The second trimester of your pregnancy is likely to be the most pleasant. The fatigue and nausea you probably experienced during the first trimester have likely subsided. You may sense a renewed energy and spiritual well being. Meanwhile, your baby has been very busy, growing at a rapid pace along with your shape. Now may be the time to adjust your wardrobe with some new maternity clothes.
Changes in Your Body
As the unpleasant symptoms of the first trimester have gone away, you’ve probably noticed some changes in your body – these are normal and to be expected. Some common changes include:
As your uterus grows along with your baby, your abdomen also expands rapidly. Expect to gain approximately three pounds every month until the baby is born. Managing your weight is important, and our team of professionals at SouthLake OBGYN can help you with a plan for proper nutrition. Gaining too much weight is neither good for you nor your baby.
Increased Bra Size
Women are often surprised by how much larger their breasts become during pregnancy. This is normal, as your breasts add additional fat preparing for milk production. It’s important to choose the right bra size with proper support.
Contractions are a normal way for your uterus to get in shape for the birth of your baby. These contractions – called Braxton Hicks contractions – are usually weak and unpredictable. If the contractions become regular or painful, be sure to call us right away, as this can be a sign of going into premature labor.
Stretch Marks and Skin Changes
While stretch marks can’t be avoided altogether, it does help to keep your tummy moisturized to prevent itching. Eventually, after the birth of your baby, most stretch marks fade away or become very faint. Your skin may change in texture or you may notice dark patches, this is due to increased hormone production. Always wear sunscreen when out in the sun as this lessens the intensity of these dark patches – they generally fade away after the baby is born.
Leg Cramps and Swelling
To prevent leg cramps, stretch your calf muscles before bed, stay physically active, and drink plenty of water. If your legs or extremities swell, try a cool shower and keep your legs elevated. If necessary, remove your rings before they get too tight. If swelling becomes extreme, be sure to call us – we are there to help you have an enjoyable and trouble free pregnancy.
The extra weight you’ve gained is probably putting pressure on your back resulting in backache or soreness. Sitting straight up in a chair that provides good back support is helpful. Wear low-heeled, comfy shoes with plenty of arch support. Finally, try to sleep on your side with pillow tucked between your legs.
Take time to get ready for the arrival of your baby. Here is a checklist of things to do while you wait:
- Learn about second trimester checkups and tests – ask us about the tests and other monitors we need to put into place to ensure you and your baby stay healthy.
- Shop for maternity clothes – nothing can brighten your day better than a comfortable new outfit.
- Track your weight gain – keep close tabs on your weight gain. Too much or too little is not healthy for you or your baby.
- Prepare your older children – if you have older children, explain the eminent arrival of their new sibling. Older children often need reassurance that they haven’t lost a place in the family but are, and will always be, important contributors to your family dynamic.
- Financial planning and maternity leave – becoming a parent means financial responsibilities along with time off to welcome and enjoy your new baby. Talk to you human resources department to understand your company’s maternity time off benefits and how best to take advantage of paid and unpaid leave.
Be sure to keep all your pre-natal visit appointments. It’s important that we monitor your progress and that of your baby to be able to identify and treat any symptoms before they become problematic. Be sure to call SouthLake OBGYN if you have any questions or issues between visits.