The Second Trimester of Pregnancy: Wows and Woes
Pregnancy is both a wonderful and trying time in a mother’s life. The joy of bringing a new member into the family is something that every couple looks forward to. Yet the first trimester is also marked by the nervous waiting, the endless morning sickness, and an emotional roller coaster ride for the mother. Thankfully, most things get better when the second trimester comes.
The second trimester, which happens at week 13 to week 27 of the pregnancy, is popularly known as the ‘honeymoon’ period. Unlike the rollercoaster that was the first trimester, this is the phase where morning sickness stops, emotions stabilize, and the mother’s sex drive returns. It’s also marked by several memorable ‘wows’ in every expectant mother’s life.
What great things to expect when you’re expecting
There are a number of ‘wows’ an expectant mother can experience at this stage of the pregnancy. Some of them are as follows:
- The baby’s gender can now be identified. According to experts, the baby’s gender may be identified by your doctor during the second trimester. During a prenatal checkup, the doctor examines the baby through ultrasound, checks the baby’s health, and identifies the baby’s gender if the baby’s position allows it.
During your checkups, make sure to take your partner with you as this is the first time you can see your baby. This is one precious moment that you would not want him to miss.
- Your body starts showing visible signs of pregnancy. Take out your wallets, ladies, as it’s time to go shopping for maternity clothes! At this stage of the pregnancy, your body starts showing visible changes such as:
- Breast Enlargement – This is your body’s way of preparing you for breastfeeding. Make sure you are wearing a good support bra. There are instances when going up a bra size may be necessary.
- Baby Bumps – By the second trimester, your baby bump is more visible as you gain weight over the next few weeks. In a healthy pregnancy, you usually gain around 25 to 35 pounds. Take note that at this stage of the pregnancy, most women need an extra 300 to 500 calories a day to keep the baby healthy.
- You will feel your baby move for the first time. One of the best moments of being a parent is feeling your baby move inside you for the first time.
The 18th week of the pregnancy is the point at which the baby has developed fingers and is roughly the size of a chicken breast. During week 21, you can feel the baby making small jabs and kicks as it adjusts its position inside the uterus. This is one moment that every mom, first-time or otherwise, always remembers as one of the happiest memories of their pregnancy.
Unfortunately, pregnancy is not always so peachy. Here’s the other side of the coin.
What ‘woes’ to expect when you’re expecting
As smooth as your pregnancy may be, there are a few notable ‘woes’ you may face as you move into the second trimester. Here are some of them:
- You start getting stretch marks, varicose veins, and lower back pains. As the baby inside of you grows, your body has to stretch as it accommodates the baby. Stretch marks start to show across your belly. This may leave unsightly lines in the future that can be very itchy. A good remedy is to apply lotion on your belly to reduce the itchiness. Varicose veins and lower back pains may be felt and seen as well, but this is simply your body’s response to the additional weight it has to carry as the baby develops.
- You may experience minor constipation and heartburn. Don’t worry, this is simply an effect of your body producing the hormone progesterone, which relaxes your digestive muscles and causes acid reflux. Instead of eating large meals, try eating smaller ones, and increase your fiber intake to avoid constipation.
Unlike the roller coaster that was first trimester, the second trimester may be the easiest period of the pregnancy for the mother, and it is the period with the biggest physical change. It really is about the preparation for the coming of the family’s newest member. The mother should take care of her body to make sure that the baby develops well inside her.
By knowing what to expect when you’re expecting, you’re ensuring that you won’t just be a good mom, but the best one.
Want to learn more about what happens after the second trimester? You can check out the third and final trimester of pregnancy here.
Or you can also get some helpful tips and tricks from our EQ support here.