The first trimester is finally over! The best weeks of your pregnancy are ahead of you. During the second trimester, the previously haunting episodes of nausea and sickness cease, and now you are feeling energetic and well-balanced. Your family and friends are now fully aware of the fact that you are expecting, and will want to join in this amazing period to share your joy.
The expectant mother
Your belly keeps on growing, but it does not restrict you in your movement yet. A dark vertical line might appear on your abdomen. It is called linea nigra, and it usually disappears after you give birth. However, if you are fair-skinned, it may not be visible at all.
Now the baby is approximately 10 cm long and weighs 30 grams. From this point on, your doctor will not only measure the sitting position, but records many other types of data as well. The medical records from your prenatal care now contain the numbers for BPD (biparietal diameter): the transverse diameter of the head, HC: head circumference, AC: abdominal circumference and FC: femur length. By this week the fetus might have grown eyebrows and a little amount of hair on his head. Now he tends make reflex movements, such as bending his knees and wrists and moving his limbs. The genitals are fully recognizable and the placenta is fully developed. The baby’s teeth germs develop and his ribs become visible as a result of bone tissue development.
There are no compulsory examinations this week, but if you have scheduled an ultrasound examination for this period, depending on your baby’s position in your womb his or her gender can be determined.
Take advantage of the fact that your belly does not restrict you in your movement yet. However, your heart has to pump 20% faster than usual all the time to keep the necessary amount of blood circulating in both of you. So it is advised to do breathing exercises, prenatal yoga or pregnancy workouts: they do not only help you prepare for giving birth, but make you feel good in general.
From this week on, even those women who had been nauseous all the time before will experience increased appetite. But remember: eating for two does not mean eating twice as much, rather paying attention to the quality of your food. You should make sure that you consume enough protein, calcium, vitamins, fruit and vegetables with your dishes. If you feel like eating one type of food all the time, it might be because your body lacks the type of nutrition it contains. But be careful not to overdo it! To be on the safe side, you should consult an obstetrician or other specialist to compile a special diet that satisfies both your baby’s and your needs. The aim of pregnancy dietetics is to ensure the intake of all necessary nutrients without adding excess calories. You will have to work out later to lose the extra weight you gain during your pregnancy, so it does matter whether you end up with 5-6 or 10-12 extra kilograms by the time of delivery. Based on your blood count, your treating doctor might recommend you to supplement iron, folic acid or magnesium. Along with vitamins and supplements, try to take at least part of these nutrients from fruit and vegetable.