Discover what physical changes to expect during the second trimester of your pregnancy.
As you near the end of your second trimester of pregnancy, you may continue to experience various physical changes or symptoms. Find out what to expect and how to cope:
Heartburn may result during the second trimester as pregnancy hormones cause the muscle separating your esophagus from your stomach to relax, which can cause digestive juices to back up and irritate your esophagus lining1.
Tip: Eat small meals and snacks. It is not recommended to consume greasy or highly seasoned foods, coffee or carbonated drinks. After eating, wait for your food to digest before lying down1. Also, try elevating your head at bedtime. Drink fluids between meals, rather than with meals. Check with your doctor before taking antacids.
Not only can hormones slow down your digestive tract to cause constipation, they can also cause hemorrhoids, the painful, swollen veins around the rectum that often itch and bleed1.
Tip: Keep moving and try no to stand or sit for long periods of time. Eat lots of fibre, drink water and exercise to maintain an efficient digestive tract.
Your body is now producing extra oils, which can give you the "glow" of pregnancy or can cause you to break out. You may also develop spidery red lines on your face, neck, arms and chest, when the extra blood flow in your body causes tiny blood vessels to swell1.
Tip: Cleanse your face often and treat breakouts as you normally would.
You can expect a thin, whitish discharge to start now and increase throughout your pregnancy. You may also experience some itching1.
Tip: Wear cotton-crotch underwear and wash daily with water.
Though mainly hereditary, varicose veins are aggravated by pregnancy factors like weight gain, decreased blood circulation, and the weight of the baby in your pelvic region1.
Tip: Put your feet up as much as possible. When you sit, cross your ankles instead of your legs. Exercise with your doctor's permission. You can also wear support pantyhose.
As your uterus increases in size, it puts more pressure on your bladder, which results in a frequent need to urinate1.
Tip: Limit your fluid intake in the evening, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Pregnancy hormones can slow down your intestinal tract and cause constipation1.
Tip: Drink plenty of water and eat ample amounts of high-fibre foods. Exercise can help to regulate your system, but check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Do not use laxatives unless your doctor recommends it.
Pregnancy hormones can make breasts feel extremely sensitive1.
Tip: Wear a supportive bra, like an athletic bra, even at night if necessary.
Healthy Hint for Your Pregnancy
Remember to breathe. Your body needs rest during pregnancy, even if it's just a few minutes a day. Take deep, slow breaths. Sit in a quiet room. Play soft music. Focus on tension areas. Let yourself relax.