The period between week 12 and week 27 of your pregnancy is known as the second trimester. This period is also known as the honeymoon phase of the pregnancy because morning sickness subsides, you get a boost of energy, your skin glows, your hair becomes thicker and you start to feel the baby's first movements.
During this period, your baby (and you) will gain weight more noticeably (hello, baby bump!). The baby also grows ears, eyes, capillaries for blood flow, fingerprints, and will start to suck and yawn, which is truly adorable on an ultrasound!
Here are ten things to expect in your second trimester.
1. Morning sickness subsides
Most pregnant women find that morning sickness lessens considerably or goes away completely during the second trimester because there isn't as much pressure on your body to grow the placenta.
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.
2. You start gaining weight
During the second trimester, your baby is growing quickly. And as the baby grows, you will gain weight too. By the end of the second trimester, it is recommended that normal weight women gain no more than 20 pounds, and obese women gain no more than 10 pounds (unless you are having twins or triplets, of course).
Pregnancy is not a license to eat whatever comes your way even though you may feel like it. You should ideally consume only an extra 300 calories on the daily which is the equivalent of a bagel without the cream cheese. Gaining too much weight can lead to gestational diabetes.
3. Your skin starts to glow
This is probably the only thing you can thank your out of whack hormones for. However, sometimes this too can go wrong and pregnancy glow can turn into pregnancy pimples!
4. Be prepared for uncomfortable symptoms like hemorrhoids, random nosebleeds, constipation and backaches.
Haemorrhoids, breathlessness, random nosebleeds, constipation and backaches are the major uncomfortable symptoms you will experience during the second trimester.
Because the growing fetus puts pressure on your lungs, you may often feel like you are running out of breath but bear in mind that this is totally normal.
Due to the excess pressure and restricted blood flow to the veins of the pelvic and lower region by your growing uterus you are also likely to experience the joys of backaches, constipation and haemorrhoids.
Also, be ready to randomly see your nose start bleeding. When you’re pregnant, you have an increase in blood volume. The tender mucous membranes of your nasal area cause your veins to swell — making you more likely to get a nosebleed.
5. Pregnancy brain
Even though 'pregnancy brain' has not been proven scientifically, enough pregnant women have confirmed feeling forgetful and spaced out for it to become an actual thing.
6. Hair growth (even where you don't want it!)
This one is a catch-22. While the hair on head grows thicker and luscious, you start growing thicker hair everywhere else too - chin, arms, legs included (eeks!).
Many women feel like their hair is thinning post delivery, but it is actually just returning to how it was pre-pregnancy. Your body hair will go back to normal too (phew!).
7. A boost of energy
As mentioned before the second trimester brings with it the end of fatigue and a renewed sense of energy. This is the perfect time to put your planning for the baby into full gear and also to go on a babymoon.
Trust us, celebrating the last few months of it being just you and your partner alone with a trip is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Your growing uterus puts pressure on your veins, which impairs return of blood to your heart. This can lead to swelling in the legs, ankles and feet.
Beware that sudden and quick swelling of feet/ankles can be a sign of preeclampsia.
9. You will crave all sorts of strange foods
Why ice cream? Why pickles? Why ice cream on pickles? Pregnancy cravings are basically evolutionary, The reason for a bizarre craving is because there's something deficient in a woman's system that she needs.
For instance, if you are craving sweet potato fries, it's your body's cry for potassium or vitamin A.
10. You will feel your baby kick!
By the midpoint of your pregnancy (20 weeks), you will probably have started to feel the first delicate flutters of movement in your abdomen, which is often called "quickening."
If you aren't feeling your baby move yet, don't worry. Some women don't experience quickening until their sixth month of pregnancy.