How's that bump coming along....starting to show yet?
With your second trimester now moving into full swing, hopefully you should be feeling more energised, getting better sleep, and generally feeling more emotionally balanced and starting to enjoy having your blossoming baby bump on board!
Changes to you and your body
Some women, particuarly, if this is not their first pregnancy, start to feel their baby move around now, or perhaps even sense him or her doing somersaults in the womb! Health professionals often refer to this as 'quickening' and the feeling has been described as resembling little flutters in your lower abdominal area. Don't worry if you haven't yet though as most women don't usually feel any movement for a few weeks yet.
As your breasts continue to develop, you may now begin to produce a nutrient-packed milk-like substance known as colostrum, which may explain why you feel swollen and tender in the chest area. You may also find yourself getting hungry more often and at odd times of the day and night, perhaps even getting a few cravings as your body seeks out key nutrients and amino acids to help with baby's development. If so, try to eat healthy snacks little and often to stave off the hunger pangs and sickness feeling.
Changes to your babyBy Week 16, your baby will have grown to approximately 11.5cm – equivalent to a small banana!
As their muscles and joints continue to develop, your baby may be able to move its arms and legs with more flexibility – scans may even show him or her sucking his thumb! Although your baby's reproductive organs may become visible now, it will still be some weeks (around the time of your Week 20 ultrasound) before you will be able to determine its sex with any confidence.
By Week 16, your baby will have grown to approximately 11.5cm – or the equivalent of a small banana!Additional screening for birth defects and abnormalities may be offered by your midwife or obstetrician at this point. Some of these, such as the amniocentesis, are often recommended between 15 and 20 weeks for mums over 35 or those with a family history of birth abnormalities. The aim is to pick up chromosomal defects that often lead to problems such as Down's syndrome, but the choice of proceeding with the tests is yours completely. If you fall into this age group, you should expect to be offered some form of genetic counselling at the time of the procedure.Blood tests, which look for certain marker proteins and other substances, are another way of ruling out foetal abnormalities during the second trimester.
Tips for a happy pregnancyGiven that you will be feeling a bit more stable with hormone levels settling down and less bodily discomfort, the second trimester is an ideal time to start planning for the birth, buying baby gear and considering what you and your partner would like to do about maternity and paternity leave, childcare costs and other budget-related issues.
Try to look after yourself well and take some extra vitamins as your immune system may be slightly compromised now, making you less resistant to colds and flu. Although these do not usually harm your baby, they can be a drag. More serious illnesses to guard against are viruses such as measles, chickenpox, or rubella, which your midwife will carry out blood tests to detect your immunity to, as these diseases, although quite mild to adults; can affect the health of your baby.
Midwives and doctors normally advise sleeping or lying on your side as this can help to increase circulation and minimise swelling and fluid retention. Lying on your back not only puts pressure on key arteries but can also lead to backache as your pregnancy advances.