Manataka American Indian Council
Mothers and Babies
The Second Trimester!
The Adventure Begins...
What can you expect during the second trimester of pregnancy?
The Second Trimester! Baby and mom are Glowing and Growing!
Now that the early and sometimes unsettled days of the first trimester have passed and your pregnancy is well-established, the second trimester is a time for you to look after your own physical health, psychological well-being and spiritual balance. Time to enjoy!
The second trimester is often described as the best time of pregnancy. Many pregnant women in their second trimester feel fit and full of energy. This is the period when your hair shines and your skin glows and you can show off your bump with pride! Your baby is growing within you and you will feel the first signs of life. This is a time to nurture and care for yourself and also to prepare for the last stage of pregnancy.
Physical changes in the second trimester
During the second trimester many women find that their initial physical complaints like nausea and fatigue dissipate and they start to feel well and full of vitality. Other signs of pregnancy may become more obvious like your swelling abdomen and even feeling your baby move for the first time towards the end of this trimester! While the majority of women sail through the second trimester of pregnancy, there are also some areas which sometimes need a little help.
You may have difficulties with leg cramps and constipation and may start to develop other aches and pains too - backache is very common. As your baby grows, he/she takes up more space and puts pressure on your lungs so you might also begin to experience shortness of breath.
It is also during the second trimester that you are at risk for developing stretch marks as the skin accommodates your increasing size. Pregnancy hormones can cause other changes in your skin too. You might notice a darkening of the areola or a dark line that develops on your belly between your navel and pubic hair line. Light brown blotches of pigmentation may also appear on your face but these generally fade or disappear completely after delivery.
Health care in the second trimester
Remember to keep all your appointments with your OBGYN, midwife or other health care provider. He/she will be able to assess the age of your baby if you are not sure of your dates, check the baby's development and even hear the heartbeat. The emotional support of your pregnancy health care provider is also very important to help you feel secure and enable you to ask questions when you need some guidance.
During the second trimester you may have an ultrasound scan that will allow you, your partner and your health care provider to see your unborn baby. You might also be offered other tests to check your baby's health and any increased risks of complications.
If you experience strong or painful contractions, blood or fluid leaking from the vagina, severe headaches or any visual disturbances it is important to consult your health care provider right away as these symptoms can indicate increased risk of pre-term labor or other complications of pregnancy. Do not be afraid of being a 'nuisance.' While many alarms are false alarms during middle pregnancy, it is better to be safe than sorry!
Your baby's development in the second trimester
During the second trimester your baby will grow from 6 or 7 ounces to just under 2 pounds and by the end of the 6th month will be between 11 and 14 inches long. The internal organs are maturing and he/she will also develop features such as hair, the beginnings of teeth, eyelashes and eyebrows. By week 25, your baby will also have a well-developed sense of hearing and will be able to identify familiar sounds!
At about 5 months of pregnancy you may begin to feel your baby move inside you for the first time! During the second trimester your baby will gain the ability to swallow and suck and may begin to suck his/her thumb - early practice for breastfeeding!
The sex of your baby will become identifiable during this trimester and your OBGYN may be able to tell you if you're expecting a son or a daughter when an ultrasound scan is done- unless you want to keep it as a surprise of course!
Tips for pregnancy health in the second trimester
1. Ensure that you have time to relax and put your feet up to prevent stress and mid-pregnancy backache.
2. A healthy diet (lots of whole foods, fresh fruit and raw veggies) with regular exercise will help to keep you fit and also prevent constipation and circulation problems.
3. If you are experiencing leg cramps, this may be a sign of magnesium or potassium deficiency. Foods which contain magnesium and potassium include bananas, oranges, potatoes, whole grains, nuts and dark leafy vegetables.
4. Regulate your breathing with deep, long breaths and make sure that you stand up straight to give your lungs more space. This will help to relieve shortness of breath as your baby takes up more space in your abdomen.
5. Make sure that you keep your skin well hydrated, especially the skin over your abdomen, buttocks and thighs.
How can Natural Eco help in the second trimester?
As with the most sensitive first trimester, it is still important to maintain optimum health during the second trimester to facilitate the normal growth and development of your unborn baby. This is achieved through a balanced and healthy lifestyle as well as avoiding all potentially harmful substances including medications, cigarette smoke, alcohol and raw seafood.
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