As is common knowledge, pregnancy can be divided in many ways, the most popular of which is the trimester system. In this mode of division, the entire gestation period is divided into 3 parts of 3 months each, hence 'tri’. This division is not merely for the sake of convenience; it is also done to make distinctions on the development that occurs in each of these stages.
The second trimester is generally measured from week 13 or 14 to week 27 or 28. Let's a look at what happens in the second trimester so you know what to expect when you're expecting.
What it means for you
Some people like to call this period the honeymoon period. Why? It is around this time that the morning sickness ends and you may feel like you're regaining some of that much-deprived energy. You may even feel the return of your sex drive. However, the world always live in balance, so making up for extinguished nausea, get ready to welcome some abdominal pain. This occurs due to the fact that your uterus is growing to accommodate your growing fetus. This is why you will start seeing a substantial increase in the size of your baby bump! Due to this growing uterus, your lungs tend to have less space which means you might find yourself feeling breathless often.
As you progress through this trimester, you will start feeling the movements of your baby, which is the primary demarcation of this trimester.
Be prepared to deal with weight gain, breast enlargement, backaches due to this weight, bleeding gums, hormonal changes causing excess discharge, congestion, and hair growth, constipation, heartburn, headaches and in some cases, haemorrhoids. It may sound intimidating but it's something that multitudes of women have faced and been able to overcome. With the right prevention strategies and doctor's visits, you can make this period a lot easier for yourself. Keep in mind that hormonal changes may also make you more emotional, so have a system worked out with your family to ensure minimal conflict.
You can exercise during this period, as it may help ease the labour process, but remember to be extremely cautious while doing so. Drink lots of water and don't perform exercises that could cause danger to yourself or your baby, including heavy lifting.
What it means for your baby
Your baby is constantly growing in size inside the womb. It grows from the size of a kiwi to an apple, to an orange, and still bigger. In the first 3 to 4 weeks, facial features such as the eyes and ears take up their rightful positions on the face. The ankles and wrists complete formation. Hair growth begins all over the body (which sheds by birth) and on the head and above the eyes, making up the eyebrows. The bones start hardening and the nervous system starts functioning. You'll be able to hear your baby's heartbeat clearly at your next doctor's visit.
In the next 3-4 weeks, fat begins to form and movements and reflexes develop (Eg. yawning). The urinary, circulatory, and respiratory systems start functioning. The skin develops an outer layer I and blood vessels start forming. Senses such as hearing and taste also begin to develop and function.
In the last 3-4 weeks of this trimester, organs continue to develop and muscles start gaining strength. Your baby will now start responding more to different stimuli. It is at this stage that the skin loses its transparency and your baby's body starts producing white blood cells.
Keep in mind that it is in this trimester that many different scans can be done to check for developmental issues or general developmental health. Keep going for regular check-ups and scans as per your doctor's requirement.
You are now 3 months closer to being a parent!