Congratulations on completing your first trimester and entering the Second Trimester of your pregnancy. Second Trimester is also referred to as the Honeymoon period of pregnancy. Why do you ask? That is because you are actually going to feel and enjoy your pregnancy and your innate motherly feelings now much more! Most of the women have a smooth sail in the second trimester with relief from early pregnancy symptoms, better digestion, better moods. In the Second Trimester, everything will grow bigger and better right from your belly to breasts to that little squish inside your tummy who is preparing to come out fast and change your world forever, for better!
Second Trimester of Pregnancy
How Long Is the Second Trimester?
The second trimester starts from the 14th week of you to the end of 27th week. It may include fourth, fifth and sixth months of pregnancy. Many women choose to announce their pregnancy during second trimester because things are pretty much stable now.
What are the symptoms or signs ?
Although many discomforting symptoms of first trimester now subside, still there might be some symptoms that need proper care and attention. These include:
- Heartburn and constipation: The nausea of first trimester may ease now but heartburn and constipation which was experienced in first trimester may persist even now.
- Swelling: Mild swelling in ankles and feet may be observed. Swelling may occur around 20th week and may persist until delivery.
- Congestion: Congestion in chest due to increasing pressure on diaphragm may cause slight discomfort. You may also notice yourself snoring for the first time.
- Leg cramps: Leg cramps are a common concern which usually starts in second trimester and may last up to the third trimester. It may be caused because of hormones, increasing weight and also deficiency of calcium or magnesium.
- Dizziness: The body, now, is pumping extra blood to the vital body organs which may cause blood pressure to lower down. This sometimes causes dizziness and fainting.
- Mild ache in abdomen: It is also known as round ligament pain caused due to stretch in the ligament that surrounds your stretching belly.
- Varicose veins: Varicose veins are caused due to weak vein walls or extra pressure of uterus on the veins situated in pelvic region.
- Gestational diabetes: Some women may suffer from gestational diabetes during 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. High blood sugar levels may lead to diabetes. This condition needs extra precautions and care as it may lead to preeclampsia – a condition where baby’s vital organs like kidney, liver etc. are affected due to high blood sugar levels.
- Change in breast size: Breasts may become bigger and heavier.
- Weight gain : Because now you can eat better and digest better, your weight may increase. Your face may become plump, skin becomes smooth and hair grows shiny due to the hormonal upsurge and healthy diet also.
Baby Development In Second Trimester
Your baby inside the belly is now growing very rapidly and by the end of this trimester he will be able to listen to whatever you have to say and also respond back by kicks and flutters! Here is a week wise detail about the growth of your little one:
Week 14: Your growing baby is now around the size of a kiwi fruit, measuring about 85mm from the top of their head to the bottom. Baby’s sex will become apparent.
Week 15: Your baby is about the size of a small pear. Bone development takes place and can be seen in ultrasound images.
Week 16: Your baby is now about the size of a lemon. Ears are slowly reaching their correct position. Skin is getting thicker.
Week 17: Your baby is about the size of an orange, about 12cm long. Your bump is getting bigger. He is becoming more active, rolling and flipping.
Week 18: Your baby measures about 14cm this week – roughly the same as a big bell pepper! You might notice light flutters in belly which might be actually your baby moving.
Week 19: Your baby is now around the length of a banana and you may be starting to feel them move. You might even start to feel them actually prodding or kicking you!
Week 20: If they stood up straight your baby would be around 26cm tall, nearly the length of an A4 piece of paper! You can now listen to his heartbeat with a stethoscope.
Week 21: Congratulations!! You are now halfway there! Your baby is growing hair and starting to look much more like the baby you are going to meet at the end of your pregnancy. Baby can now suck his thumb.
Week 22: Baby is now growing rapidly. He can be compared to a bag of sugar now. You might feel the movements more often now.
Week 23: Your baby is about 30cm now and roughly the size of a large mango. Baby’s digestive system is growing and he can now taste the food you eat through amniotic fluid.
Week 24: Your baby is now about the size of a corn on the cob. Sense organs begin to develop rapidly.
Week 25: Your baby can respond to light, touch and sound now. You might even notice them jumping or kicking in response to a loud noise.
Week 26: If you could see your baby, you might notice their eyelids open. They will soon be blinking. Baby’s brain can make the eyes blink, open and close.
Week 27: Your baby’s about the size of a cauliflower now. His nervous system is growing and he is also putting on weight to make the skin look smooth.
What to Eat?
A healthy diet consisting of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, plenty of water. During your second trimester, it’s especially important to eat foods that are rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. These nutrients will help your baby grow strong bones and teeth. It’s also beneficial to eat foods containing omega-3 oils, which are vital for your baby’s brain development.
Foods that contain one or more of these nutrients include:
- green beans
- Greek yogurt
- pasteurized cheese
- dried fruit
- peanut butter
- pumpkin seeds
Try to include more of these food items in your meals. Always check if you have allergy to any food item before consuming it. Keep taking your supplements as advised by your doctor.
Do’s & Don’ts for 2nd Trimester of Pregnancy
- Stay active. Don’t forget to do some light exercises and yoga postures as advised by your doctor.
- Eat healthy diet, drink lots of water and have vitamin supplements as advised by doctor.
- Do your homework on what optional screenings and tests your doctor might recommend for you like Quad screening.
- Work on your post-baby budget planning and learn about child investment plans.
- Read your favorite books and listen to your favorite music. Pursue your hobby, if any.
- Don’t neglect your posture while sitting for long hours. Always use some support for the lower back to keep the backache at bay.
- Don’t lie down on your back for long hours.
- Smoking, drinking alcohol, etc. should be an absolute no.
- Avoid eating unpasteurized food items and also seafood which may trigger bacterial infections.
- Avoid bumpy road travels.
- Don’t drink too many caffeinated drinks or drinks with artificial sweeteners.
- Avoid wearing high heels if you are not comfortable. There might be a risk of tripping down and also it might exert extra pressure on your feet.
- Don’t neglect any vaginal bleeding, sharp pain in the abdomen, blurred vision, baby’s movement slowing down. Consult your doctor immediately.
- Avoid stress.
- Don’t fret over increasing weight or inches.
What to Shop For?
Second trimester is the time to indulge in some self-pampering.
Consider buying yourself some:
- Flattering maternity clothing. Empire line kurtas which are comfortable as well as hide your bump if you feel too shy.
- Epsom Salt for soaking your feet. This will replenish your magnesium levels as well as remove any kind of stress.
- Comfy pillows to support legs and growing belly.
- Two-three pairs of comfortable footwear.
- Cushions or back support for car.
With this information, you are now all geared up to sail smoothly in the second trimester. Keep your excitement levels high as more wonderful information is coming up for the next and last trimester.
You can checkout this article on Must Have Products in Pregnancy.
Content Contribution : Kriti Gupta