Second Trimester – Some Tips To Make Your Journey More Easier!
For expectant mothers, the second trimester often brings a sigh of relief. As you enter week 13, the misery of morning sickness finally begins to subside. Your energy levels start to rebound and you may feel ready to take on the world again. This middle stage of pregnancy, spanning weeks 13 through 28, is when you can truly begin to enjoy the magic of carrying a baby.
Your pregnancy is safely established, but you aren’t yet burdened with the aches and pains of late pregnancy. So make the most of this special time! Your baby is undergoing crucial development – forming lungs, turning on their digestive system, developing brain function. Meanwhile, your body is blooming to accommodate your growing baby. Follow these tips to nourish yourself and your baby during the second trimester, often called the “honeymoon phase.” With the right care, you can craft a comfortable, thriving pregnancy from beginning to end.
Essential Tips for a Healthy, Happy Second Trimester
The second trimester of pregnancy is often called the “honeymoon phase” – when morning sickness subsides and your energy returns. This guide covers everything you need to know to make the most of this special time as your body blossoms and your baby grows. Follow these tips for a comfortable, thriving pregnancy from weeks 13 to 28!
Eat A Healthy Diet
Eating healthy throughout your pregnancy is essential to provide the required nutrients for you and your growing baby. Enjoy a balanced diet with the right amount of carbs, proteins, fats, and fibre. You don’t need to eat for two. Rather, at this point, an extra 300 calories will be sufficient to provide the necessary nutrients for your baby’s growth.
Don’t Miss Your Vitamins
If your doctor has recommended prenatal vitamins, continue taking them as you did in your first trimester to meet the recommended dietary allowance of essential vitamins. Skipping these might not be a good idea for you and your pregnancy.
The second trimester brings along lower back pain and pelvic pain. Exercising regularly will help you get some relief from these aches and pains. Choose your favourite exercises like walking or yoga and practice them regularly. Make sure you do not overdo any of these exercises. Now is the right time to start doing Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. However, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
Make the Most of Your Doctor’s Visit
Your doctor will see you once a month, i.e., once every four weeks during your second trimester. This is the time when you can share your concerns related to you and your baby with the doctor and get appropriate advice.
Sleep On Your Side
Now that your baby bump has started to show, it might not be very comfortable for you to sleep on your back. A more comfortable position is to sleep on your side, which does not put excess pressure on your back and lets you enjoy a good night’s sleep. Sleeping on your side is also known to improve blood circulation in your baby. You can also bend your knees and keep a pillow in between to provide enough support while you are sleeping.
Change Your Position Frequently
Staying in one position can aggravate your lower back pain during the second trimester. Hence, it is advised you change your position frequently. If you’ve been sitting for a long time, just get up and take a stroll for a few minutes. Or, if you’ve been standing for too long, just take a break and sit in a comfortable position to give yourself some much-needed rest.
Enjoy A Pregnancy Massage
Massages are a great way to help you relax and enjoy some quiet time. It also helps relieve the aches and pains that arise in the body due to pregnancy. But make sure the massage is nice and comfortable and not too harsh on you. You can also opt for professional pregnancy massage providers if you can find them in your area.
Plan for Baby Care
If you plan to resume work just a few days after your delivery, you should start thinking about baby care. If you have family members to support you, think of all the arrangements you need to make so that everyone stays comfortable. Or, if you plan to stay with your child initially and then send them to a childcare centre, now is the time to research your locality and find a good daycare for your child.
Pay Attention to Warning Signs
Certain warning signs call for immediate medical attention. Call your doctor immediately if you experience spotting or bleeding, dizziness, abdominal cramps, severe back pain, or sudden change in vaginal discharge. Prompt communication can help in timely treatment.
Shop for Essentials
Who doesn’t love a little shopping? Buy yourself stuff that will help you sail through your pregnancy in a better way. A big comfortable body pillow, comfortable underwear, maternity clothes, etc., are some good things to buy during this phase of your pregnancy. What to know about pregnancy weight gain? Read this article to know how much a person should gain throughout the pregnancy.
Go on A Vacation
Now that your baby is on the way, you won’t really get a chance to enjoy the company of your partner for the first few months as you both will be busy looking after your newborn. So, go ahead and plan a vacation to spend some quality time with each other and enjoy yourself before you get busy.
Think About Your Maternity Leave
The second trimester is the time when most women choose to inform others about their pregnancy. It is now when you can discuss maternity leave at your office. Discussing this matter ahead of time will save you from unnecessary anxiety when the time comes. You can also discuss flexible work hours and working from home options with your organization.
Check Out the Hospital Facilities
If you already know the hospital where you’re going to give birth, take some time off and check out the hospital facilities. See if you like it. If not, you will have the option of going to some other facility for your delivery. Also, try to find out the paediatrician who will be attending to your baby after delivery. Being aware of these things will help you prepare better for the day when your baby arrives.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When does the second trimester start and end?
The second trimester starts at week 13 of pregnancy and ends at week 28. So it spans weeks 13-28 of the 40 week pregnancy. The first trimester is weeks 1-12 and the third trimester is weeks 29-40. Knowing you’ve entered the second trimester means you’ve moved past the most difficult first trimester and have entered a phase often described as the “honeymoon period” of pregnancy when energy returns and nausea subsides.
What are some common symptoms/changes in the second trimester?
In the second trimester, the most noticeable change is your growing belly. As your uterus expands, you’ll really start showing and wearing maternity clothes. Other common symptoms and changes include: increased energy and appetite, relief from morning sickness, aches and pains in the back, hips and groin as ligaments stretch, occasional headaches or dizziness as blood volume increases, skin changes like stretch marks or mask of pregnancy on the face, feeling fetal movement (quickening), increased vaginal discharge, and varicose veins or hemorrhoids.
How much weight should I gain in the second trimester?
The recommended weight gain for the entire pregnancy is 25-35 pounds if you started at a normal weight. In the second trimester specifically, you should aim to gain about 1 pound per week, or roughly 4 pounds a month. Gaining at a slow, steady rate allows your body to accommodate your growing baby without putting undue strain. Your doctor will track your weight gain at each visit.
What tests will I have during the second trimester?
Standard second trimester tests include:
- Quad screen (blood test screening for birth defects)
- Glucose screening test for gestational diabetes at 24-28 weeks
- Anatomy ultrasound at 18-22 weeks to check baby’s development
- AFP test for neural tube defects
- Rh antibody test if you have Rh negative blood type
- Optional cell-free DNA testing for chromosomal abnormalities
When will I feel the baby move for the first time?
Most women feel the first fetal movements, called quickening, between weeks 16-22 but it varies. These early flutters feel like gas bubbles or light tapping. As your pregnancy progresses, the movements will increase in strength and you’ll feel kicks and swishes more often. Feeling those first amazing flutters helps you bond with baby!
How can I prepare for labor and delivery?
To get ready for your baby’s birth:
- Take childbirth classes to learn techniques for labor
- Create a detailed birth plan outlining your preferences
- Choose your pediatrician for baby’s medical care
- Tour your hospital’s labor ward early in third trimester
- Pack your hospital bag with essentials at least 6 weeks before due date
- Discuss pain relief preferences with your doctor
- Learn the signs of labor and when to call your provider
- Consider hiring a doula for extra support
Having a smooth sailing pregnancy is every woman’s dream, but even if it’s not, and you have a bumpy ride, do not worry! Just take care of yourself and stay positive! Hope these second-trimester tips mentioned above help you during this phase of your pregnancy and prepare you for the last few months before your baby arrives. Enjoy the phase and prepare for third trimester soon. Here are some tips for third trimester.