What To Expect? (Week 13 to Week 27)
Welcome to the second phase of your pregnancy. You have successfully passed the first trimester with so much patience and also the happiness of welcoming a new human being into this world. In the last three months, you may have faced many health issues but now many of them will go away or decrease slowly and you can now relax and plan the arrival of your little one. For many women, these three months( second trimester) are the easiest phase of pregnancy. The most interesting thing you can do at this phase is to know the gender of your child and also know if you are going to give birth to twins. You can now feel the first movement of your baby and your belly will come out a bit and you will look pregnant now. The second trimester starts from week 13 to week 27 which is months 4, 5, and 6. There is a rapid development of your baby’s overall growth in these 3 months. You may also get some other health-related issues which we will discuss here.
Changes In The Mother’s Body:-
1. Swelling of ankles and feet:- This symptom starts when you enter weeks 22 to 23 and lasts until delivery. Not all women experience this but 80% of women face this issue during pregnancy. You may not have any pain. You will just feel uncomfortable as you can’t wear your favorite sandals or shoes. Your feet may swell due to water accumulation in your feet. To reduce this, do walking or do any activity in which your legs can move all the time. Don’t stand or sit in one place for long hours. Stay active to be healthy. If you are not feeling well then lie down but don’t just stand or sit for long as this can cause more swelling in your feet.
2. Dizziness:- This is caused due to low blood pressure in your body. And also due to changes in hormones. Don’t panic and eat a healthy diet and focus more on the hydration of your body with fluids.
3. Cramps and Aches:- As your uterus is expanding, it puts pressure on the muscles and ligaments nearby which causes cramps and aches in your lower abdomen. Minor cramps can also be caused by gas, constipation, or sex. This is very normal. To reduce aches have a warm bath, relax your muscles or change your sleeping position.
4. Backpain:- As your belly is expanding and you’re putting on more pregnancy weight, you might experience back pain which can be very mild to severe. To reduce it try a pregnancy massage, sit up straight with back support, Sit on a comfortable chair, and sleep with a pregnancy pillow. Avoid lifting weights and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Walking is the best to ease the pain.
5. Sensitive and Bleeding gums:- This occurs in almost 50 % of pregnant women. Their gums become more tender and sore and may sometimes bleed too. This occurs due to the change in hormone levels in your body. Since your body is producing more RBCs and the blood is circulating more all over your body, hormone changes send more blood to gums making them more sensitive. Your gums will be normal after your baby’s birth, till that time take good care of your oral hygiene. Use a soft toothbrush and delicate toothpaste to avoid bleeding. Rinse your mouth often. If your gums bleed more often and you feel severe pain, make an appointment with a dentist.
6. Congestion:- Hormonal changes in your body cause the mucus membranes lining your nose to swell a bit. You may have a stuffy nose all the time and you may even snore at night during sleep. Use saline drops to clear congestion or apply Vicks. You can also take steam or use a humidifier in your room to keep the air moist. You may also experience nosebleeds during these hormonal changes. Don’t panic just keep your head straight and apply pressure to the nostril to stop bleeding.
7. Breast Enlargement:- As your pregnancy months increase, your bra size will also increase as your body is preparing milk for your baby. But now at this phase of the second trimester, you may not have any tender or sore breasts like you had in the first trimester.
8. Mild Contractions:- You can feel a very mild contraction in your lower abdomen for a minute or two. This arent a sign of labor. They just come and go away on their own. It can occur when you have sex, are dehydrated, exercise, or when someone touches your baby bump.
9. Frequent Urination.
12. White milky discharge.
13. Increased appetite.
14. First Baby Movements.
15. Hair Growth:- Your pregnancy hormones can boost your hair growth. Women who had hair problems earlier will be very happy now as they have long and thick hair. Hair can also grow more on some parts of your body like the face, upper lips, underarms, and genital area. Don’t go for waxing or laser treatment to remove hair. It is not safe for the baby. Ask your doctor’s advice instead. He may suggest you some creams and medicines to reduce hair growth.
16. Hemorrhoids or Varicose Veins:- These are the swollen blue veins that form around your vagina. During pregnancy, they enlarge as there is extra blood flow and increased pressure from the growing uterus. You can feel them by touching and they are a bit itchy and uncomfortable too. Take a warm bath to feel comfortable.
17. Leg Cramps:- You may feel mild contractions in your legs at this phase of pregnancy. To prevent them, stretch your legs and move in a cycling position, massage your legs daily with oil, apply a cold or heat cloth on your legs, or you can walk and exercise a bit. This happens mainly at night but there is no reason why it occurs. It can occur due to a shortage of calcium or magnesium in your body. Have calcium and magnesium-rich foods, and supplements. Changes in hormones and weight can also cause leg cramps.
18. Skin Changes:- Have you ever wondered why a pregnant women’s face is always glowing? Hormonal changes can make the skin on the face glowy and beautiful. You might see stretch marks now all over your belly, breasts, thighs, and abdomen. This happens due to the enlargement of the muscles to make space for your growing baby. You can use stretch marks cream or coconut oil after consulting your doctor. They will fade away after 3 to 4 months after delivery.
19. Urinary Tract Infections:- This is more common in the second and third trimester as your uterus is expanding making it harder for your bladder to remove urine frequently. This can lead to bacterial infections in the urinary tract or the bladder. Its symptoms include pain while peeing, pain during sex, cloudy and smelly urine, abdominal pain, and light blood in your urine. This can be very harmful to you and your baby if not treated early. These bacterial infections can spread to your kidneys and cause infections, early labor, and low-weight babies.
20. Weight Gain:- You have to take 300 to 500 calories a day in the second trimester. Don’t worry if your weight increases or if you are fat-shamed by people. Think about your baby more now than focusing on becoming slim. You will gain a half to one pound every week. To avoid being overweight, eat a healthy diet. Avoid junk foods or packaged foods that have so many calories in them and they are also not good for the health.
Baby Development In The Second Trimester:-
- Their lungs are fully formed by now but not yet ready to breathe normally.
- Your baby weighs 2 to 3 pounds and is 14 to 16 inches in height.
- He can move around in your womb, kick, turn, swallow food, and can hear you.
- By week 22 he will develop eyelashes and eyebrows.
- The Baby’s eyes, mouth, nose, head, and ears take their correct positions.
- They can open and shut their eyelids too.
- Your baby sleeps and wakes up normally.
- By week 22, your baby can start to smell, hear, see, and can open his eyes.
- Your baby’s fingers and toes separate in their correct positions.
- Fingernails and toenails grow at this phase.
- Your baby’s body is covered in a creamy white thin sheet called the vernix caseosa.
- There is a build-up of fat on your baby’s body.
- There is a slight growth of hair on your baby’s head.
- Your baby can now taste food through the amniotic fluid.
- Since he is swallowing food he will be peeing a lot. The placenta which provides oxygen and nutrients to your baby can also remove the waste.
- The Baby’s heart and brain are developing very fast at this phase.
The Do’s and won’t’s During The Second Trimester
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Take Vitamin, Calcium, Folic acid, and Magnesium tablets suggested by your doctor regularly.
- Do light Excercise and Walk regularly.
- Have a healthy diet with lots of green vegetables, fresh homemade juices, and fruits.
- Eat small frequent meals.
- Maintain oral hygiene.
- Buy a pregnancy pillow for comfortable sleep at night.
- Gain knowledge about pregnancy, labor, delivery, and breastfeeding.
- Check your weight and blood pressure monthly.
- Take rest whenever you feel weak.
- Take an ultrasound between week 18 and week 22.
- Avoid overeating. Do not exceed more than 300-500 calories in a day.
- Don’t lift heavyweights.
- Avoid strenuous exercises and strength training.
- Limit your caffeine intake. No more than one cup of coffee a day.
- Quit smoking and alcohol completely.
- Avoid eating raw fish and raw sprouts.
- Avoid outside food or packaged foods. This can upset your stomach.
- Don’t drink unpasteurized milk or other dairy products which are not pasteurized.
When To Call The Doctor:-
- Rapid weight Gain.
- Severe Nausea and Vomiting.
- Extreme Swelling.
- Severe abdominal pain and cramping.
- Bleeding heavily.
- Dizziness often.
- Lots of Sweating.
- Extreme fatigue and snoring.
Tablets are given in the Second Trimester:-
1. Livogen Z – This is an iron tablet that you can take at night for half an hour after having your dinner.
2. MHR Folic – This is very essential for the development of your baby’s brain. Hence you are advised to have this tablet from week 1 to week 18 of pregnancy.
3. Treptin Biscuits – Many doctors recommended protein powder or mother Horlicks which have to be consumed along with milk. But for some women, these powders can upset their stomach causing loose motions. That is why these treptin biscuits are given which are rich in vitamins, minerals, calcium, iron, magnesium, etc. These biscuits are very tasty and you can have 2 to 3 biscuits at any time of the day.
4. Shelcal – This is a calcium tablet. Before I was given Calcimax tablet for calcium, but after having it I felt vomiting sensations and sometimes vomited too due to its side effects as it doesn’t suit some women. When I told my doctor about it she changed the tablet and gave Shelcal so that my baby gets enough calcium for his growth.
5. Suprodyn – This is a multivitamin tablet. Before I was given an A to Z tablet which is also a multivitamin tablet when my 4th month of pregnancy started. But due to its side effects, I had diarrhea after consuming them. So my doctor changed the tablet to Suprodyn which is also a multivitamin tablet.
6. Sporolac and Metrogel:- These tablets are given if you have loose motions or any stomach infection. You should also consume electoral powder or ORS if you have diarrhea.
7. T. pan 40mg and Gasofit tablets are given if you have gas.