Once you reach the second trimester of your pregnancy, you can expect to feel more comfortable and at ease with your journey to motherhood.
From your fifteenth to twenty-seventh week, you will likely experience less morning sickness. You will also notice your nausea and fatigue subsiding and feel your energy increasing again.
You will feel these positive changes even as the baby in your womb is growing at a significant rate. According to specialists from an obstetrics and gynaecology clinic in Dubai, at this stage, your child will start developing their organs.
Your baby will also start swallowing, hearing, and developing small hairs.
At the latter part of your second trimester, your baby will also begin moving around and develop sleeping and waking cycles that you will feel or notice.
A To-Do List to Complete on Your Second Trimester
Since you feel more comfortable and energetic at this stage, you can do several things that can help you prepare for your third trimester and upcoming delivery.
Moreover, there are still important things you have to continue and start doing to ensure you and your baby stay healthy throughout your pregnancy.
Below is a to-do list that you should prioritise on your second trimester:
1. Stay physically active.
Working out regularly during pregnancy can help prevent complications during childbirth and lower the risk of a caesarean section birth.
Additionally, being physically active can increase your energy levels and improve your blood circulation and endurance. Regular exercise also helps facilitate better delivery of oxygen to the baby, helping reduce your risk for various intrauterine complications.
If your pregnancy is free from complications and your doctor is fine with you being physically active, engage in pregnancy-friendly physical activities. These include swimming, water aerobics, Pilates, yoga, and walking.
Also, try looking for a prenatal exercise class with pregnancy-friendly workouts. Exercising with other expecting mums can help motivate you to stick with a fitness routine. Moreover, you can get additional tips from them.
2. Undergo the recommended second-trimester screening tests.
During your second trimester, your specialist will ask you to undergo a few tests.
These include an ultrasound, which you need to get between your eighteenth and twentieth week.
Additionally, your specialist will check your placenta and the anatomy, activity, and growth rate of your baby. They will also evaluate the amount of amniotic fluid in and the length of your cervix.
You will also undergo blood tests between weeks 15 and 20 so that your doctor can check for signs of genetic conditions or possible congenital disabilities of your baby.
If the results of these tests are different from the norm, your doctor will recommend additional exams or procedures to validate them and provide a complete diagnosis.
3. Get a flu shot.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, if you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine yet and have a healthy pregnancy and your doctor recommends it, get it now.
The changes in your immune system, heart, and lungs can make you more prone to developing severe conditions caused by the flu virus. These include myocarditis and pneumonia.
Moreover, getting sick with the flu can affect your developing baby. If the virus penetrates the placenta, it can cause premature birth or congenital pneumonia in your child.
A flu vaccine does not contain living pathogens, which means you don’t need to worry about getting sick after being vaccinated.
4. See your dentist.
If you have been postponing visiting your dentist for months, now is the time to do so, even if you don’t have any dental problems.
You need to have your dentist check if your teeth and gums are still healthy since a developing foetus can take a large amount of calcium from your body. When you don’t have enough of this nutrient, you can end up having a weak enamel, which can lead to cavities.
Also, the hormonal changes you are experiencing can make your gums more susceptible to infection, bleeding, and swelling.
If you notice any changes in your oral health, consult your dentist.
It is also advisable that you get your teeth cleaned during this stage so that you can minimise the risk of transmitting cavity-causing bacteria to your baby once you start feeding them.
5. Continue having a healthy diet.
Having a balanced diet during your pregnancy is crucial for your baby’s growth and development.
To support this important process, ensure you get the right amount of protein in your daily meals. This means trying to eat more meat, fish, and legumes.
Also, since calcium is an essential nutrient you need to stay healthy and strong and support your baby’s development, you have to include milk, cheese, yoghurt, and other dairy products in your diet. Eat more green leafy vegetables as well.
If you are experiencing heartburn and constipation at this stage, eat more fibre-rich foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water. You can also ask your doctor for their advice on how you can deal with these pregnancy-related issues.
6. Get enough sleep and rest.
Although you may feel more energetic now, you still need to get enough sleep to recharge and nourish your body and baby.
As such, try to get seven to nine hours of sleep at night. If you have difficulty falling asleep, snooze on your side with a pillow between your knees since this is often a more comfortable and relaxing position for expectant mums.
Make sure you also get enough rest during the day, especially if you feel tired.
If you are feeling stressed, practice relaxation breathing. Also, consider learning yoga or Pilates since both are great for easing stress.
7. Start preparing for your baby’s arrival.
Lastly, now is the best time to speak with your employer about your pregnancy and maternity plans. Work with them to come up with arrangements that can support your specific needs and limitations.
Also, start planning your maternity leave. Get details about your employer’s policies on this particular benefit.
Other things you can do now to prepare for your baby’s birth include:
- Joining classes on breastfeeding, parenting, infant CPR, and first aid.
- Taking a tour of the hospital or birth centre where you plan to give birth.
- Making a nursery or space in your home for your baby.
- Creating your baby registry.
- Narrowing down your choices for your baby’s possible names.
- Shopping for infant care products, baby clothes and accessories.
When you complete this to-do list during your second trimester, you can experience a healthy pregnancy and be more prepared for the next stage and upcoming childbirth.