You Made It to Trimester Two
You’ve reached a milestone! You’re actually in your second trimester. Hooray. If you were sick and needed crackers to make your stomach feel better, this symptom may start to go away. You will feel more energetic and healthy—even though your baby bump will become noticeable. Getting around and handling your daily activities like work, grocery shopping, housework, and even exercising will still be relatively easy.
The second trimester involves pregnancy weeks 13 to 26, and this is the perfect time to get the nursery ready, stock up on supplies like diapers, wipes, and toiletries such as baby shampoo and lotion, blankets for swaddling, and many other needs for your little bundle of joy. Within your body, your baby is growing and developing rapidly, and your doctor’s appointments will be especially important as you hear the heartbeat more clearly and see the growth with ultrasounds. Your blood pressure will be checked, you’ll undergo urinalysis, and you’ll have blood drawn regularly. Your prenatal team will monitor any swelling of hands or feet, and the circumference of your abdomen will be measured. These tests ensure your baby is growing properly, that you and the baby are healthy, and they might even help zero in on the due date, which can sometimes change based on the results.
You Will Notice Some Additional Changes
A little discomfort, aches and pains, and a stretching of your skin in the abdominal area may be noticed. As your baby grows in your womb, you might get stretch marks and gain some extra weight. Your belly stretches an incredible amount by the time you carry the baby to full term—it’s really kind of miraculous!
It is normal for hormonal changes during the second trimester to dry out your skin. If this itchiness is driving you crazy, here are a few remedies you can try:
1) Apply Lotion
Putting lotion on right after your shower is a great way to relieve dry skin and itchiness. Go ahead and slather on a large amount of your favorite moisturizer to help you stay more comfortable. Even petroleum jelly can be helpful. As your skin soaks up the extra moisture, your itchiness will lessen.
2) Prepare a Cool Compress
Simply dampen a clean cloth or towel in cold water. Squeeze it out, so it’s no longer dripping, and fold it into an acceptable size for your body area and press it down firmly. Re-soak the pad every few minutes to ensure it stays cool. Cold compresses should be used for 20 minutes at a time, no longer. Enjoy the soothing relief the compress will provide.
3) Take Oral Antihistamines
With the okay from your physician, you may want to try over-the-counter antihistamines to relieve the symptoms of itchiness. Taking something orally will help get rid of that frustrating irritation and itch and make you more comfortable.
4) Use Over-the-Counter Hydrocortisone Cream
Getting the go-ahead from your doctor is important, and with clearance, using a steroid cream can provide you with a great deal of relief. It calms down your body’s natural reaction to the excess hormones, which can cause skin irritation and itch.
Lots of Changes During Your Second Trimester
When it comes to the middle trimester of pregnancy, you may have heard that it’s the best trimester. For many women, they find this true. After about week 13 or 14, women begin to feel almost normal again. The muscles might be a little tender, especially around the pelvic area, due to the hormone known as relaxin ramping up. Relaxin, which is produced by your placenta and ovaries, is nature’s way of getting your cervix, uterus, and pelvis to loosen up in preparation for the growing placenta.
Exercise By All Means – But Use Caution!
If cleared by your doctor, exercising during the second trimester can and should be continued, but it is important not to push it too hard because of the relaxing hormone being released. Your ligaments may be tender as well as your back, so definitely continue exercising, but use care in doing so.
More Rising Hormones
Other hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, continue to rise to help the baby grow normally in trimester two. You may have melasma, which is a darkening of the skin on your face. This is sometimes called the "mask of pregnancy." This is completely normal, and for some women it is gray, while for others it’s more of a brown tone. The estrogen and progesterone multiplying in your body stimulate melanocytes, which produce melanin, or pigmentation.
Another change in skin during the second trimester is a dark line which forms in the pelvic area and extends straight up to your navel. Don’t worry that your two-piece swimsuit days are over, this line, clinically referred to as the linea nigra fades and goes away for most women a few months after delivering their baby.
Lush, Thick Locks and Strong Healthy Nails – Something Most Women Long For!
While some of the skin changes mentioned above can be quite annoying, some added benefits of the increased hormones include rapid hair and nail growth. You may notice that your hair grows faster and might become thicker or more voluminous. For most women, that’s an added bonus. In addition to faster-growing hair, your nails will become stronger and experience rapid growth. Take advantage of these beauty attributes during your pregnancy and capitalize on them. It’s an advantage, and for many, feeling beautiful and healthy helps with staying positive and energetic. Go ahead, schedule a manicure or pedicure, and brush that thick, beautiful hair—or try a new style. Keeping mom happy and healthy during pregnancy is key!
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