Pregnancy is a little bit of a roller coaster ride of changes for your body, both on the outside and on the inside. Many women find that the second trimester is the most enjoyable and the easiest. Those challenging symptoms of the first trimester fade and yet you do not yet experience the challenges of the final stretch – the third trimester.
So why is the second trimester considered the easiest trimester?
Your body underwent many changes in the first trimester, and many of them involved new challenges such as nausea and morning sickness, more frequent trips to the bathroom, hormonal mood swings, and increased aches and pains. During the 2nd trimester, however, you will likely see some changes for the better.
- The nausea subsides. For most women morning sickness is the worst during the 1st trimester, so it is a welcome relief during the 2nd trimester that your body can tolerate those favorite foods and smells once again.
- You energy returns. That first trimester is also often marked by increased fatigue, but the 2nd semester usually brings a return of renewed energy. You can use this to make sure you’re getting enough exercise and preparing your home for that new addition.
- You look pregnant! For many women this is an exciting part of the 2nd trimester. All of those symptoms you experienced during the 1st trimester but maybe felt like you had nothing to show for to the outside world are now plainly evident as you probably even need to begin shopping for maternity clothes, or at least some more comfortable pants.
- You can feel your baby kicking. At some point during the 2nd trimester you will experience quickening, or those first light kicks of your baby. By the end of the 2nd trimester your partner should be able to feel them as well when placing a hand on your abdomen.
- Your late constant bathroom trips subside. As the hormone levels even out your constant need to use the bathroom should subside. But don’t get too comfortable with this change, as the 3rd trimester often brings a resurgence of this symptom as your growing baby presses on your bladder.
- Your breasts don’t feel quite so sore. Just as the hormone leveling helps to relieve your bathroom issues, your breasts are affected as well. They are not as painful to the touch during the 2nd trimester, but you should still use a very supportive bra for comfort and to reduce sagging.
- You can hear the heartbeat. During the 2nd trimester it is typical to listen to the heartbeat of your baby at every prenatal visit. This reassuring sound makes everything more real.
- You get ultrasound pictures. Somewhere between the 18th and 20th weeks most obstetricians elect to have you complete an ultrasound assessment of your growing baby. This means that if you want to know, you might be able to find out the gender of your baby, or at least get a glimpse of life in the womb.
- You glow. The 2nd trimester also means that your hair and nails are often stronger and shinier, and that your skin reflects the pregnancy glow you always hear about – but now get to experience.
While every pregnancy is different, most 2nd trimesters are the easiest on you physically and sometimes even emotionally during pregnancy. Take advantage of this more relaxed and re-energized time to prepare for life after baby.
Image courtesy of Flickr.