Congratulations! You have entered into the second trimester. If you haven’t announced your pregnancy, now is a good of a time as any. Some women may feel a sense of relief as they enter into the second trimester because the risk of a miscarriage after this twelfth week is lower. You may relax more and start to enjoy being pregnant. Some women may have started to show while others may not. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see any physical changes, the important thing is that the changes within your body are progressing normally
Physically, you will start to feel less nausea and have an increase in your energy levels. However, do not be tempted to over-exert yourself—just pace your activities and do what feels good. Now would be a good time to implement an exercise program such as walking or prenatal yoga. By starting a moderate exercise program you can stay healthy during the pregnancy. Exercise during the pregnancy will also help your body recover quicker than someone who did not exercise. Working out is also a great way to get your partner involved—ask them to come along with you for a stroll down the street a few evenings per week. Just remember to keep your body hydrated with plenty of water.
As you enter into the second trimester, the baby is growing quickly. The brain will start producing hormones and the nerve cells are multiplying very quickly. He or she will start to suck and swallow food, and the intestines will begin to move as digestion begins. The kidneys will start to actually produce urine, and the amount of amniotic fluid will begin to increase as well.
Muscles are beginning to respond to the brain as tiny arms bend and move, and hands open and close their fists. Baby’s features may be more clearly seen as the baby puckers their lips or furrows their eyebrows. The umbilical cord will start to circulate blood during this time, and baby’s eyes and ears will start to become more proportionate to the baby’s face.
As the weeks and months go by you will see some really special changes. Some women are expecting to feel movement during this time, and while you may think you feel a flutter, it’s still easy to mistake these feelings for gas. Most women don’t have movements that are easy identify until around the 16th week.
Changes To Your Body
During the twelfth week of pregnancy, the uterus is continuing to grow as the baby gets bigger. This will soon cause mom to show off her baby bump. Your weight will increase another 2 to 3 pounds and your appearance can change in other ways as well. Hormones can cause skin pigmentation changes that can lead to darkening of freckles, or what is termed as “the mask of pregnancy” also known as cholasma—which will disappear after delivery.
You may be experiencing more heartburn in the twelfth week of pregnancy. You can help alleviate this by eating smaller and more frequent meals and sitting upright for a few minutes after eating. Try eating lightly or not at all in the evenings and more substantially during the day. Ask your doctor what foods they can recommend that will not cause heartburn.
What To Expect
Now you are going into the second trimester, the risk for miscarriage has reduced significantly. Symptoms such as morning sickness, fatigue and nausea have all but gone away. You will notice that you are starting to feel better both physically and mentally. You hormones are adjusting to the baby’s growth and things should be progressing nicely.
You can expect to see that your skin may become extremely sensitive to sunlight. You can develop freckles or dark patches on the skin. If you are going to out in the sun, make sure to wear sunscreen and take along a hat.
Urinary frequency may begin to lessen as the uterus moves up and out of the pelvis and the hormones that made you run for the rest room begin to ease off. Your frequent stops will return later in your third trimester though as the uterus presses on the bladder—so enjoy this break.
A doctor may recommend that you take some prenatal classes, these will help you find support from other pregnant women who may have similar fears and concerns. Sometimes it is comforting to talk with someone who knows what you are going through. You should have already been scheduled to see your doctor monthly, and you will continue on this path until your 28th week, when visits will increase.
Now is the time to start enjoying the pregnancy to its fullest. Not only will you not have morning sickness anymore but you will be feeling up to more activity.
If you haven’t shared the big news with those around you, it’s probably safe to do so now. Once family and friends find out that you are pregnant, it will make the experience all the more special.