Pregnancy brings several physical and emotional changes to a woman’s body. Especially in the second and last trimesters, a pregnant woman sways between a smooth sail and a horrible roller coaster-like experience. However, different women experience their pregnancy differently, and the experience also varies on whether it is their first pregnancy or a subsequent one.
The Second Trimester
The fourth, fifth, and sixth months of pregnancy are defined as the second trimester. This is usually the most comfortable time during a woman’s pregnancy when she is over the nausea of the first trimester and is not too big as in the last trimester.
If you have recently entered your second trimester, the best advice would be to enjoy it before you find that you are too big to sleep, walk or even pick up a dropped pencil! Let us divide the second trimester into three categories: physically, emotionally, and baby.
From the 13th to the 24th week of your pregnancy, you will notice that your stomach will slowly grow from a small belly into a more prominent pregnancy paunch. With the growing bump, you should start wearing clothes designed for pregnant women so you can stay comfortable while not sacrificing your sense of style.
Nausea, if any, of the first trimester will settle down during this time and leave you feeling more easy and energetic. You will start to gain weight during this time more rapidly than in the first trimester. The folic acid will stop now, but the iron and calcium supplements will continue.
Travel is considered safe during this time, which is also one of the main reasons why this period is regarded as the honeymoon period of pregnancy. During the latter part of this trimester, you will begin to feel the fluttering movements of the baby inside you, which will soon grow into prominent kicks.
Emotionally, the second trimester is a very relaxing time. You would have settled into the idea of being pregnant by now, so you are not very likely to feel emotional turmoil. This is also a time to organize yourself for the coming baby since, by the time the last trimester creeps in, you may be too exhausted to get the job done. Shopping and organizing will help you feel better and more cheerful. If you know the gender of the child, then you could shop accordingly. It is advisable to keep your partner involved to not distance yourself from him.
For the Baby:
This is the time that the baby grows rather rapidly. Having taken a form fully in the first trimester, this is the time that the fetus gains weight. Every part of the baby is forming and growing from the ear stirrups to the nails and skin. The baby develops its fat cells during this time. The latter part of the second trimester sees the baby’s brain develop relatively fast. By the end of the second trimester, the baby can hear you, has grown to take the form of a newborn, and is considered viable. On average, a child is about the length of a six-inch ruler and weighs about 1.3 pounds.
The Last Trimester
The last three months and the countdown begins! The last trimester of your pregnancy will have you wishing that the baby comes into the world soon. The third trimester starts from the 29th week and goes on to the full term. Doctors recommend avoiding travel during this period, and you should maintain caution while exercising and doing other simple household chores. Let us divide the last trimester into three main categories: physically, emotionally, and baby.
You will grow and grow rather rapidly during this period. Your large belly will prevent you from sleeping comfortably and put tremendous pressure on your spine. This is the time when you should wear flowy maternity dresses most of the time. Also, your breasts will feel heavy, and you may even experience frequent discharge. Another problem of this period is the immense pressure on your bladder, which will have you running to the washroom several times a day.
Heartburn returns with a vengeance during the last few weeks of your pregnancy, though a few pills of an antacid may help overcome the situation temporarily. Try lying on your side for more comfort and get as much rest as you can during this time. You will feel low on the breath but do not ignore your daily walks or exercise routines since they will help tremendously get you through the final labor stages.
Remember to look out for any contraction-like pain since you may actually go into labor much before your term ends. A piece of advice; get used to the baby’s kicks and stop looking for your toes; they are still there!
While most mothers have stopped worrying themselves sick about the health of their babies, there will be quite a few undergoing an all-new emotional experience. You do get used to being pregnant by now, but the fear of having to actually handle the baby may be giving you goosebumps.
Relax and remember that even a sloth bear can take care of its young. Try and organize as much as you can to feel adequately prepared for the child’s arrival. Preparing the hospital bags will be a good idea now and will help you feel more in control.
Though you are anxious to have the baby out and cradling in your arms by now, do not ignore your personal needs either. Rest in plenty and pamper yourself as much as you can. Once the baby enters your world, it will be a long time before you can give yourself any attention.
For the Baby:
During these months, your baby will grow in size, which is the main reason for your belly protruding relatively fast. The baby’s skin, eye color, eyesight all take form during these months. Despite no air in the lungs, they do mature and prepare for oxygen, filling them soon. The child will grow from an average of about 40 cm to 53 cm during this period and grow to weigh about 7 to 8 lb.
Though there are times that a child may acquire a breech position, mostly during the last few weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s head will slowly descend into the pelvis, and the body will prepare for labor. Due to the uterus being a tight fit for the baby, fetal movements may slow down; it is vital to check for them periodically to ensure safety.
At the end of the third trimester, you shall go into labor, and your baby will fill up your world with joy (and soiled diapers)!