Congratulations! You are pregnant. Well by your second trimester you have very well brushed your teeth with the fact that life is blossoming inside you. You and your partner are pretty much excited to welcome this happiness in your life and can hardly control the excitement of having your baby in your arms. Suddenly your family gets more protective about you and your health and your midwife is always there by your bed. While you may have gathered information from various sources on your second trimester, in this blog we would put some more light on “how a typical second trimester of pregnancy is?”
Pregnancy is the most vulnerable phase of a woman’s life with about a thousand changes taking place inside her body. And the second trimester is the phase when all these changes began to take concrete shape. The second trimester refers to the fourth to sixth months of your pregnancy i.e weeks 13 to 26 weeks.
During the first trimester, life seems difficult with sudden hormonal changes and most women find it challenging. However, the good news for you is by your second trimester, the severity of the initial symptoms reduces to a great extent,
while some of them may persist. Breathe and enjoy as this is one phase you will cherish a lot.
You must keep an eye for the following symptoms as they make for a healthy second trimester-
- Say hello to the most-awaited baby bump. Yes, it is in your second trimester generally around week 13-18 that you will be able to notice a baby bump. Every couple ever since getting pregnant awaits this moment and finally, it will be there.
- There is an expansion in the walls of the uterus to support the growth of the new being. Consequently, you will notice weight gain and an evident baby belly.
- Stretch marks are the next companions that will appear around your stomach, thighs, buttocks, and breasts. You need not worry as they are a result of expansion for the space your baby needs inside you. These are absolutely healthy signs.
- There are skin changes, with the epidermal layer around your nipples darkening. Some of you may even experience little itching in the area.
- You might feel you are unable to fit into your sleeves or maybe those bangles and anklets suddenly tighten. This is due to the swelling of your limbs be it ankle or hands.
- No woman wants to see herself gaining weight, but this is the period when you are surely going to do so. Your appetite will increase and remember you have to eat not just for yourself but for the two of you.
- Cardiac output is increased in pregnant women and this is necessary to meet the additional oxygen requirement during pregnancy. Generally, you might feel dizzy or tired as there is an overall decrease in blood pressure.
Despite the changes that you have been feeling, the appearance of a baby bump followed by the feeling of baby movements in the later weeks makes all of this worth it.
Nutrition During this Phase:
Now and then you will find your mother offering you a glass of milk, some snacks like dahlia, poha, a bowl of fruits, and whatnot. While you have your aversions and taste buds flipping now and then, food is what you
will find yourself surrounded with. A pregnant woman must consume rich qualitative food.
The nutrient need for a pregnant woman demands extra calories and the bodily requirement for almost all the macro-micro nutrients and vitamins and minerals is increased. Your first trimester focused more on qualitative edge but your second and third trimester will be demanding you to eat more. Your baby is growing and your body is preparing itself for the delivery stage as well as lactation period, thus one has to be on foot with good food.
- There should be a 5-6 meal pattern for a pregnant woman. With three major meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, two to three healthy snacks should be introduced.
- The BMR increases by 5% in the second trimester and nearly an additional 350 kcal are needed. Inclusion of complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat grains, oatmeal should be encouraged.
- Add chunks of seasonal vegetables, green leafy vegetables, fresh and dried fruits to your plate, and bowls to have enough fiber in your diet. This will have you with bowel movements too.
- Proteins are your best friend. Try eating various sources of proteins, right from eggs, poultry, paneer, or tofu. Soybean chunks, lentils, and pulses should be a part of your meals.
- Vitamin C is needed for the absorption of iron in the body. Citrus foods should be consumed.
- Yogurt, curd, milk, and milk products, til seeds, make for the extra calcium demands.
- Walnuts and groundnuts, almonds, dates, and raw bananas should be eaten regularly.
- The diet of an expectant mother should include plenty of fluids. Not just 8-10 glasses of water but coconut water, milkshakes, green tea, vegetable soups should form a part of the diet.
- Smoking, alcohol, and caffeine intake should be restricted.
A wholesome well-balanced diet is a key focus. Indian diets make for a good intake of the majority of nutrients. It is advisable to not indulge in any self-nutrient supplements. Go for what your doctor prescribes.
Pregnancy is a normal physiological change that occurs in a female body. It should not be looked upon as a drastic ailment and one should not confine themselves to complete bed rest.
- Your regular walks and daily chores can be continued. But do not make yourself exhausted and tired. Take adequate breaks in between.
- Avoid highly intensive exercises like jogging and skipping.
- Opt for yoga and meditation. Now there are many specialized yoga training programs for pregnant women. These even encourage couple participation. It’s a win-win opportunity to have some pleasing times with your partner in this beautiful phase of your life.
- It is prescribed to not indulge in any forms of new exercise if you have a sedentary lifestyle before your pregnancy.
- Bedrest is not ideally advised until stated by your doctor in particular. Generally, women with a low-lying placenta, multiple fetuses, growth-restricted babies are advised strict bed rest.
Pregnant women who followed a healthy exercise routine have a greater blood flow and faced less difficulty during the time of labor. Also, there are fewer cesarean deliveries.
Your second trimester would be the most interesting and delightful phase of your pregnancy. By now, you have overcome the sudden changes your first trimester offered you and now you are all set to feel those little yet the most beautiful moments of carrying a life inside you.
You will feel more than ever before that you are pregnant. While your baby bump continues to excite you, there would be your baby’s movements that you will be able to feel. Haven’t you and your partner waited to feel that kick? It is exactly now that you will be cherishing those movements within you.
Also, who doesn’t enjoy talking to the new one? By the second trimester, your baby will be able to hear your voice. You can talk to them. Also, many babies respond to certain stimuli. Gear up, maybe the next time you speak to them they respond with their little kick!
Mental Health of the To-Be Mother
As an expectant mom-to-be, you have made your partner “mad” in his words. He has been dealing with your extreme mood swings, your strange and cute
food cravings at midnight, your sudden crying or clingy acts. Well, that’s all absolutely normal. With so much happening in and around you, it is important to keep yourself calm and composed.
Spend time with your baby talking to him, listening to music that soothes your mood. There have been instances that once the baby is born, they may react to the same music in a manner you never knew! Cheer up by talking with your mom about her time when she went through all this or maybe just read up a book.
When to visit your doctor?
You will have to visit your doctor for your scheduled ultrasounds. Other than this, an expectant mother has to be very careful about any recently developed health or medical condition. Any sort of discomfort needs to be discussed with your gynecologist.
Two little hands and two little feet are growing up to make your family complete!
Verified - Dr Shikha Gurnani (MBBS, DNB - Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Editor - Anushka Jain (Beauty Influencer / Dip. Journalism)