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Can you believe you’ve made it to the second trimester already? Congrats! This is such a great part of pregnancy as you are starting to feel a little better finally,and you’ve got the wonderful opportunity to feel your baby kicking harder and doing little flips and turns inside (especially after a sweet drink or juicy piece of fruit)! Now’s the time to start accomplishing a few important doctor visits during this 2nd trimester.
During the second 3 months of pregnancy, you will be going through a lot of changes. You will start to get used to the changes in your body, and you will also start to feel emotional, or even tired at times.To help you get through the second trimester, here is a checklist of the things you might be experiencing and what you should do about them.
Second Trimester Checklist
- You made it to the second trimester where the chance of miscarriage is much less, so if you haven’t already shouted it to the world, go ahead and find a creative way to break the news to your family and friends to let them know the happy news that you are expecting
- Keep up with your efforts of staying well hydrated and drinking plenty of water throughout these next 3 months during the second trimester and throughout the rest of your pregnancy – it can help prevent unwanted dizzy spells, leg cramps, constipation and other complications that can arise from losing too many fluids
- Due to all the circulation changes and varying hormonal adjustments your body is going through as it grows and changes to make room for the new baby, you can become disoriented and dizzy at times in pregnancy – it is something to be cautious about, so if you experience dizzy spells contact your physician or OB-GYN and consider going to lie down on your side until the feeling passes
- Since the crucial first trimester is safely behind you where all the baby’s organs were developing, now’s the time where the baby’s growth and development is starting to become noticeable to everyone around you too as it pushes out that pregnancy tummy a bit to make it more obvious that you are carrying precious cargo inside
- Braxton Hicks Contractions (sometimes referred to as false labor) can begin appearing throughout the second trimester in the form of light or mild level contractions that feel like your abdomen clenching tightly and then releasing just as quickly – contact your physician if they become more intense, are steady or increasing in frequency, or become more painful as this can be a warning sign of potential preterm labor
- See a dentist if you are experiencing dental issues of any sort as this is the most ideal of the three trimesters to try to get minor dental work done safely before the baby develops further
- You may also notice your gums are slightly swollen from the hormone levels fluctuating in your body during pregnancy, and this can cause the gums to bleed on occasion when flossing or brushing your teeth, but nothing to be too alarmed about
- Be careful not to develop a urinary tract infection as they can sneak up on you and frequently become a nuisance to pregnant mothers during this 2nd trimester, so please inform your doctor if you suspect or having any symptoms of a urinary tract infection (finding yourself having a sudden urge to run to the bathroom to pee, painful urination, cloudy or foul-smelling urine output)
- Leg cramps can become a tough symptom to combat if you are not keeping up with your daily water intake – staying hydrated can help ward off leg cramps where the calf muscle tightens painfully, so avoid it and drink more water while it helps you stay comfortable and allows that new baby to grow
- The unwelcome occurrence of vaginal discharge will become more frequent and very sticky in consistency as a common part of the pregnancy – do however, contact your physician if you notice the discharge becoming tinged, discolored, foul-smelling, or accompanying redness, soreness, pain or uncomfortable itching as it may be turning into a vaginal infection of some sort
- Prenatal visits will include taking your blood pressure, height, weight, measuring the fundus (length from your pubic bone to the top of the uterus), listening to the baby’s heartbeat, plus possibly testing for things like Gestational Diabetes, and your visits will become a regular monthly occurrence unless you have any complications or are considered higher risk that they need to see you sooner between appointments
- Some of your prenatal visits will include testing such as getting an ultrasound to find out what sex the baby is and how all the organs and other parts of the baby’s development are tracking
- Continue doing light exercise and staying active without overdoing it, so that your body is fully prepared for the amount of energy it will take to deliver the baby in a few short months
Getting a handle on your emotions during this 2nd trimester can be tougher than it looks. There is so much to be thinking about from the pre-planning of when to take your maternity leave, to signing up for childbirth classes and practicing your special breathing techniques for labor and delivery, to learning all the ins and outs of breastfeeding and how to create a nursery atmosphere that will allow you to relax and bond with your baby as you breastfeed him/her several times a day. Obviously this overload of information can be a bit worrisome to the perfectionist mom who wants everything to be just right – oh wait, I think that might be all of us!
Take a Break
Whatever you read up on and learn more about, it’s important to you and therefore it matters to the future emotional health of you and your child. Keep in mind that even YOUR mind needs to take a break from it all once in a while, so give yourself permission to be pampered and take some rest when you need it. Go hang out with a friend and take your mind off the everyday stressors that stare you in the face daily (like that growing tummy and crazy, swollen breasts), and enjoy some time just for you. Your mindset and emotions will thank you!