A woman’s second trimester is one of the easiest 3 months of pregnancy for many. It is now the time of pregnancy when morning sickness is most likely subsiding and your bump isn’t so big that it gets in the way or causes any aches. It is the most pleasant and comfortable phase of pregnancy. You may even feel a burst of energy.
How long is the second trimester?
The second trimester begins at the end of the 12th week, usually from the 13th week to the 28th week so it lasts about 14 weeks or approximately 3 and a half months. Depending on when you deliver, the second trimester may be your longest trimester.
Here’s what happens in the second trimester
As the second-trimester approaches, both the mother and fetus will be experiencing an exciting time. Your fetus has now developed all of its organs and systems, and it is now beginning to develop in size and weight. The umbilical cord thickens during the second trimester as it provides nourishment to the fetus. However, harmful substances can also pass through the umbilical cord, so it is important to keep alcohol, tobacco, and other known hazards at bay.
You might notice movement in your growing belly if you talk to it in the last few weeks of the second trimester. If your baby was born prematurely, it would likely survive with intensive care if they were born at the end of the second trimester.
Changes to be faced during this period
For a minute or two during the second trimester, you may feel the muscles in your uterus tighten. They typically cause more discomfort than pain during these contractions. However, these are not contractions or signs of labor. The contractions can come and go without warning and may feel irregular in timing and strength.
Lower Abdomen ache
If your lower belly cramps or aches during your second trimester, it’s because the expanding uterus puts pressure on nearby muscles and ligaments. In order to relieve the aches, try taking a warm bath, relaxing, changing your body’s position, or pressing a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel to your lower belly. Minor cramps are normal and may be caused by constipation, gas, or even sex.
Your back is becoming achy and sore as a result of the extra weight you have gained over the past few months. To ease the pressure, sit up straight and use a chair with back support. Try to sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs and wear shoes with good arch support and low heels.
It is common to feel the fetus move around 20 weeks into the pregnancy. This is called quickening. Appetite may increase, varicose veins and hemorrhoids may appear, and the colors of your skin may change. A growing uterus relieves pressure on the bladder, which may cause you to urinate more frequently. There might also be discomfort along the sides of your body as the uterus stretches out.
What to do during the second trimester?
Here’s what you can do in your second trimester:
You will be regularly monitored during this trimester, with your practitioner checking your weight, uterine size, fundus height (top of the uterus), and the baby’s heartbeat.
Start sleeping on your side
When your uterus is growing, the vena cava (the vein that brings blood from your lower extremities back up to your heart) is put under pressure, which can affect circulation. When you start sleeping on your side, your vena cava won’t be under pressure.
Pregnant women should get screened for gestational diabetes around weeks 24 to 28 of pregnancy, as 1 in 10 is diagnosed with the condition.
The ultrasound usually takes place between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy and the doctor will check the developing organs of the baby, measure the baby, and perform your second-trimester ultrasound.
The other things which will definitely help you in your pregnancy during the second trimester are :
- Make sure you are immunized
- Maternity clothes shopping
- Tracking your weight gain
Keep a healthy lifestyle during the second trimester by exercising for about 20 minutes a day. Regular exercise is beneficial to both you and your developing fetus. Walking and swimming are safe forms of exercise; however, many other options are available as well.
In addition to talking to your healthcare provider beforehand about the exercise you want to do, you should also do kegel exercises throughout your pregnancy. These exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Aside from exercising, you should maintain your healthy diet, take your prenatal vitamins, and attend your prenatal appointments.