This begins the three-month period (second trimester) when most pregnant women start to feel less nauseous and tired, and suddenly have energy again. You may feel hungrier than normal. If your nausea and vomiting have stopped, you may be experiencing a return of your appetite by the end of this month. Eat a snack of some nutritious food if you're feeling hungry. You don't want to gain too much weight too soon.
Your appointments will now consist of:
The hormonal changes in your body are becoming more apparent as you notice changes in your skin. You may have developed a dark line down the middle of your abdomen called a linea negra. The areola (dark nipple portion of your breasts) may have darkened and gotten larger. Your uterus is now the size of a grapefruit
You may feel hungrier than normal. If your nausea and vomiting have stopped, you may be experiencing a return of your appetite by the end of this month. Some women find that they get hungry more often when they are pregnant than they used to. Eat a snack of some nutritious food if you're feeling hungry. You don't want to gain too much weight too soon.
Your heart is slightly enlarged with your pregnancy and has increased its output to supply the baby with oxygen. It is pumping about 20% more blood than before you became pregnant. This volume will increase to 30-50% by the end of your pregnancy.
It may be time to purchase some maternity clothes or at least start to wear looser pants and tops. Some women can make it up to their seventh month without wearing real maternity clothes, but you need to be the judge of your own comfort.
You may have constipation. If you are having trouble with bowel movements, try to alleviate this problem by eating more vegetables and other food items that contain fiber (Read nutrition information on food labels).
Drinking more fluids, especially water, will also help a great deal. If these things don't help, be sure to tell your doctor or midwife that you are still constipated.
You may begin to feel the baby move around this point. This is more likely to happen now if you are a multipara (someone who has had a previous child) or if you are very thin. Generally you will feel the baby move about one month earlier than you did in a previous pregnancy, mainly because you know what you are feeling. It is not uncommon for first time mothers not to recognize fetal movements until 22-24 weeks. These first movements are called "quickening." They can also be used in helping to determine your due date.
Secretions all over your body may increase, due to the increased blood volume. If you are sweating more, have nasal congestion, or are suffering from increased vaginal discharge this is nothing to worry about. It will go away after the baby is born.
It's possible that you may occasionally feel faint or dizzy. Many women during pregnancy experience fluctuations in their blood pressure when they stand up too quickly or when they stand in one place for too long.
You may be having these little dizzy spells yourself or feeling as if you might faint. Stand up slowly and hold onto something until you are sure you feel all right. If you feel faint, sit down again. If you are in a situation where you must stand still for a long time, periodically take a few steps or insist on a break where you can sit down. If this dizziness or faintness happens very often, be sure to check with your doctor.
Sleeping may be increasingly difficult now, as your body grows. Try propping yourself with pillows to find a better sleeping position. One of the long body pillows might help you get more comfortable. You might also try doing pelvic tilts before bed, and always be sure to go to the bathroom before lying down.
Medical research indicates that participants in childbirth classes tend to have easier, less stressful births. If you have not looked into childbirth classes, it's a good time to do so. Childbirth education is a good way of preparing yourself for labour and delivery.
There are many different types of classes available, and many different types of teachers. Call around to see if there are any classes in your area that are designed for birthmothers who may be placing their child for adoption, if you intend doing so. If you don't find any, talk with the instructors of various classes to see which ones suit you best. Childbirth classes teach a variety of important things such as:
As your uterus presses upward and outward, your belly button may pop out and stay that way until delivery. It is not unusual to have trouble breathing, since your internal organs and the expanding uterus are cramping your lungs. This can continue until the baby "drops" or engages into the pelvis.
You are half way through your pregnancy!
Have you decided whether you want to find out the gender of your baby? Everyone is probably telling you what sex your baby is using different guessing methods. Some people find this fun, while other pregnant women find it annoying. People guess the sex of the child by how high or low you carry the baby or the Chinese Gender Chart, but these things are not always accurate.
If you are having an ultrasound examination, you can ask to be told or not to be told your baby's sex. The technician or doctor running the test will be happy to let you know if it is evident which sex your child is, but if you don't wish to know, he will keep it a secret for you to discover at delivery.
You are still feeling pretty good and active in this second trimester. If you are still having aches and pains or feel like you are slowing down you may want to look into some different remedies. Your breasts have probably enlarged during pregnancy, and this can be uncomfortable, especially if they are also sore and tender.
During your prenatal visits your doctor or midwife may feel your abdomen. The reason is to determine the position of the baby. A tape measure will also be used to measure your fundal height. This is the top of your uterus and is a good indicator of the continued growth of your baby. Some people will worry if they measure a bit too big or small, but it is completely normal to have slight variations from what is considered normal
Always ask your doctor any questions if you are worried about any procedure or unsure about what the doctor meant.
You may actually feel Braxton Hicks contraction, which are practice contractions most women feel during pregnancy. This is how your uterine muscle prepares for labor and delivery.
The top of your uterus will reach just above your navel this week. At this time most pregnant women are very aware of their baby's movements. You might even be able to tell when the baby is awake or asleep.
Since premature labor is potentially dangerous to a baby who is not fully developed, it is important to recognize the signs of labor. Premature labor is actually more common in the summer months. It is thought to be caused by dehydration in some women, so during the summer make sure you're drinking enough water.
Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
At this point in pregnancy you probably still feel really good! Soon you will begin to see your doctor more often. When this happens, many women begin to get the feeling that they are "running out of time."