Begone, fatigue and morning sickness! Here’s what’s going on with you and your baby in the second trimester.
You survived the first trimester! For the most part, this implies that the terrible exhaustion and morning sickness that plagued those first several weeks should be over.
You’ll probably feel more active throughout the following trimester; take advantage of this to begin nesting. During your second trimester, you’ll surely start to appear pregnant (hello, belly! ), so now is the time to stock up on maternity clothes. Your kid will also be extremely busy developing, gaining weight, and moving about in there.
What to expect throughout your second trimester is outlined here.
The growth of the baby throughout the second trimester
Baby is in full growth mode right now. During the second trimester, a lot happens.
Baby enters the second trimester at 2.9″ and 0.81 ounces (about the size of a Tamagotchi virtual pet). They’re roughly 14.4″ and 1.93 pounds at 27 weeks. Let’s go, baby!
They’ll start being measured in fundal height, which is essentially the size of your bump or the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your belly. This measurement is used to ensure that the baby is developing properly.
What else is going on in the room? Their umbilical cord is fully grown at 16 weeks, and by 18 weeks, the baby can hear—the strongest sound they hear is your heartbeat. They’ll be reacting to your voice by 25 weeks, and your partner’s by the end of the second trimester. It’s time to chat with the baby and construct a playlist of all your favorite music for them!
Baby can hear at 18 weeks your heartbeat is the loudest sound they hear.
Baby is developing a silky coating called vernix caseosa, sometimes known as “cheesy varnish,” which protects their skin from becoming wrinkled in the amniotic fluid. It will generally slough off by delivery, but you may detect some of it remains on the baby’s skin after birth. Lanugo, the silky, fine hair that covers a baby, is the same.
If you wish to know the gender of your baby, you’ll be able to find out during your 20-week ultrasound (provided the baby cooperates!).
They’re also producing meconium, which will become the baby’s first feces. The majority of newborns pass this shortly after delivery (though some do it in utero or on the way out). These poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy poopy p
Baby will have formed normal sleep habits by the end of the second trimester, which typically means they’re lulled to sleep during the day by your regular movements and up and ready to party when you’re turning in for the night. There will also be glitches, which you may notice. So adorable!
Symptoms of a second-trimester pregnancy
Having heartburn when pregnant
The good news is that your sickness from the first trimester has most likely subsided. The bad news is that Heartburn affects up to 50% of pregnant women, owing to higher progesterone levels loosening the tube between your stomach and esophagus, allowing stomach acid to travel more readily into the esophagus.
If you’re in pain, here are some suggestions to help you feel better.
- Avoid hot or fatty foods, as well as other sorts of food and beverages that make you uncomfortable. Caffeine or citrus fruits might be the culprit.
- Instead of three large meals, eat smaller ones throughout the day.
- Don’t consume anything just before going to bed. Allow your body at least an hour to digest before going to bed.
- Consult your doctor. If your heartburn is severe or does not seem to be improving with lifestyle modifications, prescription medications may be of assistance. However, do not take an over-the-counter antacid without first consulting with your healthcare physician.
What to eat and what to avoid while pregnant
Now that you’ve regained your appetite, you’ll want to be sure you’re eating properly and obtaining the nutrition you and your baby require. Now is not the time to watch calories, but it is a good idea to be careful of eating a well-balanced diet rich in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and heart-healthy fats like avocado.
Pregnant women should consume between 2,200 and 2,900 high-quality calories per day. During your second trimester, you should consume 340 more calories than usual.
Now is not the time to watch calories, but it is a good idea to keep a well-balanced diet in mind.
Increase your calcium consumption (think yogurt and dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach) and iron intake (beans, tofu, and nuts like walnuts and almonds are terrific non-meat alternatives).
There are several foods you should avoid when pregnant. Some people avoid caffeine, while others enjoy their morning coffee, but in general, it’s best to avoid seafood with high levels of mercury, such as tuna, shark, and other large fish, as well as foods like raw, soft cheeses, deli meats, and hot dogs, due to the danger of listeria. It’s a food-borne sickness that you’re more likely to catch when you’re pregnant.
Most physicians and midwives recommend avoiding alcohol totally, while there haven’t been any studies that show an occasional glass of wine (really one glass, around 4 oz) has a deleterious effect on newborns later in pregnancy.
You can feel your baby move.
Between 18 and 25 weeks, you should start to feel your baby move. It’s really thrilling! It may seem like a small flutter at first, but you’ll soon start experiencing kicks, punches, and somersaults from your growing kid. As you progress through your second trimester, your spouse may begin to feel the baby move about in there as well. You’ll begin doing kick counts at the start of your third trimester.
Leg cramps when pregnant
Leg cramps may occur throughout your second trimester, particularly while sleeping, as a result of pregnancy weight increase, swelling, and changes in your circulation that make it difficult for blood to flow from your legs to your heart.
Leg cramps aren’t dangerous, despite the fact that they are quite inconvenient and affect your sleep. If you have them, drinking water, stretching throughout the day, and frequent exercise will help you avoid them. Compression socks or stockings can also assist keep your blood circulating, which is especially important if you’re flying.
When leg cramps wake you up in the middle of the night, stretching and massaging the muscle, as well as applying a warm washcloth or heating pad, will help relieve the cramping.
Baby Bumps in the Second Trimester
During your second trimester, you should get plenty of rest.
The weariness of your first trimester should be gone, but as you approach the end of your second trimester, you’ll experience new sleep issues.
As your belly develops and your body changes, you may find it more difficult to sleep. Pregnancy pillows will be your best buddy during your pregnancy. Consider purchasing one right now.
This is also a good time to start sleeping on your side, especially your left, as this is the optimum position for blood flow to the uterus. Of course, you can’t stay in one position all night, so don’t be surprised if you wake up on your back! Simply roll over and attempt to sleep again.
Having sex when pregnant
During your second trimester, you may find yourself craving sex more frequently—morning sickness is gone, and all that estrogen may be putting your libido into high gear. Or maybe not. If you’re simply not feeling it, you’re not alone. Be open and honest with your lover, and seek out additional types of closeness to strengthen your bond. (Here’s an NSFW podcast with parent sex advice.)
If you want to have sex, don’t worry about injuring the baby—they’re well-protected in all that amniotic fluid—and explore with positions that are pleasant for your evolving body. You can even continue doing it until you go into labor as long as your doctor feels it’s safe.
Stretch marks and other skin problems associated with pregnancy
During pregnancy, your skin undergoes several changes. Stretch marks on your stomach may appear when your tummy expands throughout your second trimester (they also sometimes show up on your butt, thighs, hips and breasts). They begin pronounced, ranging from dark brown to pink depending on your skin tone, and gradually diminish, though they never completely disappear. They don’t happen to all women, and there’s nothing you can do about it. There are a number of stretch mark creams on the market, but none of them have been proved to minimize or prevent stretch marks in the first place.
Another pregnant skin condition that some women suffer is an itchy, dry belly. Creams and moisturizers can assist with this. Fragrance-free ones are your best choice to avoid irritating your skin more.
You may also notice streaks of darker skin on your face (dubbed “the mask of pregnancy”) or a dark line—linea nigra—appearing from your pelvic bone and rising up and over your belly button. Melasma is the formal name for it, and it is caused by an increase in melanin production. If it bothers you, consider using sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) every day and a hat when you go outside. When your kid is born, this should go gone on its own.
Gaining weight during the second trimester
Most women have gained eight to ten pounds by the midpoint of their pregnancy (about 20 weeks), and will continue to grow a half to a full pound every week after that. You’ll most likely have gained 12-17 pounds by the end of the second trimester.
Because additional fluids account for one-fourth of your weight growth (here’s what the other quarter is made up of), swelling during pregnancy is totally natural, especially in your ankles and feet. To ease the discomfort, consider keeping off your feet and lowering your coffee and salt consumption. Contact your doctor if you get sudden, severe swelling in your hands and feet. It might be an indication of preeclampsia.
What exactly is preeclampsia?
Some pregnancy issues might be frightening. One of them is preeclampsia. It affects between two and five percent of pregnancies and is characterized by high blood pressure and kidney or liver damage. It commonly starts around 20 weeks of pregnancy.
What are the signs of preeclampsia?
- Blood pressure more than 140/90 on two occasions and greater than 160/110 at least once Upper abdominal discomfort
- Urine containing protein
- Swelling in the hands or face (not everyone experiences swelling)
- Changes in eyesight, such as fuzzy vision or seeing spots
- Headaches that don’t seem to go away
- gagging (in the second half of pregnancy)
If you observe any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right once. Preeclampsia is curable, so obtaining the correct care as soon as possible is critical for both you and your baby.