You’ve made it to the second trimester. This is cause for celebration! Your morning sickness has diminished, your baby bump isn’t huge yet, and you can focus on getting the nursery ready and decluttering the house. Yes, the “nesting” instinct will kickin, and you’ll be trying to organize and prepare the living space for your new little bundle of joy. Enjoy the energetic feeling; it’s a happy time, and you are beginning to actually feel good again.
Your Changing Body
You will be amazed at how your bump will begin to protrude. Your uterus is widening to accommodate your growing baby. Your breasts will increase in size, which is totally normal. You may wish to shop for a more supportive or athletic bra. The wider straps will make your bra much more comfortable.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
Mother Nature is getting you ready for labor and delivery. Braxton Hicks contractions will be felt in this trimester. They’re irregular, surface in the evening, and are common after you’ve been active. When Braxton Hicks contractions start, you’ll notice a tightening of your tummy, and it may feel hard. If you time these contractions and they begin to occur at regular intervals and get stronger, you need to contact your health care provider to ensure you’re not going into early labor.
Because your hormones are increasing at a high level, melanin is also at a higher level, and you might notice the “mask of pregnancy,” which is noticeable on your face. This is known as melasma and isn’t something you need to be concerned about. It usually goes away after the delivery of your baby.
Another area where your skin’s pigment will ramp up is your abdomen. The linea nigra might appear as a straight line from your navel down to your pelvic area. If you notice this, don’t despair. Be happy that your hormones are ramping up in anticipation of your new little bundle of joy.
Be sure to use sunscreen and minimize being out in the sun. A few stretch marks might begin to appear. These cannot be prevented, but they will fade over time.
While pregnant, your increased hormones will cause your body to manufacture more blood. A side effect, swollen mucous membranes, can cause a stopped-up nose and even a bloody nose. Over the counter nasal lubricants will help relieve this congestion and dryness. Drinking lots of water is also helpful, and you may wish to purchase a humidifier for your bedroom.
Dental Side Effects
If you notice that your gums are tender when brushing or flossing your teeth, this is completely normal. A bit of bleeding might occur. If you experience these symptoms, try gargling with salt water. You may wish to switch from a hard toothbrush to a softer type to minimize tenderness. This is no time to stop flossing or brushing. A healthy mouth is directly related to a healthy newborn.
If you have a lot of morning sickness, frequent vomiting is known to damage your tooth enamel, so you could be more prone to cavities. Keep up with your regular dental care, and be sure to tell your hygienist and dentist about any symptoms you might be having.
Cramping Your Style
Cramps are absolutely no fun, and during pregnancy it is common to develop leg cramps, most often during the middle of the night. Try stretching out your legs before you retire for the evening. Keeping up your exercise routine is also helpful, is as staying hydrated by drinking a lot of water. It’s really important!
Pay attention to your shoes. They need to have good arch supports and be comfortable while you’re pregnant. If you begin to get a leg cramp, stand with your hands on the wall, put your cramping leg out at an angle behind you, and place your foot flat on the floor. The cramped leg should be extended and stretched. Bend the foot closest to the wall slightly, and you’ll feel the stretch, which should help alleviate the muscle cramp. If the stretch doesn’t make your leg cramp dissipate, taking a hot shower, or using an ice pack directly on the cramp might assist in helping it go away.
Carrying your baby causes circulation issues, which might make you feel faint or dizzy. Drinking plenty of water is helpful. If you can avoid it, try not to be on your feet for a long period of time. Whenever you are changing positions (like getting up out of a chair or out of your car), use caution.
If you begin feeling dizzy, sit down or, better yet, lie down if possible. Be sure to let a loved one or friend know of this symptom so they can help you. If the dizziness persists, contact your OB-GYN.
UTIs are Common During Pregnancy
Urinary Tract Infections often surface while carrying your baby. If you notice burning when urinating, a sudden urgency to relieve your bladder, a cloudy, bloody appearance, or a strong scent in your urine, you may have a urinary tract infection. Contact your health care professional to treat these symptoms, so it won’t progress to a kidney infection, which can be serious.
Enjoy Your Renewed Energy During Your Second Trimester
During the second trimester, you may have more energy than you did during the first. This is a good time to seek out a pediatrician and read up on breastfeeding. If you’re employed and will be going back to work after your baby enters the world, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with maternity leave policies. If you’ll be needing daycare for your newborn, now is a great time to begin exploring your options.
Many pregnant women end up worrying or becoming fearful about what labor and delivery will bring. Knowledge is power! Research and read about delivery and becoming a new parent. You will feel more prepared and at ease! You’ve got this!
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