Congratulations, mommy-to-be! You’ve made it to the second trimester. So many changes are taking place right now — both physically and emotionally — while your baby grows and develops inside of you.
You may have some questions about what is going to happen over the next several weeks. But don’t worry. The baby experts at Mustela are here to show you what to expect during your second trimester and how to prepare.
Second Trimester Basics
The second trimester includes weeks 14 to 27, meaning your fourth, fifth, and sixth months of pregnancy.
Hopefully, at this stage, you’re feeling somewhat like your old self. What a relief! This trimester of your pregnancy is known as the honeymoon stage because most women report feeling great. (But don’t fret if that’s not you. Every pregnancy is different from one woman to the next.)
Maybe your morning sickness has subsided and you can actually eat...and enjoy eating! Your energy will be up and you won’t be too uncomfortable at this stage in your pregnancy.
Take advantage of how great you’re feeling and start preparing for your little one to arrive. Get the nursery and other things in order now so that you can relax toward the end of your pregnancy.
Second Trimester: What To Expect
As you’ve already experienced, your body is going through some major changes. By now, those closest to you have noticed your growing belly.
Round Ligament Pain
Along with your growing belly come abdominal aches during this trimester. Your uterus is expanding, which stretches the surrounding ligaments. This is known as round ligament pain.
Invest in a maternity band if this pain interrupts your daily routine.
Your lungs can become crowded by your uterus with all the growth and development occurring. As a result, it is often much more difficult for air to flow in and out. Even the most mundane tasks, such as going to the bathroom and walking, may make you feel out of breath.
This is completely normal. However, if your shortness of breath becomes severe, reach out to your doctor right away.
Your little one is growing quite a bit during the second trimester, so expect to put on weight more rapidly. Find a store that carries maternity clothing, as you’ll want to stay comfortable while your belly continues to grow.
In addition, you’ll notice your breasts continuing to get larger. They are probably not as tender as they were in the first trimester, but now your milk glands are growing to prepare your body for breastfeeding.
Other changes in your body during this time include:
- Occasional headaches
- Nasal congestion and possible nosebleeds
- Increased appetite
- Mild swelling in your ankles or feet
- Back pain
- Varicose veins
- More energy
- Leg cramps
- Itchy abdomen
- Increased libido
During your first trimester, your hormones had three months to adjust. You may actually be able to better tame your emotions during the second trimester, but you will likely still face some emotional struggles.
Baby Body Blues
Some women find themselves worrying about their changing body and the possible long-term effects. But stay calm, you can combat these emotions with a little self-care. Buy a cute outfit, treat yourself at the spa, or go out with a few encouraging friends to lift your mood.
You’ve heard of postpartum depression, but what about prepartum depression? Some women experience extreme negative emotions prior to giving birth, which can be a precursor to postpartum depression. Now is the time to discuss any concerns with your doctor.
Additional emotional changes during this time include:
- Fewer mood swings
- Frustration at being in the “in-between” stage (clothing-wise)
- Trouble concentrating
- Occasional weeping and irritability
- Some anxiety about the future
While all of these emotions (both good and bad) are possible, the majority of women find that this stage of pregnancy is when they feel the best, physically and mentally. It’s an exciting time in your life, so embrace your leveled-out moods!
From the time you’re eight weeks into your pregnancy, your baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Most likely you heard your little one’s heartbeat toward the end of your first trimester.
Between 16 and 20 weeks, your baby is so active that you’ll actually be able to feel them move around! However, it’s completely normal if you haven’t felt your little one move yet, especially if this is your first pregnancy.
Your baby’s reproductive organs and genitalia are fully developed. Finding out if you’re having a boy or girl is right around the corner — if you decide to find out. Here are some other developmental milestones happening with your little one:
- Well-defined fingers and toes
- Beginning function of the nervous system
- Sucking and swallowing movements
- Making faces
- Muscles getting stronger
- Approximately six inches long
- Weighs about four ounces
- Hair growth
- Body covered by lanugo (soft, fine hairs to protect your baby)
- Skin covered with vernix caseosa (whitish coating to protect your baby’s skin from long exposure to amniotic fluid)
- Around 10 inches long
- Weighs anywhere from eight ounces to one pound
- Skin appears wrinkled
- Veins are visible through translucent skin
- Fingerprints and toe prints are visible
- Eyes begin to open
- Responding to sounds
- Hiccups are common
- Around 12 inches long
- Weighs about two pounds
Second Trimester: How To Prepare
Continue exercising during your second trimester (with the OK from your doctor) to help your body gear up for delivery day. Below are a few exercises to implement throughout the second trimester.
To do this exercise, contract your muscles as though you’re trying to stop the flow of urine midstream. Hold and repeat. This exercise will help with pushing during labor.
Find a class that’s tailored for pregnant women. Prenatal yoga will help you relax and take your mind off of any worries you may have.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
Your baby’s growth is off the charts! Continue to keep up the good work by maintaining a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and protein. Try to avoid sugary and fatty foods. Remember to continue taking your prenatal vitamins.
Some superfoods to include in your diet during pregnancy are:
- Greek yogurt
- Sweet potatoes
- Broccoli (or other dark greens)
- Lean meat (such as beef, pork, and chicken)
- Whole-grain foods
- Dried fruit
Prevent Pregnancy Stretch Marks
If you haven’t started implementing a stretch marks prevention regimen into your daily routine, the second semester is definitely the time to do it. Mustela’s Stretch Marks Prevention Cream and Stretch Marks Prevention Oil are great options to help prevent stretch marks.
If you’re already noticing some stretch marks, try Stretch Marks Recovery Serum to help reduce their appearance. It’s also beneficial for use after delivery!
Embrace Maternity Clothes
Your belly has taken on full baby shape. This is exciting! Embrace this time. It’s a good excuse to go shopping, as you’ll want to find clothes that accentuate your growing belly.
The first trimester may have kept you home with nausea and fatigue. And you may face travel restrictions in the third trimester, so now is the perfect time to travel!
You and your significant other can get away, just the two of you, before your little one arrives — better known as a babymoon. And if you are planning a family vacation, you’ll actually have the energy to plan and prepare for some time away with your loved ones.
Thriving During Your Second Trimester
You are still experiencing some physical and emotional changes during the second trimester as you settle into pregnancy. But you’re halfway there!
Your little one is reaching several growth milestones during these three months. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly to continue promoting your baby’s growth. And remember to take care of your skin with a stretch marks prevention cream or oil.
Finally, enjoy this stage of your pregnancy by embracing your growing belly and by traveling. Relish time with your loved ones by getting away for a few days while you’re feeling great. Before you know it, you’ll be holding your new bundle of joy in your arms!
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