What to Expect in the Second Trimester

by Katelyn Schwanke
(last updated September 5, 2008)

Following the few bumpy months that make up the first trimester, your second trimester takes and uphill turn. Many women seem to enjoy the second trimester more than the first or the third. During the second trimester your body continues to change while your baby continues to grow and change dramatically. As your body changes you will notice a variety of symptoms. Accompanying some of these symptoms are the things that make the second trimester more pleasant than the first.

Symptoms that you will experience during the second trimester include: larger breasts (due to an increase in hormones like estrogen and progesterone), growing belly (accompanied by a 4 pound weight gain each month), painless pre-labor contractions, darkening of skin around the navel, increased risk for nose bleeds, dizziness, leg cramping, vaginal discharge (protects you against bacteria), shortness of breath and urinary infections. As you begin to experience some of these symptoms remember to inform your doctor of their intensity and frequency. Although many of the listed symptoms are harmless, some may be indicators of illness.

Emotionally, you will also be experiencing some changes. You may have an increased desire for intimacy. If you are concerned about the welfare of your baby during intimacy, speak to your doctor and he will ensure you that sex is generally harmless for the fetus. Beyond this increased desire for intimacy you may also experience increased anxiety and excitement. Rather than allowing this anxiety become destructive, use it as a motivation to begin preparing your home and family for the arrival of your new baby. In preparing your home and family, you may want to speak to your children about what will be expected of them with the arrival of your new baby. Helping your children understand how family dynamics will change can help them adjust more quickly and not resent the new baby for dominating mom and dad's attention.

Beyond all these new emotional and physical symptoms, the second trimester does remain the highlight of pregnancy for most women. Many of the highlights associated with the second trimester include general preparation, planning baby showers, finally fitting cute maternity clothes, learning the sex of your baby and picking out a name. If you struggle finding a baby name, search baby name websites or check out your family history for ideas.

As you enter the second trimester of your pregnancy remember to seek the advice of your physician and remember to enjoy your pregnancy!

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