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Guide to your changing body during pregnancy, 2nd trimester

by | November 1, 2018

The 2nd trimester brings with it many new things you will notice about your changing body during pregnancy.

For many women, the second trimester brings about several welcome changes. Nausea tends to subside or disappear entirely and your breasts become less tender. You will probably have increased energy and appetite.

You’ll also experience a range of new physical changes.

Swelling of your feet and ankles
Most of the swelling should be gone when you get up in the morning. If it does not decrease with rest, talk with your healthcare provider.

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Red, inflamed gums
This is caused by changes in your hormones and plaque build-up.
Floss and brush your teeth regularly.
See your dentist and be sure to tell her that you are pregnant.

Milk leaking from breasts
Wear breast pads in your bra. You may not have realized that your breasts can leak before you give birth and this is just another one of the delightful surprise changes that may happen to your body during pregnancy.

Nasal congestion and nose bleeds
Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke.
Place warm, moist towels on your face.
Breathe steam from a hot shower, a pot of boiling water, or a vaporizer.
Use a cool mist humidifier.
Drink water.
Try saltwater nose drops made from 1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in one cup of warm water.
Don’t use antihistamines unless recommended by your healthcare provider.

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Quickening (baby’s movements)
Feelings of bubbling, fluttering or knocking may vary between women.

Heartburn
Eat smaller meals frequently rather than 3 large ones.
Eat slowly to aid in digestion and prevent overeating.
Sip water throughout the day rather than gulping large amounts at a time.
After meals, go for a walk, or sit up rather than lounging or reclining. Keep that esophagus upright.
Avoid eating right before bed.
Pay attention to which foods worsen your symptoms. Common triggers are citrus, chocolate, caffeine, and high-fat foods.
Wear loose-fitting clothing.
Use ginger—Drink ginger ale, ginger tea, or snack on raw ginger or ginger drops.
Take antacids, but make sure they do not contain aluminum as it can cause constipation and high levels are bad for the baby.
If all else fails, talk to your healthcare provider about prescription meds.

Stretch marks
These purple, pink or red marks may appear on your abdomen, breasts, and thighs and there is very little that you can do to prevent them. After birth, stretch marks will gradually change from red or purple to tan or white and will become more difficult to see. However, some women never lose their stretch marks. Embrace your stretch marks, they are a sign you did something incredible and you will never forget the changes that happened to your body during pregnancy.

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Lower back pain
Maintain good posture while sitting or standing.
Pull in stomach muscles, tighten buttocks, and tuck in your seat to flatten the lower back.
Sit in straight-backed chairs and wear low heeled shoes.
Sleep on your left side with a pillow under your upper leg for support.
Avoid lifting or moving heavy items.
Try heat or cold packs on your back or get a massage.

Pubic pain
Walk around objects instead of stepping over them.
Don’t push objects with your feet.
Avoid widely opening your knees.
Sore legs and varicose veins
Rest and sleep on either side with a pillow between your legs. Don’t lie flat on your back.
Walk or do other types of exercise.
Wear support hoseDon’t sit with your legs crossed.
When sitting, do ankle and foot exercises; avoid placing a pillow under your knees.
Use a footrest or another chair to lift your legs when sitting.

Swelling
Raise your legs and feet whenever possible.
Lie on your left side when resting or at night to reduce pressure on major blood vessels.
Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes or accessories, including watches, rings, and socks with elastic tops.
Be physically active.

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Constipation
Drink more water.
Talk to your healthcare provider – it could be caused by your iron supplement or prenatal vitamin.
Eat high fiber foods.
Be physically active.
Have bowel movements when you feel the urge – don’t hold back or force.
Don’t use suppositories, mineral oil, laxatives, or enemas unless recommended by your healthcare provider.
Changes in pigmentation on face and stomach
These signs, such as a brownish tan on the face, will occur in some women and disappear after the baby is born
The dark line from the belly button to the pubic area may remain
If you have concerns about any of these physical changes, speak with your doctor or midwife.

Did you have any different changes to your body during pregnancy? Let us know in the comments below.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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