The Do’s during second trimester of pregnancy
Make the right food choices
It is essential to continue to maintain a balanced, healthy diet during your second trimester of pregnancy. Protein is essential for your baby’s growth, especially during this trimester. Increase your intake of beans, soy products, eggs, chicken, fish and meat in your diet.
Exercise and keep yourself active
Stretching can help improve your muscle flexibility. Regular gentle exercise can help ease or prevent back pain, boost your energy, build stamina and help you prepare for the physical changes of labour and delivery.
Once you are half-way through the pregnancy avoid any exercises that require you to lie on your back.
Lifting weights are a good form of exercise to remain fit during pregnancy for those who are used to such activities majorly in her pre-pregnancy days.
Starting this as a form of exercise in pregnancy is advisable only with very low weights, with proper breathing exercises. Also, one should not lift weights in supine position and not hold your breath.’
Many women are affected by urinary stress incontinence (urine leak during sneeze or cough) during or after pregnancy. To prevent it start doing Kegel exercises, which strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and help prevent incontinence.
Gain weight gradually
You should gain weight at a steady pace to help nourish the baby and accumulate calories to produce milk for breast-feeding. Inconsistent weight gain, too little or too much, can affect your baby adversely. For the optimal growth of your baby you should gain about 2 kg every month in the second trimester.
Keep up the regular check-ups
Ideally, visit your gynecologist once a month during the second trimester. If you have a high risk pregnancy or experience complications then you may need frequent check-ups.
Around 18 to 20 weeks into your pregnancy you may able to feel your baby’s first movements which become stronger and more regular as the days pass by.
If at any point of time you notice a decrease in your baby’s movements contact your doctor immediately. Similarly, let your doctor know right away if you notice any bleeding, sudden swelling in your hands and face or experience constant stomach pain.
Get your tests done
Around 20 weeks of your pregnancy get the mid-pregnancy ultrasound done to check the growth of your baby. It not only helps detect certain birth defects but also helps check the location of the placenta, the amount of amniotic fluid and your baby’s heartbeat.
Screening for gestational diabetes (pregnancy-induced diabetes) should also be performed. If you are in a high-risk category you may also be advised to get tests done for genetic disorders screening.
Amniocentesis is a test that determines genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities in the baby from a sample of the amniotic fluid (fluid around the baby in the uterus).
Visit your dentist
It’s important to take good care of your gums during pregnancy. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that can make a woman’s gums more sensitive to the bacteria in plaque and cause pregnancy gingivitis, a condition which manifests as swollen, red gums that bleed during flossing or brushing.
If you notice bleeding gums, see a dentist and get your gingivitis treated because your teeth are not the only ones at stake .When your gums bleed, bacteria from the mouth can get into your bloodstream and may affect the foetus.
A pregnancy tumour usually disappears on its own after pregnancy. But if it causes discomfort to you, your dentist may remove it under local anesthesia. This trimester is ideal if any dental works like fillings and crowns need to be done. Elective procedures can be postponed until after childbirth.
Wear comfortable clothes
Now is the right time to shop for some maternity clothes. Your body’s shape and size are constantly changing. Tight, uncomfortable clothes may slow the circulation in your body, aggravate your pregnancy-related heartburn and increase your risk of vaginal yeast infections.
Moisturize your stretched skin
Noticed those thin, pink, red or purple lines on your abdomen, breasts, or thighs? Pregnancy makes you gain weight very fast leaving you with those stretch marks which may be itchy. Though you may not be able to prevent them, moisturising your skin can help reduce the itchiness.
Go, take a break
Now is the best time if you want to take a break from the routine and go out on a holiday. It is the time when chances for a miscarriage or premature labour are comparatively low and most women would be relieved from nausea and fatigue. If you are healthy you can even fly safely.
But if you are going through a high-risk pregnancy or any complications you may be advised not to travel during your pregnancy.