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Most common second trimester discomforts & how to handle them

Most common second trimester discomforts & how to handle them
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Health and Wellness

The second trimester of pregnancy is often called the ‘’Honeymoon phase.’’ Reason? Well, from all the three trimesters of pregnancy, the second one is considered to be the most easy-going one!

During the second trimester, the morning sickness and fatigue that agonized you during the last three months should be fading away and you may feel a bit energetic and more like your old self again. You may have more energy and fewer mood swings as your hormones now balance out. 

This is also a good period to tackle many tasks necessary to get ready for your baby, who by the way is growing rapidly inside you. This means your belly grows more and you will notice other changes too. Many women have physical discomforts during their second trimester. Most of these are minor and nothing to worry about. Here is what you can expect, followed by tips to help you handle mild symptoms at home:

Changes in your body

1. Aching back, pelvis and hips: 

The extra weight you have gained in the last few months is starting to put pressure on your back making it sore and painful. Your hips and pelvis may begin to ache as pregnancy hormones relax the ligaments that hold your bones together. Your bones move to prepare for childbirth.

 To ease these aches: 

  • Do not stand in one place for long periods 
  • Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs 
  • Wear low-heeled shoes that have good support 
  • Avoid picking up or carrying anything heavy 
  • To ease the pressure, sit up straight and use a chair that provides good back support

In the second and third trimesters, backaches that come and go at regular times might be a sign of preterm labor. Call your doctor if you have this kind of back pain. 

Grandma’s Tip: Now is the ideal time to empty your partner’s pocket by some shoe-shopping! Your feet has already or would be swelling up just like your belly is, and now is the right time to get some large-size slip ons. Oh, get some matching with the maternity outfits you bought last week!

2. Constipation: 

Physical activities like walking, pregnancy yoga can help move things along. Additionally, eat a high fiber diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Drink a small amount of water throughout the day. Talk to your doctor before taking laxatives or stool softeners. 

3. Bleeding gums: 

Pregnancy hormones also affect the ligaments and bones in your mouth, so your teeth may loosen, gums may bleed or swell. Do not panic, as they return to normal after pregnancy. However, these symptoms can be signs of periodontal disease too and this condition has been linked to preterm birth and low birth weight of the baby. The second trimester is the best time to visit the dentist. Use a softer and sensitive toothbrush. Floss gently. Do not compromise on your dental hygiene. 

4. Headaches: 

This is one of the most common pregnancy complaints. Try to get plenty of rest and practice relaxation techniques, such as sleep and deep breathing. 

5. Heartburn: 

These are caused by your body making more of a hormone called progesterone. 

  • Avoid greasy, spicy and acidic foods 
  • Do not eat too much at one meal 
  • Eat sitting up 
  • Do not lie down soon after eating 
  • Drink cumin seeds or carom seeds tea to relieve from heartburn 

6. Leg problems: 

These include cramps, varicose veins, and swelling. 

  • Do not stand or sit in one place for too long 
  • Do not sit with your legs crossed 
  • Rest your feet on a small stool whenever you sit 
  • Do not curl or point your toes 

When you get a leg cramp, pull your toes gently towards you to stretch the calf muscle 

7. Breast enlargement: 

The tenderness of your breasts should be wearing off. Your breasts are still growing though as they prepare to feed your baby. Wearing a good support bra can make you feel more comfortable. 

8. Vaginal discharge: 

It is quite normal to see a thin, milky white vaginal discharge. This helps to prevent any infections from traveling up from the vagina to the womb. Wear a panty liner if you feel more comfortable. If the discharge is green or yellow, bloody, foul-smelling or if there is a lot of clear discharge, call your doctor immediately. 

9. Frequent urination: 

Your uterus will rise away from the pelvic cavity during the second trimester. The enlarged uterus puts a lot of pressure on the bladder, giving you a feeling of using the washroom frequently. It is possible to pass urine if you cough, sneeze or laugh too hard. You may want to use a sanitary napkin. Do Kegel exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the urethra, vagina, and rectum. You can seek your doctor’s or midwife’s help to learn the Kegel exercises. 

10. Blocked nose: 

Hormonal changes cause the mucous membranes lining your nose to swell, which can lead to a stuffy nose. It will interfere with your much-needed sleep. This can be dealt with using natural ways, like:

  • Saline drops 
  • Try steam inhalation, before going to bed to enjoy good night sleep 
  • Drink herbal teas to help clear blocked nose 

All these discomforts will vanish the second you hold your little bundle of joy in your arms. 

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