Yay! Your body has adapted to its new hormones, your bump is beginning to show, and the morning sickness has finally started to fade away. You’re officially in your second trimester.
Starting from the fourth month (week 14) to the sixth (week 27), the second trimester is often considered the most comfortable trimester in pregnancy. This is because it’s likely that your energy levels have increased again and your mood feels more balanced.
However, a new trimester means new symptoms. From back pain to dizziness, bloating to insomnia, heartburn to itchy skin, these symptoms tend to appear during the second trimester of your pregnancy and can become a little uncomfortable.
We want to help ease some of that discomfort, so here are 7 tips to make your second trimester as comfortable as possible.
Sleep On Your Side
First, let’s talk about sleep. The second trimester is the easiest when it comes to sleep, as morning sickness is less frequent and your bump isn’t too big to sleep with. With this in mind, the second trimester is seen as the most important stage to get rest and sleep. It has been proven to help reduce the chance of stress, depression, and conditions like preeclampsia.
One way to sleep more comfortably is by sleeping on your side. Left-side sleeping, in particular, is recommended because it means that the blood flow to the fetus and kidneys is not restricted.
You will need to avoid sleeping on your back because it can actually cut off the blood flow to the baby. Many women use pregnancy pillows to help them sleep on their side, as the pillow prevents them from turning over onto their back. Placing a pillow between the knees also benefits the hip and spine, keeping them aligned.
Taking the time to relax before going to bed, like meditating or using lavender oil in a diffuser, will also help you to sleep.
Moisturize Your Bump
During pregnancy, it’s common to get stretch marks as your bump begins to grow. It’s also completely normal to get them in other areas, like your breasts or legs.
Although not a guarantee, it’s thought that stretch mark creams can potentially prevent stretch marks from forming if used regularly and early in the pregnancy. Even if the creams don’t make a big difference in appearance, they can help alleviate the discomfort of itchy skin.
Itchiness is another common symptom during pregnancy, and moisturizing will help soothe the itchy skin, while keeping your skin soft. Choose moisturizers that are fragrance-free and perhaps try pure aloe vera gel, which has also been known to provide temporary relief. Avoid showering in hot water, as this can contribute to making your skin very dry.
Get a Massage
While having a massage can be a bit of a luxury, getting a pregnancy massage can be beneficial. It relaxes and soothes you like a normal massage, but it also reduces anxiety and stress levels. There is research to suggest that a massage will not only lower the stress levels of the mother, but reduce the stress hormones for the baby too.
A pregnancy massage can relieve cramp and muscle pain, particularly in the back and legs. It helps with swelling in the joints, which often occurs due to low blood circulation. If you’re struggling with back pain, read here to find out how you can safely deal with back pain during pregnancy.
Pregnancy massages have the ability to improve your sleep, which, as we previously mentioned, is extremely important in the second trimester. If you’re having trouble sleeping, then getting a massage, if possible, is a good option. Here are some other way you can fight pregnancy fatigue.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Ensuring the baby is getting enough nutrients is essential. Maintaining a balanced diet for you and the baby will be fundamental in the development and growth of the fetus.
Eating foods that are rich in iron, protein, vitamin D, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids will provide your body with the nutrients needed for you and the baby. Incorporating foods like dark leafy vegetables, oranges, and whole grains into your meals will also provide you with vitamin B, which reduces the risk of premature birth.
To avoid dehydration, it’s recommended that you drink 8-12 glasses of fluid, preferably water, every day. This will impact the formation of the placenta and amniotic fluid and will prevent any complications.
Food like unpasteurized dairy products, soft cheeses, raw meat, raw eggs and raw fish must all be avoided during pregnancy. This is the same for alcohol, which can cause miscarriages and stillborn births.
If you’re suffering with heartburn during your pregnancy, then here are some tips on how to handle heartburn.
Invest in Some Maternity Clothing
Your body will be changing throughout the pregnancy and you might notice you can no longer fit into your usual clothes. Trying to fit into your non-maternity clothing can actually trigger heartburn and slow down your blood circulation, as well as feeling uncomfortable in clothes that aren’t suitable. Refreshing your wardrobe with maternity clothes will make you and the baby feel more comfortable, accommodating for your growing bump.
During a time when your body feels so different, taking the time to treat yourself to some new clothes can boost your mood. Each stage of the pregnancy will require different maternity clothes, so choose a handful of basic pieces each time.
While it’s recommended that you take the time to rest, it’s also good to stay active. Creating a pregnancy exercise routine that you can do regularly will strengthen your body. On top of this, keeping active will also help your body return to normal after birth.
The other benefits include improving sleep, reducing aches, and simply boosting your mood. On a more serious note, there is evidence to suggest that doing pregnancy exercises can reduce the risk of medical conditions like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
Some recommended prenatal workouts include walking, jogging, prenatal yoga and Pilates, water exercises or even joining a dance class designed for pregnant women.
Attend a Birth Class
Attending childbirth classes can be extremely valuable as it prepares you for the birth. It will teach you about each stage of labor, pain management, newborn care, and cover any potential childbirth complications. Attending these classes will give you confidence and help you mentally and physically prepare for the birth.
Birth classes are also a good way to meet new people. Having a support network of family and friends around you is beneficial, but connecting with women who are going through the same experience as you can be comforting. This social connection can influence the overall well-being and happiness of you and the baby.
Being pregnant is an experience like no other, and Joy of Life® is there to guide you through every part of this wonderful journey. Being comfortable, getting enough rest, eating properly, and generally eliminating stress from your life is important in each trimester of your pregnancy.
If you need some more advice on your second trimester, then get in touch with us.