Second Trimester

You are now in the second trimester of your pregnancy, the “honeymoon period” – your nausea has gone and your long-lost energy returns. The reason your energy has returned is because the arduous work of fetal organ development is almost complete now.

The risk of miscarriage also drops dramatically. By week 14, your baby is four and one-half inches long from head to toe and weighs about 45 grams – and is quite active, doing somersaults in the amniotic fluid. You may feel these “butterfly kicks” as a fluttering sensation that begins between weeks 18 to 22.

By the second trimester, most women find that morning sickness tapers off or stops completely. If you’re still feeling queasy, talk to your doctor about increasing your intake of vitamin B6, which has been shown to settle the stomach. Around this time you’ll start to experience another discomfort in the tummy: abdominal aches, which are a result of your growing uterus and the stretch of the surrounding ligaments.

Some women encounter breathlessness during the second trimester. Even mundane activities like walking to the bathroom can make you feel winded now. It’s perfectly normal. As the uterus grows, it’ll begin to crowd the lungs, making it a little harder for air to flow in and out. Try to take it easy, and if you find that your shortness of breath becomes more severe, see your doctor.

The second trimester is also the time for those routine medical tests, which could cause anxiety. A common blood test will have to be done between 16 to 18 weeks, to identify potential problems with the fetus. Results can sometimes be misleading and cause endless worry. So check with your doctor at all stages and steer clear of doubt and anxiety.

Around week 16 is the right time to switch to maternity clothes due to your expanding waistline and widening hips.

At around twenty weeks, your uterus will extend beyond the belly button and an ultrasound can clearly identify the gender. You’ll also probably start to see another pregnancy phenomenon: stretch marks. Most will fade to nearly invisible silvery or white streaks after you give birth.

During your fourth or fifth month, you might suddenly feel much more sexual. By your second trimester, your body is manufacturing estrogen in overdrive as the ovaries produce as much in a single day as a non-pregnant woman’s ovaries do in three years. And, since the first trimester’s nausea and fatigue have tapered off, you might just feel more aroused.

The second trimester is when you are likely to feel your best during pregnancy, so take advantage of it! Exercise, go shopping for baby stuff, pamper yourself a bit – and revel in the wonderful new changes you’re feeling in your body every day.

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