Second Trimester: 14-28 Weeks
Your Body, Your Baby
Welcome to the second trimester of your pregnancy! Most women feel better, have more energy and experience less pregnancy symptoms during this time.
Your baby is becoming more active now and during the second trimester of pregnancy, you may feel a “fluttering” movement or tiny nudge around 18-22 weeks of pregnancy. This is also known as “quickening.”
During the second trimester, there are some important tests you can expect:
Obstetric ultrasound: performed around 18-22 weeks of pregnancy; evaluates your baby’s heart, spine and limbs and may confirm gender.
Diabetes screen: blood test taken 1 hour after you drink a sugary liquid to determine if you are at risk for diabetes during pregnancy
Rhogam: if you have the Rh– blood type, you will receive this shot around 28 weeks of pregnancy to prevent development of harmful antibodies
Quad screen: blood test to measure hormones and determine if your baby has increased risk of birth defects
Changes in Your Body
Other important changes are happening in your second trimester including the pregnancy symptoms:
Breast changes: hormones of pregnancy contribute to growth; veins more noticeable as blood supply increases; may have yellow or white discharge (colostrum) from nipples. Wear a comfortable, supportive bra.
Heartburn, bloating, hiccups: burning feeling, fullness; common complaints that usually are not serious. Avoid spicy foods, sleep with head and shoulders slightly raised, eat small meals more frequently. Talk to your health-care provider about safe medication options.
Skin changes and stretch marks: hormones may increase pigment that changes the color of your skin; elastic supportive tissues under the skin change and get stretched, causing purplish or brown colored streaks, also known as stretch marks. Wear sunscreen and keep skin lubricated. Stretch marks may diminish after birth of your baby.
Round ligament pain: ligaments to support your uterus and the developing baby may cause pain when stretched or pulled; sharp, pulling feeling on either side of abdomen can happen when turning, twisting, coughing or sneezing. Change positions slowly and use hands to support your belly.
Back pain: the extra weight that you’re carrying causes back pain, creates more work for your muscles, puts stress on the joints. Wear low-heeled shoes with good arch support, wear an abdominal support belt, sit down and rest feet on a foot stool. If bending over, squat and bend at the knees and keep your back straight. Talk to your health-care provider about exercises that can help strengthen and stretch your back muscles, medication or other remedies.
Braxton Hicks contractions: tightening or contractions in lower abdomen or groin; usually weak and occur at various times that come and go. If painful or occur at regular intervals, contact your health-care provider immediately. This could be a sign of something more serious.
Preterm labor: serious medical emergency; can happen anytime from 20-37 weeks of pregnancy; occurs when the uterus (womb) contracts and the cervix opens earlier than normal. Call 9-1-1 or contact your health-care provider immediately by calling: 720-848-1060 f you experience any of these symptoms:
- Uterine contractions -4 or more per hour
- Cramps – may feel like menstrual cramps or gas pains that occur with or without diarrhea
- Dull ache in lower back
- Pelvic pressure or heaviness in lower abdomen, back or thighs
- Vaginal discharge-pink or brown-tinged, watery, or you may notice more mucous
- General sense that something is wrong - not feeling well but can’t link to a specific cause
The second trimester is the perfect time to take classes and learn more about labor, delivery, breastfeeding and parenting! The Colorado Institute for Maternal and Fetal Health offers a wide variety of birthing and parenting classes. Call us at 720-848-1741 to register.