What You Should Expect at This Stage
Having crossed the first trimester of pregnancy is a milestone that is worth celebrating. In the second trimester stage, you must have undergone all of the weird allergies, sleepless nights, and strange feelings attached to the new pregnancy. Knowing the dos and don’ts of the first trimester, it is important to know what to expect and the dos and don’ts of the second trimester of pregnancy.
The second trimester is the point where your pregnancy has successfully passed through its first three months and has begun its second journey of another three months. The second trimester lasts from four to six months. Having rich information on the care and maintenance of pregnancy in every stage is important, especially for ‘first-timers’ who are inexperienced in pregnancy and childbirth. The second stage is when childbirth anxiety begins to creep in little by little because labor becomes imminent and can happen anytime within your third trimester. On many occasions, women have had their babies at seven months, which is usually the beginning of their third trimester. This means that you need to start putting together everything you would need for your labor and delivery because any day in your third trimester could be your delivery day.
In other words, the second trimester is the preparatory ground for delivery. If you manage your second trimester properly, your delivery process would be relatively easy. Most women believe that the second trimester is more comfortable than the first trimester because most of the pregnancy symptoms would have vanished at this point. This article has provided everything you need to know and do while your pregnancy has gotten to its second stage. Furthermore, this article explicitly focuses on the lifestyle and habits you have to adopt or drop at this stage. It also provides diet and nutrition suggestions to keep you and your baby healthy throughout the second and subsequent trimesters.
Body Changes During Second Trimester
- During the second trimester, your baby starts to grow bigger in size alongside the development of its vital organs. And because of the growth in the size of your baby, your belly becomes more pronounced. Furthermore, some of those severe symptoms of pregnancy you experienced in your first trimester would improve at this stage; this means that you will feel a lot better than you have felt in the last three months. The irritation, aggression, and fatigue begin to get better over time, making the second trimester enjoyable for most pregnant women.
The body changes that occur during the second trimester include;
- The uterus begins to expand due to the growth and development of the fetus. An enlarged uterus equals more giant belly.
- At this stage, you begin to feel the baby move inside you. Then you begin to scream, “oh my God, the baby just kicked!” with joy written all over your face. This shows that your baby is alive and growing, can feel you, and can feel your environment as well.
- You might also experience some body aches. It might be slight body aches in some women, while in others, it can be severe. These body aches bring discomfort and prevent you from having a peaceful night rest.
- Your cravings for food and extra food heightens during your second trimester. This is what causes overweight in most pregnant women. Overeating at this stage can make you and your baby gain unnecessary weight, which might make delivery difficult. The size of your baby is a factor that contributes to the smooth and easy delivery of that baby. If you eat the whole “County’s agricultural sector” down with your mouth, and your baby becomes two times the expected average size of a newborn, your chances of delivering on your own would be very slim. It is possible that your vaginal hole would be expanded with a blade in order to make room for your baby, or it is the case that you will have to undergo a cesarean session.
- You might also experience constant weakness and dizziness as a result of low blood pressure.
- Stretch marks would also begin to appear on your protruding belly and enlarging breasts. The stretch mark results from the increase in the size of your stomach, breasts, and sometimes your thigh.
- In some women, the darkening of the skin around the nipple area begins to occur.
- In some women, their general complexion becomes dimmer. That is, if they were fair in complexion, the degree of their fairness would reduce slightly. So also is the case in dark women.
- Itching also occurs in some areas.
- Swollen ankles or wrists. It is a common myth among the Yoruba people of western Nigeria that pregnant women whose ankles are swollen are carrying twins.
Development of The Fetus
- During the second trimester, the fetus becomes more significant in size. The organs at this stage are fully developed.
- The fetus can now hear and feel you and your environment.
- The fetus, at this point, can now swallow.
- Hairs begin to pop out from its scalp.
- The baby can move around within the womb.
- The sleeping and waking routine for the baby begins. Most pregnant women notice this, while some do not.
- During the second trimester, endeavor to visit your doctor every three to four weeks into your second trimester. This would help you stay abreast of events going on within you. This would also help you maintain a lot of things, which include;
Your baby’s weight
Your blood pressure
Your baby’s current position
The general wellbeing of your baby
Your blood sugar
- Visiting the Doctor also helps you notice defects or deformities in your baby (if there are any at all.) This allows you to take quick actions to control the defect early. It is also at this stage that tests and ultrasound would help you detect your baby’s gender.
- Continue your vitamin and mineral intake. Add more of these nutrients to your diet. Do not forget folate; the most important pregnancy nutrient. Take more calcium to improve the growth and development of your baby’s bones, nails, brain, and heart.
- Continue to engage yourself in mild physical exercises, as you have always done in your first trimester.
- Eat foods that are rich in fiber.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Drink enough water with other healthy beverages.
- Maintain healthy hygiene. This is very important for your health as well as your baby’s.
- Do not drink alcohol
- Do not engage yourself in rigorous physical activities like exercising, dancing, running, or even lifting heavy things.
- Do not take caffeinated and carbonated drinks in excess.
- Do not smoke. Avoid every form of smoke. Stay away from areas where smoke occurrences are prevalent.
- Don’t do drugs, whether you are pregnant or not. Stay away from illicit drugs; they are harmful to you and your baby.
- Do not eat smoked fish.
- Do not eat uncooked or undercooked foods. They are quite unhealthy for you.
- Avoid cats totally while you are pregnant. Cat litters carry a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, which is capable of harming both you and your baby. In other words, avoid cats, or stay away from their litter boxes if you cannot do without cats.
- Avoid unpasteurized dairy products.
- Do not take any drug except you have sought the consent of your doctor to prevent complications.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners.
- Stay away from junk and fast foods.
- Do not allow your heightened food cravings to push you into overeating and becoming overweight.
- Also, do not allow your heightened aversions for food to make you deprive yourself and your baby of essential nutrients you both need to stay healthy, strong, and alive.
Foods You Should Eat During the Second Trimester
You must have started asking yourself, “what then should I eat?” well, an endless list of healthy pregnancy foods has been compiled by a lot of nutritionists. These foods include;
- Plenty of vegetables
- Seeds like flaxseed
- Salt in moderate amounts
- Plenty of water
The second trimester of pregnancy (4 – 6 months) is relatively more comfortable and enjoyable. The severe symptoms and allergies begin to improve, making you enjoy your pregnancy more. During the second trimester, many physical body changes occur, which is due to the development and full formation of the fetus. At this stage, the fetus can hear and move around. Following the essential measures for maintaining a healthy second-trimester pregnancy would help complete and correct the baby’s formation and development. Visiting the Doctor for tests and close monitoring would also help contribute to a healthy pregnancy.
In conclusion, having followed these measures, it is important to begin the preparations and arrangements for delivery.