Congratulations!! Now you are in the honeymoon phase of your pregnancy. During second trimester you actually start to enjoy being pregnant as all your problems which you were facing in the first trimester start to subsidise or vanish.
So now the question comes that when does the second trimester starts?
It starts from the 13th week and ends with the completion of 28th week. In general speaking the 4th, 5th and 6th month of pregnancy is called the 2nd trimester of pregnancy.
What to do in second trimester?
Here are the some important points on which you should focus in this trimester.
1. Second trimester scan:
The level 2 ultrasound is due in the second trimester. It is advised in 18th-20th week of pregnancy. This USG is very important as it reveals fetus well-being. It shows the fetus growth by measuring fetus height, weight, cardiac rate and many more.
2. Iron and calcium in pregnancy:
During 2nd trimester fetus growth requires extra haemoglobin. In developing countries, World Health Organization (WHO) has advised to mandatory provide iron supplement from 14th weeks of pregnancy till 6th month post-delivery.
W.H.O has also advised to mandatory provide calcium supplements in this trimester as baby’s bone starts hardening, which requires calcium. If he will not get the calcium then he will fulfil his calcium requirement by absorbing it from the mother’s bone, thus making them weak.
Hence for the proper development of fetus iron and calcium both are very important supplements in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy.
3. What to eat in second trimester of pregnancy:
Second trimester is a period in which all your complications like nausea, morning sickness etc. start to subsidise, so you can take measure for the healthy diet. Baby’s growth is more prominent in this trimester as all organs start developing and weight of the fetus increases.
For healthy growth of baby, mother should also gain at least 1 kg in every fortnight. Mothers are advised to consume a healthy diet which is full of calories and nutrients. Along with iron and calcium, she is also advised protein supplements as it will help in the growth of the baby.
Second trimester symptoms:
1. Backache during pregnancy:
As baby’ weight increases in this trimester, it causes slight backward tilt of your body. This disturbs your vertebral column and causes backache while walking, standing and changing the position.
To ease the pressure, try to sit straight and place a pillow to provide support to your back. Local application of analgesic ointments and balms is safe and helps to reduce pain, however analgesic pills (internal consumption) are not considered safe for fetus. Thus it is good to consulting doctor before taking them.
2. Second trimester blood pressure:
Pregnancy induced hypertension is main complication in second trimester. High blood pressure in second trimester is most important cause of fetal growth retardation and still birth. So it is very important to diagnose it and treat the earliest.
3. Heart burn and regurgitation of food:
Increased amount of progesterone hormones causes relaxation of muscle. This hormone provides effective and smooth growing of uterus and increases flexibility of abdomen organs and skin. It provides easy adjustment of growing uterus with abdomen organ and skin.
However, progesterone also relaxes muscles of oesophageal orifice. Oesophageal orifice remains close after meal which prevents passing of stomach acid and other contents in oesophagus again. During second trimester oesophageal orifice relaxes and causes regurgitation of food, acid reflex and heart burn during pregnancy. To ease this, consume small meal at frequent time and do gentle walking of 10-15 mins after meal.
4. Second trimester nausea:
Nausea and vomiting are mostly symptom of first trimester and usually subside by second trimester. Second trimester nausea is due to acid reflex. This is treatable with home remedies and mild diets changes.
5. Second trimester weight gain:
Weight gain in second trimester should be in between 4 to 6 kg. Lesser or higher from range, requires intervention. Periodic and regular weight check provides sufficient information about fetus growth. Sudden weight gain (more than 0.5kg in one week or 2.5kg in one month) is an indicator of pre-eclampsia, polyhydramnios etc. Stationary or falling mother’s weight suggests growth retardation of fetus.
Quickening is a term used for baby’s first movement. What does quickening feel like? In mid of 4th month, you may feel first delicate movement of baby. This is quickening. Timing of quickening varies for every mother. So if you have not felt the movement till 5th month, there is no need to worry.
7. Skin changes or black pigmentations:
During second trimester of pregnancy, there is increase in the synthesis of melanin pigment. This is responsible for black spot. Black pigmentations around eyes and side of nose are considered normal and also known as “mask of pregnancy”. In abdomen also, you may notice one dark black- brown line, starting from chest going downwards up to genital organs. This is pregnancy line and called linea nigra, and it is quite normal. Most of these black spots and linea nigra disappear after delivery. Meanwhile you may apply sun screen and various ointments on skin to prevent them to become too gross.
8. Second trimester headache:
Acid reflex and increased blood circulation towards abdomen causes mild headache during 2nd trimester. To ease headache, take afternoon nap, drink luke warm water and place a pillow underneath the feet. Headache during pregnancy should not be treated with analgesic medication. Pain killers are not completely safe during pregnancy.
9. Second trimester cramp:
Second trimester cramps are prone to Braxton hicks contraction. These contractions are pain less but may causes mild discomfort to mother.
10. Haemorrhoid in second trimester:
Veins of anal canal may enlarge due to extra blood flow and because of pressure from enlarged uterus. Sitting in hot tub will reduce swelling and pain of haemorrhoid.
11. Bleeding gum:
During second trimester of pregnancy gums become more sensitive and easy to bleed. About 40% of women feel mild bleeding during brushing.
12. Breast enlargement:
After the end of first trimester, tenderness and pain of breasts is markedly reduced, but size of breasts start increasing. But you don’t need to worry; your breasts are preparing themselves for future lactation. Regular massage of breasts with natural oil is always good in pregnancy.
13. Hair growth:
Pregnancy hormones are good for hair growth. You may notice thickness of hair but the sad part is that you may also notice some unwanted hair on some parts. Like growth of pubic and axial hair, facial hair and upper lips. Laser or any therapy for hair removal is not recommended in pregnancy. Hair removal creams and ointment are only safe options. These hairs usually erase after some time of delivery.
Complication or alarming signs in 2nd trimester of pregnancy:
- Vaginal bleeding- Spotting or plantation bleeding is only phenomena in first trimester. Vaginal bleeding in 2nd trimester may be the first symptom of second trimester abortion. In this scenario, contact to your gynaecologist without any delay.
- Rapidly weight gain- Rapid weight gain is first sign of pre- eclampsia unless proved otherwise.
- Weight loss- Weight loss directly suggests fetal growth retardation. Should be checked as early as possible.
- Convulsion- Convulsion is the symptom of eclampsia. Eclampsia is still a leading cause for maternal death.
Above article is only for knowledge purpose. Please contact your healthcare provider before using any of above medicine or method. For any query or personal consultation according to your health condition Please Contact Us