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When do you start your second trimester of pregnancy
Second trimester | Pregnancy Birth and Baby
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The second trimester of pregnancy is a time when many women will feel energised and well. You will become visibly pregnant, but you won’t be so heavy that getting around is difficult. This is also a time of rapid growth and development for your baby, and you may find yourself busy with health checks and planning for the birth.
What is the second trimester?
Trimesters are a helpful way to think about pregnancy because the changes that happen to you and your baby fall into 3 broad categories of early, middle and late pregnancy, as reflected in the first, second and third trimesters.
The second trimester represents the middle part of your pregnancy, from weeks 13 to 26. For many women, one of the best things about this trimester is that nausea might begin to settle.
What happens to your body?
Your body will undergo some major changes during the second trimester. Your uterus will grow, and you may feel some discomfort or aches as uterine ligaments stretch. You will start to feel your skin stretch around your belly and your breasts, which may cause mild itching. Some women get stretch marks in these areas, which tend to fade over time.
Although your baby weighs less than a kilo, your blood volume will increase to meet the demands of all the growth happening inside you, which will mean you will gain some additional weight.
Pregnancy can be a wonderful and exciting time, but it’s also important to expect to feel some occasional days of heightened anxiety or low mood.
Sometimes one or both parents experience difficult emotions during pregnancy, such as being worried about the birth or about coping as a parent.
Feelings of anxiety are not uncommon, and some women will experience symptoms of a condition called anxiety disorder. Antenatal depression is a mood disorder that includes intense emotional changes beyond those you might expect during pregnancy.
If you are worried about feelings of anxiety, low mood or depression, you could:
see your doctor, obstetrician, child health nurse or midwife
phone Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436
call PANDA - Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia on 1300 726 306
What happens to the baby?
During the second trimester, your baby will grow from being around 7.5cm, and weighing 30 grams in week 13, to around 23cm and 820 grams at week 26.
Your baby will be able to move freely within the amniotic sac in your uterus. By about week 19 (or sooner if this isn’t your first pregnancy), you may feel this movement – as a faint tickling or fluttering. During these 3 months, your baby’s organs will continue to develop and the liver, pancreas and kidneys all start to function. This is also the time when babies might start to suck their thumb. By week 20 your baby can hear sounds, including the sound of your heartbeat, and they are learning to recognise your voice, although the ears are not yet fully formed.
What can you expect at your antenatal visits?
Regular antenatal visits are an important part of staying healthy and making sure your baby is healthy. How often you see your health professional will depend on your personal circumstances, but for many women, visits will be every 4 to 6 weeks.
At all visits during your second trimester, you will have your blood pressure checked, and your hands and feet will also be checked for swelling. You might be weighed, have blood taken for tests and have your urine checked.
Your doctor or midwife will check your abdomen to monitor your baby’s growth and will listen to your baby’s heartbeat. If you didn’t have an ultrasound in your first trimester, you may be offered one at around 18 to 20 weeks.
How to stay healthy
Eating well and staying active is as important as ever during pregnancy - it's good for your physical and emotional health, and good for your baby too. Light-to-moderate exercise in pregnancy is usually safe: consider walking, swimming, yoga and stationary cycling in your second trimester. High-impact exercise and activities where there is a risk of falling, getting hurt (especially around the stomach) or overheating are not recommended.
Your choice of food during your pregnancy is also important – but that doesn’t mean ‘eating for two’. What you eat during your pregnancy has been shown to affect how your baby grows as well as your baby’s health later in life.
Things to consider in the second trimester
Parental leave – discuss with your partner and then with your employer:
How will you share the care of your baby with your partner (or other family members)?
When do you plan to start your leave?
When you intend to return to work?
When is a good time to share your pregnancy news with your employer?
Will your role at work change after your baby is born?
Ask your midwife or doctor about antenatal education available in your area.
Consider going to classes together with your birthing partner – not only will you learn a lot about how to prepare for labour, you’ll meet people who will share their experience of becoming parents.
Your pregnancy journey
Follow your pregnancy week-by-week to find out how your baby is growing and what is happening to your body.
NSW Health (Having a baby), Royal Women's Hospital (Pregnancy and birth), Raising Children Network (Pregnancy week-by-week), Women's and Children's Health Network (The first 3 months of pregnancy: the first trimester), Queensland Health (How much weight will I gain during pregnancy?), Healthy WA (Emotional health for parents during pregnancy and after the birth)
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: May 2021
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What To Expect, Development & Tests
What is the second trimester of pregnancy?
The typical pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks. It’s divided into three periods of time — the first, second and third trimester. Each trimester is roughly 14 weeks long. When you enter your second trimester, you are around 14 weeks pregnant. This middle trimester will last from week 14 to the end of week 27.
During your second trimester of pregnancy, you’ll start looking and feeling more pregnant. For many people, this is the best part of pregnancy because the morning sickness and fatigue of their first trimester fade into the past. Often, any anxiety that went with your first trimester also starts to diminish at this point. You’ll start to feel your fetus move by the end of this trimester, and you might begin to settle into your pregnancy and enjoy it more. Of course, it’s important to remember that pregnancy is different for everyone. Some people never experience negative symptoms like morning sickness in their first trimester. Others might continue to feel sick well into their second trimester of pregnancy.
How does my baby develop during the second trimester of pregnancy?
Your fetus will go through many changes during your second trimester of pregnancy. During this trimester, the fetus starts to look more like a child — with its facial features aligning, and its fingers and toes becoming well-defined. By month four, the fetus will actually have eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails and hair. The fetus will also be able to stretch, make faces and even suck on its thumb. You’ll soon be able to determine the sex of the fetus on an ultrasound — often around 20 weeks.
At this point, you might also start feeling the fetus move. The movement is often described as a flutter or similar to the feeling of having butterflies in your stomach. The fetus will be doing flips and movements throughout your second trimester. This first movement is called the quickening. If this isn’t your first pregnancy, you might feel the fetus move sooner.
In the last few weeks of the second trimester, the fetus can also hear you. If you talk to your growing belly, you might notice movement in response.
If your baby was born at the end of your second trimester (premature birth), they would be likely to survive with intensive care.
What happens to my body during the second trimester of pregnancy?
The fetus isn’t the only one growing and changing during your second trimester. You'll notice several changes in your own body during this time. Your uterus — the place where the fetus grows during pregnancy — continues to stretch. This organ will expand throughout your pregnancy as the fetus gets larger. After pregnancy, your uterus will return to its pre-pregnancy size (picture an upside-down pear).
However, your uterus isn’t the only thing growing during the second trimester either. You’ll start gaining weight and might start developing the tell-tale enlarged belly of a pregnant person. Don’t worry if this takes time to develop. Everyone is different, and no two bodies will look exactly the same during pregnancy.
You might also feel or develop a few new symptoms of pregnancy during your second trimester, including:
An increased appetite.
An achy body.
Some swelling in your hands, feet and ankles.
Some stretch marks.
If you experienced morning sickness during your first trimester, it’s likely fading away now. The uncomfortable symptoms of early pregnancy (nausea and extreme fatigue, for example) don’t typically continue into your second trimester. This is one reason why many people consider their second trimester of pregnancy to be the best part of pregnancy.
What tests will I have during the second trimester of pregnancy?
Throughout your pregnancy, your healthcare provider will order various tests to check on your health and the health of your developing fetus. During your second trimester, you’ll typically be screened for a few different things, including the Rh factor of your blood and the condition gestational diabetes. You'll also have an ultrasound during your second trimester. This ultrasound is probably best known for telling new parents the sex of the fetus, but it’s mainly used to look at their anatomy.
One thing your provider will test for during your second trimester is your Rh factor. Rh factor is an antigen protein found on most people’s red blood cells. If you don’t have the protein, then you are Rh- (negative). You’ll be given an injection of Rh immune globulin (called Rhogam®) during the 28th week of your pregnancy to prevent the development of antibodies that could be harmful to the fetus. You’ll also be given an injection of Rhogam® after delivery if your fetus has Rh+ (positive) blood.
If you are Rh-, you may also receive this injection if you:
Are having an invasive procedure (such as amniocentesis).
Had an abdominal trauma.
Had any significant bleeding during pregnancy.
Need to have the fetus turned in your uterus (due to breech presentation).
Your provider will also order a test called the oral glucose screening test. This is usually done at the end of your second trimester — often between weeks 24 and 28. The purpose of the glucose screening test is to see if you are developing gestational diabetes. During the test, you’ll be given a syrup-like drink. The healthcare provider administering this test will give you a set amount of time to drink the entire bottle, then you'll be asked to wait nearby for one hour. After the hour is over, you’ll have your blood drawn. Your healthcare provider will then go over your test results with you.
What do I need to prepare or plan for during the second trimester of pregnancy?
There are many things you can start thinking about during your second trimester of pregnancy to prepare for your new family member. Many of these things will center around conversations that you should start having at this point in your pregnancy. It’s good to discuss the type of birth you hope to have and learn about the different ways your child might be born.
A few ways your baby could be born can include:
Vaginal birth (this could be medicated so that your pain is decreased, or unmedicated).
Assisted birth (you might need tools like forceps or a vacuum to help with your delivery).
Cesarean section (C-section).
You can learn more about these types of birth through your own research or in a birth class. This is the time for you to look into educational classes about birth, breastfeeding and parenting of your newborn. These classes can help prepare you for your new role as a parent. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on classes and groups you can join at this point in your pregnancy.
This might also be a good time to take a tour of the hospital where you’ll give birth. A hospital tour is a great way to get familiar with the place where your baby will be born. During the tour, you’ll learn where you should go when you first get to the hospital during labor and what will happen afterward. You’ll typically get to see hospital rooms and learn more about the hospital staff, as well.
What should I be doing during the second trimester of pregnancy to stay healthy?
Throughout your second trimester, you should continue maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Try to exercise for about 20 minutes a day. Regular exercise is good for you and your developing fetus. Some of the safest types of exercise include walking and swimming; though, there are many other options you can try. Talk to your healthcare provider about the type of exercise you'd like to do beforehand just to be safe. You’ll want to avoid contact sports and activities where you could fall, as these could endanger your pregnancy.
It’s also a good idea to do kegel exercises throughout your entire pregnancy. These exercises will help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Apart from exercise, you should continue eating a healthy diet, taking your prenatal vitamins and attending each of your appointments.
When should I call my doctor during the second trimester of pregnancy?
You’re the person who knows your body the best. If you ever feel like something is wrong, it’s completely OK to reach out to your healthcare provider. It’s also a good idea to call your healthcare provider right away if you have:
Unusual or severe cramping or abdominal pain.
Noticeable changes in how much the fetus moves (after 28 weeks of gestation). If you don’t count six to 10 movements in one hour or less, call your provider.
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath that seems to be getting worse over time.
You should also reach out to your provider right away if you start having any signs of premature labor. Talk with your provider if you have any of the following signs of premature labor:
Regular tightening or pain in your lower abdomen or back that occurs more than four times in an hour.
Any bleeding in your second or third trimester of pregnancy.
Any fluid leakage. Vaginal discharge often increases as part of the hormonal changes in pregnancy.
Pressure in your pelvis or vagina.
Second trimester of pregnancy: 4, 5, 6 months
Second trimester of pregnancy
The second trimester of pregnancy lasts from 12 to 27 weeks. During this period, you will continue to be monitored by a specialist doctor with visits once every 3 weeks, pass a number of necessary tests, in particular, a complete blood count, a biochemical blood test, blood for a coagulogram, a glucose tolerance test, a general urinalysis and bacteriological culture of urine for sterility 1-3 . At a period of 18-21 weeks, an ultrasound of the fetus will be performed with an assessment of its condition.
Second trimester abdomen
The circumference of your abdomen increases markedly, by the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, the increase in the abdomen is more noticeable, and the bottom of the uterus is located at the level of the navel. Wear comfortable clothes, avoid tight belts, elastic bands around the abdomen 1-3 .
Second trimester of pregnancy and pain
In case of sudden pains of a different nature (cramping sharp or monotonous pulling pains) of the abdomen, you should immediately consult a doctor. Pain in the abdomen may be associated with the threat of abortion and other complications. If the 2nd trimester is coming to an end and you have pain in the lumbar region, this may be due to compression of the ureters by the enlarged uterus. It is necessary to pass a urine test and do an ultrasound of the kidneys 1-3 .
Constipation can also cause pain in the abdomen, along the final section of the large intestine (sigmoid colon). Pain during bowel movements, that is, during bowel movements, may be associated with an increase in hemorrhoids, the appearance of anal fissures. To ensure regular bowel movements, follow the drinking regimen and diet 1-3 .
The 2nd trimester of pregnancy may be accompanied by headaches (cephalgia). One of the causes of cephalalgia during pregnancy can be an increase in blood pressure. When a headache occurs, control the level of blood pressure (you need to measure at rest, on both hands at least one measurement on each). Remember that headaches and high blood pressure require urgent medical attention 1-3 .
Fourth month of pregnancy and fetal development
All your baby's organs are already formed, his height is about 10 cm, and his weight is about 70 grams, he makes active movements in the joints.
By the end of 4 months, the fetus actively increases in size, its height is about 13 cm, weight is about 140 grams.
The development of teeth, sweat, salivary glands occurs, the liver begins to produce bile, and the pancreas - insulin.
The baby begins to move his eyes, blink, and hear sounds well, because the bones of the inner ear are already formed.
By the end of the fourth month, the woman begins to feel the movements of her baby.
The liver and spleen form blood cells.
Fifth month of pregnancy and fetal development
The fetus is actively moving, on ultrasound you can see how the baby sucks his fingers. Weight about 240 grams, height about 15 cm.
At 5 months, the fetal intestine is formed and individual nutrients can be absorbed, meconium accumulates.
The immune system is fully formed and blood cells begin to produce bone marrow. The 5th month is coming to an end, and the baby's weight is about 400 grams.
Your belly at 5 months of pregnancy no longer allows you to wear ordinary trousers and jeans, but dresses from an ordinary wardrobe can still fit, the uterus is just below the level of the navel.
The breast at the 5th month of pregnancy also increases, usually by 1 size, the areolas of the nipples become more pigmented.
Sixth month of pregnancy and fetal development
The most intensive growth of the fetus begins, which will continue for only 3 trimesters.
At the beginning of this period, the weight of the fetus is about 500-600 grams, and by the end of 6 months, the weight of the baby already reaches 900 grams.
The 6th month of pregnancy is characterized by the formation of the surfactant system and the maturation of your baby's lungs.
The breast at 6 months of pregnancy continues to increase due to the growth of glandular tissue, the size and pigmentation of the areola increases, the mammary glands prepare for lactation under the influence of estrogens.
2nd trimester of pregnancy:
macro- and micronutrient supplement
Pregnancy and iodine:
To prevent iodine deficiency, all pregnant and lactating women are advised to take 200 micrograms of potassium iodide daily.
Optimal absorption of iodides is observed in the morning hours. 4-8
Talk to your doctor about taking potassium iodide.
Pregnancy and calcium:
The need for calcium increases to 1200-1500 mg per day, calcium salts are most often found in the form of carbonate and citrate, they have good bioavailability.
Calcium is well absorbed in the evening. 9-11
Discuss the need to take calcium salts with your doctor.
Pregnancy and iron:
Iron preparations are not recommended for all women, but iron deficiency anemia often accompanies the 2nd trimester of pregnancy 4 .
If the level of ferritin (an accessible and reliable indicator of iron sufficiency) decreases, iron supplements should be taken at an average dose of 30-60 mg per day 4 .
The decision to prescribe iron supplements is made by your doctor or hematologist.
Pregnancy and vitamin D:
The requirement for vitamin D throughout pregnancy and lactation is 2000 IU per day 9-11 .
Ask your doctor if you need to take vitamin D.
Second trimester pregnancy and complications
When the above symptoms appear, either alone or in combination, i.e. several symptoms at once, you need to urgently consult a doctor, since the lack of specialized medical care may be associated with a risk to your life and the life of the child.
2nd trimester and gestational diabetes mellitus
The list of mandatory examinations now includes a standard glucose tolerance test. Based on the results of this test, the state of carbohydrate metabolism is judged.
In the presence of deviations from the norm, you will first of all be advised to follow a diet with a sharp restriction of fast carbohydrates and physical activity in accordance with the general state of health and the characteristics of the course of pregnancy.
It will be necessary to consult an endocrinologist, nutritionist, physiotherapist.
2nd trimester and preeclampsia
An increase in blood pressure (may be asymptomatic!), the appearance of protein in the urine and edema are manifestations of preeclampsia.
It is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly, have a urinalysis, and monitor weight gain.
2nd trimester and pyelonephritis
With an increase in the duration of pregnancy, the risk of developing pyelonephritis increases, this is due to a violation of the outflow of urine due to compression of the ureters by the growing uterus.
Sitting and supine position contribute to urinary obstruction.
Motor activity, knee-elbow position make urine outflow optimal.
1. National guidance. Gynecology. 2nd edition, revised and enlarged. M., 2017. 446 p.
2. Guidelines for outpatient care in obstetrics and gynecology. Edited by V.N. Serov, G.T. Sukhikh, V.N. Prilepskaya, V.E. Radzinsky. 3rd edition, revised and expanded. M., 2017. S. 545-550.
3. Obstetrics and gynecology. Clinical guidelines. — 3rd ed., rev. and additional / G.M. Savelyeva, V.N. Serov, G.T. Dry. — M.: GEOTARMEDIA. 2013. - 880 p.
4. WHO antenatal care guidelines for a positive pregnancy experience. 2017.196 s. ISBN 978-92-4-454991-9
5. Dedov I.I., Gerasimov G.A., Sviridenko N.Yu. Iodine deficiency diseases in the Russian Federation (epidemiology, diagnosis, prevention). Toolkit. — M.; 1999.
6. Iodine deficiency: current state of the problem. N.M. Platonov. Clinical and experimental thyroidology. 2015. Volume 11, No. 1. S. 12-21.
7. Melnichenko G.A., Troshina E.A., Platonova N.M. Iodine deficiency diseases of the thyroid gland in the Russian Federation: the current state of the problem. Analytical review of publications and official state statistics (Rosstat). Consilium Medicum. 2019; 21(4):14–20. DOI: 10.26442/20751753.2019.4.19033
8. Clinical guidelines: diagnosis and treatment of (multiple) nodular goiter in adults. 2016. 9 p.
9. National program for optimizing the feeding of children in the first year of life in the Russian Federation (4th edition, revised and supplemented) / Union of Pediatricians of Russia [et al.]. — M.: Pediatr, 2019. — 206 p.
10. National program Vitamin D deficiency in children and adolescents of the Russian Federation: modern approaches to correction / Union of Pediatricians of Russia [et al.]. — M.: Pediatr, 2018. — 96 s.
11. Pigarova E.A., Rozhinskaya L.Ya, Belaya Zh.E., et al. Clinical guidelines of the Russian Association of Endocrinologists for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of vitamin D deficiency in adults // Problems of Endocrinology. - 2016. - T.62. — No. 4. — P. 60-84.
12. Russian national consensus "Gestational diabetes mellitus: diagnosis, treatment, postpartum care" / Dedov I. I., Krasnopolsky V.I., Sukhikh G.T. On behalf of the working group//Diabetes mellitus. —2012. -No4. —S.4-10.
13. Clinical guidelines. Algorithms of specialized medical care for patients with diabetes mellitus. 9th edition (updated). 2019. 216 p.
The second trimester is the quietest. The body is already accustomed to pregnancy, hormones have stabilized, the excitement before childbirth has not yet come. This is the most suitable period to enjoy your position. It will also be very useful for the baby. By the 13th week, he has already formed all the main organs and systems, now the fetus is moving to the stage of active growth - it will gain weight, and your stomach will become noticeable to others.
The second trimester of pregnancy starts from the 14th week and continues until the 27th week. The second trimester falls on the fourth, fifth and sixth months of pregnancy.
Changes in the body in the second trimester: possible problems
Pregnancy gradually becomes noticeable. Hormones work intensively and have a positive effect on the appearance and well-being of the expectant mother. In the second trimester, a pregnant woman may experience the first slight uterine contractions. Also in the fourth month, complaints of headache, dizziness, heartburn, indigestion, flatulence and constipation may appear.
Approximately half of expectant mothers complain about uterine tone or hypertonicity in the second trimester. Hypertonicity is characterized by the development of increased contractile function of the uterus. The reasons can be varied, including a similar condition can develop against the background of infectious diseases. Therefore, when such a symptom appears, a doctor's consultation is mandatory.
Edema of the legs
As the baby grows in the womb, the expanding uterus presses on the blood vessels in the pelvis. Particularly affected by this problem is the inferior vena cava, which collects venous blood from the lower body. A growing fetus slows down blood circulation in this area of the body, which is accompanied by an accumulation of blood and swelling of the legs.
In the second trimester, the heart works 30-50% more intensively than before pregnancy, so there is an increase in heart rate. Tachycardia and non-fixed episodes of arrhythmia occur in more than half of women during pregnancy.
At the beginning of pregnancy, a woman's body produces large amounts of progesterone and estrogen, which leads to relaxation of the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. Second-trimester pregnancy heartburn occurs when the muscles that separate the esophagus from the stomach contract, allowing food and digestive juices to return from the stomach to the esophagus. With the frequent development of heartburn, you should consult a doctor who will help you choose medicines that are safe for the health of the child.
Diarrhea in the second trimester of pregnancy may be associated with a rapidly growing fetus and compression of the internal organs by the growing uterus. Other causes of diarrhea in pregnant women include:
viral or bacterial infections;
food poisoning after eating stale food;
stress associated with the upcoming birth.
Fluctuations in body temperature during pregnancy are associated with an increase in progesterone levels and an acceleration of metabolism. A body temperature of around 37 ºC is completely acceptable and does not require treatment. However, if it rises to 38 ºC, you should seek medical help, since the development of viral and infectious diseases is not excluded.
Leakage of amniotic fluid
In case of leakage of amniotic fluid, see a doctor as soon as possible and find out the cause of this phenomenon. Can provoke leakage:
inflammatory processes in the pelvic organs;
active physical activity;
pathological changes in the tissues of the uterus.
Insomnia during pregnancy is one of the disorders that occur during the development of the fetus and the intensification of hormonal changes that occur in the body of a woman. Sleep disturbance in the second trimester is rare, a similar phenomenon is more typical for the first and last weeks of pregnancy.
Lower back pain
During pregnancy, back pain is often caused by weight gain (corresponding to more stress on the spine and pelvis), as well as the effect of hormones on the joints.
Itching in the abdomen
An itchy abdomen is a completely natural and common symptom in pregnant women. As a result of hormonal changes, the skin loses its elasticity, the amount of water excreted from the body increases, which causes unpleasant itching. It can also be the result of stretch marks. In rare cases, itching acts as a symptom of certain diseases, such as herpes, atopic dermatitis, and liver dysfunction.
Second trimester follow-up
During the first two trimesters of pregnancy (1st to 27th weeks), the gynecologist usually recommends monthly check-ups. Sometimes their frequency can increase to two visits per month, and after the 8th month, it will be useful for the expectant mother to appear in the gynecologist's office once a week. Regular check-ups ensure that the pregnancy develops properly and the health of the mother and baby is safe.
Second trimester tests
Investigations that take place in the middle of the second trimester:
glucose tolerance test;
blood pressure measurement;
antibodies to toxoplasmosis;
In addition, vaginal discharge is assessed, as well as control weighing.
Fetal development in the second trimester
At the beginning of the second trimester, the fetus is the size of an orange, its height is about 8-11 cm, and its weight is about 40 g. The eyes and ears have moved to the right place, and the jaws are already fully developed. The esophagus, trachea, larynx and vocal cords are actively developing and ready for the first cry soon after birth.
The baby's head becomes smaller compared to the rest of the body, the neck lengthens and the chin no longer touches the chest. The fetus has formed bones, joints and muscles. The nervous system is already working, and the muscles are responding to brain signals.
The end of the second trimester is a revolution in the psychomotor development of the fetus. Until now, the child's eyelids were still closed, but now he is slowly opening his eyes. At the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, the size of the fetus is about 21 cm, and its weight varies from 630 to 650 grams.
Helpful tips for the second trimester
In the second trimester of pregnancy, a woman needs to take care of her spine - avoid hard physical work, do not carry heavy objects, do not walk for a long period of time in high heels. Many doctors during this period of pregnancy recommend signing up for yoga or swimming. Such exercises help control weight, relieve excess stress from the spine and have a relaxing effect.
Gymnastics in the second trimester
Doctors advise to pay attention to prenatal yoga, that is, classes in which a set of exercises is adapted for pregnant women. Such physical activity will help reduce stress levels, reduce aching back pain and prepare the body for the upcoming birth.
Do's and Don'ts in the Second Trimester
What not to do during pregnancy:
Drink alcohol. Alcohol has the ability to cross the placenta, and if the mother drinks, the fetus is also under the influence of alcohol.
Smoking. A woman who smokes during pregnancy restricts the fetus's access to sufficient oxygen for its development. Instead of oxygen, more than 400 harmful substances contained in cigarettes, including 40 carcinogens, enter the fetus.
Sunbathe in the solarium. Sunburn accelerates aging and can contribute to the development of melanoma. During pregnancy, you should definitely not go to the solarium.
Visit the sauna, bath. During pregnancy, long baths with very hot water should be avoided; they can provoke premature uterine contractions. Reduce the temperature and reduce the time spent in the sauna or bath, if they are important procedures for you to relax, reduce swelling of the body.
Perform laser hair removal. These are painful and stressful procedures, so the fetus may also feel the discomfort of the mother.
Some foods should also be avoided, especially:
Blue cheese. May contain a bacterium called listeria.
Raw fish, sushi and seafood. May contain bacteria and parasites that are harmful to the fetus.
What can be done during pregnancy? Instead of listing all the things you can do during pregnancy here, let's focus on common myths:
Hair coloring. The dye penetrates the hair, but does not penetrate the skin, so you can use it without fear. But when dyeing hair with ammonia-based paint, you should use a medical mask.
Creams for depilation and self-tanning. Instead of a tanning bed, choose a self-tanning cream, instead of wax, choose a depilatory cream. There are no contraindications to the use of these cosmetics during pregnancy.
Driving a car. In the second trimester, you can drive a car, it is also important to use a seat belt.
There are many more things that a pregnant woman can do in the absence of contraindications, such as eating dark chocolate, using intimate hygiene products, having sex, etc.
Nutrition for pregnant women: features of the second trimester
According to WHO nutritional standards, the energy value of the diet of a pregnant woman in the second trimester should be increased by 360 kcal/day. The main source of energy in the diet should be grain products, especially whole grain flour, cereals, bread.
It is also worth increasing the consumption of vegetables and fruits, which are the main source of vitamins and minerals. In the second trimester of pregnancy, it is recommended to consume about 400 grams of vegetables and fruits per day.
An important place in the nutrition of pregnant women is occupied by proteins, in the second trimester their need is much higher. At the same time, half of the total amount of daily protein should be covered by the animal, the main sources of which are milk and its products, as well as lean animal meat (for example, poultry, fish). Meat products also contain iron, which protects against anemia.
It is important to include in the diet omega-3, which is necessary for both mother and child. Omega-3 reduces the risk of miscarriage and premature birth, plays a key role in the proper development of the fetal nervous system, and protects neurons from the development of inflammatory changes.
What vitamins should I take?
Nutritional supplements and vitamins during pregnancy are extremely important for the health of the mother and the development of the child. There is probably no woman who does not know that folic acid should be taken during pregnancy, as it has been scientifically proven that it has a positive effect on the development of the child's nervous system. Your doctor may also recommend supplemental vitamin D3, calcium, omega-3s, iron, B vitamins, and selenium.
The content of vitamins and minerals in the diet of a pregnant woman in the second trimester is of key importance for the health of a growing child. Therefore, you should not ignore the recommendations of the doctor about the additional intake of vitamin supplements.
How to choose a maternity hospital?
The choice of the hospital where a woman is going to give birth is an important issue. It should be a place that provides good, professional care, comfort and a sense of security. Therefore, it is worth choosing a hospital for childbirth in advance. After visiting the most suitable institution, the following details should be discussed:
Ask about the cost of individual obstetric care, what medical interventions are possible and how much they cost, if family births are practiced and if it is possible to shower/bath during childbirth. If possible, ask to see the delivery room and postnatal room.
Clarify whether the hospital is prepared for complications during childbirth - whether the necessary equipment is available to provide immediate care to the newborn and the woman in labor.
The conversation with the midwife and the general impression that the mother-to-be has after visiting the delivery and postnatal rooms often determine the final choice.
In the second trimester, psychological comfort sets in, you are used to the idea that you will soon become a mother, plans are being laid for the future, when your beloved child will play a key role.