Your whole pregnancy can’t be smooth completely, but hey, it can most certainly be healthy and joyful. For starters, you just need a strong will for that. You are set to face whatever is thrown your way with some courage and faith.
The effective tips to have a happy and healthy second trimester primarily include beauty pampering, reading the right books, meditation, and promoting a stress-free environment for the pregnant lady.
When you step into the second trimester of pregnancy, it feels like flipping a switch. The nausea is gone suddenly and your appetite returns. Your energy is back as well. You start to look pregnant. Here is everything that you need to know to maintain that good feeling and look beautiful throughout your pregnancy.
1. Exercise and pregnancy
Being pregnant is not an excuse to lie on the couch, especially after your energy has returned. Moderate levels of physical activity are perfectly safe if you do not have any health problems. Exercising is the best way to reduce the insulin resistance that can lead to gestational diabetes and to maintain normal blood sugar levels if you do develop it. Exercises like walking, bicycling and swimming are good for you. You should skip intensive activities like ice hockey, soccer, basketball and downhill skiing.
Some exercises like tennis and horseback riding that could lead to falls and some exercises that require you to lie on your back should also be avoided. Also, it is probably not the best time to take up jogging now. If you have always jogged then you should be fine. As for the intensity, you should take it down a notch from what you were doing pre-pregnancy. So, for example, on a scale of 6 to 20, you should be at about a 12 to 14. If you were not exercising before your pregnancy, then you should start slow and then gradually work your way up to 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. You should be careful to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout and avoid becoming overheated.
2. Your skin during pregnancy
The pregnancy glow is not a myth. You should thank your high levels of estrogen and progesterone, along with increased blood volume, which probably makes you glow during this time. However, you should remember that all the changes happening to your skin are not positive. Most pregnant women develop something called the mask of pregnancy. It is the appearance of dark spots on the cheeks and forehead. They are the result of increased hormone production in your body. Usually, they fade after the baby is born.
Grandma’s Tip: In India, the sun is too harsh and that worsens your skin problems during pregnancy. You should make sure you use sunscreen when you step outside. And since most onlookers would look at you like you’re an alien when you wear a fancy hat, unless you’re in Goa, you can compensate by using an umbrella or covering your face with a comfortable, cotton scarf.
The skin on your stomach and breasts stretches to accommodate changes in your body, which sometimes leads to white or pink streaks called stretch marks. You can use lotions and creams to try and prevent or reduce them, but there is no good evidence that they will work. Those lotions, however, may help relieve the dry, itchy skin that also occurs. After your delivery, the stretch marks fade to silvery marks.
Linea Nigra is the dark line that runs from your navel to your pubic bone. It gets darker during pregnancy but fades after delivery. You may as well experience the outbreak of acne, which is a result of hormonal changes.
3. Physical pain and pregnancy
The weight of your uterus pressing against large blood vessels can lead to sore, itchy veins, mostly on your legs. So, to prevent them, you should avoid standing in one position for long periods of time.
- You should walk as much as possible to prevent blood from pooling in your legs
- You should keep your legs slightly elevated when you sit or lie
- You should wear support stockings, watch the weight gain and up the amount of vitamin C and bioflavonoid you get in your diet
This helps to maintain strong blood vessels. You might also make a few appointments for reflexology, in which the feet and lower legs are massaged. One small study found it helpful in preventing or minimizing varicose veins during pregnancy.
4. Beauty procedures and pregnancy
You should avoid any medically unnecessary procedures or drugs during your pregnancy. The same goes for teeth whitening and hair coloring.
5. Medications during pregnancy
It is unethical to test prescription on pregnant women. You should always talk to your healthcare professional first before taking any medication when you are pregnant. Common medications that are considered safe during pregnancy include Benadryl, Acetaminophen, etc.
6. Books to read during the second trimester
There are some books that are very effective in keeping you stress-free and healthy. They are The Birth Book, Gentle Birth Choices, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, Birthing from Within, Hypnobirthing, The Doula Advantage, etc.
7. Yoga for the second trimester
Every pregnant woman should practice these yoga asanas only under the yoga expert’s supervision so that they can avoid any complications. Vajrasana helps in enhancing digestion and can be done directly after finishing your meal. Tadasana helps to stretch and loosen the entire spine and also helps in developing mental and physical balance. Matsya Kridasana helps to remove constipation and stimulates digestion as well.
8. Be stress-free
To be stress-free during the second trimester, there are some things that you can do. The first thing that you need to do to cope with stress is to relax. There will be time enough for everything. You should sit down and take a few minutes to breathe. Then you should think about the good things in your life, followed by talking to someone about how you feel about the present and the future. This doesn’t necessarily have to be your partner and can be a friend or a cousin too!