Welcome to the honeymoon phase of your pregnancy! After just having gotten over the difficult hurdles of the first trimester, the simplicity of the second trimester would definitely feel like a huge relief.
The second trimester of pregnancy begins on the onset of the 4th month or the 13th week and lasts through the 27th week or just before the 7th month starts. During this time, pregnancy symptoms – like morning sickness and food aversions – may reduce in intensity and frequency.
Unsurprisingly, many pregnant women often choose the second trimester to announce their pregnancy, to hold the baby shower, and to travel. But while many would refer to this trimester as the easiest, it does not come without its own challenges.
Everything You Need to Know About your Second Trimester
The second trimester is when you may begin feeling more confident about your pregnancy, and this is for good reason. Your hormones, although still active, are no longer in “crazy overdrive,” and you will feel like you are finally regaining some control over your body.
At this point, you may already have adjusted to the feeling of being pregnant. You may feel less tired and less emotional during the second trimester. But your body’s work is far from done, and it will still undergo many changes to accommodate the baby. Thus, it is still important to arm yourself with a lot of information to survive the second trimester!
1. Your abdomen will begin to show.
One of the things that often get some pregnant women frustrated is the fact that they won’t look pregnant during the first trimester. However, during the second trimester, the uterus will start to expand to accommodate the growing baby. This will cause your abdomen to grow, and you will finally start looking pregnant.
2. You will gain more weight.
While it was not much of an issue during the first trimester, you may start experiencing steady weight gain now. During this stage, you may no longer feel sick at the scent and sight of your food, and you may not feel as nauseous as before, which means your appetite should be back to normal.
3. You will experience more skin changes.
If acne was the bane of your existence during the first trimester, get ready for new skin issues in the second trimester. Your hormones will cause an increase of melanin production, so you might notice melasma (brown patches) on your face as well as linea nigra or a dark line on your abdomen. As with most pregnancy symptoms, these dark marks often go away after giving birth.
4. You may experience aches and cramps.
As your baby grows, your weight also increases, which often results in backaches. You may also experience leg cramps, which often occur while you are sleeping. This can be caused by hormones or a nutrient deficiency, so don’t forget to eat a healthy diet rich in calcium and magnesium.
5. Your risk of getting a UTI will be higher.
Your hormones – and your uterus which pushes down on your bladder – may also have an effect on the flow of your urine. These may cause you to be at risk of developing a UTI or urinary tract infection. Once you feel the symptoms of a UTI, contact your doctor immediately!
6. You may get nosebleeds… and you may start snoring!
Another thing that your hormones may do is increase your blood flow to your mucus membranes. This may cause your nose to swell, which may cause congestion, nosebleeds, and even snoring! Use a humidifier when you sleep to relieve these symptoms.
7. Your feet and ankles may begin to swell.
Many pregnant women report experiencing a mild swelling of their feet and ankles. Although they typically begin during the third trimester of pregnancy, they you may find your feet and ankles beginning to swell on the second trimester. It will help to exercise and stay physically active.
8. You may experience heartburn.
If daytime pregnancy is generally easier during the second trimester, bedtime is a different matter. Apart from leg cramps, congestion, and snoring, another thing to watch out for is heartburn. To reduce the risk of heartburn, eat frequent but small meals and avoid eating spicy, greasy, and acidic foods.
9. You may not feel your baby moving yet.
If you feel like you cannot feel your baby moving yet, don’t worry. This is normal, especially if this is your first pregnancy. You may, however, start to experience “quickening,” which is a delicate, fluttering feeling from deep inside your abdomen. This is your baby moving in your womb!
The second trimester of pregnancy comes with challenges of its own. You will still experience many physical changes and difficulties, but these are mostly temporary and will often go away after you give birth.
It’s important to take note, though, that despite these changes, this trimester is the time when you will be feeling most comfortable about your pregnancy. After all, they don’t call the second trimester “honeymoon stage” for nothing!
*This blog post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, pediatrician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have.