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2nd trimester

What to Expect in the Second Trimester

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Table of Contents

Welcome to the Second Trimester!

You have made it 13 weeks so far! Miscarriage rates drop from 50-75% in weeks 3-4 to 2-4 % in weeks 12-13. This is one of the main reasons families do not announce their pregnancy until the second trimester. So start thinking about how you want to tell the world your belly will be growing! I always felt that the 2nd trimester was an exciting and fun time during the pregnancy journey. You finally start to feel somewhat normal, are getting used to your growing belly, and begin to look pregnant instead of just bloated.  Everyone is different; some mamas start to show right away, and others don’t show until WAY later. Ignore people when they comment; you know that they don’t think when they blurt out, “you are huge!” or “you sure don’t look pregnant.”

The Weird Second Trimester Symptoms

By week 12, typically, the morning sickness starts to subside, and you are beginning to get some of that much-needed energy back! But then the 2nd trimester comes around, and you have a whole new set of weird things going on. 

Body Changes:

  • Breast changes: You may start to see slight crusty yellowing around your nipples or some leakage (not so much you need to wear a pad). Don’t worry, that is just colostrum. You begin producing milk now. You may want to start considering nursing bras or a more comfortable bra. From here on out, your breasts will continue to grow as well.  Outfits that accommodate your growing belly are made to wear for easy nursing access after the baby is born! Saving you tons of money with all-in-one essentials!
  • “Down there” changes: As your cervical mucus thickens, your vagina may also start to secrete some extra thick milk discharge. I know, gross, but you may begin to see some in your underwear. This is natural and not alarming. With other changes, UTIs and yeast infections can be an increased risk. This is due to the growing uterus putting pressure on the bladder, which can trap bacteria. Make sure to go regularly and keep up on good hygiene. There is an increase in estrogen, which can cause an overgrowth in yeast. Talk to your provider if you feel an infection coming on. It’s crucial to get it taken care of. 

Just so you know, after treating a yeast infection, please treat yourself to new underwear. It is next to impossible to get the yeast out of clothes! 

  • Skin changes: Hopefully, you use a good belly butter or pregnancy-safe lotion daily. It can help with the itching that is common from your skin stretching. I highly recommend The Spoiled Mama line! Unfortunately, nothing out there can prevent stretch marks; you can thank your ancestors for those! But keeping up on skin hydration is vital. 
  • Wild dreams start to come into play during the second trimester. These pregnancy dreams, which are sometimes crazy, are due to the different hormone changes. 
  • As your baby grows, your whole body starts to feel it. Ligaments can cause some uncomfortable experiences. The round ligament (which attaches your pelvis to your legs) causes pain when it starts to stretch; it can suddenly give a sharp pain. Try changing positions. Yoga and daily stretching can help!
  • Heartburn is common now; all your organs move around, are getting squished, and are pushed on as the baby grows. Try eating small meals throughout the day, and avoid large meals. Remember to continue drinking water!
  • Increased water retention is also in full swing. Increasing water intake and relaxing on your left side can help with swelling. 
  • Sorry, birth partner, start getting used to an extra pillow in the bed; Mama will need it! As your bump gets bigger, sleeping will get uncomfortable. Stop sleeping on your tummy! Sleeping flat on your back will cause issues also; it can prevent you from breathing correctly and cause dizziness. Make sure to prop yourself up if you need to be on your back. Consider that body pillow, my friend. The support helps a ton. The pillow between your legs, wrapped under your belly and head, can help decrease pressure and take some weight off. 
  • Restless legs are real and annoying. If you aren’t already having trouble sleeping, restless legs will keep you up! I remember having them, and they were not fun at all. Extra magnesium and calcium at night can help tremendously. Talk to your provider about dosage. Remember, don’t start adding supplements without chatting with your provider. 

Hormone Changes:

Have you heard the phrase, “The second trimester is the honeymoon phase”? It’s true! With changes in hormones and increased energy, you may feel extra frisky in the bedroom. Enjoy this time! Your partner will also! Around week 15, you may start to feel the baby move; your partner will feel the movement as the baby grows. This is a special, intimate time that can create an amazing bond. Take advantage of the second-trimester changes!

Preparing for Baby

  • Start collecting your baby items and register! An online registry is a must these days. Everyone shops online. I highly recommend Babylist, which has all the favorite stores in one registry! Sign up today and grab your free Hello Baby box! Babylist also has excellent options for people to give money in an account for meal services, doula support, and more! 
  • Planning on a baby shower? Register all the essentials and your favorite items! (Check out my resources page for checklists of essentials)
  • If you haven’t joined my newsletter yet, sign up today for more tips and tricks! You can also sign up below to grab your free hospital bag checklist!
  • Are you working or is your partner working? Talk to your employer about FMLA paperwork. Your partner can fill it out for leave to help with you and baby! An essential.
  • Start considering birthing classes, and looking into having a doula (read more on doula support).
  • Around week 26, make an appointment to tour the birth center or hospital. If you are having a home birth and your midwife hasn’t visited your home, they will start making arrangements with you for a visit at this time.

What to Expect at the Next Few Prenatal Visits

Typically, with healthy, low-risk pregnancies, prenatal appointments continue to be about every four weeks until the third trimester. 

  • Routine appointments continue to go over the overall well-being of you and the baby. 
  • Between weeks 24-28, your provider will have you be tested for anemia and gestational diabetes. 
  • Between weeks 18-22, the fun appointment takes place! Your extensive anatomy scan. Make this a special time for you and your partner; this ultrasound is an overall assessment of the baby. This is when you can find out the sex of the baby if you want or don’t know yet. 

I never found out the gender of my kids; it is the one surprise in life. My instincts were so strong that I knew my son was a boy, and I didn’t even have a girl’s name picked out! The same with my daughter; I KNEW she was a girl. Yep, my instincts rained on my parade by taking the fun out of the surprise!

A Quick Chat on Oral Health

Did you know that gum infection is associated with preterm labor? Yep!

Keep up with good oral hygiene and schedule a routine dental exam before you become too uncomfortable to sit in that lovely dental chair!

Fun little fact!

Did you know that your baby can hear you? By the end of the second trimester, they can listen to you and will start to recognize your voice. Sing to them, read them a book, talk to them, have your partner speak to them, or sing. 

This was one of my favorite times during pregnancy; I would take a bath and read baby books or sing to them. 

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Hello!

I am Leah. Welcome to The Loving Cedar LLC. Here is where you will find parenting tips and tricks to help you simplify life.

doula

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