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.
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.
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.