The best time of a pregnancy is from month four to month six i.e. the pregnancy second trimester. This is generally known as the golden period or the honeymoon period of a pregnancy. This isn’t because you will not be uncomfortable with a hundred symptoms anymore. No such luck. But compared to the other trimesters, the pregnancy second trimester is the best.
The pregnancy second trimester lasts from approximately month four to month six or week 13 to week 27. There are hundreds of new developments in your baby, and several new symptoms for you to deal with. It is the most comfortable and exciting time of the entire pregnancy because of the changes that you can see rather than just feel.
Pregnancy Symptoms During The Second Trimester
All the pregnancy first trimester symptoms are almost completely gone and the discomforts of the third trimester are not up on you yet. The best part of being in the pregnancy second trimester is the excitement of watching your belly grow and feeling your baby move. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you can expect to experience in your pregnancy second trimester.
- Mainly, you will notice the lack of symptoms from your first trimester. The fatigue that plagued you during the first three months will be replaced by a burst of energy. No nausea either. This is because the pregnancy hormone hCG – which is responsible for these symptoms – should be levelling off right about now.
- Rapid weight gain means that you will have to make a trip to the maternity clothes shop at the mall or just buy bigger clothes that are comfortable. The pregnancy second trimester is when your belly distends visibly, so the pregnancy begins to be more of a reality to you, your partner, and your family and friends.
- Your belly will swell and your feet will too. You know that saying “pregnant and barefoot”? Women from financially restricted backgrounds could not afford to buy new shoes when their feet would swell during pregnancy. So they would just walk around without shoes or slippers hoping for the return of their normal shoe size after delivery. However, this increase in foot size is generally permanent. The feet get bigger in size because as you get bigger, the ligaments in your body will loosen to accommodate your growing size.
- The ligaments need to loosen all over your body as your baby grows and you get heavier and larger. This can cause some aches and pains in your neck, back, groin, thighs and legs.
- As you gain weight and your tummy gets bigger and bigger, your sense of balance will be slightly off as your centre of gravity is shifting.
- The weight gain and loosening ligaments can make you clumsy. So make sure to watch your step.
- You’ll be making frequent trips to the bathroom in your pregnancy second trimester as the weight of your womb presses into your bladder.
- Many women get constipated during the pregnancy second trimester. In fact, this is a common problem for many women throughout the pregnancy. The straining and the extra weight and pressure on the organs lead to haemorrhoids. These may last throughout your pregnancy and can get painful or itchy and there may even be bleeding. Consult your doctor for treatment options. Make sure your intake of water and fibre is sufficient so that constipation does not occur, thus lessening your chances of developing haemorrhoids.
- During your first trimester, your sex drive may have dropped considerably. And who can blame you? Nausea doesn’t exactly put you in the mood. But your pregnancy second trimester brings your libido back. Many women report that they enjoy sex much more than usual during this time.
- You can expect to feel your baby move for the first time somewhere in the beginning of the pregnancy second trimester, and definitely toward the end of it. By week 21 the movements will be felt much more strongly and you can even see the surface of your belly move as the baby moves in your womb.
- You won’t be able to sleep on your stomach for long once you enter your pregnancy second trimester as you will grow too much to be comfortable. Learn to sleep on your sides as soon as possible as you will have to do this for the rest of your pregnancy anyway because you’ll be too big for any other position. Use a body pillow to help you support your arms and legs.
- You may bleed from the gums during your pregnancy second trimester. Visit your dentist for treatment.
- You may get nosebleeds too. Nosebleeds and bleeding gums are again a result of increased hormone production causing more blood to flow to the mucous membranes of the gums and nose, thus causing them to become more sensitive.
- The areola or the skin around your nipples will get darker than usual in your pregnancy second trimester if it didn’t already become so in the first trimester. This will actually last way after delivery, almost a full year after your baby is born.
- Vaginal discharge is normal during the pregnancy second trimester as long as it is not bloody and does not emit a foul smell.
- Varicose veins are not exactly common, but you can get them in your pregnancy second trimester if you are prone to the condition.
- Your growing uterus puts pressure on your other organs as well, not just your bladder. You may experience some difficulty breathing till the uterus drops to a lower position in later months and lessens the pressure on the organs in your upper torso.
- Another drawback of getting bigger in your pregnancy second trimester is that the skin on your belly stretches and feels dry and itchy. This can usually be remedied with a good moisturiser or aloe vera gel.
- The pregnancy second trimester brings on another strange symptom – forgetfulness. You may not remember what you ate for breakfast or where you put down the pen you had in your hand a minute ago. This is a temporary symptom and your focus and mental agility will return to normal after you have delivered the baby.
- Pregnancy hormones can also cause pigmentation of the skin on your face, chest or abdomen. This will go away naturally after the baby is born.
- Increase in the production of hormones can also result in acne during your pregnancy second trimester.
- You may continue to experience sleeping problems in your pregnancy second trimester. If you did not experience this in your first trimester, it is almost sure to trouble you now.
- You will begin to experience Braxton Hicks contractions during your pregnancy second trimester. This will feel like a tightening of the uterus, and is simply your body’s way of preparing for actual labour.
What To Look Out For in Pregnancy Second Trimester
Your pregnancy second trimester should ideally sail by smoothly. But there are problems that can come up, and you should be on the alert if you experience any of the symptoms below.
- Shortness of breath
- Vaginal bleeding
- Pain in the joints, groin, neck, thighs, back
- Severe vomiting
- Once you are past the first trimester, there is a lower risk of miscarriage. However, the pregnancy second trimester has its own risk – preterm labor. So it is your job to educate yourself as much as possible about the symptoms of preterm labor because it is a little easier to control if it is detected early enough. Following are some of the symptoms of preterm labor. Call your doctor if you are experiencing any of them, just to be on the safe side.
– Contractions of the uterus more than 4 times an hour
– Pressure in the pelvic floor
– Continuous period-like cramping in the abdomen or back
– Diarrhoea accompanied by any of the other symptoms
- If your ankles, face or fingers swell suddenly, call your doctor immediately. Do the same if your suddenly put on too much weight. These could both be signs of preeclampsia – a condition that can cause great harm to both mother and child. It is also the leading cause of premature birth and still birth.
- Depression is common not just in the pregnancy second trimester but throughout the pregnancy due to the surge of hormonal production. However, keep tabs on your moods to ensure that it is not persistent. If you find that you are constantly anxious, sad, irritable, restless, and have thoughts of suicide, speak to your doctor.
What’s Happening to Baby During Your Pregnancy Second Trimester?
Your baby is making prodigious developments. An ultrasound in the pregnancy second trimester will allow your doctor to reveal if you are having a boy or a girl as your baby’s sexual organs are developed enough to tell. Most of your baby’s organs will be completely formed and fully functional. The surfactant in the lungs will begin to form around this time – very important for proper functioning of the lungs. Your baby’s eyes, which have been fused shut up to now, will open somewhere during your pregnancy second trimester.
You will find during the pregnancy second trimester that your baby responds to touch and sound. Your baby will also develop a sleeping pattern. You’ll be able to tell from long periods of inactivity that it is asleep – something it does for many hours in the day. And it will let you know when it is awake again by moving around a lot.