Top Tips for the Second Trimester
Hello, second trimester! The second trimester is 14 weeks long. From weeks 14 through 27 or the beginning of month 4 through the end of month 6. Every mom is different, but your baby bump should start showing and you are (hopefully!) saying goodbye to fatigue and nauseousness. (See you later, morning sickness!)
Trimester 2 is the perfect time to start preparing for the arrival of your little one.
Common Second Trimester Symptoms
Every pregnancy is different. Even if this is your second pregnancy, you may experience different symptoms than your first. Morning sickness may be gone, but you may experience new symptoms thanks to your growing bundle of joy.
- Growing belly and breasts
- Braxton Hicks contractions
- Skin changes
- Pelvic Pain
- Nasal congestion and problems
Growing Belly and Breasts
As your uterus expands to make room for the baby, your body is stretching and growing to accommodate. Your breasts will also continue to increase in size as your body prepares for milk production. Invest in supportive bras with wide straps and extra support to reduce upper back pain.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions are a common pregnancy symptom and typically begin occurring during the second trimester. These are mild, irregular contractions. They are commonly referred to as “false labor” pains. They typically last less than 30 seconds and frequently occur in the afternoon or evenings. They are nothing to be concerned about, but you should keep a close eye on them. They could be a sign of preterm labor if they become regular or steadily increase.
Your body is constantly changing during your pregnancy. It is not uncommon to notice changes to your skin, beyond stretch marks, as your baby grows. Hormonal changes can increase melanin (pigment-bearing cells) in your skin. You may notice newly appearing dark spots on your face and skin, but they typically fade away after pregnancy. Sunscreen is highly recommended during pregnancy, as the sun is known to irritate your skin.
Dizziness is common throughout pregnancy, but you may notice it more as you enter into your second trimester. Dizziness is most likely related to cardiovascular changes such as larger blood vessels to support an increased blood flow and temporary changes in circulation. You may also notice a higher heart rate. Make sure to drink plenty of water each day. If your dizziness becomes overwhelming, talk to your doctor.
Sharp pains in your hips and groin are nothing to be alarmed about. Pelvic pain is a frequent pregnancy symptom and your hormones and relaxed ligaments are likely to blame. One in four women will experience pelvic pain during pregnancy. There are easy ways you can reduce pelvic pain.
Pregnancy and heartburn go hand in hand. It is a highly common symptom and makes an appearance for many women during the second trimester. Pregnancy hormones can make the valve at the entrance of the stomach relax and not close properly. This lets stomach acid move into the esophagus and cause acid reflux. It’s hard to avoid, but there are ways you can alleviate the pain.
Nasal congestion and problems
As your baby grows, your hormone levels increase and your body creates more blood. This is known to cause your mucous membranes to swell and bleed easily – meaning stuffiness and nosebleeds. Drinking plenty of fluids, nasal rinses, and using a humidifier can help.
How is Your Baby Growing in the Second Trimester?
In the first trimester, your body spent time developing all of the major organs and systems in the baby. During the next 14 weeks, your body will spend time continuing to grow and develop the baby. Hopkin’s Medicine reports that the weight of your baby will multiply seven times over the next few months. During these crucial weeks:
- The placenta is fully developed
- Bones begin to harden
- Hearing starts to develop
- Reflexes, like swallowing and sucking, are developing
- Fingernails will grow on all of the toes and fingers
- Nervous systems begin to develop
- Part of the brain that controls motor function is fully formed
- Eyelids can fully open and close
- The baby goes through periods of sleep and wakefulness
- Fingerprints have formed
- Hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows are growing
Pregnancy Checklist for Second Trimester
Trimester 2 is all about preparation, planning, and pampering. It’s important to continue caring for yourself as you prepare for the birth of your new baby. From buying new maternity clothes, to searching for a pediatrician, there are several second trimester tasks to cross off your to-do list:
- Practice self-care
- Shop for maternity clothes
- Plan your baby registry
- Make a financial plan
- Start planning for childcare
Taking care of yourself during pregnancy is important. Your health and wellbeing directly affect the development of your child. Getting regular exercise is a good way to take care of your health. Prenatal yoga, water exercise, a walking group, or other mom-fit groups are great ways to stay fit.
Shop for Maternity Clothes
Most baby bumps start to show between 12 and 18 weeks. During your second trimester, you’ll likely start to experience changes to your body and may find yourself more comfortable in maternity clothes. Let the shopping spree begin!
Plan Your Baby Registry
Planning your baby registry is exciting and often makes the impending arrival of your baby feel right around the corner. Making a baby registry lets your friends and family know exactly what you’d like.
Make a Financial Plan
Babies are expensive. It’s estimated that in 2022, the average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is more than $272,000. It’s never too early to start making a financial plan for your little one.
Start Planning for Childcare
If you are planning to go back to work after maternity leave, you’ll likely want to start looking for childcare in the second trimester. Finding the right care will take time. Many of the childcare facilities have months-long waitlists for newborns. The earlier you start your search, the better off you will be.
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