Changes in Your Body
Ding ding, round two, or trimester two, to be more precise. Now that you’re officially in your second trimester, things are probably starting to look up. The tenderness in your breasts may be less noticeable, morning sickness symptoms may be improving or resolved, and you may have more pep in your step each morning.
A particularly exciting development is that your baby bump may be starting to show itself. If it isn’t, that’s OK too. How soon a woman’s belly starts to “show” or protrude will depend on multiple factors, such as whether you’ve been pregnant before, your anatomy, and your body shape, as well as the details of any previous pregnancies.
If you’ve managed to keep the secret of your baby news from friends and family, you might feel more comfortable spreading the joy now. Miscarriages in the second trimester are much less likely, now that you’re past the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Having grown to between 3 and 4 inches in size and weighing a bit less than 2 ounces, your baby can now show you just how much it likes (or dislikes) what you ate for dinner last night!
No really, your baby can now make faces at you, whether that’s squinting, frowning, or even grimacing. While you won’t be able to see or feel them, your baby’s tiny expressions are due to brain impulses that show just how much it’s growing.
If you’re scheduled for an ultrasound soon, be on the lookout for a potential thumb sucker.
Speaking of how much your baby’s growing, your baby’s body is working hard at stretching out. Soon its arms will look more proportionate to the rest of its tiny body.
If you had a microscope, you’d be able to see the super-fine hair, called lanugo, that starts to cover baby’s body around this time.
At around 14 weeks, your baby’s kidneys can produce urine, which gets released into the amniotic fluid, and your baby’s liver starts producing bile. These are both signs that your baby is gearing up for life outside of the womb.
Twin Development at Week 14
Most women can hear their babies’ heartbeats by week 14 with a doppler. You may choose to purchase a doppler for home use. Don’t be worried if you don’t find the heartbeat right away. It can take several tries to get the hang of it.
While some women unfortunately experience morning sickness symptoms all the way to the very end of their pregnancy, the nausea, in particular, is less of an issue for many women as their second trimester starts. Be aware, however, that even if your stomach seems more settled lately, you may still get a rush of nausea every now and then. Be prepared for an unexpected rush to the bathroom.
If your feelings of nausea seem particularly severe, or you’re finding it difficult to stomach just about anything, you may have hyperemesis gravidarum. Vomiting and weight loss are other signs of this potentially dangerous condition.
While morning sickness alone isn’t likely to hurt you or your baby, if you’re concerned about persistent symptoms you should call your doctor to make sure you’re both still getting enough nutrients.
If you are still feeling a little sick, there are things that can help. First, try not to eat too much at once. Several smaller meals can bring on less nausea than one large meal.
Drink plenty of fluids, and pay attention to your senses. If certain smells, such as pickles or vinegar for example, or temperatures, such as heat, make your nausea worse, avoidance is your best bet for now.
Ginger, which you can easily get from the grocery store and add to tea, smoothies, or water, may help. You can also try drinking ginger ale or eating ginger chews.
While mood swings are a very common part of pregnancy for many women, the second trimester is known to offer some women a break from the mini meltdowns.
Such emotional hiccups are caused by a number of factors. Hormones are one factor, but other physical changes in addition to stress and fatigue can also lead to mood swings. Growing a human being inside of you is a huge undertaking and you have a lot of changes coming up!
Get as much rest as your daily life will allow and find a friend to talk to if you’re stressed about motherhood’s many unknowns.
Things to Do This Week for a Healthy Pregnancy
Now that you’re in your second trimester with morning sickness hopefully behind you, it’s a great time to start a pregnancy-appropriate exercise routine.
Take advantage of any extra energy your body affords you this week. If you’re waking up fresh faced and happy, try fitting in a 15-minute morning walk. If your energy peaks in the afternoon or evening, check out a local prenatal exercise class. Yoga, water aerobics, and walking groups are great options.
You might find that a regular exercise routine leaves you feeling better overall and you might even find a new friend who can share in all the joy, fear, and frenzy that pregnancy can offer.
Another bonus of no more nausea is that you might be more inclined to have some fun in the bedroom. Since your belly isn’t yet uncomfortably big, now’s a great time to enjoy some extra bonding with your partner.
You may even find yourself wanting sex more now that you’re pregnant, all thanks to that extra blood flowing below your waistline. No worries here, though. It’s another way to stay active and unless your doctor has advised you otherwise, it is completely safe.
When to Call the Doctor
Vaginal bleeding or fluid leakage, as well as fever, severe abdominal or headache pain, and blurred vision always warrant a call to your doctor. You may also want to check in with your OB/GYN if you’re still experiencing pretty regular or worsening morning sickness. There are ways to ensure that you and your baby are getting the necessary nutrients to keep you both healthy and happy.