Easing Into the Second Trimester: Knowing The Changes

It is not for nothing that the second trimester (Week 14-Week 27) is often hailed as the euphoric phase of pregnancy. Now that the obvious discomforts of the first trimester have passed, and your baby is kicking up a storm, the second trimester is meant to be enjoyed while you start shopping, packing, attending labour and birth classes or even planning a vacation. Here is what you can expect your second trimester to be like:

  • Your Changing Skin:

You might notice a number of new things happening to your skin like a faint line that travels all the way from your navel to your pubic region that will begin to look darker very soon. It might also travel upwards. This is called the linea nigra1 and you’re probably not the only one who will experience this.

You might also notice pinkish streaks on your growing belly, buttocks, and thighs and even on your breasts. These are stretch marks that are absolutely normal and occur because of your skin stretching and expanding to support the pregnancy. There might be dark patches on your skin, your face might look blotchy and you might also have acne breakouts. Blame the raging pregnancy hormones and calm down because all of this is temporary and will pass soon after delivery.

  • Weight Gain:

As nausea and food aversions make way for increased appetite, you can expect to gain around 13-14 pounds during the second trimester. Do check with the doctor regarding accelerated weight gain if there is a family history of diabetes or preterm babies.

  • Sensitive Gums:

Sensitive gums and are common second trimester problems. Since your hormones are playing hide and seek, expect more blood flow to your gums and softening of them that often leads to sensitive and bleeding gums. Using a softer toothbrush and maintaining proper oral hygiene will keep infections at bay.

  • Snoring:

Did your husband just convey an unbelievable fact that you were snoring last night? Your blood circulation is heightened during pregnancy and more blood flowing through your mucous membranes leads to swelling of your airways. This causes congestion and you end up snoring at night. If there are nosebleeds or breathing problems, please consult your gynaecologist.

  • Growing Belly And Breasts:

Your uterus is expanding to accommodate your growing baby and in turn you will find your baby bump to grow bigger. You will look visibly pregnant and your maternity jeans will finally come in handy. Try and wear loose, cotton clothes and slather your belly with a moisturiser if you want to keep the itch away. Your body is also preparing your breasts to produce milk and they will keep growing in order to accumulate that healthy fat. Wearing a supportive bra will prevent sagging.

  • Dizziness And Leg Cramps:

As your blood vessels dilate, you can expect sudden bouts of dizziness due to fluctuating blood pressure. Keep yourself hydrated and lie down on your left side to manage the dizziness. Leg cramps are common if you have been inactive and lying down for long. Staying active, well hydrated and keeping your legs propped up might help.

  • Contractions:

Otherwise known as Braxton Hicks Contractions2; this is your body preparing for labour and birth. As normal as this is, if they tend to get frequent or more painful, visit the doctor immediately.

Keep your symptoms monitored, enjoy your baby’s kicks and don’t forget your prenatal classes!

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linea_nigra
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braxton_Hicks_contractions