Dos and Don’ts for Your Second Trimester

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What is the Second Trimester?

There are many dos and don’ts for your second trimester, but what exactly is it? The second trimester is known as a turning point for mother and baby. Your second trimester begins on week fourteen and ends on week 26, thus starting the third trimester.

During this trimester, there are many things you can do to ensure you have the most healthy baby and pregnancy possible. This trimester is where pregnancy becomes a reality as you grow and expand, and feel your baby kick. It is also when the hard to manage symptoms you experienced during the first trimester become less severe.

Physical and Physiological Changes

There are a lot of physical and physiological changes that occur during the second trimester for you and your baby. For you, second-trimester symptoms will begin to develop as you expand and grow your child. During the second trimester, you can begin to experience symptoms and changes such as:

  • Appetite increase
  • Leg cramps 
  • Feeling the movement of the fetus 
  • Uterus/stomach expansion
  • The skin on the stomach may itch as it expands 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Heartburn
  • Backaches
  • Vaginal Discharge 

As with all symptoms, they can be more or less severe for certain women. Read on to learn the dos and don’ts of your second trimester 

 The Dos

There are many things that you do in your first trimester that should be habits into your second and thirds. This includes taking your prenatal vitamins and fueling your body with nutrient-enriched foods and high in protein. Although this is one of the safest and the best times of pregnancy, there are some things to make sure you are doing.

Exercise

If you haven’t started already, implementing a regular “pregnancy safe” exercise routine into your schedule is important. Regular exercise during the second trimester will help reduce stress, fatigue, excess weight gain, and improve sleep. Some pregnancy-safe exercise options include:

  • Walking
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Lifting light weights
  • Light jogging/ running

Moisturize

During the second trimester is when your baby bump is not so baby anymore. You will experience the most growth during these weeks. For many women, stretch marks and itchy skin occur which is why is important to moisturize.

Using moisturizers and oils can help reduce the signs of stretch marks and prevent the uncomfortable itch from your stretching skin. Check with your provider to make sure the products are safe for you and your baby.

Look into Birth Classes

Although it is recommended to take birth classes during your final trimester, these classes do fill up fast. Start your research now and find the best options for you. Talk to your provider to see if they offer any resources or classes, or can give you a referral.

In this day in age with social media, there is a huge group of moms and moms to be sharing tips and information about their pregnancy and motherhood. This is a perfect resource to take advantage of to join a community and learn about classes to take.

Some ideas for types of birth classes available to you are:

Continue to Hydrate and Get Enough Sleep

Making sure you stay hydrated throughout your entire pregnancy is important. It helps prevent pregnancy conditions like headaches, dizziness, kidney stones, constipation, and premature labor. It is recommended to drink between 8-12 cups of water a day.

Additionally, continuing to get enough sleep is also something to stay on top of. During the first trimester is when many expecting mothers feel exhausted and only want to rest. However, during the second trimester, many women get their energy back. Although this may be apparent, getting 8-9 hours of sleep and setting aside time to nap and rest is helpful.

It is important to listen to your body and not push yourself, if you are tired, sleep. If you are hungry, eat and if you are thirst, drink.

Don’ts

As for the don’ts of the second trimester, they have not changed from the first. Read the Dos and Don’ts for Your First Trimester to learn about the important things to avoid during pregnancy. However, for a recap, you should steer clear from:

  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Eating uncooked seafood, eggs, or meat
  • Unwashed fruits or vegetables
  • Unpasteurized dairy
  • Processed meat
  • Weight loss diets/ supplements
  • Hot tubs or saunas
  • Cleaning your cat’s litter box
  • Tattoo/ piercing

Learn More About The Dos and Don’ts for Your Second Trimester with Midwife360

If you have questions or are looking for midwifery services in the South Florida area contact Midwife360. Our practice is designed to empower and educate women and families about their healthcare options for routine care, family planning, and birthing. 

Midwife360 offers services such as:

  • Midwifery
  • Pregnancy care
  • Labor and delivery
  • Doula services
  • Postpartum care
  • Family planning
  • Women’s care

For more information contact the team at Midwife360 today.

Dos and Don’ts for Your First Trimester

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What is the First Trimester?

There are many dos and don’ts for your first trimester, but what exactly is it? The first trimester is the first of three phases of pregnancy. Your first trimester begins on week one and ends on week twelve, thus starting the second trimester. During the first trimester, there are several things to implement into your day-to-day and others to avoid. This is a critical stage in your pregnancy and the development of your baby.

Although it may not seem like a whole lot is going on during this time,  a lot is happening for both you and your baby. For you, first trimester symptoms may occur as early as a few days to weeks after conception. During the first trimester, you can begin to experience discomforts or changes such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Tender Breasts/ soreness in the chest area
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Cramping
  • Increased urination
  • Constipation
  • Food aversion or cravings
  • Change in sexual desire

While all first trimester symptoms are temporary for everyone, they can vary from mild to severe across individuals. Continue reading to learn some of the dos and don’ts for your first trimester.

The Dos

Food is Fuel

As with most things, you will need to fuel your body first, thus fueling your babies. Without proper nutrition in the first trimester, this could lead to poor fetal development. However, eating is not just about quantity; it is also important to focus on the quality of food and ensure that all needed nutrients are consumed.

Folic Acid Supplements

Folic acid is a nutrient that you should take during the first trimester. This vitamin helps to produce and maintain new cells and prevent changes in the DNA. There are many things folic acid does for your body, such as:

prenatal_vitamin_jars

Prenatal Vitamins

In addition to folic acid supplements, one should take prenatal vitamins daily. Prenatal vitamins contain specific nutrients for fetal development and help to replace the nutrients needed during the first trimester. These nutrients include calcium, iron, zinc, as well as omega-3 fats which help the baby’s brain development.

Proper Sleep and Exercise 

During your first trimester, your body is experiencing extreme changes which can play a big role in how tired you are. Your hormones and emotions are on a rollercoaster which can take a toll on expecting mothers. That being said, proper sleep, as well as frequent naps throughout the day, are essential. Your body needs between eight to nine hours of sleep each night.

When it comes to exercise, if you are someone who exercises regularly pre-pregnancy, keep it up! A regular exercise routine can help with hormone changes and restlessness. Before continuing your regular workout routine, check with your health care provider for the green light, or other options to move your body.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is essential for you and your baby’s health, as well as helping to prevent preterm labor. Keeping your body hydrated with water as well as vegetables helps to prevent headaches, kidney stones, and dizziness.

Choose a Doctor or Midwife

Choosing the perfect healthcare provider can seem like a stressful task because you want the best for yourself and your baby. You’ll want to find someone in a timely manner to ensure booking your first prenatal appointment. However, do your research and find someone whose beliefs and practices line up with yours and someone you can trust.

The Don’ts

No Smoking or Drinking

It is important to avoid smoking during pregnancy because women who smoke during pregnancy are more at risk of miscarriage. Furthermore, your baby is at greater risk for birth defects if you are smoking while pregnant. As for alcohol, there is no amount that is safe during pregnancy, it is important to stay away from it. Consuming alcohol while pregnant can also lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and behavioral, as well as intellectual, disabilities.

No Raw Meat

Eating raw or undercooked meat and eggs is a big no-no during the first trimester. Consuming raw foods puts you at a higher risk of contracting listeriosis which can lead to miscarriage and life-threatening illness. Furthermore, toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that can easily become life-threatening as well as cause severe birth defects if not treated.

Avoid Caffeine

Although this may seem like an impossible task because of how tired you feel during your first trimester, try avoiding caffeine as best as you can.  Caffeine, although not always consumed by drinking coffee, is often found in chocolate as well as soda drinks. Caffeine does cross the placenta and can affect your growing baby’s heart rate. Some caffeine is safe in the first trimester and expecting mothers can consume up to 200 milligrams a day. However, this should not be exceeded.

Saunas and Hot Tubs are a No

Hot tubs, saunas, as well as steam rooms are out of the question during your first trimester. You should avoid these areas because it increases the risk of overheating, dehydration and fainting. A significant rise in your core temperature can affect your baby’s development.

Ask The Experts at Midwife360 about The Dos and Don’ts for Your First Trimester

If you need more information or are looking for a trusted midwife with years of experience, contact Midwife360. Opening the doors in 2014, Midwife360 quickly became a staple to women’s care in South Florida. Founder, P. Fedwah Halaby CNM, created Midwife360 as a holistic evidence-based practice for all midwifery services. This includes routine women’s care, family planning, pregnancy care, as well as home and water birthing.

Contact South Florida’s trusted midwives today to set up an appointment!

What to Expect During Your Second Trimester

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The second trimester marks the second phase of the pregnancy journey. This trimester ranges from the 13th to the 28th week. Essentially, this trimester lasts between the fourth, fifth, and sixth months of pregnancy.

For most women, the second trimester is the easiest and most comfortable. The fatigue and morning sickness gradually begins to fade. Additionally, your energy levels are higher than in the first trimester.

Lots of body changes happen during this trimester. Your pregnancy belly begins to show as the trimester progresses. You also start to feel baby movements towards the end of this trimester. An ultrasound between the 18th and 22nd week will help determine the baby’s progress in the tummy. Here are the significant changes to expect during the second trimester.

1. Weight Gain

Typically, your weight increases as the pregnancy journey advances. The primary reason for weight gain is the increment in the size of your baby.

Towards the 20th week, the body weight grows by eight to ten pounds for most women. Essentially, your body weight increases by a pound every week. In some cases, the weekly weight gain might be half a pound. The average weight increment throughout this trimester ranges from 12 to 14 pounds.

2. Backaches

Back pains become more prevalent during this trimester. Weight gain during this phase builds up pressure, mainly on your lower back.

It will help if you use a couch or chair with a stable back support feature. Most women prefer sleeping on the side to ease the back pains. Additionally, shoes with low heels are more comfortable during this phase.

If the backache becomes unbearable, consider going for a professional pregnancy massage. Alternatively, you could request your partner, friend, or caregiver to gently rub your back.

3. Abdominal Cramps

You might experience mild cramps in the lower abdomen from time to time during the second trimester. Usually, the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby. Abdominal cramps arise due to pressure on the pelvic muscles as the uterus expands. Other causes of mild abdominal cramps include gas accumulation and constipation.

Taking a warm shower will come in handy to soothe the pain. You could place a bottle filled with warm water around your lower abdomen. Soft belly rubs also help to minimize the pain. In case you’re experiencing sharp pain, seek immediate medical attention.

4. Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are quite common in the second trimester, particularly during sleep. Often these pains occur due to the baby’s pressure on the blood vessels. Additionally, the baby may also be causing pressure buildup in the nerves connecting to the legs.

Other leading causes of leg pains include calcium and magnesium deficiency. Make sure to stick to a healthy diet rich in calcium and magnesium minerals.

5. Mild Swelling

You may experience mild swelling in your ankles, face, hands, and feet halfway through this trimester. The main reason for swelling is increased fluid retention for your growing baby. In some cases, swelling occurs due to reduced blood circulation in the body. Indulging in physical exercises is vital to control the swelling. Additionally, avoid sitting or standing for a long duration. While sleeping, make sure to change sides occasionally.

6. Dizziness

Pregnancy requires your body to pump lots of blood. Subsequently, you may experience low blood pressure. Dizziness arises due to low blood pressure or hormonal variations in the body. If you’re experiencing frequent bouts of dizziness, consider embracing a healthy diet. Moreover, take more fluids to alleviate dizziness symptoms.

Other notable changes include skin sensitivity, bleeding gums, and nasal congestion. Amid all the changes that come with pregnancy, remember to create beautiful memories during this trimester.

Have questions about your pregnancy? Contact our midwives.