The second trimester is a time of relief, both physically and emotionally, for many women. With more energy, and less morning sickness, you might find that you are better able to wrap your mind around the reality of your pregnancy.
Emotional Changes of the Second Trimester of Pregnancy
If you had avoided telling people during your first trimester, your growing waistline, and growing confidence in the reality of this pregnancy, means you are likely to break the news now. You might feel more alive, more sexy and more energetic than you have in weeks.
On the other hand, you might feel irritable or moody, as your body visibly changes, and doubt your own sex appeal or beauty. Many pregnant women find that their desire for intimacy returns as their energy levels increase, so this is the time when partners can be especially supportive, encouraging a woman that she is still attractive.
I should mention here an interesting phenomena known as “pregnancy brain”. You may well find that your concentration, memory or recall has decreased but don’t worry, this too is normal. Impatience and eagerness can also be strong emotions at this point as the pregnancy becomes more obvious and preparations are well under way.
Physical Changes of the Second Trimester of Pregnancy
So, now that your baby is growing and pushing your stomach into a noticeably pregnant silhouette, your body experiences a lot of physical changes too. In addition to increased energy levels, you’ll probably find an increased need for urination and increased blood flow. If you’ve been able to avoid maternity clothes in the first trimester, this is probably the time when you’ll upgrade your wardrobe with a few must-have maternity clothes pieces.
The increase in your blood volume during the second trimester of pregnancy means you may feel congested or stuffy-headed, experience bleeding and sensitive gums, and find an increase in vaginal discharge also. Standing up too quickly might make you feel dizzy or lightheaded and, while this is usually very normal during pregnancy, any dizziness or severe headaches with visual disturbances should be reported to your doctor or midwife right away.
You skin and hair will probably experience a lot of changes – there is a reason why people refer to the “pregnancy glow”. You might have clear, healthy looking skin and nice, thick hair. If you are like most pregnant women you might be worried about stretch marks and itching, tight feeling skin is normal. Areas of your skin may darken in various ways known as “the pregnancy mask”, linea nigra, or increased pigmentation in the breasts and freckles.
Braxton-Hicks contractions might be noticeable now – especially if this isn’t your first pregnancy. These warm-up contractions feel like minor cramps and are really just your uterus practicing for labor contractions later.
This is also the trimester when “quickening” occurs for most pregnant women, which is just a fancy way of saying you can feel the baby moving. While it may take a few more weeks before the movements are obvious to your partner, you and your baby share the secret of his existence long before that.
With so many changes happening your head may be spinning. Be sure you feel free to ask your midwife or doctor any of the questions you might have. Or if you want to submit a question to our expert doulas and midwives, leave a comment below or email email@example.com!
Additional Pregnancy Development Resources:
- The Pregnancy Book by Dr. Sears Paperback, 488 pages; ISBN 0316779148; Little, Brown and Company
- Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Lesley Regan Hardcover, 448 pages, ISBN 0751336823; Dorling Kindersley Publishers, Ltd
- The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger Paperback, 448 pages, ISBN 0375710477; Knopf