Second trimester: feeling good and moving into stretchy waistbands

Stage two of your pregnancy is known as the second trimester, and it runs from around 13 to 28 weeks. Happily, this is when a lot of mums-to-be really start to enjoy being pregnant. Your baby bump will become much more obvious, with any luck your morning sickness will be subsiding, and you might have more energy.

 

Stretching is all part of the process 

Stretch marks can be common for all women – and not just during pregnancy! This is definitely nothing to worry about, with your baby bump growing it’s inevitable that your skin will stretch a little. You might also get stretch marks on your thighs and breasts but these will usually fade after the birth. You can also find creams and oils designed to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. These are usually available in your local pharmacy.


Getting a glow on

You’ve probably heard people talk about the glow that pregnant women have, and there’s definitely truth behind it. During your second trimester you’ll have increased levels of a hormone called progesterone. Your skin retains more moisture and your blood volume increases, these are all things that can give your skin that radiant look. You might also find your nails grow much faster and your hair seems thicker.

 

I’m getting a few funny colored patches

You might have noticed a couple of dark patches of skin showing up on your face. This is caused by melanin, the natural pigment in your skin, darkening because of hormone changes. It should fade after birth, but in the meantime use plenty of sunscreen and follow the regular sun safety rules.


You may develop a dark line that runs vertically down the middle of your baby bump. Don’t panic – this is normal too. It’s called the linea nigra and will probably fade after birth too.


I’ve got a tiny sports star in the making

Baby kicks are something you can look forward to during your 2nd trimester. You could be feeling these any time from around 20 weeks. If this isn’t your first pregnancy it’s not uncommon to start feeling kicks even earlier.


I’m a little blocked up...

You might find you get constipated during pregnancy. Drinking plenty of water (around 9 glasses a day) can help. You should also get plenty of fibre in your diet. Wholegrain breads, cereals, fruit and vegetables are all great.


Tips for including more fibre in your meals:

  • Swap white bread for wholegrain
  • Choose cereals like wheat biscuits, muesli or porridge
  • Snack on fruit and nuts
  • Add baked beans to mince dishes, or as a topping on your baked potato
  • Bulk up your dinner with veges and salads
  • Have plenty of frozen veges on hand. These are easy to add to stir frys
  • Add fruit to your breakfast. Sliced banana on wholegrain bread is delicious

 

Heartburn always gets me at night

Unfortunately heartburn and indigestion are common during pregnancy, especially in the later stages. It’s that burning sensation you get when acid moves out of your stomach and into your oesophagus. Eating small amounts more often can help, as can having a milky drink before bed. Avoid spicy, fatty foods as they can make the problem worse. Make sure you contact your doctor or midwife if you don't feel better.