Second trimester: The essential checklist for an expectant mother

Second trimester i.e., the middle trimester of pregnancy is a crucial time for mother as well as the child. A lot of concern and support is required when it comes to food intake, exercise regime and the regular checkups, and it will not be wrong to say that it would require a lot of support from the peer group and family. We all know that the first trimester of pregnancy lays the foundation for a new life, giving it shape, whereas the second trimester deals with major development of every vital body organ of the child, and the third trimester of pregnancy adds the fat cells to the body of child so that when the child is born it is healthy and fully developed.

Pregnant Woman

Precautions to be taken during the fourth month

The fourth month of the pregnancy is far easier than the first three months. While nausea is a thing of the past but significant signs now appear, like increment in weight, breast size, heart burn, nasal congestion, increased appetite, varicose veins and constipation. A sudden weight gain is seen during the fourth month as the baby starts growing, thus giving birth to back pain. Though back pain is associated with the pregnancy from the very start but it is more apparent now. So it is advisable to speak to your doctor and follow an exercise program regularly which consists of a walk of 15-20 minutes daily and heat therapy as it relaxes the muscles. Though women can complain of breathlessness during walking or otherwise but that is normal, one must consult the doctor if it is unbearable.

Regular checkups and updates of baby’s heart rate, height and weight gain are advisable so that any alarm bells can be warded off on time. Constipation is another problem which is faced in the fourth month of pregnancy, so the right kind of diet has to be followed, which should consist of a lot of fruit and veggies as they provide the dietary fiber which helps in a better bowel movement. Drinking lots of water and juices would also do good to the system by flushing out the toxins, and thus improving the digestion. Loose clothing or maternity clothing would be required now due to the weight gain. This is also the best time to travel, if one has to, but with the guidelines of the doctor. So, by following a few tips like lifting things carefully, sleeping on the side and not on the back or stomach, wearing flat shoes and right clothes, correct posture and family’s support, one can tread through this crucial period more swiftly.

Precautions to be taken during fifth month

By the fifth month i.e., almost middle of pregnancy, women feel more energetic, plump and healthy, their hair and skin start looking more lustrous and the movement of the baby is more apparent. The height of the baby is seven to eight inches, and the weight is around 1 pound. There is a growth of thin strands of hair on the body of the baby. Some new sensations take place in the mother-to-be like pigment spots, vaginal secretion, bleeding of gums, face and hand swelling, varicose veins on legs, increase in breast size, and weight and formation of transparent liquid in the nipples which is also known as foremilk. The spots would disappear on their own after the child birth. But one needs to take care of the hygiene by wiping off the breast liquid with a napkin frequently.

Eating a healthy diet in small intervals, refraining from straining the back, adapting to flat and easy footwear, sleeping on a hard mattress, avoiding hair dyes and long exposure to sun, and regular exercises consisting of walks and breathing are some of the points one should follow sternly. One should go for the regular checkups and keep your doctor informed about every unusual detail to avoid any complications. An ultrasound is performed at this stage and the expectant mother can know about the sex of the baby. It is good time to travel preferably by train but only on the advise of your doctor. Seek the support of your partner for a more comfortable and safe position for intercourse. It is time for the expectant mothers to plan for the future like looking for a nanny and thinking of names for the baby.

Precautions to be taken during sixth month

By the time you reach the 6th month you are well aware of the pregnancy blues and your body learns to deal well with them in a more efficient manner. There’s a glow on the skin and the body is chubby now. No fat cells have developed in the child yet but the child looks like a person now and the arms, legs and muscles, hearing organs, taste buds are already developed. Development of the immune system, creation of antibodies, hand grip, reflexes and development of lungs of the child also begin to take place by this time. The height and weight of the child by the sixth month is approximately 9-10 inches and 2-4 lbs respectively.

Women experience inner soreness, stuffiness in the ears, bleeding of gums, muscle spasms, swelling of hands and legs etc. which are normal at this stage of pregnancy and subside on their own after the child birth. Some women face emotional turbulence too regarding the birth of the baby. But by following a few points one can ease these symptoms. Drink lots of water and say no to synthetic clothing, while resting put a pillow under the legs to avoid swelling, sleep on the side, and don’t strain while defecating, perform breathing exercises along with regular walks to avoid breathlessness, and undergo regular health check ups. Travel plans can still be carried out but its best to take the advise of the doctor. Paying attention to the childbirth classes would enhance your knowledge about the forthcoming months. Last but not the least, never try self medication: take medicines only under expert medical supervision.

Always remember

It would not be unfair to conclude by saying that pregnancy at this stage is a long term thought process in terms of time and money as one starts looking forward to the new arrival, and this excitement would become double fold if you have the support of your partner and family. While you are preparing a home for your baby, start reading about child birth and breast feeding. If you plan to continue working after the baby’s birth then start looking for adequate nurseries and maternity leave options. As the pregnancy advances, the changes in your body start affecting your emotions; anticipation regarding labor, delivery and motherhood can cause anxiety. Share your feelings with your partner and remember that one can not control everything but can only take remedial precautions. So, rest, stay happy and be calm as your baby is receptive to your emotions by now.

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