The Second Trimester of Pregnancy: Weight Gain & Other Changes

Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Published on March 15, 2012
Medically Reviewed by Joan K. Lingen, MD

Weight Gain

You will put on weight during this trimester; exactly how much weight depends on how much you weighed prior to pregnancy. A general rule of thumb is that after the first trimester you should expect to gain a pound a week, on average, sometimes more and sometimes less. This is not the case for everyone, so don't feel as if anything is wrong if your weight gain does not follow this pattern. Your weight gain should be steady, with no major increases or dips.

Beginning to Show

For those of you who are pregnant for the first time, other people may not know you are pregnant. However, your clothes will be a bit tight, and maternity clothes a bit loose. For those of you who have been pregnant before, you will likely be showing by this time.

Dizziness

Important

The U.S. Labor Department surveyed 250,000 working women in 1994 and found that 60% of them reported stress as their number one problem.

Whereas dizziness in the first trimester is related to not having enough blood to fill the expanding circulatory system, dizziness in this trimester may be caused by the uterus pressing on your blood vessels. Particularly when you change positions, you may feel lightheaded because not enough blood is making it to the brain-it is pooled in the lower extremities. Make sure you change positions slowly.

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is another reason for dizziness during these middle months of pregnancy. Try to keep your blood sugar constant and avoid these dips in blood sugar by eating frequent and small meals. Have healthy snacks with you at all times. Heat can also cause dizziness, so make sure you get fresh air and wear cool clothing if need be. If you do feel lightheaded, there are ways you can get blood to flow to the brain. Lie down with your feet elevated or sit down with your head between your legs. Let your doctor know you are experiencing these symptoms.

Fetal Movement

The embryo starts moving on its own around the seventh week of gestation. You don't notice the movements, however, until sometime between weeks 14 to 26 (18 to 22, on average). Women who have had children before are more likely to sense the movement early. Thin women may feel it earlier as well. If you haven't felt anything by the 20th week, your doctor may suggest an ultrasound around the 22nd week to see if the baby is moving. Before the ultrasound, the doctor will try to get the baby to move by prodding the abdomen.

There is no need to be anxious if the baby doesn't seem to be moving a lot at this stage of the pregnancy. The baby is moving almost continuously, but you don't always notice it. This has to do with both your position and the baby's position. You may be sleeping through your baby's most active periods or your movement while awake may cause the baby to be lulled to sleep.

A good way to get the baby to move is to lie down after a snack, relax, and wait for the baby's energy boost from the snack and your lack of movement. If that doesn't work, try again in a few hours. Many women find they don't notice the baby's movement for up to four days at a time. Though this is probably okay, it is best to let your doctor know if a day goes by without your feeling anything. After 28 weeks, you will get used to noticing movement each day.

Foot Problems

You may look down at your feet and notice they appear larger than they did at the start of the pregnancy. Part of this is due to fluid retention, a completely normal condition during pregnancy. It is also caused by the expansion of the joints in the foot under the influence of the hormone relaxin (the same hormone that is relaxing your pelvis to allow the baby's delivery). It might also be due to fat deposition if you have put on excessive weight. You can help the situation by wearing comfortable shoes.

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