The Second Trimester of Pregnancy
Pregnancy Symptoms in Second Trimester
You must be thrilled that your second trimester is here! Now that your pregnancy hormones are finally leveling off, you will get a much needed break from feeling exhausted and nauseous all the time. Though you are feeling better, your expanding belly will soon cause other symptoms.
If you haven't already, you will soon start to feel the "ouch" of round ligament pain. As your uterus grows in size and weight, it will stretch the round ligaments around it, which can irritate nearby nerve fibers and cause you some pain and discomfort.
Pregnancy back pain is also very common in the second trimester, due to the extra weight you're carrying straining your back muscles. Along with backaches, you may also experience pregnancy sciatica, or a shooting or burning pain in your leg, buttocks, or lower back. You may even experience numbness in your legs or feet. Although sciatica is more common in the third trimester, don't be surprised if you start to feel this pain in the upcoming weeks.
In the first trimester, you may have experienced some heartburn and indigestion due to the influx of pregnancy hormones. You will continue to feel these sensations in the second trimester. Along with heartburn during pregnancy, excessive gas is another related symptom that you may experience.
Though your pregnancy hormones may be more balanced now, they are still working hard to nurture your baby. As a result, you may be getting very strange pregnancy symptoms, including vivid dreams, nosebleeds and congestion.
As your second trimester progresses, don't be surprised if you start to have bouts of insomnia. Many pregnant women have difficulty sleeping due to their growing size. Pregnancy pillows can help improve your sleep.
To ensure a healthy and happy second trimester, remember to stay away from pregnancy stress.
Lifestyle During Pregnancy
Do you love to travel? The second trimester is the perfect time to do some traveling. You've got the energy for it, and your pregnant body isn't too large yet, so traveling won't be too uncomfortable. Remember, however, that traveling during pregnancy does come with some considerations. For instance, you should always wear your seat belt, take breaks during your trip, and pack your own snacks and food.
Even when traveling, remember to eat healthy foods and avoid processed foods and products. This will make your trip more pleasurable, and you'll avoid constipation problems too!
With your fatigue temporarily gone in the second trimester, this is a great time to start a regular exercise routine, if you don't already have one. Exercise during pregnancy will help you feel better and it can even improve your sleep!
If you're having problems finding a comfortable sleeping position at night, you may want to invest in maternity pillows. These can help support your growing belly and make sleep more comfortable for you at night.
As your belly gets larger and larger, you may find that your pregnancy aches become very difficult to handle. You may want get chiropractic care or massage therapy to help you feel better. If you decide to go this route, remember to find someone who has experience working with pregnant women.
If you start to have pregnancy body image issues due to your expanding belly, you should talk to a friend or counselor to help you adopt the right attitude. Embrace your growing belly and think of the bundle of joy that's growing inside you. Think of meeting your new baby face-to-face. It won't be too long now!
In the second trimester, your risk of miscarriage is greatly decreased . . . however, you do face other pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
Gestational diabetes typically rears its ugly head toward the end of the second trimester, between week 24 and week 28 of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, and it often disappears after the baby is born. It affects over 135,000 pregnant women annually.
Pregnancy hypertension is also a common pregnancy complication that develops after the 24th week of pregnancy, toward the end of your second trimester. High blood pressure can become severe and lead to premature labor, maternal kidney failure, and intrauterine growth restrictions, among other things. Because these two problems can cause problems for your growing baby, they need to be monitored closely. Obesity is often a risk factor for gestational diabetes and pregnancy-related hypertension (also called preeclampsia).
You will continue to see your obstetrician or healthcare provider for your prenatal visits every four weeks in the second trimester. At these visits, your weight and blood pressure will be measured. You will also give a urine sample. Your hands and feet will be examined for swelling. The most important part: your doctor will continue to measure your baby's growth and listen to his/her heartbeat.
At 20 weeks, your doctor will take an ultrasound to make sure your baby is still healthy. The most exciting part of this visit is that you can find out your baby's gender!