plenty of water and fibre rich food for proper functioning of the digestive system.
Around the 20th week of pregnancy, you may start feeling some movements in the abdomen, called as quickening. However, not all women may have quickening even till 28 weeks. But this should not be a matter of concern. Relax, there are some cases where women only start feeling quickening during the ninth month of pregnancy only.
The pregnancy hormones lead to some changes in the colouration on the face of the females often called as pregnancy glow. There can be some dark spots on the face and towards the midline from the navel. This usually disappears post birth. The skin at this time is highly sensitive to sun rays. You must use some form of sun protection in the form of lotions, clothing, hats and sunglasses.
You might start noticing some stretch marks in the lower abdomen and lower back. These are due to undue stretching of the skin to allow the growing foetus accommodate itself. Many stretch mark creams are available in the market which claim to reduce stretch marks to some extent. Keep your skin hydrated with proper moisture in order to get relief from itchiness and dryness of the skin.
As the morning sickness has subsided by now, your appetite will increase, and you can relish eating different types of food items you have been craving for. However, you should keep a watch that you do not overindulge. Keep your calorie count to not be significantly more than what you intake during your non pregnancy stage. Remember, some amount of weight gain is not only healthy but necessary in order to have a healthy pregnancy.
Be sure to consult your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Excessive vaginal discharge
- Fatigue or dizziness
- Severe cramping pain in the lower abdomen
- Too much or too little weight gain or no weight gain
Speak with Dr. Rachna Singh, expert obstetrician at the CK Birla Hospital, best maternity hospital in Gurgaon, to learn more on the do’s and don’ts during pregnancy for a healthy pregnancy. Book an appointment here.