You are now in your second trimester, which means goodbye to nausea, but hello to a long list of other things. As your baby grows, so does your body, and this means more than just your belly. Here are some of the main changes your body goes through during the fourth, fifth and sixth month of your pregnancy.
Expect your belly to grow much faster in the second trimester. Starting around month four, your belly feels heavier and is making room for your baby. It will expand at a quick pace and start to look more noticeable. Expect to gain a few pounds each month and start shopping for maternity clothing now - that is if you haven’t already.
During the first trimester, you probably noticed minor breast changes and most likely soreness. But they become more pertinent during the second trimester. Some of the tenderness goes away, but your nipples darken, form larger glands in the nipples and nipple tenderness is apparent.
Nose and Mouth
Due to your heightened hormones and increased blood flow circulation, your nose, mouth, and teeth all experience changes during the second trimester. Due to the increased blood flow in your mucous membranes, your airway is swollen and may lead to nosebleeds, congestion, and snoring. You may also notice your teeth become looser and your gums are bleeding and inflamed. You can still have dental treatments in your second trimester if you need it.
Skin Changes and Puffiness
Your skin also changes in a number of ways, including spots and stretch marks. As your skin stretches on your abdomen, thighs, buttocks or upper arms, you may develop stretch marks. You can lighten these marks after your pregnancy has ended, but they usually never go away completely. You may also notice dark spots on your breasts, which is from an increase in the cells that create skin pigmentation. During the second trimester, you also start forming a dark line down your stomach, called the linea nigra. Finally, puffiness is very common in these months, which can occur on your ankles, face, and hands. It is from fluid retention and a change in your blood circulation.
Unfortunately, cramps and pain come around in the second trimester and may persist throughout the entire trimester, often existing in the third as well. One such cramp is in your legs, which usually worsens at night. This can make it difficult to sleep comfortably. To reduce leg cramps, drink plenty of water and maintain an active lifestyle. Stretching helps during a cramp. You may also feel an ache in your pelvis, hips and lower back. This is the result of your belly growing and causing strain in these areas. Finally, if you feel contractions, it is most likely Braxton Hicks.
Heartburn and Digestive Changes
It is not uncommon to have heartburn during your second trimester of pregnancy since digestive changes are happening within your body. As your stomach and uterus expand, acid often goes back up your esophagus, causing heartburn and indigestion. Your digestion changes also affect you in other ways, such as causing constipation.
Shortness of Breath, Dizziness
Lastly, expect some minor dizziness and shortness of breath. Your pregnancy hormones are responsible for dizziness in the second trimester. Be sure to rise slowly from bed or when standing up and always drink plenty of water. Your shortness of breath comes from your expanding uterus puts pressure on your diaphragm. Always tell your doctor about any dizziness and shortness of breath, and if it becomes especially troublesome, seek medical attention right away.
These body changes may come on gradually or feel like they come on all at once. If anything concerns you, consult your doctor.