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Second Trimester

The second trimester (between weeks 13 and 28) is the time when women may enjoy their pregnancy much more – physically speaking. While some of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy may be disappearing, as is the case of morning sickness, other new symptoms may begin to appear. If you were experiencing bad morning sickness, it may be going away now but new symptoms will replace it, although much easier to handle ones.  What follows is a list of some changes you might be noticing in your body during the 2nd trimester of preganncy.

Changes in your skin, stretch marks and Increase in Size of your belly

The uterus will have increased its size and its position will reach the level of your navel, making your pregnancy much more noticeable. You might notice that the pigmentation of your skin could have changed quite a bit in the area of ​​your face as well as in your abdomen and this is caused by the increase in pregnancy hormones. These spots or changes in your skin, usually disappear once you have given birth. If you still had them after giving birth, a possible solution may be to make an appointment with a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon, which will be adequately trained to help solve this particular problem.

Tips

Help your baby develop healthily by taking prenatal vitamins, which will give your body and your baby all you both need during the second trimester. Prenatal vitamin supplements are specially formulated to meet the needs of the Second Stage of pregnancy and should provide high levels of iron, B vitamins, calcium and vitamins A and C, which are all vital for the proper and healthy development of your baby.

Due to stretching of the skin, it is common for women to start seeing stretch marks. These marks will happen in roughly half of pregnancies.  Pregnant women with elastic skin and good body tone may not be prone to develop these annoying marks. If you had stretch marks, do not worry, since they fade after giving birth to your baby and become almost invisible. Women that would like to try and prevent or remove these marks can use creams and treatments specially designed to reduce or remove them permanently.

Below are a few things you can do to help prevent stretch marks:

Keep your weight under control and try not to suddenly gain weight

Eat a balanced diet to help maintain healthy looking and feeling skin.

Abdominal pain and the Low Back Pain

Because your uterus and abdomen are expanding, you might start to feel pain in the abdomen, groin or hips. You could also feel pain in the lumbar area, which will increase as you gain more pregnancy weight. You may also feel discomfort in the area next to your pelvic bone caused by the pressure of the head of the baby, weight gain and the loosening of joints in this particular area. The lower abdomen may be bothered a bit because the ligaments are stretching to make room for your growing uterus. Rest in bed or on a sofa or your comfiest chair, or apply heat to the painful parts to ease these painful problems. Moreover, you may consider using a reinforced belt to relieve back pain and also provide support to your abdomen. If the pain does not start to disappear or at least lessen after a night’s sleep, the best thing would be to make an appointment with your chiropractor or other health professional that could help relieve some of your pain.

Sleeping problems

Sleeping difficulties are a common complaint of pregnant women during the second trimester of pregnancy. Here are some tips that will help you rest better at night:

Exercise: If you exercise enough during the day, you will feel more tired at night and fall asleep faster, but do not exercise at night, because the exercise creates endorphins in your body which will make you feel excited or alert, not sleepy.

Naps: Try not to take too many naps during the day.

Routines at Bedtime: Try to develop a routine for bedtime and stick to it, for instance, some people enjoy reading or watching TV at night, others prefer listening to soothing music, doing stretching exercises, yoga , taking a warm bath or asking someone to do very gentle massage or perhaps even making love.

The Bedroom: Make sure your bedroom temperature is pleasant, your mattress is firm enough and that your pillow is comfortable and provides adequate support. Also consider the use of a body pillow if nothing else works.

Bed: Use your bed only for sleeping or making love, the acts of reading, watching TV or working in bed too much will interfere with your sleeping pattern.

Urination at night: If you have had to constantly get up to go to the bathroom, try to limit fluid intake after 6 pm.

Common Sense: Stay away from sleeping pills and alcohol, even before becoming pregnant.

Caffeine: Caffeine is not good for your baby or sleeping at night, so stay as far away from caffeinated beverages during your pregnancy as possible.

Timing and coordination is most Important: Do not go to bed until you feel really tired, if you lay down and cannot go to sleep, get up and try something that will make you sleepy such as reading a book or listening to soothing music.

Having a Routine: It is very important that you have a consistent sleeping routine, the best thing you can do is get up every day at the same time, even during weekends and vacation or holidays.

Feelings of Anxiety and Feeling Your First Kicks!

As the moment of birth gets closer and closer it is not uncommon for women to start to feel anxious about many things such as the health of their baby, their own health, how the pregnancy will go and any number of other things.  This is perfectly normal but it is important to realize that the more relaxed you can stay, the better it is for you and your baby.  The best way to combat these feelings of anxiety is to educate yourself on the different aspects of pregnancy and whatever is causing you anxiety.  There are so many resources available and your doctor should always be willing to answer your questions.

One of the most exciting things about the 2nd trimester is that you will feel your babies movements for the first time!

Usually a woman will feel the first kicks from their baby around the 18th to 20th weeks.  It will often times feel like just a little flutter in their lower stomach area.  You may even think it is just your stomach growling the first few times, but it could very well be your baby moving around or kicking.  By the 21st week or later, you should be feeling kicks pretty frequently and they will only get stronger and stronger.

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