In my previous article, I talked about the symptoms of the first trimester of Pregnancy. Here I will be discussing the symptoms of the second trimester of pregnancy which starts from 13 weeks and lasts till week 27 of pregnancy. Although every woman experiences pregnancy in a different way, the second trimester is generally more relaxed than the first one, resulting in it being termed as the ‘honeymoon period.’ Here are some of the symptoms that are experienced in the second trimester:
1. Reduced or no nausea
As the second trimester begins, nausea and morning sickness tend to decrease or come to an end altogether. If you still feel queasy, consult your doctor and perhaps increase your intake of vitamin B6 as it helps the stomach settle.
2. Abdominal Pains
With the onset of the second trimester, you may experience a discomfort in your tummy. These are abdominal pains that are caused by the growth of the uterus and by the surrounding ligaments getting stretched.
3. Detection of the heartbeat
After 12 weeks, your doctor will be able to detect the heartbeat of your baby during the ultrasound.
4. Movement of the baby
Between 16 and 20 weeks, you will be able to feel the movements of the baby inside you. This is known as ‘quickening.’ Nearing the end of the trimester you may also feel ‘blips’ in your abdomen. It is nothing to worry about its just your baby having hiccups. It is harmless.
5. Feeling out of breath
During the second trimester, even a little bit of exertion can leave you out of breath. This is because your uterus has grown, causing difficulty in the inflow and outflow of air from the lungs. This is normal. But if the breathlessness becomes severe then do consult your doctor.
6. Bulging Belly
By the time you are in the 16th week of pregnancy you would be wearing maternity clothes because your uterus is growing resulting in a widening waistline and expanding hips. By the end of the trimester, you would have gained a minimum of 16 pounds.
7. Enlarged Breasts
During the second trimester, your breasts are likely to grow bigger due to the accumulation of fat and in a preparation of milk production. However, your breasts will probably not be as tender as they were in the first trimester. It is advisable to wear a supportive bra.
8. Stretch Marks
During the second trimester red, pink or purple streaks may appear along with your breasts, thighs, buttocks or abdomen. These are stretch marks and they could even get itchy. Applying moisturizer can help. These stretch marks eventually fade and become nearly invisible.
9. Changes in Emotions
Although there are still high levels of hormones in your body, you have had a good three months to get used to it. By now you should be able to get a handle on your emotions and sit through a sad movie without being weepy.
10. Bad Dreams
During the second trimester, it is quite common for mom-to-be to wake up with cold sweats and complaints of a bad dream. It’s okay to feel anxious as delivery approaches.
11. Increased sex drive
During the timespan from the 16th week till the 20th week, it is quite natural for you to feel more sexual. This is because your body is producing a lot of estrogens. In a day, the ovaries of a pregnant woman produce as much estrogen as is produced by the ovaries of a woman who is not pregnant in three years.
12. Braxton Hicks Contractions
Some women experience Braxton Hicks contractions during the second trimester. Braxton Hicks contractions are when the uterus starts contracting in order to build strength for the delivery. These contractions are very weak and occur unpredictably. If the contractions become regular or painful then do contact your doctor as you could be experiencing preterm labor.
During pregnancy, blood vessels dilate causing your blood pressure to drop which could cause dizziness. It is important for you to have lots of fluids and if you experience dizziness then lie down on your left side. This will help in restoring your blood pressure.
14. Leg Cramps
Pregnant women often experience leg cramps at night. To prevent the leg cramps, it is advisable to stretch your calf muscles before going to bed. It is also important to remain hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. If you have a leg cramp then taking a warm bath or opting for an ice massage could help.
15. Vaginal Discharge
During the second trimester, it is normal for you to see a white, thin vaginal discharge. This is an acidic discharge that prevents the growth of yeast or harmful bacteria. It is advisable to wear no deodorant panty liners that will give you comfort. If your vaginal discharge has a strong smell or is yellow or greenish, and is accompanied by soreness, pain or itching then contact your doctor. This could be a sign of vaginal infection.
16. Bladder and kidney infections
The flow of urine could be become slow due to hormonal changes and because your uterus is expanding. This increases the risk of kidney and bladder infections. Contact your doctor if you feel pain upon urination or if you have a backache or fever. Urinary infections can increase the risk of complications in the pregnancy if they are left untreated.
17. Skin Changes
During the second trimester, hormonal changes can stimulate an increase in the melanin (pigment-bearing cells) in your skin. Therefore, dark patches might appear on your face. You may also see a very faint but dark line down your abdomen. There is nothing unusual about this and there is no need to worry. These patches and lines tend to fade after delivery. Just be careful not to go out in the sun without applying sunscreen as exposure to the sun can aggravate the dark patches.
During the second trimester, things are relatively easier for the expectant Mom so you can make the most of it by adding some exercise to your routine. Prenatal yoga, swimming, and walking are some of the best ways to keep yourself physically active. Have a safe second trimester!