Pregnancy is a special time for all women. These 9 months can be even more special for you if you take good care of your mental and physical health so that you give birth to a healthy baby.
In the second trimester of pregnancy, you will notice that you have a lot more energy compared to your first trimester. You will also start noticing changes in your body like a bigger stomach, stretch marks, and feeling the baby’s movements in your stomach. These changes might make you think about how to sleep, what to eat, how to exercise, how to have sex and so many more such questions. The tips in this blog can make your second trimester of pregnancy easier and simpler.
Tips for your second trimester of pregnancy
- Get your health checked by a doctor regularly. Do not hesitate to clear any doubts or questions in your mind when you talk to your doctor.
- Only take medicines that are prescribed by your doctor.
- Take proper rest and sleep well.
- Have a healthy diet with nutritious food like fruits, vegetables and dry fruits.
- Do a little exercise to keep yourself physically fit. Regular exercise will reduce the chances of cesarean delivery.
- During the second trimester, your stomach starts to grow. This can cause stretch marks. So take good care of your stomach’s skin to avoid stretch marks. Use moisturizer and massage your stomach daily.
- Wear comfortable, loose clothes. Tight clothes can reduce your blood pressure.
- Stop wearing shoes/sandals with high heels.
- Avoid any items that can be harmful to your baby. These can be things like stress, pollution, alcohol, smoking, etc..
Medical tests to take during your second trimester of pregnancy
In the fourth, fifth and sixth months of your pregnancy, your doctor may suggest that you take the following tests:
1. Blood test - Blood test is done to detect diseases like Anaemia, Hepatitis B or HIV.
2. Urine test - Urine test is done to detect infections in the kidney or urine.
3. Ultrasound/Sonography - Ultrasound/Sonography is done in the second trimester of pregnancy to check if your baby is growing normally.
4. Quad screen test - Quad screen test is also a blood test where the doctor tests for the presence of AFP, hCG, Estriol, and Inhibin-A in your blood. These are all proteins and hormones that are necessary for your baby’s development. This test can also detect health issues in your baby.
If any issues are detected, your doctor might also do some more tests like amniocentesis to detect for birth defects like Down’s syndrome or Spina Bifida.
Why are some injections/vaccinations required in the second trimester of pregnancy?
Any risk to your health is a bigger risk to your baby. So it is better to keep yourself safe from diseases so that you have a safe pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.
It is common for doctors to prescribe vaccines for diseases and illnesses like tetanus. You might also receive hormone injections for progesterone if you are at risk of having a premature delivery.
Do not feel scared of these injections. If your doctor asks you to get any injections, be brave and take them for the good health of you and your baby.
Dietary supplements to take in your second trimester of pregnancy
You might have already started taking many supplements for folic acid, iron, calcium, multivitamins, etc. in your first trimester. Consult your doctor before continuing these in the fourth, fifth, sixth months of pregnancy
1. Folic acid - Your doctor might advise you to reduce the dose for folic acid tablets after the first trimester. Foods like eggs, green vegetables and beetroot are rich in folic acid.
2. Iron - It is common for pregnant women to get anemia due to lack of iron in the body. Foods like chickpeas (chana), dry fruits, and beetroot are rich in iron. If you are at risk of getting anemia, your doctor might prescribe iron tablets for you as well.
3. Calcium - It is also common for doctors to prescribe calcium supplements during pregnancy. Calcium supplements will keep your bones healthy and at the same time help in the development of your baby. Foods like milk, cheese, curd and almonds (badam) are rich in calcium.
Iron and Calcium tablets should not be taken at the same time. Leave a gap of at least 2 hours between taking them.
4. Multivitamins - Most of your vitamins will come from your regular diet. Make sure to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Based on your health, your doctor might also prescribe multivitamin tablets. These vitamins will keep you physically healthy and strong during your pregnancy.
Is it safe to have sex during the second trimester of pregnancy?
If there were no complications after having sex during your first trimester, you can continue having sex during the fourth, fifth and sixth months of your pregnancy. Because your stomach is growing, you should take special care that there is no pressure on your stomach while having sex.
Which sex positions are safe during the second trimester of pregnancy?
- Woman on top - You can be on top of your husband while having sex. This position makes sure that there is no pressure on your stomach.
- Spooning position - If you lie down on one side of your body, your husband can have sex from behind. You can keep a pillow between your legs for more comfort.
What is happening to your breasts in the second trimester of pregnancy?
In the second trimester, your breasts are getting ready for breastfeeding. Breastmilk starts forming, which will increase the size of your breasts. It is also possible that some milk gets discharged, which is natural and nothing to worry about. So wear comfortable bras during this time. At the same time, colostrum also gets formed in your breasts. Colostrum is a yellow liquid that can feed your baby if your breast milk is not generated in the early days after your baby’s birth.
Why are you getting stretch marks in the second trimester of pregnancy?
It is very common to get stretch marks in your second trimester. From the fourth month of your pregnancy, your baby’s body starts growing. So your body needs to get adjusted to this growth. You might start noticing stretch marks around your stomach, breasts and thighs.
You can avoid these stretch marks from remaining permanently on your body by dealing with them as early as possible.
How to avoid stretch marks?
Lemon juice, Coconut oil, Aloe vera gel, castor oil, olive oil, bio-oil are all great for controlling stretch marks. Apply any one of these on your stretch marks every night before sleeping. Wash this off in the morning and you will notice that your stretch marks are reducing.
Is it safe to travel during the second trimester of pregnancy?
In the first three months, you would have been very tired. But in the second trimester, you have more energy, so it is a lot safer to travel during this time. Be careful and alert about your surroundings and try not to travel alone. It is still advised to not take long journeys. Make sure that you carry food, water and medicine with you.
- If you are travelling by car, make sure the road is not bumpy. Sit in the front seat and wear a seat belt at all times. Stop the car and take breaks in between to stretch your legs.
- If you are travelling by train, choose a seat in the lower berth, which is facing the direction in which the train is moving. If you have to walk far to use the toilet, take the support of the nearby seats and railings while walking so that you don’t fall if there are any curves or emergency brakes.
- If you are travelling by plane, sit in the aisle seat so that you can easily get up to stretch your legs or use the toilet. Always wear your seat belt. If you are scared of heights or flying, try to avoid travelling by plane.
We hope by now, you have enough tips to make your second trimester of pregnancy go by smoothly. Your baby is growing now and your bond with your baby is already developing. You might start feeling movement and kicks as your baby moves in your stomach. Enjoy every moment in these months and share them with your husband.