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What is the second trimester?
Pregnancy is about 40 weeks long. These weeks are grouped into three divisions known as trimesters and the second trimester includes the weeks through 13 and 27 of the duration of your pregnancy.
In this second trimester, your baby grows stronger and larger. This is physically visible too as many women start to show a larger belly. Many women find the second trimester much easier as compared to the first one. However, understanding your pregnancy through weeks helps you be informed and be prepared before the time for the big changes.
What happens to the body during the second trimester?
The symptoms you experience in the first trimester seem to improve in the second trimester. There are reports of women stating that nausea and fatigue in the second trimester begin to lessen considering the second to be the easiest and the most enjoyable part of the pregnancy.
Here are a few symptoms that may occur during this time:
- The expansion of the uterus
- Showing larger abdomen
- Feeling dizziness or lightheadedness due to the low blood pressure
- Feel the movement of the baby
- Body aches
- Increased appetite
- Stretch marks on the thighs, stomach, breast, or buttocks
- The change in the skin like darkening around your nipples, or patches
- Swelling in the ankles or hands
Along with this, listed below are symptoms you must be pretty aware of. And, if you experience any, call the doctor:
- Extreme swelling
- Rapid weight gain
The changes the fetus undergoes during the second trimester
The organs of the baby fully developed in the second trimester and they start to hear and swallow too! There is a growth of small hair that is noticed as well as the baby begins to move around. They develop their walking and sleeping cycles that will be noticed by the pregnant woman.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the baby grows up to 14 inches in length by the end of the second trimester and weighs a little over two pounds.
What can be expected at the end of the doctor?
Second-trimester pregnant women need to see a doctor every two to four weeks. Here is a list of the tests the doctor may perform on your visits:
- Measuring the blood pressure
- Checking the weight
- Screening of diabetes with blood tests
- Birth defect and genetic screening tests
In this trimester, the doctor can determine the sex of the baby through the ultrasound.
How to stay healthy during the second trimester?
The awareness of knowing what to do and what not is extremely important as your pregnancy continues. It helps you take care of yourself as well as for the developing baby.
Here’s what you should do around your second trimester of pregnancy –
- Continue consuming prenatal vitamins
- Exercise regularly.
- Do Kegel exercises by working your pelvic floor
- Have more fruits, vegetables, low-fat forms of protein, and fiber.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Consume enough calories (about 300 calories or more)
- Maintain the health of your teeth and gums as poor dental hygiene may result in premature labor.
A list of things you must avoid around your second trimester of pregnancy
- Strenuous exercise or training that could cause an injury to the stomach
- Illegal drugs
- Consuming raw fish or smoked seafood
- Shark, swordfish, mackerel, or white snapper fish as they have high levels of mercury
- Raw sprouts
- Cat litter as they carry a parasite known as toxoplasmosis
- Unpasteurized milk or any dairy products
- Hot dogs or deli meats
- Prescription drugs like isotretinoin for acne, acitretin for psoriasis, thalidomide, and ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure patients
Above all, it is always good to consult a doctor about prescription drugs or supplements.
What to do during the second trimester to prepare for birth?
Yes, there is a lot of time in hand for the delivery but you may want to plan earlier. This helps make the third trimester less stressful. Listed below are things you can do to prepare for childbirth:
- Have prenatal education classes offered locally
- Consider classes to learn breastfeeding, infant CPR, first aid as well as parenting
- Educate yourself through online research
- Watch childbirth videos on YouTube
- Take a tour of the hospital or the birth center
- Prepare a nursery or space in the house for the newborn baby.
The second trimester may seem to be easy as compared to the first one as mentioned by most pregnant women, it is certainly not easy. There is a lot to keep in mind and do. So reference the article above, and be prepared as there are only a few months left before the most awaited day. Happy Pregnancy!