Reading about the second trimester of pregnancy? It’s safe for us to assume that you have successfully crossed the first trimester. Kudos for keeping your baby safe during the first twelve weeks. As critical as it is to take care of yourself and hence the baby for the first 12 weeks, so is it for the upcoming trimesters. As you move to Week 13, things would be a little relaxed considering you might have more or less adapted to the changes that your body is going through. The pregnancy even seems real! There is a little baby bump which you would be unknowingly touching and smiling over and over again. Alas! ‘Is the baby safe within?’ And that pretty smile turns into a brow-raising concern in a span of seconds. Let’s ease this out and know more about the what – hows of this period.
What exactly happens during the second trimester?
Week 13 to week 28 i.e months 4, 5, and 6 is the second trimester of your pregnancy. The expecting mother has more energy in this period as compared to the past few weeks. The struggle with anxiety, morning sickness, and tiredness has significantly reduced. The baby’s organs fully develop during these weeks. The baby starts to hear and swallow. And it begins to move from the last few weeks of the second trimester. Get ready for all those kicks in your belly. The baby also starts having its own sleep cycle which you will notice as it happens. Exciting! Ain’t it? Such a beautiful time this is. The baby has gradually developed and is interacting with you with the minutest of activities. This, however, comes with its own set of challenges.
Challenges faced during the second trimester
You might experience certain discomfort during this time which includes :
- Nasal Issues like stuffiness or bleeding
- Dental problems like sensitivity or minor bleeding
- Dizziness, slow movements
- Leg Cramps
- Vaginal Discharge
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Skin Changes / Irritation
You dearly wish to keep the baby safe for the time to come. So, here are some factors you should consider for a fruitful attempt at baby safety.
- Eating Habits
This is the time when you can actually eat for two. Enjoy an extra amount of the foods that you like which are also safe for your baby. Eating for two effectively means you can consume an additional 300 – 500 calories of your regular diet.
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Raw or undercooked meat
- Caffeine intake more than 200 mg
- Iron-rich foods :
One should intake around 27mg iron daily. You can consume nuts, green leafy vegetables, lentils, beans, cooked seafood in moderate quantity, whole grain like bread and oatmeal
- Calcium-rich foods :
An expecting mother can consume 1000mg of calcium daily. Good sources can be pasteurized dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, almonds, white beans.
- Vitamin D
Spend some time at a place where you are exposed to sunlight and consume vitamin D rich foods like cheese, fish liver oil, egg yolks, or Vitamin D supplements.
- Omega – 3 rich foods like flaxseeds, chia seeds, fish oil.
- Thoroughly washed fruits
- 8 – 12 glasses of water
We highly recommend you consult your dietician for a detailed diet chart that caters to your nutrition needs.
- Sleeping Habits
Since the second trimester comes as a period of relief during your pregnancy you would be able to sleep much better than you did during the first trimester.
- Sleep Schedule :
While you feel comparatively active, it is important to take proper rest to keep your baby safe and healthy. When you stay healthy, your baby gets the most peaceful conditions to grow. Sleeping for at least 8 hours a day is a must.
- Sleeping posture :
While sleeping, you should lie on the side with your hips and knees bent. You should also, if comfortable, place a pillow between your knees, under your abdomen, and behind the back.
This will basically take the pressure off your lower back and keep your baby safe.
- Exercise Routine
Working out for a minimum of 30 minutes on a regular basis is good for the baby’s development. It also prepares you for the time of birth. You can choose low impact exercises like yoga, walking, or swimming. Make sure you do not exert too much and keep yourself hydrated while working out. It is important to consult your gynecologist if there is a risk associated with your pregnancy. Performing physical activities in moderation are safe for your baby unless suggested otherwise by your doctor.
- Travel Safety
As you have been experiencing already, pregnancy is the time when you go through multiple changes. To cope well through these changes and to keep the baby safe, minimal travel would be highly beneficial. Staying inside and taking care of yourself is the best way you could take care of your baby and provide your baby with the best environment to grow. However, if you are considering travel you must consult your doctor before taking the journey.
- Medical Checkups
Monthly medical check-ups play a vital role in pregnancy. You get to understand your baby’s growth throughout and are conscious about the do’s and don’ts to keep your baby safe for the upcoming months. An expecting mother should ideally visit the doctor about every 2 – 4 weeks during the second trimester.
- This is the time when the doctor/nurse will check your weight, measure blood pressure, ask about your fetal movements, diet, sleep patterns.
- They will also check for any symptoms like vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, constant throwing up, chills, headache, urination pattern.
- Important physical checks like belly size, fetal growth, urine glucose levels, urine protein levels will be assessed.
- You would be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat as the doctor performs the ultrasound test.
- Emotional Wellbeing
And here come yet another equally important thing to take care of and i.e. your emotional health. You are making each and every effort for your baby’s safety, it’s important you keep yourself happy too. Indulge in a soothing hobby that you like, go for baby care classes, read about parenting, or plan for the baby’s arrival. Pregnancy is also the time when you get vivid nightmares. In case of any dream that causes you distress, consider sharing it with your partner or visit a therapist if required.
We hope that by now you have an elaborate checklist of the things which will keep your baby safe during the second trimester. While there’s too much information available on google and you are spending your time reading it out for your baby’s safety, not everything can be learned here. Do spend time with your loved ones and enjoy this happy time with your partner and family.