The middle three months of your pregnancy is called the second trimester. This is the time when you will usually be feeling and looking more obviously pregnant. Your bump will begin to grow, and, in the latter weeks, you will start to feel your baby move. If you have suffered pregnancy sickness, it will probably be easing off. You may start to notice your waistband getting tight and be thinking about maternity clothes.
Amazing things are happening in your body to be a life support system for your baby. The amount of blood pumping around your body increases by more than a third. This enables your baby to take what they need from your blood supply into their blood supply, through the thin walls within your placenta. Your heart gets larger and beats faster to cope. Your blood pressure drops, and it’s important not to get up too fast from sitting or lying down, or you might get dizzy. Drinking plenty of water helps.
Many women find they have more energy in this stage of pregnancy. It is a good idea to get a bit more active now if you have found this difficult in early pregnancy.
You may get twinges and niggles as your bump starts to grow up from your pelvis and your body makes space. Some women experience pain in their lower abdomen, called round ligament pain as their uterus stretches. Others have hip pain as the levels of a hormone called relaxin prepare your body for birth. It is sometimes difficult to separate normal pregnancy niggles from pain that’s more serious. It is always best to speak to a midwife if you are not sure.
During this stage of pregnancy, you will start to feel your baby’s movements. The movements will be small flutters at first and gradually become more noticeable. It is important to get used to your baby’s normal patterns of movement. Although the movements will change as pregnancy progresses, the number of active periods should stay fairly constant from the end of the second trimester. This stage is about getting to know what’s normal for your baby. For ideas for bonding with your baby during pregnancy, see ‘Grow Your Baby’s Brain’.
With your pregnancy now obvious, and your baby letting you know they are there, it may all seem more real. If you haven’t thought much about the birth yet, it is a good time to make plans. Discover the birth choices available to you in Kent and Medway. Try out the Birth choices decision-making tool to help you decide what is best for you.